Waterproof E-Readers: A Comparison

Waterproof E-Readers: A Comparison

Since the introduction of the 2nd Gen Kindle Oasis, all the major eBook suppliers are now offering fully waterproof e-readers. It was only a matter of time before e-readers made the technological H20 leap, following in the footsteps of the smartphone.

In some senses, the need for a waterproof e-reader is more useful than a phone. After all, reading or using betting apps at the beach or in the bath is a common occurrence and has often lead to the demise of many a device.

Now that the technology is out there, we can finally take a look at how the various waterproof readers stack up. In this article, we are going to look at four devices including the 2017 Kindle Oasis, the Kobo Aura H20 Edition 2 (2017), the Kobo Aura One and the Nook GlowLight Plus 2015 edition.

In terms of water resistance, all but one come with an IPX8 rating. It is only the Nook GlowLight that has an IPX7 rating.

Waterproof E-Readers: A Comparison

IPX Rating

If you are not familiar with the IPX rating system, an IPX8 rating means that the device can be submerged in 2 meters of fresh water for up to 60 min. An IPX7 rating is capable of withstanding 1m of fresh water immersion for up to 30m. Both ratings are designed to protect your device for typical situations where reader might find itself in a bit of trouble.

For instance, if you drop your kindle in the bath, the sink, an ice bucket or even the toilet, you can simply fish it out, wash it off and carry on reading. Similarly, if you take it to the beach or lake and the tide comes in, you can rescue your device, wash it off it will be absolutely fine, as long as it has been submerged for less than 30 min.

Screen Size

As you can see an IPX7 rating is more than you would need in the average situation. Now let’s take a look the other e-reader specs. In terms of screen size, the Kobo One Aura has the largest display at 7.8 Inches. The Kindle has a 7” display while the Kobo H20 has a 6.8” display.

The Nook comes in smallest with a 6” display. All the e-readers with the exception of the Kobo Aura H20 come with a 300ppi pixel density. The Kobo H20 has a 256ppi pixel density level which is a little disappointing.


In terms of weight, the Kindle Oasis 2 is actually the lightest at 194g with the Nook coming in just above at 195g. This is impressive considering the Kindle is much larger than the Nook. The Kindle also impresses when it comes to storage.

While the others all come with 8GB and 4GB of storage, the Kindle Oasis 2 can be bought with 32GB of storage.

Audio Capabilities

The 2017 Kindle Oasis 2 is also the only waterproof e-reader capable of playing audio files. So, if you are keen on listening to audio books directly from your e-reader, the Kindle is a good way to go.

While the device does not have a built-in speaker, it does have a Bluetooth nodule which connects to your smartphone, Bluetooth speaker or wireless headphones. The Kindle supports Audible audio books where you can seamlessly switch between reading and listening with Amazon’s Whispersync technology.