PROS / The Kobo has a stellar high-resolution display.
CONS / You can’t subscribe to major newspapers from the Kobo.
VERDICT / The Kobo Aura H2O's design and display strengths make it a viable alternative to other big-brand eBook readers.
Whether you’re reading from a paper book or on an eReader, water is a hazard when reading outside of the house. Fortunately, the new Kobo Aura H2O is a durable eBook reader with waterproofing, as well as a variety of other excellent features.
This eReader has an HD screen with a resolution of 1430 x 1080 and a dot density of 265 pixels per inch (ppi). On a 6.8-inch screen, this means books and newspapers display with excellent fidelity. While it's a small step behind the best eBook readers, which typically feature 300 ppi displays, the Aura H2O still has an excellent display. Images in books, magazines and newspapers appear in quality comparable to those printed on paper.
The screen is front lit, which means lights shine down on the screen rather than through the screen and directly into your eyes. You can adjust the display’s brightness so reading doesn’t strain your eyes.
The Aura H2O also has more flexible storage options than most top eReaders. It has a standard 4GB of internal storage, but if you run out of storage space on your device, you can expand it with an SD card. You can also buy books on your computer, check out books from local libraries and purchase eBooks from Barnes and Noble. The Kobo Aura H2O lacks subscription options for major newspapers, and you cannot read eBooks from competing stores like Amazon, but it is compatible with most other file types.
The eReader's build quality is at its best next to the water. While other devices short out and break after getting wet, the Aura H2O is rated to withstand up to 30 minutes in over 3 feet of water. Despite its small size, the Kobo feels notably bulky compared to other eBook readers. Still, at half a pound, the device isn't too hard to carry, and its lengthy battery life makes it even more portable.
With the Kobo Aura H2O, you can read in the tub or by the pool without worry. This durable eBook reader has an HD touchscreen and lots of built-in and expandable storage space. It is a major improvement over previous Kobo models and proves that the eBook reader market is larger than Amazon and Barnes and Noble.