Kobo Aura H2o E-Reader

Last updated date: March 27, 2019

DWYM Score

8.1

Kobo Aura H2o E-Reader

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We looked at the top E-Readers and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best E-Reader you should buy.

Update as June 14, 2021:
Checkout The Best E-Reader for a detailed review of all the top e-readers.

Overall Take


In our analysis of 95 expert reviews, the Kobo Aura H2o E-Reader placed 10th when we looked at the top 14 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

E-book reader of "anytime" waterproof function equipped to fulfill the "anywhere"! ◆ because equipped with waterproof a waterproof function to enjoy not choosing a scene, anytime, anywhere with peace of mind reading can be enjoyed. For example, when the half-body bath in the bathroom and, even when you want to see the recipes in the kitchen. Also in one scene of life, you can use without having to worry about getting wet. Of course, peace of mind even if caught in a sudden rain in the travel destination and the outdoors. And large screen yet unprecedented ◆, smooth page turning Kobo Aura H2O is a model in pursuit of readability. Kobo and the screen of the conventional model size larger than 6.8 inches, Rakuten Kobo best ever resolution, easier crisp also read comic fine depiction. Furthermore turning smooth page, crisp contrast also be realized. It is the perfect model for those of you like reading. ◆ because the front light mounted easy on the eyes, any less tired is comfortable reading eyes even in an environment, equipped with the optimal front light for prolonged periods of time with reading. Even when you want to read a book in the bedroom after the turn off the electricity, you can immerse yourself without worrying about the darkness. In addition, at dusk and vacated a little time on the go, even to the waiting time in a dark airport or train station, you can use feel free to contact. ◆ and built-in memory, a micro SD card, carry the Tabburi book! ◆ In the battery last longer, enjoy a long period of time!

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

7.8
10 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

8.8
18 user reviews

What experts liked

The Aura H20 Edition 2 is rated IPX8 for water resistance.
- New York Times Wirecutter
November 19, 2018 | Full review
IPX8 waterproofing means you’ll never worry about water, can withstand up to 60 minutes under two meters of water.
- Tech Radar
May 26, 2017 | Full review
Nighttime backlight changes hue to reduce light in the blue spectrum
- TechHive
August 17, 2017 | Full review
As the name suggests, the Aura H2O is water-resistant. This is a feature I’ve been calling for Amazon to add to its Kindles for some time now, and one that seems an obvious choice for a device that’s likely to be used in the bath or around the pool on a holiday.
- Trusted Reviews
May 19, 2017 | Full review
One appreciable improvement is the internal storage. The new Aura H2O can store twice as many books as the original, up to 8GB worth. That translates to about 6,000 ebooks, which is more than enough for the average reader.
- Digital Trends
Plenty of font customization options.
- Tech Spot
The H2O has a blue power button on the back of the top right edge. It also has a textured back, which, along with its size, makes one-handed reading easier than the previous model.
- PG Magazine - SE Asia
May 22, 2017 | Full review
More important is the IPX8 rating, which means it’ll be able to live 2m underwater for up to 60 minutes with no ill effects. Forget reading by the pool - with one of these you can read in the pool.
- Stuff
May 5, 2017 | Full review
One of the main benefits of the H2O e-Reader is the ability to enjoy eBooks, graphic novels or newspapers in lowlight conditions or complete darkness.
- Good E-Reader
August 26, 2014 | Full review
Aura H2O’s display still includes Kobo’s ComfortLight Pro backlighting technology, which reduces the display’s output of blue night when the sun sets.
- Mobile Syrup
June 3, 2017 | Full review

What experts didn't like

Aura H20 is 6.8-inch display,we think it would be a drawback for many others, because the H20 and Aura One’s size makes them harder to carry around, and they won’t fit into a pocket, whereas 6-inch readers can.
- New York Times Wirecutter
November 19, 2018 | Full review
The charging port doesn’t have any kind of cover; we’re not entirely sure how it would react to getting filled with salt from seawater
- Tech Radar
May 26, 2017 | Full review
Interface reacts unpredictably when the touchscreen comes into contact with liquids
- TechHive
August 17, 2017 | Full review
Battery life not as good as the competition
- Trusted Reviews
May 19, 2017 | Full review
Despite the upgrades from the original 2014 device, the Aura H2O isn’t as snappy as we hoped. It took up to a full second longer to load books than Amazon’s 6-inch Kindle, for example, and it sometimes stuttered in menus — especially the search screen.
- Digital Trends
$40 to $60 more expensive than Kindle
- Tech Spot
Unfortunately, Kobo also got rid of the microSD slot.
- PG Magazine - SE Asia
May 22, 2017 | Full review
There are no physical buttons on the front, which not everyone will like. You’ve got to tap or swipe the E ink screen to turn your digital pages. The single power button on the back wakes the H2O from sleep. It’s easy enough to find if you’re right-handed, but hardly in a convenient place for southpaws.
- Stuff
May 5, 2017 | Full review
Constant water droplet notifications are annoying.
- Good E-Reader
August 26, 2014 | Full review
physical buttons would have likely made waterproofing the device more complicated.
- Mobile Syrup
June 3, 2017 | Full review

Our Expert Consultant

Molly Thornberg   
Technology and parenting blogger

Molly Thornberg is a professional writer, creative and mom to four kids, living her best life outside of Dallas, Texas. With a love for all things tech, she is passionate about helping parents raise kids in the digital age. She writes about technology, parenting and humor on her blog Digital Mom Blog.

An Overview On E-Readers

E-readers have changed the way people consume books, magazines and articles. Instead of choosing between one or two physical books to bring with you on vacation, you can bring hundreds of options along in one sleek device. E-books tend to be cheaper than paperbacks, so it’s less expensive to expand your mind and check out new authors and titles. They’re also environmentally friendly; downloading e-books instead of buying hardcover books saves plenty of paper and cardboard.

The popularity of e-readers has spawned a large industry of digital reading devices, and finding the right one for your needs requires some research. One of the first questions you’ll want to ask yourself is how you plan to use your e-reader, and whether you might benefit from purchasing a tablet that can double as your e-reader, says technology expert Molly Thornberg, a parenting and tech blogger.

“Basic e-readers allow just reading. These are great for focused reading, and for kids,” says Thornberg, the brains behind the Digital Mom Blog. “More advanced e-readers are typically tablets offering more options like web browsing and a music player.”

Understanding the technology behind e-readers can also help you make your decision. E-readers take e-book files and make them accessible to readers by storing them on a small computer. Their optimized portability, readability and battery life make them great literary companions. Many models today are designed for easy reading in sunlight.

Staring at a computer screen to catch up on your reading list might sound like a headache, but e-reader technology reduces eye strain. Large screens, backlights and adjustable fonts and text sizes all make ebooks easier to read than ever.

Before you buy, you’ll want to consider whether you prefer an e-reader experience that closely mirrors the one you’d have with a regular book, or whether you’re up for a more lively display.

“E-readers offer either e-ink (electronic ink) or LCD display,” says Thornberg.  “E-ink offers an electronic paper-like display. LCD screen displays offer color and typically more touchscreen capabilities. Some devices offer both.”

Older e-readers needed to be charged regularly, but newer models have extended battery lives for more reading freedom. The Kindle Oasis can go weeks without a charge, so you won’t have to go hunting for power outlets at stops on your next road trip.

If audiobooks are more your speed, you can still listen to them on some e-readers. The Kindle Oasis and Waterproof Kindle Paperwhite are compatible with Audible, a massive library of audiobooks and original content.

You don’t need to worry about squinting to make out the words on your e-reader’s screen, either. The Pixels Per Inch (or PPI) of modern e-readers eclipses their predecessors.

Thornberg says you’ll also want to consider what e-book stores and libraries your new e-reader will have access to as well.

The E-Reader Buying Guide

  • Will you be traveling a lot with your e-reader? If you regularly jet set for work or play, you’ll want an ultra-portable e-reader that fits easily in a carry-on bag. 
  • How frequently do you plan on using your e-reader? All four of our top picks have improved battery life over their predecessors. They can go for “weeks” without a charge, but that’s dependent on how frequently you use them. Give your e-reader’s battery life a test run at home before you take it on any long trips.
  • E-readers can download books via WiFi or over your cellular network. Downloading over your home WiFi network will save you some cash, but you’ll be out of luck if you want to check out a new title on the go. Using a cellular network is convenient, but the data charges might drive up your cellular bill. Talk to your network provider before you dive into this option, and make sure you budget accordingly for your bookworm habit.
  • How many e-books, audiobooks and graphic novels do you plan on reading? You’ll need more memory if you want an extensive collection. The Kindle Oasis comes in 8 GB or 32 GB versions, while the Kobo Clara HD 6-Inch Touchscreen E-Reader comes with 8 GB of built-in memory.
  • What type of controls are you most comfortable with? Touchscreen controls are effortless. However, some older e-readers still use buttons to help you scroll through pages.