The Kobo Aura One is both Kobo’s largest and most expensive ereader, and thanks to its frontlight it is arguably the best on the market.
Few are touting this fact, but the Aura One has 17 LEDs lighting up its 7.8″ screen – 9 white LEDs and 8 more RGB LEDs (for the night reading mode).
That’s seventeen LEDs compared to the Kindle Oasis’ ten, or the six LEDs on the Kindle Paperwhite, but what does that mean in practice?
Based on the time I have spent with the Aura One, I can tell you that it means that the Aura One has the brightest screen of any of the ereaders I have owned.
As you can see in the following gallery, at the maximum setting the Aura One is at least twice as bright as the Kindle Paperwhite (2015). It’s also brighter at the minimum setting, although the Paperwhite is brighter when the frontlight is turned off due to the fact that the Kindle’s frontlight never turns all the way off.
Note: I did not take photos of the Aura One’s night reading mode because the Paperwhite doesn’t have a similar feature.
As you can see, the Aura One has a more even frontlight than the Paperwhite. (I no longer have a Kindle Oasis, so I am using a Paperwhite.) The latter looks positively splotchy in comparison.
To be fair, the Paperwhite does cost half as much as the Aura One, but that doesn’t really matter. It would only cost Amazon about a $.25 more per unit to double the number of LEDs in the Paperwhite and give it a brighter and more even frontlight.
Coincidentally, that is a step Amazon will have to take with the next Kindle Voyage, or whatever device replaces it at the $200 price point. If and when it is released, that new device will need to be competitive with the Aura One, and adding more LEDs is a cheap way to accomplish that goal.