What do you get when you ask 10,000 rabid bookworms to help build a better Kobo? The Cadillac of e-readers, naturally: a bigger, beefier and generally higher-end device than we're used to. The Aura HD is a rare thing in this space, built specifically with power users in mind. And those very reasons, this 6.8-inch, $169 slate isn't long for this world. Announced roughly half a year after the company's flagship Glo (and, it turns out, just in time for Mother's Day), the Aura HD isn't slated to make it beyond the end of the year. "This is something that is designed for this most passionate, voracious reader," the company's CEO Mike Serbinis told us in an interview conducted around the announcement, "and as much as I wish everyone was like that -- it would make us a lot bigger business right away -- that is not the case."
It's a strange move for a relatively small company that's currently offering up two 6-inch readers, a 5-inch model and 7-inch tablet. That, and company is convinced such a product isn't destined to ever become anything but a niche device, particularly in a race dominated by two main players. But is there a chance devoted fans might pay the premium? Let's find out.