Kobo announces new waterproof Aura H20 ereader for $179

Kobo last night hosted an end of summer pool party promising guests a peek at what’s to come for the Kobo brand. Sure enough, the company unveiled its newest piece of hardware, an ereader that can survive a dunk in the bath or even a dive into a swimming pool. The unveiling of the device came as no surprise, considering rumors of an IP67-rated Kobo first broke cover last month. Still, it was nice to get a look at in the flesh.


Dubbed the Aura H20, the device is based on the Aura ereader and packs a 265 dpi 6.8-inch E Ink display, a 1 GHz processor, 4 GB of onboard storage (expandable to 32 GB) and a battery that lasts two months. Most importantly, the Aura H20 is waterproof for up to 30 minutes in one meter of water thanks to an IP67 certification. It’s also dust resistant so you can take it to the beach.

We got a chance to take the waterproofing for a test drive last night. One thing we noticed was the pop-up that the Aura H20 throws up once the reader enters water. When the device detects water on the display, it displays a notification that prompts the user to dry the Aura H20. Pretty much every Kobo we saw last night was constantly displaying this pop up because the devices were always in water. Hitting “OK” sometimes dismissed the message, but other times, the device refused to go back to reading mode until it was wiped down.

The Kobo Aura H20 boasts 24 font sizes and 10 different fonts. You can also customize your reading experience by adjusting font sharpness and weight setting. Kobo says the Auro H20 is slightly thinner and lighter than the Aura HD, though it retains that angled backing we saw with the Aura HD. The H20 will be available in black only when it launches on October 1, and retail pricing is set at $179.99 CAD.