With the advent of tablets and “phablets”, the stand alone eBook reader would seem to be the last choice for those who want to read a book electronically. But that would be an incorrect statement. One of the companies who is on the leading edge of eBook readers is Kobo. And they have a very intriguing eBook reader called the Aura H20. As the name implies, it’s waterproof. It’s certified to be IP67 certified waterproof. That means you can keep it underwater (no more than 1 meter) for up to 30 minutes. To test this, I completely submerged it in water while it was on with no ill effects. That gives you the ability to read a book while you’re in the bath or in the hot tub among other places. One thing that I did notice is that the touchscreen functions get disabled if you get the screen wet which stops accidental input. That’s clever.
The Aura H20 is very easy to hold as it feels rubbery which allows you to keep a good grip on it. It also seems fingerprint resistant which is very nice. Though one thing that I would like to point out is that you can’t read with one hand which isn’t the biggest deal in the world, but it is worth mentioning. What’s also nice is the screen. It sports a 6.8-inch touchscreen with Carta E Ink technology in a resolution of 1430 x 1080 pixels with 265ppi which to makes text clear and easy to read regardless of the lighting conditions.
Under the hood, the Aura H20 is powered by a 1GHz processor and has 4GB of internal storage expandable to 32GB via a MicroSD card. That means that you can store something in the area of 3,000 ebooks on the Aura H20 out of the box and ten times that with a MicroSD card. Speaking of eBooks, it does support a variety of formats including
In terms of filling up the Aura with content, that will not be a problem for you. Kobo’s eBookstore allows you to access over 4 million eBooks, comics and kids’ titles. All you need is WiFi access and you’re good to go.
Two things really stood out to me when I tested the Aura H20. One was the ease of use. It has a very intuitive user interface and I was able to take it out of the box, get it on my WiFi network and start reading in a minute. Plus all the gestures for actually reading a book were natural. And to add to all of that, You can tap on words to get definitions, select sections of text to highlight, or add annotations. You also get a wide variety of stats about your reading habits that may or may not interest you. Another thing that stood out to me was the battery life. It is rated for 2 months of battery life and I believe it as during my week of testing the battery gauge barely moved. Impressive!
The Aura H20 is $179.99 and as far as I am concerned, this is an easy buy for anyone who likes to read. And that includes anyone who already owns a tablet. Kobo really has a winner with the Aura H20 and if you’re considering anything else, I would highly advise cross shopping whatever you’re considering with the Aura H20. I really think that once you have a look at the Aura H20, it will be going home with you.