Specs summary


The Kobo Aura H2O (2017)'s screen is 6.8 inches with 1080 x 1430 pixels resolution.


There is a Freescale SoloLite iMx6 1 GHz processor (CPU).


The tablet runs on the Other operating system (OS).

This model has no built-in camera. Sorry, no selfies.
4 GB

Internal memory is 4 GB. No external card slot is available for expansion.


The tablet is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 1500 mAh battery. Kobo's performance ratings are 60 days standby time.

The compromises the Aura H2O asks consumers to make in exchange for its more affordable price tag are reasonable.

- Igor Bonifacic , Mobile Syrup 

A device that they can throw in a beach bag, read by the pool, drop in the bath, and not worry about too much.

- Andrew London , TechRadar 

Reviews summary

Based on 9 reviews

What's good  

  • IPX8 rating for full waterproofing for 60 minutes up to 2 meters
  • Large, sharp screen
  • Durable build
  • Blue-light filter to avoid disturbing sleep patterns

What's bad  

  • Lackluster performance
  • Lack of selection in Kobo store

The Nook and Kindle might be the two behemoths in the e-reader market, but for those in the know, there’s another company making strides—Kobo. The company has released several models of the Aura. Their latest one–the Aura H2O–may even convert a few Kindle fans.

Let's see what reviewers are saying!

Show more

Like most e-readers, the Aura H2O won’t win any beauty pageants, but it’s functional. It has a rubber back which provided reviewers with a decent grip and some protection from fall damage. Compared to previous models, this one is lighter and thinner. At 210 grams, it’s heavier than the Kindle Paperwhite, but the difference is negligible.

What sets the Aura H2O apart from other e-readers is its IPX8 rating. This means it is completely waterproof and can withstand up to 60 minutes under two meters of water. As a side benefit, the same sealing also keeps out dust and sand, making it a great choice for the beach or pool.

How does it work in real life? Critics put it to the test and submerged the device in water for 55 minutes. Once removed, it worked without a hitch despite the charging port not having a cover.

Besides being waterproof, the Aura H2O also has a large screen measuring in at 6.8 inches. While it falls short of the 300ppi of the Kindle Paperwhite, at 256ppi experts still consider it incredibly crisp and sharp. And, thanks to the front lighting, they can read in any lighting situation, even direct sunlight. Still, when compared to back-lit e-readers, they noticed the light itself was not as bright or evenly spread.

Speaking of lighting, it also changes as the day progresses from having a cool blue hue in the morning to a warmer orange one later at night so as not to impact sleep cycles. With that said, TechRadar states, “… we didn’t notice any significant improvement to our sleep… we didn’t notice any sleep disturbance either, which is probably the desired effect.”

Kobo bumped up the specs for the Aura H2O. It now comes with a 1GHz processor and 512MB of RAM. Despite this, many critics found its performance lackluster as it took several seconds longer to load books than a Kindle with similar specs. They also noticed stuttering in menus—most notably in the search screen.

As far as batteries go, most reviewers averaged around a week of battery life, including heavy use with both WiFi and the ComfortLight Pro on. However, they add readers can get more life by turning the WiFi off and the brightness down.

Perhaps the biggest drawback of the Aura H2O is its poor selection of books. The Kindle store has hundreds of thousands of books available with many going on sale often, something the Kobo store cannot compete with. To counteract that, the Aura H2O supports multiple ebook file formats.

In general, reviewers recommend purchasing the Aura H2O for those who want a more durable e-reader that can handle water, dust and sand. Digital Trends states, “The Aura H2O is a great ebook reader—it’s waterproof, has a blue-light filter, a large, sharp screen and it supports a number of ebook file formats.” PC Magazine adds, “Whether it’s the beach or your bathtub, if you like to read near water, the new Aura H2O is worth your attention.”

Reviews (7.7/10 Avg. rating)


A waterproof e-reader worthy of your consideration

from PCWorld
The Kobo Aura H20 Edition 2 is a waterproof and feature-packed e-reader that, provided they’ve not already amassed a large library of Amazon Kindle eBooks, that any book lover will enjoy—provided you don’t try to use it while it’s wet... Full review
Mobile Syrup

A waterproof e-reader for everyone else

from Mobile Syrup
There’s something to be said about just how more consumer friendly Kobo is to its user. While its library is not as comprehensive as what Amazon offers, Kobo does allow its users to borrow books from their local library, sideload any e-books they may already own and download online articles using Pocket. In other words, there’s a price to be paid for playing in Amazon’s walled garden... Full review

The waterproof wannabe Kindle-killer

from TechRadar
Kobo’s latest ereader is a solid upgrade on its previous model. It’s waterproof, it’s compact, it’s light – and did we mention it’s waterproof? The Aura H2O is definitely a contender in the ereader market, but is waterproofing enough to see off the Kindles?.. Full review
PC Magazine

A fantastic e-reader to take to the beach

from PC Magazine
Though a bit pricier than the competition, the waterproof Kobo Aura H2O is the ultimate beach reader... Full review

Falls a little short, notably with its strange battery life and sluggish performance

from TrustedReviews
A decent e-reader in certain scenarios – but uneven battery life and sluggish performance take the shine off... Full review

Kindle’s distant rival provides a great read

from Alphr
The Kobo is a great product that doesn’t put a foot wrong and if you’re happy not using Amazon for your book fix then it’s an easy recommendation. At £150 it’s a pricey, mind, but that’s the price you pay for a larger screen and waterproofing peace-of-mind. Essentially, it has everything you could want in an ebook reader. Except for those Amazon bargains, of course... Full review

Water resistant, decent features

from Recombu
If you have a deep love of reading in the bath, this device is a no-brainer. That water resistant design offers full peace of mind, while the improved performance and more compact build make it a more satisfying experience. Boosted by a well-stocked (and finally affordable) store, this new Aura H2O is a solid all-round eReader... Full review
Good E-Reader

Appealing to both casual and hardcore users

from Good E-Reader
If you have purchased a Kobo e-Reader sometime within the last two years, this is not an essential upgrade. The only thing that it really has going for it is the new RGB lightning system and the new streamlined design. In terms of the new UI and software experience, it was pushed out to most Kobo branded devices a couple of months ago... Full review

Suitable for both bedtime and poolside reading

from TechRadar
Kobo's latest ereader doesn't offer much we haven't seen before, but it's in a smaller and cheaper package than the Kobo Aura One and may be one of the most affordable ereaders this year... Full review

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Prices (Where to Buy)

Online Buying Options



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Full Specs

Release date May 22, 2017
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
No cellular data
SIM Card No
Dual SIM No
Operating System Other
Secondary OS No
Processor Freescale SoloLite iMx6 1 GHz
Internal Flash Memory
4 GB
RAM 512 MB
Digital compass No
FlightMode No
Hearing Aid Compatible No
SAR Unknown
Languages English, French, Portuguese, Spanish
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual, Standard Battery
Power & Battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 1500 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Battery Charge Time Unknown
Video Playback Time No
Wi-Fi Surfing Time Unknown
3G Surfing Time No
4G Surfing Time No
Reading Time Unknown
Standby Time Up to: 60 days
Physical Characteristics
Material Plastic
E-book Reader No
Colors Black
Dimensions [H x W x D] 17.9 x 12.9 x 1.0 cm
(7.1 x 5.1 x 0.4 in)
Weight 233 grams
(8.2 ounces)
Water Resistant / Waterproof Waterproof
Rugged Design No
IP Rating IP 67
Display / Screen
Type Grayscale
Technology E-ink
Colors Unknown
Resolution 1080 x 1430 pixels
Pixel Density 265 pixels
Size 6.8 inches
3D No
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock No
Multi Touch No
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features IR display
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Predictive Text Entry No
Physical Keyboard No
Text-to-Speech No
Screen Reader No
Keypad / Screen Lock No
External Volume Control No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact No
Contact Groups No
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browsing Type HTML
Browser Unknown
Javascript Yes
Flash No
Email No
Email Protocols
Additional Email Features No
Messaging Services No
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth No
Bluetooth Profiles
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot No
Expansion Slots No
Expansion Slots Info No
PC Synchronization No
TV-out No
DLNA Support No
Main Camera  
Aperture No
Dual Lens No
Zoom No
Flash No
Additional Rear Camera Info No
Video Recording Formats No
Video Recording Parameters
Front Camera  
Zoom No
Additional Front Camera Info No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback No
Audio Formats No
Radio No
Video Playback No
Video Playback Formats No
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video No
External Speakers No
Headset Jack No
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert No
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar No
World Clock No
Alarm No
Stopwatch No
Timer No
Calculator No
Currency Converter No
Weather No
Stocks No
Maps No
Notepad No
Voice Memos / Recorder No
Games No
Apps No
Included Software / Apps No
Additional Comments Other Names (AKA): Kobo Aura H2O Edition 2

Related Links Quick Start Guide (PDF)
Kobo Aura H2O (2017) Manual (PDF)
Kobo Aura H2O (2017) Reviews
Where to buy Kobo Aura H2O (2017)
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