The Kobo Aura H20 is drawing praise in our extensive reviews and comparisons. It is the first waterproof e-reader to be issued by a mainstream company and is now finally available for pre-order starting today.
For the next four weeks, you can order the Kobo Aura H20 directly from the Kobo website in Canada and the US for $179.99. Since Kobo is based in Toronto Canada, Best Buy and Chapters are also offering pre-orders in their stores. Meanwhile, in the UK you place yourself in a virtual queue for £139.99 and the rest of Europe for €179.00. If you live outside of these countries, you can order it from our sister site Shop e-Readers.
The Kobo Aura H20 features a 6.8 inch display and is rocking an e-Ink Carta screen. This will insure you are getting the fastest page turns possible with minimal full page refreshing. The H20 is the only new device Kobo has planned for 2014 and is worth it to order if you are looking for a new e-reader.
The Microsoft Surface PRO 3 and the Apple iPad Air are two of the most successful tablets in the world. Today we look at the overall e-reading experience plays out on both devices. You will get a sense on how the eBook, PDF and digital comic experience plays out.
The Surface Pro 3 has a 12 inch screen,which allows image based content, such as magazines and comic books really shine. The one advantage the iPad has is the seamless pinch and zooming to isolate particular regions. The Surface tends to be a little bit more sluggish when it comes to non-native apps, like Adobe PDF Reader.
The video below we look at how both of these handle the same book, same comic and PDF file. We tend to look at these devices from an e-reading prospective, because we know you inevitably read the news or read a comic digitally.
Australian author Germaine Greer proclaimed on a recent BBC Radio broadcast that eBooks should only cost pennies and that people have a irrational attachment to print.
Germaine was reflecting on the entire Hachette eBook dispute and was in favor of Amazon. “Amazon wants to sell e-books at less, so they should. They should cost less because they don’t have to be put together, stitched, printed, designed, blah, blah, blah. If you skip all that and all you have got is a ribbon of text on a Kindle then it should cost you pennies frankly.”
Printing a physical book obviously costs more due to the industrial-age process involving paper mills and printing presses manufacturing the title and then its distributed by ships,trains and trucks delivering them your local bookstore.
Should eBooks only cost a few pennies? It costs Amazon almost nothing to make and distribute 100 copies of an ebook file to sell to 100 different customers. Credit cart fees are probably the largest per-ebook cost for each incremental sale. Distributing an eBook has no industrial-era components and no industrial-era advantages for Big Publishing.
Florida Polytechnic University has just opened their doors and instead of dusty bookshelves full of books, they are embracing digital. This marks the first time diligent young scholars can borrow eBooks on their Kindles, Nooks or iPads and there is not a tangible book in sight.
The inaugural class of 500 students will have access to over 135,000 eBooks and digital textbooks for the upcoming September semester. “Our on-campus library is entirely digital,” said director of libraries Kathryn Miller. “We have access to print books through the state university system’s interlibrary loan program. However, we strongly encourage our students to read and work with information digitally.”
The new university is primarily focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Students are better prepared for lives in the technology sector by being able to read, absorb, manage and search digital documents and conduct digital research.
Florida is not the only intuition to embrace eBooks at the expense of physical books. Bexar County opened up the first all digital library a few months ago. Patrons can easily access over 10,000 eBooks and residents will be able read them on one of the 600 E-readers, 9 laptops or 40 tablets that are available for loan.
In this video comparison we look at the flagship Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2 and the Kobo Aura H20. This two e-readers have fairly similar technology, as they are both rocking e Ink Carta, which result in faster page turns.
The Kindle Paperwhite 2 is certainly one of the most popular e-readers in the world, and Amazon currently controls 70% of the global eBook market. Now that Sony is out of the picture, it is a two horse race with Amazon and Kobo.
The Purpose of today’s comparison is to give you a sense on how these two devices fare head to head. We look at Beyond the Book and Amazon X-Ray, GoodReads, PDF files, eBooks, menus, settings and the how the online bookstores perform.
Welcome back to another Good e-Reader Comparison Video! Today we take a look at the brand new Kobo Aura H2O and the Kobo Aura. You will get a sense on how the eBook experience plays out in both PDF and ePub books and if either model appeals to you.
The Kobo Aura H2O is not only a waterproof e-reader but it also features e-ink Carta technology. This dramatically increases the page turn speed and cuts down on the quintessential refresh issues that plague lower end devices. Meanwhile, the Kobo Aura came out last year and features a 6 inch screen capacitive touchscreen display. This is most useful for pinching and zooming PDF files and graphic novels.
This comparison video looks at the hardware and what the primary differences are. This is most useful if you have an older device and are thinking of possibly upgrading. As an added bonus, we do a side by side comparison looking exclusively at the front-lit display.
The Kobo Aura H2O e-reader is coming out in October and the main selling point is the waterproof screen. Earlier in the week we conducted an underwater test to see how the unit performed. Today, due to extensive requests on our YouTube Channel, we are conducting an underwater Glowlight test.
A waterproof e-reader will likely be used while taking a bath. Often the lights are dimmed, or shut off completely and the only illumination comes from candles or the e-reader itself. If an e-reader is submerged or wet, does it affect the brightness of the front-lit display? Does the light become muted while underwater? The video below answers all of these questions.
Barnes and Noble has collaborated with Samsung for the latest generation Nook tablet. Samsung provided the hardware and B&N designed custom reading apps for Android, which gives users a very unique experience. How does this new device compare to the Nook HD or Nook Tablet and is it a viable upgrade?
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook features a seven inch capacitive touchscreen display with a resolution of 1280 x 800. The resolution overall is a big of a downgrade from the Nook HD, but not enough to be noticeable for your average user.
Underneath the hood is a 1.2 GHZ quad-core processor, 1.5GB of RAM and 8GB of storage, plus support for MicroSD (up to 32GB) The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook features a 3Mp rear camera and 1.3Mp front-facing webcam, with the former capable of 720p video recording at 30fps. This is the first time a Nook device will have front and rear cameras.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook measures 186.9x9x107.9mm and weighs 276g. Part of this weight comes from the 4000mAh battery, claimed to allow for up to 10 hours of video, 190 hours of audio, or 10 hours of internet usage.
When it comes to the audio experience there is a single speaker on the back, but it is in stereo. This allows you to listen to audiobooks, music, video or the read aloud feature in kids books.
Barnes and Noble tried to stem the tide of constant financial losses in their Nook division by outsourcing the hardware to Samsung. This is a double edged sword because there is no Nook branding on the tablet at all. If the device is totally powered down, you would have no idea that it is anything else but a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4.
Every single tablet that Barnes and Noble has even released ran a heavily skinned version of Google Android. This was the same tactic that both Amazon and Kobo employed to make their devices stand out in the crowd. The Samsung Galaxy 4 Nook is the first time users get a vanilla Android experience, allowing them to install live wallpapers and even change their keyboards.
Instead of heavily augmenting Android, Barnes and Noble has firmly embraced it. They company has developed a series of custom apps that get users participating in the booksellers ecosystem. There is a dedicated store, Nook Video, Library, eBook Reading Apps, Nook Search, custom settings menu and the ability to view all of the notes and annotations you have ever made.
One of the strongest benefits of the new Samsung tablet is the ability to finally download apps from outside the US and UK. The Nook App Store used to lock customers out of purchasing or downloading apps, due to geolocation. This seems to be disabled in the new Nook, which allows users to download apps not only from B&N but also Google Play. The only limitation placed on customers is Nook Video, you still have to be in the US to buy or rent videos or television shows.
The Home screen mainly comprises of all of your Nook Reading App, Nook Store and a bunch of official Google ones. Chrome, Gmail, Google Maps, Play and all of the standard Google apps are all included in a mini folder. If you swipe the screen from the right to the left on the edge of the bezel there is a side screen full of apps. By default, its all the official Google ones, but you can add or remove any of them there, adding to the customization capabilities.
The one thing I really want to focus on during this review is the Nook content and not really dwelling on the standard Android functionality.
The Nook Library houses all of the purchases you have made from Barnes and Noble. This includes eBooks, comics, magazines, newspapers, television shows. There is a shop button on the top right hand corner, which opens up their online store that sells all of the content.
eBooks are opened by the quintessential Nook app for Android, which has been available on Google Play for years. One of the things I always liked about reading on the Nook is the different backgrounds. Kobo and Kindle have always just had three different background colors, but Nook has six. You can easily change the bright white background to Sepia or different shades of off-white. This makes it easier to read in the dark, without having to strain your eyes. I also dig the way Nook handles animated page turns, wikipedia lookups and built in dictionary.
Magazines and Newspapers are opened via a special Nook for Magazine app that has been completely revised for this new Samsung model. The one thing I really like, aside from the animated page turns is “article view.” This strips away all of the images and CSS and turns a magazine into an eBook.
The Nook Shop was designed as a standalone app that lets you browse books, magazines, movies & TV, Kids, Apps, Newspapers and Comics. The only thing international users cannot access is media content, but all others are completely viable. The Home screen is curated content by the Nook team, currently they are hyping “Passion for Passion” and “Your Favorite Heroes.”
Nook Search is a standalone app that allows you to type in key terms that you want to look for in the shop. You can look at specific keywords, such as “post apocalyptic” or “Potter.” It will then give you a huge list of titles matching your search results in everything B&N offers in their store.
Nook Today scans all of the content you purchase or samples you access from the online store. It then gives you a recommended reading list, which helps with discovery. In addition, it remembers your results from Nook Search and also recommends similar titles.
The last unique aspect of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is the customized Nook Settings. Now it is important to note that you do have access to traditional Android settings too.
Nook settings allows you to control the way all of the dedicated Nooks apps behave. You can download alternative dictionaries and make them your default. Right now there is only six, but I was told more are on the way.
You can also control the way the magazine and eBook reading apps function. Cool options include turning off animated page turns, or two page layout in landscape. This is also where you can associate your Ultraviolet account with Nook Video to get the digital copies of the movies you buy from retail stores.
Good e-Reader has reviewed every single tablet Barnes and Noble has ever released, from the Nook Color to the Nook HD. This tablet is a step in the right direction. It gives you a unique e-reading experience and allows a deep level of customization.
I like the fact you can opt into dealing with Barnes and Noble, but aren’t exclusively roped into it. Google Play allows you to basically downloading any 3rd party reading app, Overdrive Media Console, Amazon Kindle, Kobo or thousands of others.
Reading digital books is impressive
Tons of unique Nook Apps
Allows you to download any app you want from Google
Live Wallpapers and Widgets
Setup involved a Google, Samsung and Nook account.
Speaker quality is not the greatest
No Barnes and Noble branding on the hardware
The second generation Icarus Illumina HD offers the ability for users to install their own e-reading apps. It also has its own built in eBook app and this allows you to load in your own books you have purchased from another store, borrowed from the library or simply downloaded from the internet. Today, I will show you how to use Adobe Digital Editions, Calibre and Windows Explorer. Along the way, you will get some bonus knowledge on how to add in your own book cover or even change the authors name.
The Kobo Aura H2O e-reader is coming out this fall and sometimes you want to load in your own PDF files, CBZ comics or ePubs you bought online. In this video tutorial you will learn how to load them onto your H2O using Adobe Digital Editions, Calibre and Windows Explorer.
Calibre is a free download and is used primarily not not only copy PDF or ePub files to your Aura, but also to edit them. If you are copying backs that do not have DRM, you can easily swap out the cover art or edit the authors name. Editing the metadata allows for more flexible control over the way the book is found in your library or searched.
Adobe Digital Editions is also a free download and is mainly used to copy books to your H2O that you purchased from another online bookstore or books you borrowed from the library.
Widows Explorer is the most commonly used way to copy and paste books to your Aura H20, but offers the least amount of flexibility. Still, you can get a sense of the internal directory structure.
Pocketbook has been pumping out e-readers in 2014, like nobodies business. The company has released the Aqua, Ultra, InkPad and has been showing off the Mobius enabled CAD reader at various tradeshows. Pocketbook has announced that at the upcoming IFA tech event in Germany, they have a bevy of new products such as ereaders and tablets.
Pocketbook intends on marketing a new e-reader to the fashionistas of the world. It was exclusively designed in cooperation with an internationally renowned fashion and design house. In addition, they intend on releasing a complete line of stylish accessories. The new e-reader is equipped with a e-Ink Pearl screen with a light sensor for automatic front light adjustment.
When you think of Pocketbook, you will likely think of e-readers. They actually been selling tablets for over four years, but often have been lowend garbage. They intend on remedying this situation releasing some very high performance hardware. All three tablets will pack a octa-core processor. There is no word yet on screen sizes, but they will all have 3G internet access, in addition dual band WIFI.
Over the course of the next few weeks we should get an indication on the full list of specs and naming conventions for their new products. Stay tuned to Good e-Reader for all the latest Pocketbook news.