Kobo Aura H2O Edition 2: A Serious Alternative For Kindle

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If I ask you to tell me the first e-book reader that goes through your head, which one are you going to mention? Chances are you’ll tell me the Amazon Kindle. The eReader of this company has become so popular that it is rare to see readers of other brands unless they are much cheaper alternatives.

Seen this way the competition has very hard to advance, but that does not mean that they try. Today we are going to see one of those attempts: the Kobo Aura H2O Edition 2, a variation of the Aura One we already analyzed in December last year and the evolution of the original H2O Aura. What are your improvements? Is it worth the step to renew? Let’s take a look …

Kobo Aura H2O, technical characteristics and design

Kobo Aura H2O
Image Source: Google Image

Let’s look at the technical features of the Kobo Aura H2O, side by side with those of the Kobo Aura One and the Kindle Paperwhite …

DIMENSIONS 129 x 172 x 8.8 mm 195.1 x 138.5 x 6.9 millimeters 169 x 117 x 9.1 mm
WEIGHT 207 grams 230 grams 205 grams (WiFi model) or 217 grams (WiFi + 3G model)
SCREEN 6.8 inches, 265 dots per inch 7.8 inches, 300 dots per inch 6 inches, 300 dots per inch
WATER RESISTANCE Waterproof to 2 meters for one hour, IPX8 certification Waterproof to 2 meters for one hour, IPX8 certification Do not
BATTERY DURATION Up to one month depending on usage Up to one month depending on usage Eight weeks (half an hour of reading a day and depending on the use of lighting and connectivity)
PRICE 179.99 dollars in FNAC 223.00 dollars at Amazon 129.99 dollars at Amazon

Design: Less frames and nothing more

We are facing a smaller screen than the Kobo Aura One, but used as I am to my Amazon Kindle’s feeling is to be catching a bigger reader. And by that I do not mean to be uncomfortable: the Kobo Aura H2O Edition 2 can be caught with one hand and its weight does not tire. The material is non-slip plastic, very common in this type of readers, which prevents the device from slipping from our hands.

His frames are small, so someone with very large hands may find it uncomfortable to take it with one hand and resting his thumb on those frames because he could touch the screen and turn the page by accident. Anyway, this depends a lot on how it fits and is perfectly avoidable.

The Aura H2O Edition 2 does not have any button except the one on and off. It completely depends on the touch controls on the screen to use the operating system. Nothing that is not different to the Kindle Paperwhite, except that the power button is in the back. Do not worry, it’s hard enough that you do not accidentally press it while picking up the device.

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Autonomy: From “almost infinite” to “very much”

The load is done like any other reader, using miniUSB, and you can load it with either a power adapter (not included) or a computer. Its duration can be up to one month, something that falls short compared to the Kindle Paperwhite where the battery can reach eight weeks.

Even with those, a month of battery continues to give us that feeling that all eBooks carry: an almost infinite battery with which you can go on vacation without the charger quietly. There are no built-in speakers, and it’s not something we miss in a reader designed to open eBooks.

Screen: Does “night mode” make sense in an eBook?

Kobo Aura H2O
Image Source: Google Image

The Kobo Aura H2O Edition 2 vs. an Amazon Kindle Paperwhite. To take into account in the Aura H2O: very similar size but bigger screen and less frames, and that color temperature modified for a more nocturnal atmosphere.

Nothing to object about the resolution of the screen: just like with Paperwhite readers or the retina screens of the iPad, the pixels are no longer appreciated and we start to read high quality text.

The differentiating point is the color of the screen: This Kobo Aura H2O Edition 2 is able to change the color temperature of the panel so that the view gets tired less, something similar to the TrueTone feature of the 9.7-inch iPad Pro but Which they have dubbed ComfortLight PRO. That temperature is adjustable to your liking at various intensities, and you can always return to the “standard” target of all readers so you do not miss it.

In night light that more yellowish tone can be gotten to thank, although the own electronic ink screen already does its work so that our sight is more rested. It is an interesting addition, but I would say it does a rather aesthetic favor instead of bringing us a more relaxing dream as they say of these yellowish hues on the screens.

The screen behaves perfectly when we use it in broad daylight. Unless it does not directly reflect the estrus king, we can read in full light without discomfort. Here the color tone does not matter: on a summer day you will see a contrast of black letters on white background have the color temperature you have.

Yes, the Kobo Aura H2O Edition 2 holds out like a champion underwater, but the best thing is that you do not get to check it daily.

As for its resistance to water, yes. Resist. However it is not for you to catch and entertain yourself by submerging the Aura H2O: when doing so the screen begins to change interface and page (its sensors must be confused); And when you remove it from the water the reader continues pouring water from inside for a while.

Put another way: yes, if you dive it will work, but this function is designed so that the Aura H2O survives a random fall to the sea or a pool. It is best not to abuse this advantage, and leave it for when there are real accidents.

Software: To manage books, more than enough

As we said before, the Kobo H2O Aura lacks physical buttons to use the system beyond the on / off button. So all the controls are in the software, and depend on an operating system that is tremendously similar to what we find on a Kindle.

In fact I would not be surprised to see the general user confuse one of these readers with those of Amazon. You scroll forward or backward depending on whether you click on the left or right half of the screen, and if you press the top area you will see a bar with which to access the main menu and device settings.

As for eBook management software there are no major shortcomings: Kobo Desktop meets the requirement to be compatible with the most used platforms ( iOS, Android, Mac and Windows), and its interface is simple and intuitive both to configure and manage The Kobo Aura H2O (desktop versions only) and to access the contents of the Kobo store. This has more than 5 million books in the Rakuten catalog), so this is not a small catalog.


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