Kobo’s new Aura H2O e-reader is even more waterproof than the last one
Canada’s Kobo, one of the few companies besides Amazon that have a healthy lineup of e-readers, has updated its waterproof Kobo Aura H20 e-reader with several nice improvements.
The Kobo Aura H2O came out in 2014 and was due for a refresh, but on the other hand, e-readers have been perfectly capable of performing all tasks for a couple of years now, so it’s hard to pinpoint what, exactly, needs to be updated.
Kobo took the simple route and simply gave the device a number of small improvements across the board, while leaving the launch price the same: $179.99 in the U.S.
The new Kobo Aura H2O has 8GB of memory (instead of 4GB), and it has Kobo’s new ComfortLight Pro tech (present on the company’s flagship e-reader, the Kobo Aura One) that reduces the blue-light spectrum to make the screen easier on the eyes at night.
The touchscreen’s size and resolution are the same — 6.8 inches, 1,430×1,080 pixels — but the new one should be easier to read in the sunlight.
Also, while the old Kobo Aura H2O was only waterproof when its port flap was closed, the new version can be immersed into water at any time. It’s waterproof to IPX8 specs, meaning it can be held in up to 2 metres of water for up to 60 minutes.
The version of the H2O is also a bit lighter and thinner than the last one — 210 vs. 233 grams and 8.9 vs. 9.7 millimeters.
There’s nothing crazy about any of these changes, but they do improve on the most important aspects of an e-reader: readability and convenience. Compared to Amazon’s lineup of e-readers, the Kobo Aura H2O is an interesting proposition, as it beats all of them in some regards (bigger screen, waterproof design), while being on par or near even the more expensive Kindle Voyage and Oasis in others. However, it comes without Amazon’s vast offering of content (Kobo has its own book store with more than 5 million ebooks on offer).
Pre-orders for the new Kobo Aura H2O start May 15 in the U.S.