Good e-Reader has exclusively learned that the Kobo Aura H2O e-reader will be available in Japan in the next few days. It is going to be available to purchase at the Rakuten Kobo Store, Sofmap, Bic Camera and a number of retail shops for 19,980 yen.
The Kobo Aura H2O features a 6.8 inch e-ink Carta touchscreen display with a resolution of 1430×1080. Carta Imaging Film offers a 50% improvement in contrast ratio over previous generation of e-Paper displays. This allows for faster page turns and the ability to turn pages in a digital book, without the need of constant screen refreshes.
One of the main benefits of the H2O e-Reader is the ability to enjoy eBooks, graphic novels or newspapers in lowlight conditions or complete darkness. Unlike a smartphone or tablet that has an LCD screen that emits light from behind a layer of film, the H2O has five LED lights on the bottom of the bezel. It shines upwards, insuring even light distribution and makes it easier to devour books without eye strain.
Kobo has managed to attain the prestigious IP67 certification for their first waterproof device. It will basically allow users to have the e-Reader completely submerged in five meters of water for an hour, with the MicroUSB and MiscroSD ports closed. This makes the H2O the most complete, well-rounded device the market and eliminates the need to send off your reader to a third party and pay over $60 for them to waterproof it for you. During underwater tests I found that even completely submerged in water, you can still turn pages and access the core functionality.
The H2O e-reader will officially be available in Japan on February 19th 2015. If you buy it directly from the Rakuten Kobo Store, you will get five times the Super Points on your loyalty card.
Do you live in Japan and want to be one of the first ones to buy it? Here is the full list of locations selling the H2O. The e-reader will sold online at Rakuten Kobo e-book store, EDION, Kojima, Joshin Denki, Sofmap, Bic Camera online. It will be available on the retail level at Bic (Ikebukuro, Ikebukuro PC Museum, Lazona Kawasaki shop, Shibuya east exit shop, Shinjuku Nishiguchi shop, Bikkuro Bic Camera Shinjuku East Exit Store, Tachikawa, Nagoya Station Nishi-ten, Namba shop, Yurakucho), and the main building at Sofmap Akihabara.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.