Kobo has officially unveiled their latest ebook reader. It’s called the Kobo Aura H2O and is basically an updated version of the Kobo Aura HD.
The new ereader will launch on October 1st, with preorders starting September 1st from Kobo.com and select retailers (in Canada Chapters.Indigo is already accepting preorders). The price is $179 in the US and Canada; in the UK and Europe the price is £139/€179.
The new Kobo Aura H2O, like the name implies, is waterproof. In fact it’s even IP67 certified, which means it can withstand being dunked 1 meter deep into water for up to 30 minutes. Additionally, the device is also dustproof.
The Kobo Aura H2O has the same size screen as the Kobo Aura HD, but it’s a newer model, Carta instead of Pearl. The resolution is 1430 x 1080 (265 dpi). A frontlight is included as well. Kobo doesn’t mention it specifically anywhere, but it appears to use an infrared touchscreen like its predecessor. The specs do note it has a multi-touchscreen, which the Aura HD doesn’t have natively but can easily be added with a simple multi-touch patch.
As the picture below shows, the angled back on the H2O is different from the Aura HD. The angle at the top is especially unique.
Other than the new design and upgraded screen, everything else appears to be mostly the same as the Aura HD, minus the dedicated frontlight button. The Aura H2O is slightly larger but thinner and lighter. It has Wi-Fi, a 1GHz processor, 4GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot for cards up to 32GB, and a battery that can last up to 2 months on a single charge.
Kobo is calling the Kobo Aura H2O the world’s first premium waterproof E Ink eReader. Apparently they don’t consider the PocketBook Aqua or Waterfi Kindle Paperwhite to be premium ereaders.
I plan on purchasing a Kobo Aura H2O to review. Check back after it’s released for more details and video walkthroughs.
Every day I come visit the site to see any news about new e-readers and every time I’m dissapointed. Where are the bigger e-readers?! When is someone finally anounce something above 8″ with good spec and for reasonable price?! If this H2O would have at least an 8″ screen it would be a killer. When can we expect the Onyx Boox M96 review? Is there any hope for a new bigger e-reader to be available till the end of this year or is there no point of waiting?
I’ll have reviews posted for the Onyx M96 next week. So far I really like it and haven’t encountered any of the issues experienced with the Boox T68. After working with the M96, I see your point even more. It’s been so long since I reviewed a large-screen ereader that I forgot how awesome they are. Smaller ereaders are good for portability, but when it comes to reading sometimes bigger is better. Lots of people prefer larger 10″ tablets; ereaders shouldn’t be treated any differently.
Hi Nathan I am a little hesitant ordering from Kobo.com website again for an ereader after my experience ordering a Kobo Arc when the first came out or when I tried to order a Kobo Aura last year. I don’t know ow you experience has been .
It’s been better lately. A few years back I had the same problem, placed an order but they didn’t seem to want to acknowledge it. I haven’t had any problems the last two or three orders, though.
Looking forward to your review and your comparison to the Aura HD. I plan to order one sometime this fall.
“Goodereader” has compared Kobo H2O with Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2. on the youtube. Nathan, Why you can’t get the latest ereader(Kobo H2O) now ?
Because I do real reviews and not shill ones like “Goodereader”. Like usual, their Kobo Aura H2O review reads like it was partially written by Kobo’s marketing department. I buy most devices myself and then actually use them before posting reviews about them, unlike those guys who throw together a “review” a day after getting the device. All they care about is getting attention to increase traffic so they can sell more ereaders from their store for a significant markup in price. Like right now they are selling the Kobo Aura H2O for $229 even though Kobo sells them for $179. They are total sleazebags and I don’t know how they continue to get away with it. I do things a lot differently here.