Friday 16 October 2015

Can Kobo convert me to an eReader?

I'm a bit behind the times, you can call me old fashioned but I don't mind. I have been resisting the lure of an eReader in favour of keeping my paperback books. I love the fact I can walk out of a charity shop with a bag of 5 books, all picked up for under a fiver. Second hand is my thing and it always feels like a real bargain.

What I don't love is the mountain of books that take over my house, waiting to be read. I'm very good, once a book is read it gets passed straight back to a charity shop but I do confess to have a whole big wicker hamper full of books waiting to be read. This could be a thing of the past though as I now have a Kobo Aura H20 eReader and it comes with 4gb of memory built in and the option to use a Micro SD card to boost it to 32gb, that would literally take thousands of books. 

This is a massive lure for me. it means that when I finally get that Caribbean holiday to just sit in the sun all day and read, I'll be able to take a book a day on my Kobo without it being any kind of issue for me. Far from the days when I used to have to plan my book stash into my luggage as it took up too much space and weight!

Talking of holidays the eReader that I was sent is just perfect as the Kobo Aura H20 is IP67 certified, which means it is waterproof for up to 30 minutes in 1 metre of water with the port cover closed. Perfect for by the pool, on a lilo, on a sun-drenched beach (because it is dust and glare proof too) or the one I have been using it for - in the bath!

Although my Kobo Aura H20 has been out and about with me a lot too and considering I do not have a cover for it, it is keeping well. There are no scratches and it still looks as good as new and as I mentioned it is very impressive that you can read the screen in any light. My husband describes it as being greaseproof paper like and I suppose he is right, it does look a little like that but all I can tell you is it makes for a really easy reading experience and I am finding it super enjoyable. This is currently one of my favourite spots for reading, on the wall enjoying the fresh air at my home.

I'll be honest and say that I wasn't overly familiar with the Kobo brand and I did worry that there might not be enough books available in the right format that I would enjoy.  I had to laugh when I took a good look round the Kobo eBooks store as there are in excess of four million and that will last me more than a lifetime! Also as soon as I saw that John Lewis sells Kobo eReaders I knew they would be good as I know from experience they only choose to stock the best products.

The Kobo Aura H20 retails for £139.99 and my son asked me why on earth I would invest in that when I could just download an app for my tablet but having had my eReader for a couple of weeks I can really see why it is worth investing in a dedicated eReader. Firstly I don't want the app or all the books that I download using up my tablet memory and secondly, I don't want to be disturbed by notifications arriving for an email or thinking to myself I'll just check FaceBook. I really value that my eReader is just for me to chill out and enjoy reading.

I was also very impressed to find that I could purchase a bible to have on my eReader and this means one less bulky book to have to carry to group or church with me and there are some super priced but excellent books available if you take the time to search them out. I was over the moon to find some Max Lucado books for just 49p and 99p. You can't buy them second-hand for that price and they are the sort of books that I store and read time and time again but now I do not need a physical bookcase to hold them all - result! 

I've also found it is worth having a look at the eBooks site every few days as there are so many books that you can download free of charge for a limited period and the email newsletter alerts you to many great deals as well. My son was chuffed with up to 70% off teen fiction the other day.

With a weight of just 233g the Kobo Aura H20 really is completely portable and realistic for carrying with you. The spacious 6.8" touchscreen with upgraded Carta E Ink technology – the first of its kind with these display dimensions – offers the closest experience to print-on-paper, showcasing text and high-resolution images beautifully. Also, as I've already mentioned it also has anti-glare displays for easy reading in sunlight and built-in front light technology for reading with ease day or night. 

The device’s fast 1GHz processor means page turns are super quick and my chosen books downloaded in no time at all. I honestly can't name anything that has not impressed me with my Kobo Aura H20, it was intuitive and easy to set-up without a manual, once I had loaded my credit card details (or used paypal on a laptop) I was able to download my books and the battery is beyond my wildest dreams. It lasts up to two months!  Seriously, I just can't believe that, but my eReader can fully charged and the battery light has literally not dipped in the two weeks it has been here with me.

I could continue to wax lyrical about my Kobo eReader but I think by now you have the picture. I love it, I read every night before I drop off to sleep and in contrast to using my tablet there is no eye strain with the Kobo. It is truly just like reading a printed book and as I can adjust the brightness, light and even text sizes and font to suit my own person needs then it really is perfect.

Thanks so much Kobo I know I'll be using this for many years to come.

23/11/2016 Update - I've been using my Kobo non-stop since it arrived and I love it. It still looks perfect, it holds its charge and it works a treat. The adjustable lighting levels were perfect when I took it on holiday and shared a room with my girls and they needed to sleep and I didn't. There is a massive selection of books available and I often manage to bag some for nothing and others for 99p and these are really decent books, so at those prices they are even better than the charity shop.

Disclosure: I received the Kobo eReader free of charge for the purpose of this review. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.