Kobo Aura One eReader to Feature 7.8″ Screen (or Is It Six Inch?)

Kobo Aura One eReader to Feature 7.8" Screen (or Is It Six Inch?) e-Reading Hardware Kobo Kobo has new FCC filings this week which are bound to set the ebook community buzzing.

Most of the useful  details are concealed, but according to one set of paperwork, the Kobo Aura One (model bn709) was made by Netronix. It's a device with a 7.8" screen, Wifi, and a 1.2 Ah battery. There's a microUSB port, but no audio or card slot mentioned.

If that screen is real then the Aura One will be the largest of Kobo's ereaders, with a screen close to my preferred 8".

But it might not be completely correct, and here's where things get interesting.

According to the paperwork with the other Kobo FCC filing, the Aura One (model number bn236) is a six inch device. That listing doesn't tell us much either, but the paperwork does show that this model has a 1.2Ah battery, Wifi, and a microUSB port.

Yes, we have two listings for two different-sized devices which have the same name.Does anyone want to guess which one is the correct listing, or offer a good explanation?

I admit to being baffled, and also deeply interested. Kobo currently sells three ereaders, two with a six inch screen and one with a 6.8" screen, and now we could get one with a 7.8" screen.

  • $180 Kobo Aura H20, with a 6.8", 1430 x 1080 resolution E-ink screen, frontlight, and a waterproof case
  • $130 Kobo Glo HD, with a 6", 1448 x 1072 resolution E-ink screen, frontlight
  • $90 Kobo Touch 2.0, with a 6", 800 x 600 resolution E-ink screen

If the larger Aura One model is released then it will supplant the Aura H2O as Kobo's premium ereader model, and it will make the Oasis look tiny and overpriced.

But will it be released?

Liliputing

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

38 Comments

  1. Rasputin24 June, 2016

    Well spotted. Thanks. Great for manga and pdf readers.

    Reply
  2. Fjtorres24 June, 2016

    Obviously there are two ones. And after that they’ll go straight to five.

    Reply
  3. Rasputin24 June, 2016

    You state the 7.8″ device is made by Netronix. Are all Netronix devices Android devices? Or can it be any OS?

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder24 June, 2016

      Netronix can do Android on E-ink, yes. Kobo has never taken them up on the idea, however.

      Reply
      1. Fjtorres24 June, 2016

        Kobo can’t do an android-based ereader.
        B&N and Sony can both attest which is the first app that’ll get installed.

        Reply
        1. Nate Hoffelder24 June, 2016

          bwahaha!

          Reply
      2. Redrum24 June, 2016

        My question was are all netronix devices android? Not can they be.

        Reply
        1. Nate Hoffelder24 June, 2016

          Kobo’s ereaders run Linux. The last 4 or 5 were made by Netronix.

          Edit: Uh, no, all Kobo ereaders from the beginning have been made by Netronix. (I don’t know why I got that wrong.)

          Reply
          1. Rasputin25 June, 2016

            Thanks for the clarification.

  4. DavidW24 June, 2016

    An 8 inch ereader would be an awesome thing to have. But if it’s $300+ I’m passing!

    Reply
    1. DavidW24 June, 2016

      Putting more thought into it I’m concerned about the weight. The Kobo Aura H2O is 233 g. It’s official sleepcover is about the same, 200 g. That puts the whole package at 433 g. For me that’s just borderline readable one handed. If they keep everything the same but scaled up, an 8 inch reader will be too hard to hold.

      Reply
      1. vicente25 June, 2016

        Well, surely thet can make a lighter cover, altough still tough

        Reply
  5. Suz25 June, 2016

    Hopefully this will push Amazon into coming out with a larger screened Kindle.

    Reply
    1. Rasputin26 June, 2016

      The 6.8″ Aura has had no effect on Amazon, so I doubt a 7.8″ will have an effect either.

      A 7.8″ will appeal to readers using the pdf format. Amazon doesn’t control that format, so they won’t produce an e-reader that encourages it.

      The downside of this is that Amazon’s policy reduces choice and innovation in the market-place. Amazon has demonstrated no interest in innovating the technology. At least Apple pushed the tech envelope. Amazon has gone backwards.

      Queue the Jeff-bot…

      Reply
  6. Michael25 June, 2016

    FCC search results expire pretty quickly, so a better resource for linking would be FCCID.io:

    https://fccid.io/NOI

    Looks like Netronix is finally offering the 6.8″ form factor to vendors besides Kobo as well.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder25 June, 2016

      Whoops. I didn’t realize they expired.

      Reply
  7. Alain25 June, 2016

    Very interesting Nate, glad to know Kobo are still working on new products.
    What do you think of that battery capacity, doesn’t 1.2Ah sound small, especially if it was going to be a 7.8”reader?
    I am not an expert but I think that my current Aura has a larger capacity, or am I mis-understanding things? Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Chris Meadows25 June, 2016

      E-ink readers don’t need very large batteries, because e-ink uses nearly no power.

      Reply
      1. Alain25 June, 2016

        True. I was a bit puzzled as my current Kobo Aura has a 1500mAh capacity so larger than the one for this new model.
        However my previous reader’s battery stood at 1000mAh (PRS-T1) and that was certainly enough.

        Reply
        1. DavidW26 June, 2016

          I think it’s for weight consideration. Reduced battery life is necessary so that it’s not too heavy.

          Reply
  8. […] um zwei Produkte handelt, während The Digital Reader sich auch eine fehlerhafte Doppel-Listung vorstellen kann. Bliebe die Frage, welche Bildschirmgröße wir dann letztendlich im Handel […]

    Reply
  9. Fjtorres25 June, 2016

    You know, that could be a typo: instead of a 7.8″ screen (does eink even make that size?) it could be another 6.8″ model.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder25 June, 2016

      Except it shows up in a couple reports, in a couple places in each report.

      Reply
      1. Fjtorres25 June, 2016

        Search and replace propagates typos.:)

        Reply
        1. DavidW26 June, 2016

          I think it’s highly unlikely that an FCC filing would have such an egregious typo.

          Reply
      2. Rasputin26 June, 2016

        I did think 7.8 was an odd size. But then, I thought the same about 6.8.

        Reply
        1. DavidW26 June, 2016

          Actually 7.8 is a very special size, not odd at all. It’s the size of the mass market paperback.

          Now the difference is the aspect ratio. It would be interesting to see if they go closer to the 1.6:1 aspect ratio of mmpbs instead of the current 4:3 in order for to still fit in a pocket.

          And if that is the case the six inch might share the redesigned aspect ratio as well.

          Reply
  10. Steve H25 June, 2016

    Hopefully Kobo puts out a good device and pushes Amazon off the fence.

    Reply
  11. Nate Hoffelder27 June, 2016

    A couple updates for those following this story:

    I found another name for the smaller device. It was referred to as the “Kobo Aura Edition 2” in one if the filings.

    Also, I mised this but someone at MobileRead pointed out that both sets of paperwork include a screenshot from a Kobo ereader. That is strong evidence that we’re loking at two E-ink ereaders.

    Reply
  12. Sergegobli28 June, 2016

    A 7.8″ with Koreader will make a decent pdf reader. With Amazon’s dominance of the market, I wonder how Kobo is making enough money to innovate. The global as opposed to the USA/UK market?

    Reply
    1. Fjtorres28 June, 2016

      If it truly is an oddball 7.8in ereader, the “innovation” isn’t from Kobo but from eInk and Netronix.

      People forget eink is real the tech bottleneck in eink readers, not the hardware vendors. Their inability to deliver high volumes of screens at viable prices is, other than at 6in, is the main reason for the so-called “lack of innovation”. After all, if they could produce other, newer reader-capable screens, even in low volume, we’d see them in niche products regularly. Instead, we have the big panels paid for by Sony at prices the market doesn’t like, Pocketbook promises, and occasional 6.8″ and 8″ & 10″ old tech panels for the likes of Onyx.

      Amazon still needs screens by the million so it does them no good to introduce a reader only a handful of their customer base can buy. Kobo is much smaller so a batch of 100-200k can last them a year. And it sounds as if that is about all eink can make of the 6.8 inchers.

      Eink tech is looking a lot like a backwater. Maybe even a dead end in the longer term. It may be that like SED displays the economics just can’t keep up with the market’s need.

      Reply
      1. Sergegobli28 June, 2016

        Nonsense. If Amazon wanted to market a larger e-reader, then manufacturers would happily and profitably provide the devices.

        Reply
        1. Fjtorres28 June, 2016

          Nonsense?
          Throwing money at a technology is no guarantee it can be made to work.
          If Amazon could do that, wouldn’t they do it with Liqusvista, which they own lock stock and barrel. For that matter, if throwing money were all that was needed, Samsung wouldn’t have flipped it to them.
          Eink tech has physical limits in both operation and manufacture. And no amount of investment is going to alter those limits at any price that makes economic sense. Not for Amazon, not for Apple, not for anybody.
          Eink is about as mature as it’s going to get anytime soon.

          Reply
      2. DavidW28 June, 2016

        Your reply is irrelevant. Manufacturing 7.8 inch Carta screens is not innovative (in fact they already have the technology to produce anything between 6 and 13.3 inches). Coming up with the new idea that there is a market for 7.8 inch readers is by definition innovative.

        Reply
        1. Sergegobli28 June, 2016

          I agree. It’s having the guts to bring new product formats to market that is innovative. The tech is already there, but Amazon is refusing to implement anything other than 6″. Lets hope Kobo can continue to squeeze enough out of its margin of the market to continue innovating the market.

          Reply
  13. […] & Noble. The latter files its own FCC paperwork, and the former already has a couple ereaders in the pipeline. Also, Kobo ereaders usually carry a model number which references Kobo's name and follow a […]

    Reply
  14. […] little over a month ago Kobo's next two ereaders showed up on the FCC website, and now it appears we'll be seeing the hardware itself in a couple […]

    Reply

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