Kobo’s latest premium eReader looks… a lot like Amazon’s top-of-the-line eReader. Like the Amazon Kindle Oasis, the new Kobo Libra H20 has an illuminated 7 inch E Ink display with adjustable color temperature. And like the Oasis, this is a waterproof eReader with a lopsided design (there are page turn buttons on one side.
But there are a few key things that set Kobo’s new device apart from Amazon’s Kindle Oasis, and the biggest may be price.
Amazon charges $250 and up for an Oasis, while the Kobo Libra H20 will sell for $170 when it hits the streets later this month. And you don’t have to pay extra to remove ads from the lock screen, since Kobo’s devices don’t have them in the first place.
Another difference is a little less impressive: Amazon’s high-end Kindle devices have screens that sit flush with the bezels, while the Kobo Libra H20’s display is recessed. In my experience, that allows dust and other debris to get trapped between the bezels and the display.
Here’s a run-down of the specs for the Kobo Libra H20:
- 7 inch, 1680 x 1264 pixel E Ink Carta display
- ComfortLight Pro with adjustable color temperature
- 8GB of built-in storage
- IPX8 waterproofing (up to 2 meters of water for up to 60 minutes)
- 802.11b/g/n WiFi
- 6.3″ x 5.7″ x 0.3″
- 6.8 ounces
Like most devices with E Ink displays, it has battery life that’s measured in weeks rather than hours, despite having just a 1,200 mAh battery. The Libra H20 has a micro USB port for charging, which is dated, but which should work, but which may make it a bit tougher to share a charger with your other devices if your phone, tablet, and laptop have USB-C chargers.
The Kobo Libra H20 goes up for pre-order September 10th and ships starting September 17th.