Kobo announced Wednesday that it would launch a waterproof e-reader, the Kobo Aura H2O. The device will be available for preorder Sept. 1 for delivery beginning Oct. 1.
“When we asked our customers what held them back from reading more e-books, 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,” Michael Tamblyn, president and chief content officer at Kobo, said in a release.
It’s the first official waterproof e-reader to be released (aftermarket waterproofed Kindles are available). Too bad it wasn’t ready in time for summer.
“As we dug deeper, we found that more than 60% of customers surveyed said they would love to be able read near water without worry,” Tamblyn continued.
The Kobo Aura H2O should take care of casual concerns of the e-reader getting splashed or dunked. As long as its port is closed, it can stay up to 3 feet underwater for up to 30 minutes.
So, waterproof or not, don’t take the Aura H2O scuba diving.
While tablets have taken center stage as the device of choice, some industry observers note that e-readers are better for reading e-books.
The Aura H2O has a 6.8-inch black-and-white e-ink touchscreen, like the company’s Aura HD. It syncs across devices and allows readers to take notes and share passages on social media. It has 4 gigabytes of storage, expandable to 32GB, which can hold up to 30,000 e-books. Its battery can last up to two months.
The Aura H2O will be priced at $179.
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