Thursday, 5 September 2019

Kobo Libra H2O offers a lot of value

Kobo updated the Kobo Aura H2O (Edition 2). The updated model is now known as the Kobo Libra H2O and keeps the same price as the previous generation (£150). The new model gets significant upgrades and offers more for the same price. Below is a summary of the device's features and updates:
  • The screen resolution is bumped up to from 265 PPI to 300 PPI. The screen size also receives a slight increase from 6.8-inches to 7-inches.
  • Unlike the Forma, the Libra H2O has no Mobius screen technology. Hence the weight of the Kobo Libra H2O, despite the smaller screen size, is about the same as the Forma (the Libra weighs 192 grams and the Forma, in comparison, weighs 197 grams). 
  • One downgrade is battery capacity. The previous generation (Aura H2O Edition 2) has a 1500mAh capacity. In comparison, the Libra H2O has a 1200mAh capacity. The battery downgrade may be due to the slimmer form factor. To substantiate, the Forma has a similar a-symmetrical slim design and similarly has a 1200mAh capacity. 
  • It is not clear if the front-light gets extra LEDs. The updated model, like the previous generation, supports Kobo’s ComfortLight PRO. 
  • Like the Forma, the Libra H2O gets the same a-symmetrical design and physical page turn buttons. The only difference in design is the Libera H2O’s lack of a flush screen, and this could be a negative for some users. Maybe the absence of a flush screen is a cost-saving decision by Kobo? 
  • Unfortunately, we get the same outdated Freescale/NXP IMX6 Solo Lite 1 GHZ Processor used on the Aura H2O (Edition 2). I didn’t think Kobo would upgrade the processor considering the Forma’s processor is the same IMX6 Solo Lite. 
  • Storage and RAM remain the same as the previous generation. 
  • The Libra H2O is available in white and black. I think this is the first time that Kobo offers two colour options.
As stated, these changes make the Libra H2O very attractive. It costs a lot less than the Oasis 3 and supports many of its hardware features - the same screen size, same 300 PPI Carta screen, physical page turn buttons, waterproofing, warm lighting and autorotation. For the reader that wants to read e-books primarily then the Kobo Libra H2O, on paper, is the best value e-reader. The 7-inches form factor is ideal for one-handed reading, and the extra screen estate also means many PDF documents can still be read using KOReader.

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