Kobo Libra H2O review: the best ebook reader on the market?

Kobo Libra H2O brought me back to ebook readers. Not because I'm stubbornly attached to paper, but because I've been reading a lot about my dear old - and virtually indestructible - iPad in recent years. Putting my habits aside, however, I rediscovered the advantages of eReaders and, above all, of the newcomer to the house Rakuten. We talk about it in this review.

Comfort first of all

Kobo Libra H2O is not very different from that Kobo Forma that passed through the editorial office at the beginning of the year: the same deliberately asymmetrical form factor, physical buttons on the handle ed microUSB input for charging. A rather questionable choice considering the rapid spread of the more performing Type-C. What are different are the position of the power button, now located on the back, and the 8-inch display on the Kobo Forma and 7 inches on this Libra H2O. The technology is always the same: an e-ink that guarantees very low consumption and excellent overall yield.

I forgot: Kobo Libra H2O is touch. This means that yes, you can browse the pages using the two physical buttons, but nothing prevents you from using your fingers to do so, fingers that you will need to enter the settings, buy books, adjust the brightness and so on.

Rather similar to Kobo Forma also weight and size. Only 192 grams for a device of 144 x 159 x 5 (7,8 at the handle) mm.

And the materials? Kobo Libra H2O is present a plastic shell that becomes rubberized and perforated on the back. Do not forget the HzO protection, a coating that guarantees this ebook reader the IPX8 certification, that is the water resistance for diving up to 2 meters and for a maximum of 60 minutes.

In everyday life all these characteristics are translated into one simple word: comfort. In fact, the device is extremely comfortable in the hand, it is not heavy at all and can be used in any situation: standing on public transport, sitting in an airplane, lying on the bed or by the pool while sunbathing. In short, you have practically no excuses for not reading.

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Kobo Libra H2O review: a difficult relationship

I don't want to dwell too much on the hardware of this Kobo Libra H2O because basically it is very similar to that seen on previous models: 6GHz NXP i.MX 1SLL processor, 512 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal memory to carry thousands of ebooks with you. The battery is also not a big news: with its 1200 mAh this eRader guarantees about a month of use.

Change the reading interface instead, magazine just for the launch of the new product. The new UI significantly improves the reading experience on kepubs, that is, on ebooks that take advantage of the native format of Kobo. It is now easier to move from point to point, quickly flip through the entire book, and take advantage of automatic rotation that optimizes the text perfectly. Then you have the statistics that help you understand at what point you are in reading the entire volume and the single chapter, with an estimate of the time it takes to finish both.

All this changes with ePubs. The relationship with this format is certainly less idyllic: there are slowdowns, there is a lack of functionality and underlining something is a feat for a select few and patients. It is difficult to understand if it is a sensational oversight or a conscious choice, dictated by the desire to encourage the purchase of books on the Kobo Store. Don't panic anyway: just a conversion software - like the popular one caliber - to transform your ePubs into kePubs and thus solve most of your problems.

A few words also on PDF and comics. The former, once the device is rotated vertically, are broken up to allow you to read without zoom. A useful function especially for university students who want to read or study on this medium; the seconds - downloaded directly from the official store - are clearly legible and easily zoomable but of course the operation is not instantaneous as on a classic LCD display. In short, be prepared for a few milliseconds of waiting for the rendering.

A welcome return and a highly appreciated functionality

Come back - fortunately - the ComfortLight Pro lighting system, which uses yellow and white LEDs to change the temperature of the backlight according to the time. This means that towards evening we will have warmer tones, so from protect your eyes and improve sleep quality. Obviously, nothing prevents you from manually acting on both the intensity and the temperature of the light but I admit I have done it in very few occasions: the Auto mode is in fact almost always flawless.

The My Articles screen based on Pocket integration

Finally, I cannot fail to mention integration with Pocket, the service that allows you to save all those online articles that you don't have time to read right away. I, who have been abusing the service for years, have found it to be a real convenience. In seconds you can download months of unread insights to Kobo Libra H2O to enjoy over a cup of tea or sitting comfortably on the train, just like you would with a good book.

Kobo Libra H2O review: buy it or not?

Kobo Libra H2O has all the typical features of the top of the range: there are physical keys to change the page, we have an excellent e-ink display, we can take advantage of the excellent lighting system and in addition we have integration with Pocket. All this a 179 € against the 279,99 required for Kobo Forma and the 249,99 required by Amazon for the Kindle Oasis. Of course, there are some flaws, but nothing that affects the excellent use and reading experience.

Kobo Libra H2O

For Kobo Libra H2O review: the best ebook reader on the market?
  • Excellent build quality
  • Top display and lighting system
  • Improved interface
  • Pocket integration
  • Super competitive price
Cons Kobo Libra H2O review: the best ebook reader on the market?
  • Some problems with ePubs
  • MicroUSB input obsolete
Tagsebook reader kobo kobo libra h2o review Kobo Libra H2O review: the best ebook reader on the market?
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