There are lot of waterproof products on the market – smartphones, speakers, cameras – but the Kobo Aura H2O is the world’s first waterproof e-reader.
Forget sealing your e-reader in a plastic zip-lock bag or special waterproof case next time you’re within sight of water.
Kobo’s Aura H2O can not only handle a splash – it can even be fully submerged.
The device has a 6.8-inch e-ink high definition screen with a resolution of 1430 x 1080 with 265dpi (dots per inch) so the text is razor sharp and easy to read.
The display has built-in ComfortLight technology that illuminates the screen by directing the light down into the device instead of out like a backlit display.
This means you can read in a dark room without lighting up the whole room, disturbing others and making your eyes sore
It has 4GB of internal storage as well as a microSD card slot under a sealed door along the bottom edge to expand that to up to 32GB to hold up to 30,000 books.
It is less than 1cm thick, weighs just 233g and has a battery that can run for up to two months.
At this size it’s easy to hold in one hand and light enough for be holding it for extended periods when you’re absolutely absorbed by the book you’re reading.
It’s also pretty fast and turns forward and back between pages in a split second.
Booklovers like to read anywhere and, at this time of year, that’s usually at the beach or by the pool and the Kobo Aura H2O makes that possible without any worries of damaging your device.
The device has an IP67 (ingress protection) rating so that means it can even handle being submerged for up to 30 minutes at a depth of one metre.
So it’s possible to read your book on Kobo Aura H2O beside the pool and even in the pool.
And for those books you just can’t put down you can now take them into the bath and even in the shower so you can keep on reading.
We tested the device’s waterproof credentials and it passed with flying colours.
It can even detect when there is water on the screen which can be either wiped off the display or shaken off.
Once you connect the product to wi-fi it is easy to access the Kobo store to download the latest books as well as a whole catalogue of older books and classics.
There’s also a built in dictionary, the ability to highlight text, write notes and share to Facebook.
It’s also easy to adjust the font size, font style and even the width of the margins to determine how much text you want to fit on the Kobo Aura H2O’s screen.
The device can handle e-book file types like epub, PDF and Mobi so it’s also possible to sideload books you may have already purchased.
Any books purchased through the Kobo store are stored in the cloud and accessible on other devices running the Kobo app for iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
So that means you can read an e-book on one device and pick it up on your other device exactly where you left off.
Priced at $229, the Kobo Aura H2O will be available early in 2015 at JB Hi-Fi and www.kobo.com and soon after at Bookworld, Myer, Harvey Norman and Angus and Robinson.
It is actually already available in other countries but it’s a shame Australians won’t be able to get this in time for Christmas and our summer. The likely release time will be in early February.
KOBO AURA H2O