Kobo Aura Edition 2 is Going to Be a Total Flop

Kobo Aura Edition 2

I’ve been spending most of the time using the new 7.8-inch Kobo Aura One lately, but Kobo also has another new ereader called the Kobo Aura Edition 2.

It has a 6-inch E Ink screen and it uses an older version for some reason with lower resolution. Most newer ereaders have 300 ppi screens, but the Aura Edition 2 only has 212 ppi.

Admittedly I’ve hardly touched it since I got both new Kobos at the same time, but I’ve used it enough to question the reason for its existence.

I still can’t figure out why Kobo released the Kobo Aura Edition 2. It makes no sense on any level.

It has no distinguishing features that separate it from other Kobo models whatsoever.

It doesn’t have built-in OverDrive support like the Aura One. Nor does it have an auto-adjusting frontlight—the dot above the screen servers no purpose.

The original Kobo Aura set itself apart by having a premium design with a flush glass screen; the Kobo Aura 2 has neither of those.

The worst thing about it is the lower resolution screen is a noticeable downgrade from the Kobo Glo HD, which only costs $10 more. The frontlight also doesn’t seem as good, but they vary so much from one to the next that it’s hard to say if they’re all like that.

So what is the point of the Kobo Aura Edition 2?

It’s like Amazon re-releasing the Kindle Paperwhite 2 and selling it for only $10 less alongside the Paperwhite 3.

It makes no sense to do something like that!

I could see the reasoning behind it if they sold it for like $99. But at $119 it’s the same exact price as the Kindle Paperwhite 3, which of course has a 300 ppi screen.

Perhaps Kobo is going to discontinue the Kobo Glo HD. They have no reason to do so but it just happens that the Glo HD is listed as out of stock at Kobo’s website and at Indigo’s website.

Who knows what’s going on anymore with Kobo. None of it makes any sense…

8 Responses to “Kobo Aura Edition 2 is Going to Be a Total Flop”

  1. Agreed, it’s baffling. If the Kobo Glo HD is discontinued, they won’t have any 6″ 300 ppi model. It could be that they’re trying to push the big thing that sets them apart from the Kindle — larger screens — at the expense of 6″ models, but why replace the Glo HD with a lower-res model?

  2. This may have more to do with currency exchange in the countries where Kobo has more traction. It seems to be a cost saving measure. If there is no price elasticity with buyers they’ll need to lower the costs somehow.

    If the Glo HD was not a profitable device its replacement can’t have the same base level material costs. Amazon can “rob Peter to pay Paul” with the Paperwhite’s costs ( in addition to squeeze better margins with better market intelligence & ads ).

    In the upcoming holiday buying season rush, I suspect Amazon will have sales prices and challenge Kobo to a “how low can you limbo” contest. The lower screen cost will keep Kobo in that game.

    [ if that doesn’t happen maybe they can add in Overdrive later with an update, but screens are fixed costs. ]

    • P.S. the true follow on to the Glo HD would come back later (next year? ), but probably at a higher price point that was more sustainable.

      As the margin and revenues on ebook prices fall, the devices are going to have to pay for themselves up front.

  3. Yes, a strange model. The Kobo Glo HD at $10 more is a much, much better purchase.

  4. The design of Edition 2 is nicer than Glo HD’s. I think.

  5. They have discontinued the Glo HD. It is no longer available for purchase on their website. My Glo HD just died, and they are trying to get me to accept an Aura Edition 2 as a replacement. The mind boggles.

  6. My Glo HD also died after 2 months of use (will not charge). They have offered a Aura 2 as replacement which feels like a step backwards.

  7. To understand why someone would buy this product, you need to think from a user perspective.

    What do you really need?

    – Compact size (the Aura is nice and slim, fits in my back pocket)
    – Comfortable resolution (nothing to complain for me)
    – Fits all your books (in my case one book a month for 2,5 years)
    – Screen light (easy to adjust with 2 fingers)
    – Easy access to new books (Amazon is not popular here in the Netherlands)

    The Aura ticks all of these boxes at a very nice price point.

    As an Edition 1 user the new version looks a bit fresher and more comfortable. So maybe not an upgrade, but for a lot of people the perfect entry model.

    Sometimes the unique selling point is practicality instead of feature boasting.

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