It was beginning to look like the ereader market had ground to a near standstill, with no significant new developments made in quite a while, but Kobo has just announced the Aura H2O, which adds waterproofing to the mix.
That might not sound like a major addition, but we'd wager that a lot of people like to read in the bath, on the beach or by the pool, so for all of them this could be a life saver... or at least a device saver.
The Kobo Aura H20 is IP67 certified, which means it can withstand being plunged into up to 1 metre of water for up to 30 minutes as long as the port cover is closed. So you can't take it diving, but if it falls in the bath or gets hit by a stray wave it should be absolutely fine.
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More than just waterproof
That certification also means it's dust proof, which along with an anti-glare screen should make it a perfect beach companion.
While the waterproofing is the star of the show, Kobo has made a few other improvements too. At 9.7mm and 233g it's slimmer and lighter than the 11.7mm, 240g Kobo Aura HD. It also has an upgraded 6.8-inch high definition display.
Other than that it's much the same as the Kobo Aura HD, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, given that it has a 1GHz processor, a built in light, up to 2 months of battery life and a microSD card slot for extended storage space.
The Kobo Aura H2O will be available in black from October 1 at a price of £139.99 / $179.99 / €179.99. That makes it a little pricier than the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, so we'll have to wait and see whether it does enough to justify the difference.
- The Nook GlowLight is a solid choice is you can live without waterproofing.