An e-book reader manufacturer at its roots, and quite a popular one in Canada back in the day, Kobo tried its hand at more evolved tablets, knowing little success with the impressive but far too costly Arc 10HD.
And so it’s back to basics for the once Toronto-based, now Japan-owned company, which is probably the sole (semi-) major Amazon rival still standing in the dwindling e-reader market niche. Only their latest stab at a Kindle “slayer” is far from conventional or humdrum, offering a premium feature that very few tablets can accommodate.
That’s few tablets, mind you, and no e-reader, according to our information, so Kobo is right to trumpet the Aura H2O (brilliant name, by the way) as the world’s “first premium waterproof eReader”. Then again, you have to wonder whether IP67 certification is enough to warrant an extravagant $180 price tag on North American shores, €180 in Spain, Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands, and £140 in the UK.
Short answer: no. Long answer: hell no. For that kind of dough, you can get a larger than 6.8-inch gadget, with a full color, IPS 720p panel, quad-core processing power and plenty of RAM to go around for everything from web browsing to gaming to multimedia playing. And reading too. Or how about purchasing a Kindle Paperwhite and have 60 bucks to spare?
Sure, Amazon doesn’t protect you from accidental water dunks, but I have the perfect solution for that as well: pay attention. It sounds like a hard to grasp concept, but it’s simple really. If you keep your eye on your precious gizmo, it won’t need a “bathing suit”. End of story.