*Steve Makris is a technology expert who does a weekly Tech Talk segment during Edmonton’s Sunday Morning News. You can watch his segment above.
Originally Canadian Kobo, a globally known eReading company in 190 countries, launched the world’s first waterproof Kobo Aura H2O eReader. It was shown at IFA Berlin 2014 and I brought one to my Tech Talk segment.
Kobo aura H2O has good looks and is waterproof suplied
Kobo aura H2O has good looks and is waterproof
So it’s good for one metre under water for 30 minutes. But don’t expect to be reading underwater as the sharp 265 dpi, large 6.8” antiglare touchscreen with upgraded Carta E Ink technology doesn’t take to touching much wet, even if it keeps dry inside.
Still, a worry-free IP67 certified eReader (comes with wipe cloth) that features ComfortLight backlight technology for dark anywhere. The battery is good for up to two months of reading and you can expand the built-in 4 GB (about 3,000 books) memory with a micro-SD slot to beyond 30,000 books.
It’s a WiFi capable go-anywhere mobile library.
“We found that more than 60 per cent of customers surveyed said they would love to be able read near water without worry,” said Michael Tamblyn, president and Chief Content Officer of Kobo.
What impressed me is the clarity, sharpness and minimum lag when “turning” pages, essentially a finger sweep, as there are no buttons other than a sleep/power button. A special water seal access on the side for your micro USB charge port and microSD memory expansion keeps the H2O minimalist with a hint of subtle angular design on the back, feel-good matte finish.
Kobo Aura H2O has 10 fonts which were fine-tuned pixel-by-pixel to display each letter with noticeable crispness and clarity. It has 24 font sizes, with adjustable font sharpness and weight setting, read the way you want.
The Kobo Aura H2O also makes for easy discovery of new titles, with on-device recommendations based on readers’ activity and preferences. Take notes, highlight text, make bookmarks and track stats to learn more about their own reading habits with Reading Life. Readers can even share favourite passages, quotes and books to 广州桑拿论坛 Timeline. Available in Canada or online for $179.99 CAD starting October 1.
A Headset on steroids
The new Plantronics wireless, noise cancelling BackBeat Pro, is a must have for audiophiles and fans of cool technology.
Taking them off your ears, even just a bit, pauses the music and resumes when you fit the comfortable form fitting headset back. Like magic.
You can hear your surroundings while listening to music with an adjustable large ring on the side. Nice.
One charge via included USB cable is good for 24 hours of pristine music listening while noise cancelling mode alone works for 60 hours.
You can run the BackBeat Pro without power, minus the cool features above, by attaching the included audio cable with phone mic control. The large turn and clickable ring/disks on either side of the phones are easy to get to, instead of trying to fine small controls in competitor models.
The streaming Bluetooth 4 Class 1 capable music is as good as WiFi streaming, good to 100 metres if your music device has the same capability.
The status alerts for battery, volume limit and more come in 14 languages.
How good is the noise cancelling? It is virtually dead quiet in everyday home and workplace surroundings, but on airplanes. I tried them on small noisy turboprops and high-flying jets – they won’t replace the King-of-the-hill Bose around-the-ear QC noise cancelling headsets but are easily on of top of other competitors.
In balance, this do-it-all headset with useful cutting edge features is a bargain at about $260, coming soon to Canada.
Plantronics takes criticism in stride promising better ideas with new models.
“We are a conservative company but do our homework,” said Plantronics Consumer Product Manager Greg Miller.
Indeed they do.