24 Nov 2014
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World’s first waterproof eReader coming to New Zealand

By Shannon Williams

Kobo has released the world’s first premium waterproof eReader.

The days of housing eReaders in plastic bags to protect against water and sand will soon be a thing of the past.  Kobo has released the Aura H2O, the world’s first waterproof eReader.

Malcolm Neil, Kobo's director of content APAC, says the new eReader is designed for avid readers who really want to rely on only one digital device, rather than having a reading device for the home, and having to take a book to the beach.

“For us, we saw a real market for a device you can take anywhere,” he says.

He says that while there are some companies that will waterproof eReaders for a cost, research showed readers were disappointed that eReaders weren’t waterproof right from the start.

“One key thing they all wanted was something they could take to the beach or read in the bath. We’ve now got the first waterproof eReader. For us, it’s quite exciting,” says Neil.

“The Aura H2O is the first device to truly enable New Zealand readers to enjoy the books they love, whether they are on the beach, in the bath, or lounging by the pool. We found that some of our customers avoided taking eReaders to the beach or reading in the bath because they were worried about water damage. In developing the Aura H2O, we wanted to break down that barrier and ensure that everyone can read anywhere and continue to enjoy the Kobo experience.”

Now that waterproofing technology has become more cost effective, Neil says he can’t see anyone releasing an eReader that isn’t waterproof.

The Kobo Aura H2O is thinner and lighter than Aura HD, with an upgraded high definition display. It offers high-resolution E Ink display. At 265 dpi, the spacious 6.8” touchscreen with upgraded Carta E Ink technology – the first of its kind with these display dimensions – offers the closest experience to print-on-paper.

The device offers 4GB of onboard storage (expandable up to 32GB with a microSD card), and has a battery life of up to two months. Neil says reading devices are being built with more storage in mind, and publishers are loading up their e-pubs with more details than ever before, such as illustrations. “Once you put the SD card in, you’ll have room for 30,000 books,” he says.

Kobo Reading Life gives users the ability to take notes, highlight text, make bookmarks, and track stats to learn more about their own reading habits, as well as share favourite passages, quotes, and books to Facebook Timeline.

The Kobo Aura H2O will be available in black and will retail for $299 NZD online at Kobo.com and in-store at JB Hi Fi starting from February 05, 2015, shortly followed by Noel Leeming, and Harvey Norman.

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