Kobo Aura H2O 6.8-Inch Comfort Light, Water Resistant E-Reader (Black)
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Kobo Aura H2O is the first premium eReader that truly allows for worry-free eReading because of its waterproof and dustproof design. It features an impressive extra-large, no-glare 6.8in Carta E Ink touchscreen that reads like print on paper, even in direct sunlight. Eyestrain is minimized in any light with the fully adjustable ComfortLight directing light at the page, not your eyes. Plus, with ClarityScreen plus, Kobo Aura H2O provides a high definition reading experience, with crisp, clear text for easy and enjoyable reading.
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First of all, the sheer size of it. At 6.8" it is just a tad bigger and yet the readability is greatly enhanced. Seriously, when I put this thing next to My Oasis, I laughed. How is the Oasis 3 times more expensive and that much worst? Also despite having a bigger screen, the actual physical footprint is almost identical to the Paperwhite. It feels solid and yet light in the hand and the bezel allows for a nice grip and hold, thanks to the soft coating rubberized texture. It feels premium.
Second is the actual screen quality and light. The fonts are darker with more contrast and this is before adjusting the font weight (which you can also do). The background is whiter and clearer and the light is more evenly distributed across the screen which is easier on my eyes than literally all Kindles I have tried.
Third is the customization options. As mentioned you can adjust font weight, making it lighter or darker according to your preference. You have the ability to control margins, side-load your own fonts, along with more line-spacing options. Kindle's only allow for 3 line spacing options, and none of the other. With Kobo you also get many more font size options.
Among other things is pocket integration and the standard epub format which actually uses less space than Kindles proprietary AZW AND KFX formats.
Things to consider is that Amazon store has more options in books and is cheaper in almost all instances. The eco-system is smoother and in many ways seems more polished but at the same time is extremely limiting. The Aura H2O can be managed with calibre to load collections and organize your library, you can also add patches for more flexibility.
All in all, this has become my go to reader. Sure it has more options, flexibility, and is bigger but the real reason I prefer it is because the screen is that much better than anything else I have tried. The contrast, lighting and inky pitch black fonts are gorgeous and a pleasure to read and the bigger size is just the icing on the cake. If you are not tied to Amazon's Eco-system I can't imagine you find a better eReader at a better price. I'll load some picture's shortly to give you an example over the stark contrast differences between the H2O and Kindle's. It's shocking!
Other things to consider: The Aura H2O as the name implies, is fully waterproof which allows you to read in the tub, Jacuzzi, or anywhere near water without worry. It also has SD card support for up to 32GB so you can side-load thousands upon thousand of books that are actually yours, not rented. These are things that Kindle's simply can't match and it's hard to go back to once you use the Aura H2O. The bad reviews here are from people that have had defective devices which is understandable, it happens. But if you have a solid reader, this thing smokes the Kindle in practically every way that matters.
Pros of the Aura H2O:
1. Larger and crisper display than the Aura HD or Kindle paperwhite
2. SD card expansion is nice; I like having my whole library on the go with room to spare.
4. Excellent battery life
5. Great epub support
6. Highly hackable, there are a bunch of mods and extensions out there to customize the reading experience, it's trivial to add new fonts, change margins and override built-in epub stylesheets, etc.
7. Frontlight is a bit more even than on the Kindles I've seen.
1. The frame really is a fingerprint magnet. Doesn't bother me, but could drive some people nuts
2. The Kobo ecosystem is less friendly than Amazon's. Again, I'm interested in using it for my existing library across many devices, I don't care what device-specific ecosystem is there so this doesn't affect me
3. Syncing large numbers of books at once (a few thousand) hung on one occassion; rebooting fixed it fine.
And can I just say? Collections. I can organize my books the way that I want to organize them. Fantastic. If I'm in the mood for Fantasy, I know where to look. I don't have to try to think of the name of a book I want to read and search for it that way. Like a lot of readers who use Kobo ereaders, I also use Calibre to keep my ebooks organized. I am a voracious reader and have been ereading for a lot of years, so I have more than a few. I also like being able to get my books from any source treated like books instead of the Kindle way, which treats them as "Documents" instead, and I also like being able to load them wirelessly instead of having to email them to Amazon or plug the Kindle into a cable.
It took me quite a while to decide between a Paperwhite and the Aura H2O, but having a book I can read in the tub without a book tray or fear that the plastic bag I've put the ereader in won't really do the job if I happen to drop it? It's great. The Aura H2O is the only waterproofed ereader you can get without paying a third party an outrageous price. It was kind of a no-brainer for me because of that.
The only thing I don't like about the Aura is that it's laggy until you are into a book. It's fine then, and you can set the refresh rate to every 6 pages so that it's not that noticeable. But you really won't want to cruise the 'net on this even though its got a beta browser. Use that just for accessing your books from Calibre.
Overall, so pleased with it. If you've been wanting a device to read with in wet surroundings, this is the one. You will love it.
Most recent customer reviews
SHORT: Had 4 different kobo eareader, non worked properly.Read more