Tag Archives: E ink

Convenient reading on a large screen: Kobo Aura One ereader comes with a 7.8 display

2016-08-22

It seems that we are not the only ones who have been wondering why the majority of ereaders are six inches in size. A compact device has its advantages, but when it is time to do some serious reading, we prefer larger screens. Kobo has introduced the Aura One ereader that maybe the answer to our hopes – and makes many ebook lovers to think twice before investing in the Kindle Oasis ereader.
kobo aura one ereader
The highlight of the Kobo Aura One ereader is its screen: it is 7.8 inches in size. That’s about the same screen size as the iPad Mini tablet, and larger than entry-level 7-inch tablets have.

The list price of the Aura One is $230 which means it priced lower than the Kindle Oasis. The Oasis, however, only has the standard six-inch E ink screen. Amazon pushes ads to Kindle ereaders that you can prevent by paying a little extra. Kobo doesn’t push ads to its ereaders.

Another highlight of the Aura One is that you can take it to a bath or swimming pool without having to worry about water, or sand on the beach. The device is waterproof.

The ereader can wirelessly connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi and it comes with a touch screen. It also has a front light that is a big help when reading in a dark nook or late at night in bed.

The product is available at Kobo’s online store for $230.

Here is a hands-on video of the Kobo Aura One:

Kobo Aura One key specifications

– 7.8-inch E Ink touchscreen, 1872 x 1404 resolution, 300 dpi
– Front light for reading in places with inadequate light. ComfortLight PRO technology that reduces blue light exposure.
– 8 GB on-board memory. Storage for up to 6,000 ebooks.
– 11 fonts and over 50 font styles. Font weight and sharpness settings.
– 14 file formats supported: EPUB, EPUB3, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ, CBR.
– Access to public libraries that use Overdrive ebook library system.
– Wi Fi 802.11 b/g/n.
– Micro USB port.
– Battery life up to 1 month.
– Built-in device languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Brazilian, Portuguese, Japanese, Turkish.
– Weight 230 gr.
– Dimensions 195 x 138.5 x 6.9 mm.
kobo aura one ereader by a pool

If you read a lot on your smartphone, you might want to consider a dual screen phone

2016-05-27

People who read plenty of ebooks often like to have a dedicated ereader device, like a Kindle, Kobo, Sony, or Tolino for reading. The reason for this is the greyscale E ink screen that doesn’t flicker and consumes very little energy. The downside is that you have to carry a smartphone or a tablet as well, because an ereader doesn’t let you do anything else but read. But what if you had a smartphone with two screens: an LCD for ordinary tasks and an E ink display for ebooks? You would get all the features of a smartphone plus an E ink screen for reading?

These kind of products exist. You may not find one at your local electronics store, but at the moment it is possible to choose from (at least) two models: the Yota Phone and the Siam 7x.
yotaphone, dual screen smartphone

YotaPhone

The YotaPhone comes with 5-inch color screen on one side and an 4.7-inch greyscale screen on the other side of the phone. YotaPhone is a pioneer of dual screen smartphones. The current model is the company’s 2nd generation product, and the 3rd generation dual screen smartphone is in the works.

In Europe, the YotaPhone is priced at 299 euros, but it is available at the manufacturer’s online store to other parts of the world as well.

4.7-inch always-on 16-level greyscale screen: 960×540 resolution, 235 ppi, full capacitive touch
5-inch color screen (AMOLED) : Full HD 1920×1080, 442ppi
Android™ 4.4 operating system
Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 801 2.2 GHz quad-core
Reading with Yota Reader (3G): up to 109.3 hours
2GB RAM
32GB eMMC
Main camera: 8 megapixels
Front camera: 2.1 megapixels
2500mAh lithium-polymer battery
3.5mm headphone connector
FM radio
GSM/EGPRS 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
WCDMA, DC HSDPA (rel. 8, cat. 24)
HSUPA (rel. 7, cat 7) bands 1 (diversity), 2, 5 and 8
LTE (rel. 9, cat 4) bands 3, 7 and 20
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
MicroUSB 2.0
Bluetooth 4.0
NFC
A-GPS + GLONASS
Nano-SIM
Dimensions 144.9 x 69.4 x 8.95 mm

siam 7x, dual screen smartphone

Siam 7x

The Siam 7x is a 5-inch smartphone on one side, and a 4.7-inch e-ink ereader on the other side. Despite it comes with two screens, the phone is extremely slim (8.9 mm / 0.35 inches). In addition dual screens, the Siam has dual SIM card slots.

The product is priced at $550, but Cnet’s reviewer didn’t find find the Siam 7x worth the money because of problems with its ereading features.

Here is a video that shows how to use the Siam 7x dual screen phone:


(video via the-ebook-reader.com)

If you read PDF ebooks, you may want to try out this Onyx ereader

2016-05-16

Practically all new ebooks are being published in EPUB and Kindle formats so that they are easily accessible on all tablets, ereaders, smartphones and computers (independent of their screen size). A number of books published years ago in print may only be available in PDF format, and the PDF file format was never designed with small screens in mind (it is simply a replica of a printed page). That’s why reading an PDF ebook or document can be frustrating on a small-screen ereader. So, a larger screen is required for PDF, and that’s what Onyx ereader is delivering.
onyx boox max ereader, landscape
The Onyx Boox Max comes with a 13.3-inch E ink screen which makes it a good choice for anyone who is reading textbooks and other non-fiction books in PDF format.

The Boox Max has a feature that is rarely included in ereaders: you can write on the screen. A stylus is attached to the side panel, and using that stylus it is possible to write on the screen.

There definitely is a large group of people who need a 13.3-inch ereader, but it is not for everyone. The device doesn’t fit into a small bag or purse, but you have to have something where you can carry it. For instance, would I take this ereader on a trip to Budapest? Probably not, I would take a 10 inch tablet and a smartphone. The current price for the Onyx Boox Max is $650, which means it has to compete against 12-inch tablets in price.

Having said that, an ereader with large screen would be nice to have in the office and at home.

Here is a video recorded by Armdevices.net where the Onyx Boox Max is demonstrated. It is a five minute video, but the 13.3 ereader is shown right in the beginning and after four minutes.

Onyx Boox Max key features and technical specifications

onyx boox max ereader
13.3 inch screen with 16 shades of grey, 1600×1200 resolution.
Flexible screen with handwriting input.
Full-screen touch with stylus, support handwriting and annotation.
Android 4.0, possibility to download additional applications.
CPU: Cortex-A9 1G Hz.
RAM: 1G LPDDR2
Storage space 16GB.
Memory card: Micro SD (up to 32Gb)
3.5mm connector for headphones.
Microphone.
Micro USB 2.0
WIFI 802.11b/g
Bluetooth 4.0
Ebook formats: PDF, TXT, HTML, EPUB, CHM, PDB, MOBIPOCKET (Non-DRM), FB2, DJVU
Displays JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP images.
Plays MP3, WAV audio files.
Dimensions 325 x 237 x 7.5mm.
Weigth around 550g.
Operating Temperature 0°C- 50°C.
Battery 4100mAh LI-ION Polymer.
Standby battery around 4 weeks.
Charging takes about 3 hours.

Amazon Kindle Oasis reassures ebook lovers that ereaders are here to stay

2016-04-16

Many people don’t remember (or don’t want to remember) how much the original Kindle ereader cost when it was introduced in 2007. It was priced at $400 (and strangely, it had a keypad). Nonetheless, it was popular because Amazon had created a perfect system for shopping and downloading ebooks to the Kindle. Since then, ereader prices have fallen, and a fine Kindle ereader costs less than $100 today. Amazon’s 2016 ereader model Kindle Oasis is priced at $290, and we have to ask why? What is the point?
amazon kindle oasis ereader with cover
Everyone who reads ebooks knows that tablets and ereaders are the best devices for reading. Many people prefer tablets, because they have color screens and let you do many other things, like email and web browsing as well. Others prefer grey-scale ereaders exactly for the opposite reasons: you can’t do anything else but read and you focus on the text because lack of colors don’t make images shine on the screen.

We have always argued that heavy readers – people who really read a lot, several books a month – are the most likely users of dedicated ereader devices. Occasional readers, and people who read a book or two in a month favor tablets (and perhaps increasingly, large screen smartphones).

Even if you are an avid reader, why would you read your ebooks on the Kindle Oasis instead of, say, Kindle Paperwhite that costs significantly less and has more or less the same features and provides the same reading experience than the Oasis? What is the key difference between the Oasis and the previous Kindle models? Is there a compelling reason to buy the Oasis instead of the Paperwhite?
amazon kindle oasis, side view
The Oasis is somewhat thinner and it has longer battery life than the previous Kindle devices. The Oasis also comes with a stylish cover that charges the ereader battery. That’s about it.

Because new hardware, software or service features don’t explain the price difference between the Oasis and the older models, it comes down to the strategy. Amazon has created a product range called Kindle. It has multiple products. Each product must be positioned as low end, high end or something in between. A product range should always have a flagship product even if it doesn’t sell well. Customers can choose the flagship product or a lower priced product, but they always get the brand name they wanted.

The Ebook Reader blog has created a nice comparison video of the Kindle Oasis and Paperwhite version 3 ereaders. Take a look:

Key features and technical specifications of the Kindle Oasis ereader

– 6-inch Paperwhite display (E Ink Carta). Touch screen, backlight, 300 ppi pixel density, 16-level grayscale.
– Wi-Fi connectivity: 802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11n standard with WEP, WPA and WPA2 security.
– Optional 3G mobile network connectivity.
– Storage space for ebooks 4 GB, and free cloud storage for all Amazon content.
– Dedicated buttons for turning pages.
– Charges in less than 3 hours from a computer via USB cable.
– Content formats: Kindle Format 8 (AZW3), Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML, DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG.
– Size: 5.6 x 4.8 x 0.13-0.33 inches / 143 x 122 x 3.4-8.5 mm.
– Cover size: 5.7 x 4.9 x 0.07-0.18 inches / 144 x 125 x 1.9-4.6 mm.
– Weight: 4.7 oz (133 g); Cover: 3.8 oz (107 g).

Traveling light, but loaded with books thanks to a small and affordable ereader

2015-01-04

Every traveler has to make decisions on what to carry with him or her on a trip. Electronic devices tend to be small, whereas books tend to take space and can be heavy. Yet, if I think about all the gadgets I’d like to pack with me on a trip – cameras, a tablet, phones, a laptop, an ereader and chargers for everyone of them – something usually has to go. Any lighter and smaller products that can help space are always welcome.
energy ereader e4 mini front
Energy Ereader E4 Mini is one of the smallest and budget-friendliest ereaders I have discovered so far.

The E4 Mini has 4.3-inch E ink screen in 600×800 resolution that can display 16 scales of gray. EPUB, PDF, TXT, HTML, RTF and MOBI ebooks can be opened in this tiny ereader. Thousands of ebooks can be stored on a microSD memory card.

That’s it, there is no wireless connectivity, touch screen or any other advanced features, because the price at the vendor’s online store is only 37 euros (about USD 42).
Energy Ereader E4 Mini
Why carry an ereader on a trip if you already have a smartphone or tablet that you can use for reading? Battery life. Ereaders, and especially the Energy E4 Mini, are simple devices that don’t consume power like tablets and smartphones do. Less functionality, less power, less cost.

The screen in the E4 Mini is about the same size as many phone screens (or even smaller), but if the ereader’s battery lasts up to a month, and you have several years worth of books on the device, the investment is worth considering.

Energy has larger and more advanced ereaders in their product range. For instance, Energy Ereader Pro comes with touch screen, wireless connectivity, and backlight. The screen size is 6 inches in 758 × 1024 resolution.
The Pro model is priced at 119 euros (about USD 136) at the vendor’s online store.
energy ereader pro front