A Great Travel Companion: A Review of the Kobo Aura H2O eReader

Kobo Aura H2O eReader

I love a good holiday read. If I am going away to a hot country, I enjoy nothing more than to sit by the pool, with a good book sipping a cooling cocktail. What I don’t love so much is the amount of space books take up in your case – especially if you are travelling light and just want to pack enough to prevent checking in your luggage for the hold. The other thing about a book is, if you are reading by the pool, then they can have a tendency to get wet and as a result you suffer soggy pages!

Meet the brand new Kobo Aura H2O eReader. Until this came along I was pretty stuck in my ways wanting a traditional paperback book to hold in my hands but I can safely say that Kobo has broken that mould for me. The Aura H2O is utterly superb. This model is the world’s first fully waterproof and dustproof eReader – and I recently put it to the test on a trip to Spain.

Prior to the trip, I connected the Kobo to our wifi at home and downloaded a few books. Kobo had an offer whereby, when you sign up to an account with them, you receive a £3 credit towards books over a certain value. That, coupled with a summer offer for books at 99p, meant I was able to stock up with around 4 or 5 to keep me going. On top of that, you are able to connect to an app called Pocket, meaning that if there are any online articles you wish to read, it will save into your Pocket account and enable you to read them on your Kobo.

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The Kobo Store has more than 4 million eBooks, comics and magazines. It picks personalised recommendations that change as your taste selection does. You can optimise this by providing feedback on your reads. You can choose from 10 font styles, 24 font sizes and you can adjust the font sharpness and weight too. You can choose from English, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Brazilian, Portugese and Japanese. The Kobo can connect to the Reading Life app which tracks your stats and enables you to share to Facebook showing things such as your favourite passages and your current read. There is also a built-in dictionary, and games including Chess, Sudoku and Solitaire.

The first thing that surprised me when I started reading on the plane was the ease of use. The screen offers the highest resolution on the market with an HD display and the ability to adjust the brightness levels. It’s non-reflective display makes it easy to read, even in the brightest of sunlight, and I was amazed by the battery life – it lasts up to 2 months! This is based on 30 minutes of reading per day. And there was me worrying that, on the plane home, I would not be able to continue reading the fabulous ‘All the Light We Cannot See’ by Anthony Doerr (you need this book in your life!).

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Next, I put the eReader to the dust and grit test. On the first afternoon in Alicante, Ross and I had a ten minute walk to the beach so we made our way over to the glorious stretch of golden sand and the first thing I did was take out the Kobo and drop it on the ground whilst I unpacked the towels and laid them out ready for some sunbathing. During previous inspection of the Kobo, I couldn’t see anywhere that the sand could get in and it upheld this on the test itself.

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The following day, after our appointment in the morning with IVF Spain, Ross and I decided to sit round the pool but, due to the heat, we wanted to have a swim and cool off a bit. At that point, I was ready to put the Aura H2O to the extreme test and see if it would live up to it’s name! Handing it over to Ross, I told him that I wanted him to drop it in the pool – and he did! It survived the test with flying colours. It’s IP67 Certified design means that it is waterproof for up to 30 minutes in 1M of water with the port cover closed.

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You may wonder how this clever gadget stays so water-tight. Well, as mentioned above, the connector port has a small, plastic cover which fits securely in place when closed. There is only one other button in use which is the one to put the eReader ‘to sleep’ when it is not in use and this looks like a well-made, secure button. The display itself is a touch screen meaning that most of what you need is carried out via that route.

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To top all of this, the Kobo sits comfortably in your hands with it’s slightly ridged edge, sleek design and non-slip cover. I would have happily sat in the pool reading if it hadn’t have been for the fact that my hands were starting to turn prune-like!

Specifications:

ClarityScreen+: Extra-large 6.8″ Carta E Ink HD Infrared touchscreen with high, tablet-grade resolution of 1430 x 1080, 265 dpi
ComfortLight: Built-in ComfortLight technology with micro-thin coating for durability and even light distribution
Processor: Freescale i.MX507 @ 1 GHz, RAM: 512 Mbytes LP-DDR2
Dimensions: 129mm (W) x 179mm (L) x 9.7mm (H)
Weight: 223g
Storage: 4GB – Expandable up to 32 GB for up to 30,000 eBooks
Buttons: Power on/off
Connectivity: Wi Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Micro USB
Battery: up to 2 months
Colours: Black

Final Thoughts

I am very honest with my reviews and I would normally mention any drawbacks that you might have but, with this, I really can’t see any! It’s durability means this eReader is perfect for taking on your travels – whether it be abroad, a staycation or just a visit to your bathtub!

The Kobo Aura H2O is availabe from WHSmith stores and from Kobo.com. RRP: £139.99

Disclosure: Thank you to the people at Kobo and their representatives for sending me the Kobo Aura H2O eReader in return for an honest review. Please note that all words, images and opinions have been formed by the owner of this blog and have not been influenced in any way. Please do not reproduce any of the content or images on this post without prior agreement from Victoria Visits.

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2 Comments

  1. 29/07/2016 / 12:08 pm

    Hi Victoria, there was a time when I couldn’t ever imagine enjoying a book on an e-reader of any kind, but I am now a total convert and wouldn’t be without my Kindle. The words on the screen on your Kobo is clearly visible in your photos and the fact that it is waterproof is quite something (I’m impressed!). I also like that you can read articles saved to Pocket on it. I do use Pocket, but rarely get around to reading them, but if they were on my e-reader I would have more opportunity to get to them.

    xx
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    • Victoria
      29/07/2016 / 1:53 pm

      I used to be much the same – until I got my Kobo! The time and space it saves is amazing! So is the fact that it is so durable. Very happy indeed 🙂 x

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