Kobo Aura H2O review

Reading in the bath has never been easier

Kobo Aura H2O review
Happy come rain or shine

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Amazon Kindle Voyage

The Aura H20 goes head-to-head with Amazon's latest Kindle Voyage, both of which have illuminated screens. The Voyage is smaller; its screen measures only six inches to the Aura H2O's 6.8-inches. Both have the same capacity at 4GB, but the Voyage isn't expandable.

They use the same e-ink Carta display with the same resolution (1430 x 1080 pixels) but since the Voyage is smaller it claims the win in the pixels-per-inch wars; 300ppi compared to the Aura H2O's 256ppi. Amazon claims a six-week battery while Kobo claims two months.

Kindle Voyage

The Amazon Kindle Voyage

The Aura H2O plays all kinds of book files, while the Voyage only Amazon's tweaked version of the MOBI standard called AZW. If you're happy to download books only from Amazon, that's fine, but those who want more freedom ought to consider something by Kobo.

Amazon's 'Netflix for books' Kindle Unlimited service might sway voracious devourers of literature Amazon's way, too, though arguably the biggest reason to choose the Voyage over anything else is its 3G connection to an Amazon account for downloading books. Kobo's ereaders have only Wi-Fi. But the main differences? The Aura H2O is bigger, and it's waterproof.

Kobo Aura HD

With the same user interface, the Aura HD is almost identical to the Aura H2O save for its lack of waterproofing.

Selling for £129.99 online, the Aura HD's screen is of a lower profile than the Aura H2O – blame the waterproofing on the latter for that – but the speed of page turns and book loading is much slower than the other ereaders on the market.

Kobo Aura HD

The Kobo Aura HD

It's safe to say that the Aura HD has been surpassed, and will presumably soon be discontinued.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2013)

Although slimmer than the Aura H2O at just 8mm, Amazon's Paperwhite was the original illuminated ereader. That's now nothing special; the Aura H2O has a similar system of five LEDs that fire light across the screen.

At £109 it's much cheaper than the Aura H2O, but sports a lower 212 PPI resolution. However, the Amazon Paperwhite is available in two versions: Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi + 3G. The Wi-Fi only model will set you back £109, but a version offering free 3G access costs £169.

Kindle Paperwhite

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

This six-inch ereader is 0.8-inches is smaller than the Aura H2O, and has half the capacity at just 2GB, though the upcoming new version of the Paperwhite 2014 will offer 4GB. Neither of them are waterproof.

Jamie Carter

Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and Space.com. He also edits two of his own websites, TravGear.com and WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),