The good thing about the Aura is that Kobo has kept the same internal processing specifications as seen in the more expensive Aura HD, that is a 1GHz CPU. The difference in price between the Aura HD and the Aura is essentially the difference in screen size.
On its product page, Kobo says that the Aura's "latest E Ink screen technology allows you to transition between pages without those annoying flashes and now with pinch to zoom, [so] you'll catch every detail when zooming in to PDFs and select books".
We were slightly surprised with how well the pinch and zoom featured worked on the display. It only works on certain books, but when we tested the feature it seemed to be fluid and fast. However, we can't say Kobo has removed the "annoying flashes" when transitioning between pages. They were still present in our tests, and still annoying too. However, it did function more quickly than on older Kobo ereader models, such as the Glo.
During our time using the Aura we found page turns were fast, not only faster than we have experienced on other Kobo ereader products, but also other ereader products on the market, such as Barnes & Noble's Nook Simpletouch Glowlight.
Generally pages take around one second to change after finger flick commands, although you can always choose to decrease the page turn refresh in the settings menu so that page turns are swifter and almost instant, but ghost text from previous pages is more likely to appear the more pages you choose to turn between screen refreshes.
Although the Aura's touchscreen is better than we have seen on most other ereaders on the market, it can be rather unresponsive to touch commands at times. If you're more used to full colour tablets, you might feel frustrated that the Aura isn't able to take you from one set of options to the next as instantly as you'd expect. As a result, downloading books onto the device from the Kobo store was an arduous task at times, as navigating through the webpages - though these are set out well - doesn't load them instantly.
Storage and connectivity
The Kobo Aura has 4GB of internal storage available to store around 4,000 books. That's more than you'll ever need to store at one time. But just in case you can page turn your way through more than 4,000 books in the space of a week, there's also the option to expand the storage up to 32GB with a microSD card. Kobo also stores all your books in the cloud under your account, so even if you run out of space on your device, you'll always be able to delete and re-download books at a later date.
The Kobo Aura is charged using a standard microUSB lead, which is a bonus since many people will have one of these hanging around the office or home due to it being a standard across smartphones and tablets.
Next: Battery life, books and document support