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Kobo Tablets, eReaders Now Available at Best Buy

Have youLast Year's Models been wanting to buy a Kobo device but didn’t want to deal with Kobo’s "take the order, lose the order, ship the order" madness?

I have some good news for you.

I have just learned that Best Buy is now carrying the Aura, Aura HD, and all 3 of the Android tablets that Kobo launched this Fall. They only have the black models in stock, but even so that’s a major improvement on 2 weeks ago when BB didn’t have any of the new hardware in stock.

Best Buy’s stock situation is also significantly better than that of major chains like Target, Walmart, or Staples or even indies like Powell’s or Family Christian BookStores; none of those chains have the new Kobo hardware listed on their website.  It’s not just out of stock; there’s no mention at all, nor do they have the hardware in store (I checked).

So is the hardware worth it? Yes and no.

Aside from a new shell, the 6″ Kobo Aura is an improved and updated version of the 2012 Kobo Glo (much like the 2013 Kindle Paperwhite is an updated version of the 2012 Paperwhite), but the Aura HD is a horse of a different color. That is still the only ereader on the market with a 6.8″ screen which has a screen resolution that no other ereader can match.

And as for the tablets, when they were announced in August I compared their specs to other tablets on the market and found Kobo’s 7″ tablets wanting (the jury is still out on the 10″ Kobo Arc 10HD). In the 4 months since that post I have reviewed a dozen tablets, many of which had decent performance and price tags starting at under $100, and I don’t see a reason to change my mind.

I still don’t think Kobo’s hardware is worth the price they put on it, but don’t take that as a firm recommendation until I get a chance to review them. The Arc 7 and the Arc 7HD are the next 2 items on my todo list, and I plan to have review up by the end of the month.

Best Buy

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David January 2, 2014 um 4:31 am

Dude. The Aura is a capacitative touch screen that is flush with the bezel. It also features twice the storage and features a new back for easy holding.

I think Kobo Glo received the Pocket integration in a software update, but Kobo updated their line with more new features than Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Sony.

Nate Hoffelder January 2, 2014 um 9:28 am

Dude, the change to the shell and the new Flush touchscreen are both minor cosmetic differences from the Kobo Glo’s already workable and aesthetically pleasing design. And since Kobo runs virtually identical software on all of their ebook readers, it’s not unreasonable to regard the Glo and the Aura as different model years of the same device.

And you may think Kobo added more features but given that they still have fewer features than the Kindle (X-Ray, Kindle Cloud, Whispersync for Voice, email conversion & delivery TTS, etc) does it really matter? Even that new pocket integration is something that the Kindle had years ago (via both Instapaper and Pocket).

Whateveragain January 2, 2014 um 1:19 pm

I think vaunting X-Ray as a "feature" is a bit silly. It seemed like a gimmick to me when it came out, and it seems more so now. On the other hand, Kobo fonts and the ability to customize fonts far outshines Kindle. I’d take that over X-Ray any day.

Re: the Kindle Cloud. It’s a nice idea when they get it to work right. The latest update is a stinker. Presumably Amazon will fix that, unless it’s part of their Evil Plan…

Another point worth mentioning is that Kobo can now be 'rooted.' That’s not an intended feature, but at the same time, Kobo does not appear to be concerned about plugging the ability.

[email protected] January 2, 2014 um 10:32 am

Yes, and the Kindle Paperwhite 2 is loads different than the Paperwhite 1. At least Kobo had the thought to improve the physical design. Of course that’s subjective, but I do enjoy the smaller frame, it fits in my pocket no prob now. It’s no wonder they haven’t updated the Kobo mini.

For me and probably a lot of other readers, Kindle can have all the exclusives they want, instapaper and X-ray (though, arguably Kobo has their own version of this now, something not mentioned in your comment above, with Beyond The Book.), but it’s not as open an ereader at Kobo is. I can get books from pretty much anywhere to place on my Kobo. That and the Kobo is a much better PDF reader.

The price of the tablets has already come down, I saw the 10″ at a local store for 320.00.

And, Dude, be nice to your readers.

Greg January 2, 2014 um 11:54 am

I’ve been thinking about getting a new ereader and was considering Kobo, but I’m probably just going to wait a few months and see if the rumored 2014 Paperwhite materializes.

Tyler January 2, 2014 um 2:50 pm

Last year the only Kobo that was available at Best Buy without having to order it was the Kobo mini (which I bought on Black Friday). They never stocked the rest of the line. I would be a bit surprised to see much of the Kobo line this year in stores. Especially post holiday season when tablets will be going on sale frequently.

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