Kobo Aura One

Review of the Kobo Aura ONE’s ComfortLight PRO

The Kobo Aura ONE is the premium e-reader from Rakuten. Featuring a bigger, high-definition screen, with great lighting, touch controls and the ability to survive a dip in the pool, the device is a beautiful bit of kit, and a joy to read on.

But we’re a health blog, and while there’s probably plenty of research that says reading is good for your health (especially mental health) we will be focusing on the Aura ONE’s ComfortLight PRO feature.

ComfortLight PRO is the equivalent of Night Shift on an iPhone. I remember first using this sort of technology with f.lux, way before tech companies made it fashionable. But now everyone can enjoy a good night’s sleep, at the cost of a yellow screen.

The technology is all about blue light. This is the stuff that strains your eyes. At night, blue light is just unnatural, and not only does it cause your eyes to strain, but it plays havoc with your brain too, so by filtering this out, you ideally get off to sleep more easily, and wake up refreshed, since your brain is less active.

I tried the Kobo Aura ONE for a month and anecdotally measured sleep through a bedside notepad. After the month, and after reviewing the notes, did I see positive results?

The answer is yes. Quite a resounding yes, too. The positive effect appeared to start immediately, with a better night’s sleep from day one. I believe there are three main reasons for this…

For one, I actively read a book instead of using my phone, and the process of reading is more soothing than browsing Reddit or Twitter.

The changing colour of the screen reminded also me that bedtime was approaching. The only downside was the screen got overly yellow / orange. It seemed over the top, and a little distracting. This is partially the reason I decided to put the book down and go to sleep earlier.

Lastly, I believe the screen technology worked, and it did soften the strain on my eyes, and likely tweaked brain activity for the better.

It is a mix of course. Would I have had better sleep from just switching to a normal book? Sure, but it’s 2017, I’d always choose an eReader over a book. So was this better than my previous eReader experiences? Certainly. I’ve previously owned a basic Kindle and a Kindle Paperwhite. The Kobo Aura ONE not only felt superior thanks to the blue light feature but overall, it is a rather nice eReader too.

And at £189.99, it should be.


The Breakdown

ComfortLight PRO feature
Sleep after using Kobo
Overall eReader experience

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