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New Leaks Show Kobo Aura H2O Coming 1 September, Will Cost $179

650x300xkobo-aura-h2o-artikelbild-ae.png.pagespeed.ic.3cvW4TaVkp[1]When Kobo’s newest ereader cleared the FCC last week I knew it was going to be one of the more interesting ebook readers to launch this fall, and now that the specs have crossed my desk I can see that I was right.

The Kobo Aura H2O is not only going to be the largest and most capable waterproof ereader on the market; it’s going to be the first to sport a new 6.8″ E-ink screen (reportedly).

Like its predecessor, the Kobo Aura HD, this ebook reader will be running Kobo’s proprietary reading software on a 1GHz CPU with 4GB internal storage. The Aura H2O will have a frontlight, infrared touchscreen, Wifi, and a microSD card slot.

Weighing in at 233 grams, the new device will be slightly lighter than the Aura HD. It’s also going to be slightly thinner; looking at the image above I would guess that Kobo lopped off the weird protrusions from the rear of the shell. According to what I was told it’s going to meet the IP67 standard for water, meaning that it is expected to survive being dunked in a meter of water for up to 30 minutes and that it is dust proof.

The Kobo Aura H2O is expected to go up for pre-order on 1 September, with a retail of $179. All in all I am looking forward to this device, and I haven’t even gotten to the best point.

If the spec sheet is to be believed, the Kobo Aura H2O will have a brand-new 6.8″ Carta E-ink screen. With a screen resolution of 1430 x 1080, it will be ever so slightly less sharp than the screen on the Kobo Aura HD, but it will make up for the lost rows of pixels with a faster and better screen refresh rate.

Bestill my beating heart.

Somehow, Kobo has managed to scoop Amazon for the second year in a row. Last year Kobo got the 6.8″ E-ink screen first, and this year Kobo is (probably) going to get the new 6.8″ Carta screen first.

That leads me to wonder why Amazon is letting it happen, and I can give you three guesses:

  1. Liquavista
  2. Liquavista
  3. Liquavista

I think Amazon is passing on the larger screen because they want to move directly to using a Liquavista screen – possibly the hybrid screen detailed in the patent I discovered a couple weeks ago.

Now that would be fun, would it not?

Alles eBook



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cvb August 20, 2014 um 11:03 pm

Looks great. I hope it will not have a flat front panel like the Aura and instead keep the Aura HD’s look, which I still find the best looking design. The only blunder I see so far with this device is the lack of Bluetooth.

baochan August 21, 2014 um 9:29 am

I’m curious what the point would be of Bluetooth on an e-reader? A wireless speaker for some future text to speech functionality?

Javi August 21, 2014 um 4:01 am

But if Amazon does a kindle Liquavista… will leave E ink?

I think the color is very interesting for comics, magazines, science books, etc … then the kindle Liquavista should have a big screen. 9″? 11″?

And… what about battery life? Liquavista is better than LCD but much worse than EInk, ins’t it?

And last… KL hypothetical would only ereader or tablet? will replace the kindle fire? hard to believe.

Too many unknowns.

Nate Hoffelder August 21, 2014 um 6:23 am

There are too many unknowns, yes. I’m probably being unrealistic in my enthusiasm, but in my defense we have a new Carta screen!

Leonid August 21, 2014 um 7:29 am

Unfortunately the reviews of the 6′ Carta screens that are already in the market (2013 Kindle Paperwhile, Onyx Boox i63ML Newton, Tolino Vision) are mixed. The screen looks slightly different from Pearl HD, but not necessarily better, and even when the reviews that claim it looks better state that the improvement is marginal at best. Apparently the quality and clarity of the touchscreen and frontlight films appears to make more difference than the technology of the underlying e-ink.
Disclaimer – I have not seen a Carta screen myself, but I have read/watched all the possible reviews and comparisons online (back when I still considered buying Onyx Boox Newton).

DavidW August 21, 2014 um 8:29 am

Well I do have a 2013 PW and can say that the Carta screen is better than the Pearl. There is a difference between reading reviews and seeing it for yourself.

Leonid August 21, 2014 um 10:03 am

When comparing a single Kindle PW 2013 device to an older device you are comparing a bundle of e-ink screen+touchscreen+frontlight film (and maybe even the waveform), each of which is different between the two KWP versions. In addition, it’s well known that even screens of the same type vary in quality and even when comparing two Pearl screens you can often see a substantial difference. There is a difference between jumping to conclusions from observing one device and gathering data from multiple sources and analyzing it 😉

Nate Hoffelder August 21, 2014 um 11:18 am

Yep. When the new KPW came out last fall I saw a noticeable improvement but my competitor did not.

An August 21, 2014 um 11:56 am

No diplay from the same batch is the same.
The front light plays a very improtant role here, if the light diffusion is uneven or changes color (from white to yellowish) any reader with front light will be horrible.
I know this first hand as I’ve had three Kobos. Only the third had a good screen.

Jonah August 21, 2014 um 8:52 am

Kobo eReaders really do beat Amazon on several fronts. They don’t get the credit they deserve.

First it’s awesome that a 6.8″ screen is even a choice. I would love to see one the size of a hardback page htough. Secondly font selection is way more beautiful and varied: ten fonts with 24 sizes and the ability to customize the look. Finally Kobo gives more storage (at least on the Aura HD) then the Kindle while allowing you to put in an SDCard. You really can have all your books on one device. The eReaders are well designed.

Dave August 21, 2014 um 9:52 am

Sadly the Kobo PC app is now for WIndows 8+ only. So all those users that use XP, Vista, etc just got the shaft. Great way to lose customers Kobo.

Michael B. August 22, 2014 um 12:05 pm

or kobo can refer its customers to the calibre site, which has INCREDIBLE support for the kobo product line.

this would save them money, as they will no longer have to regression test all updates on all flavours of windows (including ones that are in the process of being de-supported by the people who created them !).

that savings can be put to UI devs, etc. which will please both new and existing customers.

how can that be a 'bad' thing ?

eReaderFan August 26, 2014 um 8:57 am

This app works on older versions of Windows: – it’s their old windows desktop application.

They do have a Windows 8 app too specifically for metro.

cvb August 21, 2014 um 12:01 pm

There are a number of applications for Bluetooth. You mentioned TTS, which is one that makes sense. Personally, I would like to make spoken or written annotations to texts. A Bluetooth headset would allow for spoken annotations, while a Bluetooth keyboard would allow written annotations (I wouldn’t want to type a lot on the touchscreen keyboard). Wireless speakers or the headset would also allow listening to audio content, which could be embedded in an interactive book (think of an encyclopedia of classical music or somesuch with audio samples) or could be your audio podcast or meditative background music or bird sounds.

And since the reader already has WiFi, supporting Bluetooth would have added less than $3 dollars to the device’s production costs. I cannot think of any reason why not to put Bluetooth into a $179 device, when it would add so many useful things and cost so little.

An August 21, 2014 um 12:08 pm

I’m not sure if Kobo beat Amazon. Amazon had the first reader with a Carta screen.
Carta screens can be ordered in any display size (from 1.44 to 13.3 inch) and with a maximum dpi of 300+.
Kobo is the first that uses us high-res Carta screen.

Kobo Aura H2O, e-reader à prova d'água, será lançado em setembro | April 21, 2015 um 12:43 pm

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