Kobo Aura HD vs Onyx Boox T68 Lynx Comparison Review (Video)


Aura HD vs Onyx Boox T68

The Kobo Aura HD and Onyx Boox T68 are the only two ebook readers currently available that feature E Ink’s 6.8-inch display, so a comparison review between them is needed to determine which device is better.

Unfortunately that’s not going to happen. I can’t definitively say that one is better than the other. Each device has some clear advantages over the other. It depends on what features are most important to you for an ereader to make that distinction.

Before doing this comparison, I thought that the newer Boox T68 would easily claim victory over the older Kobo Aura HD, but that is not the case at all. The Aura HD holds its ground well, and is in some ways better than the Boox T68.

Both devices are similar in some ways. Aside from having the same 1440 x 1080 E Ink Pearl screen, both feature frontlights and have Wi-Fi, 4GB of internal storage space, a microSD card slot, 512MB RAM, and 1GHz processors.

The picture at the top of this page shows both devices with their frontlights on at about 50%. The picture below is with the frontlights turned off.

Aura HD vs T68

Kobo Aura HD Advantages

  • Text looks slightly darker and more defined on the Aura HD’s screen. This is likely the result of the Aura HD using an infrared touchscreen and the Boox using a capacitive screen that adds a layer over the text.
  • With the frontlights on, the Kobo’s screen appears noticeably whiter than the Boox T68’s screen, which has a darker yellower tone.
  • Smoother and faster page turn transitions.
  • Scrolling is faster and smoother. An example is the web browser. Kobo’s browser is more basic and has way less features than the browser on the Boox, but it is faster and scrolling is much smoother and less jarring—that’s pretty much the story of this comparison review: the Kobo is more basic and offers less overall features but it’s faster and smoother at what it does do.
  • Social sharing options.
  • Reading stats and awards.
  • Smaller overall size.
  • With the dual boot hack, the Kobo Aura HD can run Kobo’s software and Android, albeit an older version of Android (2.3)

Onyx Boox T68 Lynx Advantages

  • The main advantage with the Boox T68 is it runs Android 4.0 and comes with Google Play to install Android apps.
  • With apps, it supports virtually all ebook formats, including Kindle ebooks with the Kindle app.
  • Can install the Kobo Android app to read Kobo’s ebooks, or you could download the ePub version from Kobo and read it with the Boox’s default Reader app, which supports Adobe DRM.
  • Supports text-to-speech.
  • Adds Bluetooth.
  • Audio support via headphone jack/Bluetooth.
  • It has physical page and navigation buttons.
  • Much better PDF support.
  • Thinner, more comfortable to hold design.

Conclusion

The Boox T68 is more versatile than the Kobo Aura HD. It supports more types of content in the form of Android apps, and it adds audio support, Bluetooth, and physical page and navigation buttons.

The Kobo Aura HD offers a slightly clearer and whiter screen without the capacitive touch layer, and it has a more simplistic interface that’s easier to learn and use. The software isn’t as advanced as Android on the Boox T68, but it’s faster, more stable, and a lot less prone to crashes.

Video: Kobo Aura HD vs Onyx Boox T68

15 Responses to “Kobo Aura HD vs Onyx Boox T68 Lynx Comparison Review (Video)”

  1. “… With the frontlights on, the Kobo’s screen appears noticeably whiter than the Boox T68′s screen, which has a darker yellower tone. …”

    This is also the case with the frontlights off. Personally, I don’t like that.

    • I can’t see the difference as much with the frontlights off, but yeah the Aura’s screen is definitely a little better. I added a pic to the article with the lights off to compare with the one at the top of the page with the lights at about 50%.

  2. Apparently the lowest brightness setting on the Onyx is quite bright, whereas the light on the Aura HD can be set to almost nothing. This is the sort of the detail that a comparative review should highlight…

    • You’re right. The fontlight on the Aura HD does indeed go dimmer. I guess I forgot to specifically mention that, although it is shown in the video starting at 1:45. It’s hard to cover every detail when doing these comparisons, especially when I personally don’t find the brightness an issue at all. Just because a few people think the light is too bright doesn’t mean everyone is going to feel the same way.

  3. Could you make a comparison between Kindle PW2 and Onyx T68?
    I have a kindle and I am considering selling it for a new 6.8″ ereader with a microSD.
    The kindle is just too restricted for my taste.

  4. Ciao Nathan,
    when do you foreseen a new version/upgrade for Kobo Aura HD?

    I want to buy a 6.8″ but I don’t know what to buy…

    6.8 that I think it’s the proper minimum screen dimension for an ebook reader.

    • I haven’t heard anything about a new Aura HD. The only new Kobo rumor going around right now is a new Aura that’s waterproof and dustproof. The thing with Kobo is their software remains the same across devices so the only real thing a new Aura HD could offer is a new hardware design, which I really think it needs personally (I’ve always disliked the thick, slick, asymmetrical design). But I doubt that is going to happen. I don’t see them coming out with a new one just to change the outer casing. At this point, there isn’t really anything else they could add to make it new, especially if the Aura is getting waterproofed—there would be no sense in offering two waterproof ereaders.

  5. thanks Nathan for the reply, my question was related to the comparison with Onyx Boox T68.

    The hardware of the Kobo is very old, Aura HD is older than 1 year ( if I’m not wrong).
    So don’t you think that could be time to update it? I don’t want to buy it and discover after 3 months that they are going to sell a new one in Q4…

    A simply updating of the processor could be a good improvement…

    Onyx Boox T68 semms to me too big… am I wrong?

    • No, it doesn’t really work that way with E Ink ebook readers. Advancements are so slow coming that it takes years for hardware to be outdated. Other than the addition of Bluetooth and an audio jack, the T68 and Aura HD have pretty much identical specs from a hardware perspective.

      • thanks a lot!
        i’ll buy a aura HD. I like the possility to have as “save screen” the cover of the booking that I’m reading!

  6. Can you recommend an eReader that supports Chinese script, txt & PDF files, and MicroSD card slot? Thanks!

    • Sorry but no, I don’t follow the Chinese ereader market. I know several ereaders support Chinese but I don’t have any idea how well or which does the job better.

    • I own the Aura HD. If you use certain fonts (already installed), you can read Chinese epub, txt and pdf. It has MicroSD. It’s great, hardware wise.

      T68 got my fancy because it allows to install my favorite ereader app (Aldiko and Mantano), and Fora dictionary which is much better than Kobo’s crappy dictionary.

      I’m in a dilemma. 🙁

  7. Hey, Nathan,

    Thank you for all your great and hard work with all your reviews on all these many devices! So awesome..

    However, I personally would like to see 2 things more emphasized in all reviews:

    A) UI/UX/Navigation/Unified interaction considerations

    B) Find/Search by entering (physical or on-screen keyboard) a word or number

    i – possible?
    ii – how fast/easy to enter characters, numbers, and symbols?
    iii – how fast are the results of their search returned to the user?

    For instance, I look at old Plato/Socrates texts with “Stephanus” numbering of paragraph sections. It sure would be nice to search for “L298” quickly.

    Alternatively, I know there is a quote from something I was reading a few chapters back, and it had the word, “vilify” in it. And I want to get back there. I would like to search by the word, “vilify”, and *quickly* get to it.

    When I am done getting to that quote, I’d like to easily hit a “Back” button to return to where I was reading before this search.

    In Sum: How easy is it to jump around and use an e-reader as a scholarly device, where I am using it to jump around a lot in the text easily? Where I am using the e-reader as a *serious* reading/analysis tool? How much thought has the company put into making this kind of jumping-around navigation easy for the user?

    I would love to see this kind of consideration put into your future reviews, and I’d love to know if you have any suggestions on that score between these 2 e-readers — or between any that you have looked at.

    Thanks again for all your great videos and write-ups!

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