Not too long ago I posted about an interesting-looking E Ink ebook reader out of Europe called the Onyx Boox i62. Shortly after that a video of a similar Onyx Boox ereader with a lighted screen turned up on a Chinese website.
Now the two have been combined together to create the Onyx Boox i62HD Firefly. The Firefly (that’s the coolest name for a lighted ebook reader yet) is available for pre-order from Ereader Store for 170 euros and is expected to be released on October 19th.
The folks at Ereader Store are going to lend me one to review so stay tuned for more details. I mostly stick to reviewing US models but the i62HD Firefly is loaded with features and I recently reviewed the Icarus Excel, which was a rebranded Onyx M92, and was very impressed with Onyx’s software, so I look forward to testing this one out.
The Onyx Firefly has a 6-inch E Ink screen that uses the newer HD Pearl displays with a pixel resolution of 1024 x 758. It has a touchscreen that uses infrared touch and supports multi-touch.
There isn’t any technical information about how the new lighted screen works, but it’s safe to assume the technology is similar to other front light-equipped ebook readers like the GlowLight Nook and Kobo Glo.
The i62HD Firefly comes with WiFi, 8GB of storage space, a microSD card slot (a 16GB card is included), a 3.5mm headphone jack, a cover, and a USB charger. It runs on an 800MHz Freescale processor and has 128 MB of RAM.
Other features include text-to-speech, a web browser, audio player, multiple language support, integrated dictionary, widgets, and it supports a ton of formats: Adobe DRM, EPUB, PDF, TXT, HTML, MOBI, FB2, DOC, CHM, PDB, DJVU, TCR, CBR, CBZ, JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP, TIFF, MP3, and WAV.
There’s a video of a lighted Onyx ereader over on the description page for the i62HD Firefly. It’s called the i62M Aurora in the video but it’s probably mostly the same as the Firefly; the Russian versions often go by different names. Here’s a look…
For anyone who is interested in the larger, 9.7″ M92 Onyx reader that Nathan reviewed (the actual Onyx brand version that comes with a leather case and other goodies), there is an eBay store that is selling them here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/BLACK-Onyx-Boox-M92-92-Ebook-Reader-Ebook-Bebook-Ereader-Eink-Pearl-Display-/120946532540?pt=US_Tablets&hash=item1c28f9a0bc
I sent the seller a message a couple of months ago and asked if they would be getting the i62 HD in stock. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough demand for Onyx readers here in the U.S. to merit an import. I would feel much better ordering this from a USA-based seller than overseas (and pay in USD). Maybe if enough people send requests, they might bring the i62 HD Firefly over here.
I would love to try out their firmware. I hear it is excellent. I love reading PDFs, so investing in an M92 has been on my mind. The creaky frame has put me off a bit. Maybe they will release an upgrade within the next year or two that will also feature an HD E Ink screen.
I will look forward to your Firefly review, Nathan.
Wow, impressive! This is what the Nook Glow should have been. Nathan, I see from the website that it handles Adobe DRM files; could you see if it’ll run books purchased from B&N and Amazon too? I’m also curious how the screen contrast compares to Nook Glow. It looks like the i62 has physical page turning keys on either side; I like that.
For a couple of years we have seen numerous brands of 6-inch e-ink readers on Amazon and in various foreign markets, mostly with the same kind of screen. Now that HD and glow have arrived, just three devices stand out from the rest: Kindle Glow, Kobo Glo, and Onyx Firefly.
I’m hoping B&N will follow suit with an updated version of their Glow, but I’m not holding my breath. I agree with you, Nathan, “Firefly” is a great name for the i62!
Sweet Drew. Do you live in the states or Europe? You will have to let us know how it is.
Also looks like user replacement batteries are available for $20 or so. Now that is nice, although we’ve only had two readers live longer than the original battery so far.
Audio player? That’s so last-gen… But seriously, nice to see at least one new reader not removing audio features!
I personally prefer the audio features being present, even though I don’t really use them as much.
I too look forward to your Firefly review, Nathan. I’d be interested to know how the screen resolution and contrast compare with Sony PRS-650.
Wow, we suddenly have so many devices…readers as well as tablets!
If you got some good contact from Onyx, can you ask if new “Firefly” will got as well the Android OS alternate based-firmware version?
And, when we can expect it really for old i62HD. Would be also interesting to get some confirmation about if it will be finally open to install any apk and Google play, or have some custom limits.
I think all of you expect too much from the base Linux OS and applications… this is just another more ereader. Nothing comparing with formats, quality and options available for Android applications, and also not better than, let’s say, Sony or Nook for handling EPUB and PDF files.
I’ll be finding out soon enough. They just got their Firefly samples in and I’ll be getting one to review here shortly.
Jim Savitz says
I have the i62HD unlighted version and the screen is amazing. Basically compared to the older 6 inch 600 by 800 screen you can display a page in 6 inches that would only be readable on a 7 inch screen 1024 by 600. And I hope Nathan has a chance to drill into the firmware. Onyx has done by far the best job with firmware of any e-reader manufacturer. If you’re a .PDF fanatic like I am, you can export your annotations into the .pdf file and then read them on a different PC or tablet that supports .pdf. Also the Microsoft Office document formats are supported in native mode (no conversion required).
The only negative I’ve seen with the i62HD is with only being able to use your finger or a very fat stylus to try and place the cursor. You don’t get the precision that you have with the larger screen, stylus based M92. Nathan, I would be interested in your opinion on this feature specifically, such as highlighting text, etc.
As far as I can judge now I think Onyx has won the current e-reader battle as far as quality and features are concerned.
Text to speech
Good quality Front lighting
A big plus is also the large internal memory of 8 Gb. Yes, EIGHT gig!!
Finally an e-reader manufacturer who recognizes that we need more than 1,5 gb of available memory on an ereader that has to store not only books, but also music, audiobooks, large PDF’s and pictures.
I would have liked a 7″screen on this, and perhaps a 1 Ghz processor, but you can’t have it all.
All in all the Firefly beats its competitors with hands tied behind the back.