When Will Kobo Release New eReaders for 2016?


Kobo eReaders

Kobo is almost certainly going to be releasing at least one new ebook reader in 2016, so let the speculations begin.

The first clue came a month ago when some paperwork turned up at the FCC revealing what appears to be a new 7.8-inch ereader and a new 6-inch E Ink ereader.

Kobo wouldn’t waste their time sending potential new products through the FCC without a serious intent to distribute said devices.

Unless they unexpectedly decide to close business like Sony did a couple of years back, we can expect to see some new Kobo ereaders in 2016.

The leaked 7.8-inch ereader, dubbed the Kobo Aura One, is the most interesting E Ink ebook reader to come along in a long time.

The 7.8-inch screen size is truly unique. That would be the first E Ink ereader at that size. There are a few 8-inch devices but none with a 7.8-inch screen.

According to the leaked paperwork, the device also appears to have a smaller battery than you’d expect, so that could be an indication of some other upgrades. Perhaps that means it will be the first ereader to use the new i.MX7 processor that is more energy efficient and may not need as large of a battery.

The 6-inch device could be a new premium model. It seems unlikely that Kobo would replace the Kobo Glo HD or Kobo Touch this soon, and they are at the budget end of the spectrum, so perhaps a new premium model with some added features could makes sense, like a newer version of the original Kobo Aura.

However the new Kobo ereaders turn out, I’d expect them to be announced pretty soon in either August or September. Things could start to get interesting very quickly!

8 Responses to “When Will Kobo Release New eReaders for 2016?”

  1. Although I really like my 6.8″ Kobo Aura HD, I am much more excited about the new 6″ device. I am hoping it is just like the original Aura, only with a greatly improved screen, and, I hope, water proof like the H2O.

    • Don’t hold your breath. The leaked specs seemed 90% the same as for Kobo Aura HD. The battery is a bit smaller due to energy saving in the CPU. The CPU can do page flips a tiny bit faster. Otherwise the specs are the same. AFAIK The i.MX7 isn’t anything super fast, it’s basically as fast, but lower power. So the biggest benefit is lower cost and lower size/weight. Not improved features.

  2. I am looking forward to the larger device for reading some technical books. I was not thrilled with the display on the Aura at all (too dark and the brown scale drove me nuts). I love my H20 and my AuraHD. I admit though a shinny new toy would be nice. I do hope the new ones will have far better quality then the old ones with pixel issues – can you tell I dealt with support many times?

  3. I have used 6″ readers, the 6.8″ Kobo Aura HD, and the 9.7″ Kindle DX. For ordinary EPUB or MOBI format books with little to nothing in the way of visuals, the 6″ size is fine. For PDFs, 9.7″ is much better than 6.8″ or 6″. I doubt that 7.8″ will be as good as 9.7″ for PDFs.

    I only wish that it was easy to jailbreak the Kindle DX to have better software than its old, old software.

    • Indeed 9.7″ readers could have a larger battery, a lot beefier CPU, 2560×1440 resolution. Perfect for larger documents such as datasheets for components or some technical pdf figures. It could also work as a mobile monitor during travelling. Unfortunately there’s very little product development in this area.

  4. I’m wan’t to see software upgrade to bring horizontal epub reading like Kindle does

  5. Today Kobo CEO Michael Tamblyn tweeted this:

    “Great news for booklovers coming soon from @kobo. Keep your eyes wide open mid-August!”

    https://twitter.com/mtamblyn/status/758404133716103168

    With that glimpse of a mystery device on the accompanying picture, it’s very likely this means the new device(s) we saw on the FCC documents will be announced mid-August.

    Question: I only have an Aura H2O, does that mystery device with the blue button resemble any other Kobo device released so far? The texture on the back resembles the one I’ve seen on the Kobo Glo HD, I think.

    • Thanks for the tip! That blue button is new. Apparently Michael Tamblyn is taking the Jeff Bezos approach of teasing a new ereader on Twitter…

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