The Kobo Aura H20 is the successor to the hugely popular Kobo Aura HD that was released a few years ago. Since then, Kobo has made some slight changes to its line of e-readers, but the Aura still remains at the top of the range.
This is a 6.8″ screen with a Carta e-ink HD touchscreen and a maximum resolution of 1440 x 1080, which puts it well into the realms of the tablet world but also makes it one of the highest-quality screens out of all the e-readers on test.
It measures 179 x 129 x 9.7 mm and weighs a decent 233g. There’s wi-fi 802.11b/g/n, but Kobo has gone one better again by including 4GB of storage built-in, with the potential to increase that to a further 32GB via the micro-SD card slot.
The greatest selling point of the Aura H20 is obviously the screen, and thanks to the ClarityScreen+ technology and a 265dpi pixel density, Kobo has created an e-reader that happily takes the pleasure of reading into new territory. Admittedly, you could argue that you can read a book quite as easily with a 800 x 600 screen as you could a 1140 x 1080 one, and in most cases you’d be correct. However, the detail and sharpness that the Aura H20 offers is exceptional.
The old Aura HD took an age to boot, and it felt very sluggish when you had to navigate the menu system. Thankfully, Kobo seems to have alleviated this problem, because the Aura H20 is now perfectly nippy and as fast as you expect any e-reader to be.
The welcome or home screen, contains all the necessary information you would expect. Your current library, the Kobo store, a search function, what book you’re reading and the last time you synced with your computer are all present in a reasonably uncluttered fashion.
Battery life is rated at an impressive two months, provided you switch the unnecessary stuff off, and once set up, you can view the usual list of ePub, PDF, TXT, HTML, CBR and so on, as well the more popular photo formats.
It’s a nice device to hold; it feels sturdy enough and not too cheap. The backlight is effective, and the screen is readable in pitch black and full-on sunlight without any problems.
Additionally, and a feature we rather liked, the Aura H20 can be submersed in one metre of water for up to half an hour and still be functional, provided the ports are closed off with the cover – handy for when you drop it while reading in the bathtub or if you’re at the beach perhaps.
Reading is a pleasure with the Kobo Aura H20. It’s a sleek, comfortable device that’s well designed and fits nicely in the hand. There’s plenty to like about it, but at £140, you might well be better off with the cheaper Amazon Kindle. However, as we said, the Kobo Aura H20 is a pleasure to use and read from.