The Kobo ereaders start with the small and light 6-inch dedicated black-and-white “E Ink” Kobo Aura, which includes front-lit technology, priced at $149.99. This means it can be illuminated for reading in dark places, or left unlit for reading in sunlight or bright spots. The device would go head-to-head with the Kindle Paperwhite from Amazon ($119 with ads, $139 without) , and the Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight by Barnes and Noble ($99.)
According to Kobo, the Aura’s high-resolution (212 dpi, the same as Kindle Paperwhite) display “virtually eliminates ghosting and page-refresh.” The company says it is designed to hold up to 3,000 books and lasts more than two months on a single charge.
The Kobo line offers a chance to “clip” articles or pages from websites and send them to the Aura via Pocket, an online service that works with many browsers, including Chrome, Safari and Firefox, and with devices such as the iPad.
Kobo also launched its new line of three Arc HD tablets, which will be available Oct. 16. They come in 7-inch and 10-inch sizes. These color tablets run on the Google Android platform and are combined with a new program called Reading Life, which permits users to access collections of books “curated” by authors and celebrities, and to discover collections of books, as well as to download movies, games and music.
In Reading Mode the Kobo tables eliminate “distracting notifications and pop-ups from email, apps and social media,” according to the company’s press release.
The Kobo Arc HD tablets will be priced from $149.99 to $399.99, depending on size and capacity. These would be competition for various tables and ereaders including other Kindles and Nooks, as well as iPads and the iPad mini.
“With magazines joining our eBookstore, a new kids experience, and the best eReading devices possible, we will help Readers find more of what they love – taking them beyond the book,” said Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis. A company spokeswoman said the devices would also be available from selected independent bookstores