Kobo has announced the waterproof version of its Aura HD ebook reader, called the Aura H2O. The company calls the device the 'world's first premium waterproof e-reader', and it will be available starting October 1 for $179.99 (roughly Rs. 10,800) and EUR 139.99 (roughly Rs. 11,100). The Kobo Aura H2O will first reach the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, followed by other regions.
The Kobo Aura H2O can also be pre-ordered from select retailers starting this Wednesday, or users can wait till September 1 to pre-order the ebook reader from the Kobo website in Canada, the UK and the US.
The ebook reader features a 6.8-inch Carta E-Ink HD multi-touchscreen display with a 1430x1080 pixel resolution and a pixel density of 265ppi. The Kobo Aura H2O is powered by a 1GHz processor (unspecified), and features 4GB of inbuilt storage with microSD card (up to 32GB) support. Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Micro-USB are the only supported connectivity features in the device.
The main feature of the Aura H2O of course, is its IP67 certification. Kobo says the ebook reader is waterproof in 1 metre of water (with port covers closed) for up to 30 minutes.
The battery capacity of the ebook reader is not mentioned, however it is rated to last for up to 2 months (based on 30 minutes of reading a day with ComfortLight turned on or off, and Wi-Fi turned off.). The Kobo Aura H2O is sized at 179x129x9.7mm, weighs 233 grams and will be available in only a Black colour variant.
One of the features Kobo is boasting of for the Aura H2O is Kobo Reading Life, which delivers a "personalized, superior reading experience that allows [users] to read, collect, discover and share." Features include the ability to customise the device's UI by changing the font styles and size along with the margin adjustment. Users can also track their average reading speed, create notes, organise digital bookshelves and share content on Facebook.
"We are most interested in those people who put books at the centre of their lives - what they want to see next, what gets them excited. When we asked our customers what held them back from reading more ebooks, many told us they love to read in the bath, by the pool, or on the beach, but believed that devices and water didn't mix," said Michael Tamblyn, President and Chief Content Officer, Kobo during the announcement.
The free to download Kobo Books ebook reader app lets users browse through more than 4 million free ebooks along with features like bookmark syncing to continue reading from a different device right from where the user left off, night mode, first chapter preview of books, and quick access to favourites and recent reads via the Live Tile UI.
Notably, Kobo had launched the Aura HD in India in October last year, alongside the Touch and Glo ebook readers, apart from the Arc tablet.