Could This Entry Spell the End of Amazon’s Monopoly?

Competition is heating up between Amazon (AMZN) and Kobo with the release of the latter’s premium e-Reader.

Kindle Amazon

Since the release of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle e-reader, competition in this segment has been, well, one-sided. But could the entry of Kobo’s premium e-Reader spell the end of Amazon’s monopoly?

Meet the Aura One, Kobo’s dinky e-reader boasting a brilliant edge-to-edge touchscreen, display, nightshift mode and water –resistance capabilities.

So what makes the Aura One better than any of Amazon’s e-readers from the Kindle line? For one thing, the device’s generous 7.8 display makes reading easier. The 300 pixel-per-inch resolution display, also means content is crisp and clear. The Aura one is significantly larger than Kindle’s six-inchers. The adjustable display means it doesn’t burn the irises when you read at night.

Another aspect of Kobo’s newest e-reader that makes it different from Amazon Kindle is its water resistance. Meeting the IPX8 waterproof standard, the device can be drenched in 2 meters of water for 60 minutes. The Aura One features a special coating that protects the device’s interiors when submerged in water without bothering with port covers.

In addition, the exterior of the device is covered with a non-slip coating so it’s easier to hold when wet. With its water-resistant capabilities, the Aura One makes bath time reading less worrisome!

And get this, the Aura One retails for only £190, or $290, cheaper than Kindle’s premium e-reader, the Oasis, priced at an eye-watering £269.99, or $354. Although Amazon offers cheaper e-readers, the Aura One’s brilliant screen, water resistance, and other cool features are hard to beat at this price point.

The Aura One also features a nighttime mode, which automatically adjusts the lighting of the display to improve sleep. Similar to iPhone and iPad’s night shift mode, the nighttime mode eliminates the bluish tint of the display to minimize eyestrain when reading at night.

Associate Professor and Director of the Sleep and Depression Laboratory at Ryerson University, Colleen Carney said: “Getting the right amount of sleep is extremely important, and is just as valuable to your health as a balanced diet and daily exercise routine. A lot of people find it hard to wind-down at the end of the day, and falling asleep with a racing mind doesn’t make it easy.

“Doing something relaxing like meditation, yoga or reading for 20 minutes before hitting the pillow can help, but we’ve all heard that reading on an electronic device can hinder a restful night’s sleep due to the activating effects of blue spectrum light. We require red spectrum light to stimulate melatonin, a hormone that regulates our body clock.  This device pays attention to the timing of blue and red spectrum light to protect sleep quality.”

A sensor automatically detects and adjusts the illumination of the screen according to the brightness based on the time of the day. The display color mimics the sun’s natural progression. The nighttime mode is also fully adjustable. Users can tweak the settings manually based on personal preference.

The Aura One offers enough room to store up to 6,000 eBooks, a longer battery life and 512 MB of RAM. The device will roll out in the UK on September 6, 2016.

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