Kobo has just announced the new Libra H2O e-reader and it will be available in a week or two. This device has the same asymmetrical design as the Kobo Forma, but this one is going to retail for 169 in the US and $199 in Canada. The big selling points are the manual page turn buttons, the waterproof nature and the color options; black and white.
The Libra features a 7 inch E Ink Carta HD display with a resolution of 1,680 x 1,264 and 300 PPI. The Forma has a 7.8 inch screen. It has a front-light and color temperature system to read in the dark. These come from the 19 LED lights on the bottom of the screen, that project light upwards, evenly distributing it, there are no light splotches.
Underneath the hood is a Freescale Solo Lite 1GHZ processor, 8GB of internal storage and 512 MB of RAM. It is powered by a 1,200 mAh battery that should provide you’re standard weeks on a single charge. Rakuten says its HZO Protection gives the Kobo Libra H2O water resistance to the IPX8 rating, with endurance of up to 60 minutes in 2 meters of water.
There are some new e-reading features launching with the Libra and it also has Pocket and Overdrive. Users in many different countries can attach a library card to their Kobo account and browse their local branches selection, borrow and read right on the device.
The Libra is very compelling for people who have older devices. Will you buy this device?
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.