Icarus Illumina XL 8-inch E Ink eReader with Android 4.2

Icarus Illumina XL

There have been a lot of people clamoring for larger E Ink ebook readers lately, and a Dutch ereader company called Icarus is looking to accommodate them with the upcoming release of the Icarus Illumina XL.

The Illumina XL is basically a bigger version of the 6-inch Illumina E653BK (Boyue T61) that was released last year (here’s the review of it).

It’s good to see another option come up for an 8-inch Android ereader; the Onyx Boox i86 is the only other alternative.

The only downside is the Illumina XL uses a lower resolution screen than the i86.

The Illumina XL has a 1024 x 768 E Ink Pearl screen. That equates to 160 ppi, which is pretty low compared to newer devices that come with 300 ppi screens. But if you like bolder text instead of sharp text it’s not a big deal.

Plus the description says that the device supports sideloaded TTF fonts for ePubs—that’s a plus. And of course the larger display would be better for PDFs.

Like the 6-inch model, the Illumina XL runs Android 4.2 and is open to install Android apps. It doesn’t come with Google Play but it can probably be added by rooting.

The retail price for the Illumina XL is €199 (that equates to just under $225 US with current conversion rates). The device will be available at the end of November. They are accepting pre-orders on the Icarus website.

Icarus sells their ebook readers on Amazon as well, so perhaps the Illumina XL will show up there after it gets released in November to help make it easier to purchase from the US.

Icarus Illumina XL Specs

  • 8-inch E Ink Pearl HD Display
  • Screen resolution: 1024 x 768 pixels
  • Adjustable frontlight
  • Wi-Fi 802.11
  • 8Gb internal memory
  • MicroSD cards supported up to 32GB
  • Lithium Ion battery 2800mAh
  • Supported formats: TXT, PDF, EPUB, PDF, FB2, HTML, RTF, MOBI, DJVU, CHM, IRC, JPG, BMP, MP3
  • Audio support via 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Dimensions: 145 x 200 x 9mm
  • Weight: 275 grams

10 Responses to “Icarus Illumina XL 8-inch E Ink eReader with Android 4.2”

  1. Well said,but aside form Onyx Boox i86, there is another rival: InkPad. Nathan,could you make a comparative guide-analyse for potential buyers to choose from these three musketeers?Thanks.

    • Yeah, the Pocketbook InkPad is another 8-inch ereader but it doesn’t run Android and I don’t know anywhere that even sells it, so it’s hard to consider it a viable option for most. I might review the Illumina XL when it becomes available but not the i86 or the InkPad because I don’t review devices that aren’t available in my country, so it would be pretty hard to do a comparative review between them.

      • Hello Nathan. Thanks for your reviews, they’re very useful.
        I’ve just found the Inkpad for sale on this czech site: http://www.axos.cz/pocketbook-840-inkpad-tmave-hneda-p125

        (found through your link to the german site lesen.net)

        This Pocketbook brand looks interesting, with products like the Ultra – probably a T62+ – that weighs only 175g according to their site (http://www.pocketbook-int.com/be/products/pocketbook-ultra).

        • Pocketbook is their own brand; they don’t use Boyue ereaders. They are only available in a few markets. Checkout the Pocketbook section of this blog for more info. I reviewed some of their ereaders a long time ago but their software development seems to have gone downhill since then. You don’t really hear very many positive reviews about Pocketbook ereaders anymore.

      • Thanks,from the specification page of the Icarus it seems that it supports less file formats than i86.I meant that if we don`t consider the importing and availability issues in the country,which one of them is worthy to consider.I have no difficulty buying each.

        • The listed file formats are only for the preinstalled apps. You can always install other apps for other formats. That’s the beauty of Android.

          It’s impossible to say which is the better one to consider without using them. The i86 has the better screen, so that’s a big advantage. I’ve had better luck with Boyue’s devices than Onyx’s however. I’m not positive the XL is made by Boyue, though. I would assume so since they say it’s a larger version of the 6-inch Illumina and both have Android 4.2. Either way I can’t recommend any of them over another at this point. I can just put the information out there.

  2. Will the OS android consume battery faster than an ordinary ereader?

  3. I just received my new Illumina XL8 and it’s just awful. The resolution is very poor, the processor is slow, the screen has a very poor response. I’m disappointed beyond my wildest expectations. I’m going back to my old Sony reader.

  4. I purchased this one, and i’m very regret for that…. the reading experience is very bad, very low resolution, so many problems in books that written from right to left language like Hebrew, Very slow interactive, The Battery consumed very quickly, (it may finish within a day if you forget the WiFi open), Sometimes the Apps hanging, The earphone input is not working well, you will see shadow from the previous page which make your reading experience in very bad …… I didn’t read since i Got it.
    When I talked to support team, they ask you to send it back to check the device ( by this i will pay more than 100 euro shippment fees) !!!

    I advise anyone to not waste their money….. I’m now going to purchase Kindle, yes its very small screen, but you will really enjoy reading by it.