8″ Icarus Illumina XL eReader Available for $169 on Indiegogo

Icarus Illumina XL

Last month Icarus announced a new ebook reader called the Illumina XL that will be released toward the end of November. It’s an 8-inch ereader that runs Android 4.2.

Icarus also launched a crowdfunding campaign for the Illumina XL on Indiegogo last week where they are essentially taking pre-orders for the device.

People can claim the early bird package of the Illumina XL for $169.

Additionally there are a couple of bundle packages that come with a cover for $179 and $199.

Shipping is free to the United States, Canada, and the European Union, and it’s $25 to the rest of the world. Shipments are expected to go out the first half of December.

The Illumina XL is also available for pre-order directly from the Icarus website for 199 euros, so it’s quite a bit cheaper getting it through the crowdfunding campaign, which runs until November 28th.

If you are a hardcore reader that wants an open Android ebook reader with a larger 8-inch E Ink display, than this could be a good buy.

The problem is that it doesn’t actually exist yet outside of prototypes, so it’s hard to know what you’re really going to get. There are no reviews. There’s no way to know how well the software works. Or how the lower resolution 1024 x 768 screen looks. It’s somewhat a gamble at this point.

Nonetheless, an E Ink ebook reader with Android 4.2 and an 8-inch screen does have some unique perks.

It can install a number of Android apps, so you have more choices. For instance the Kindle app can be installed. Just keep in mind that most third-party apps aren’t designed for slow-refreshing, monochrome E Ink displays so they might not work great (here’s a video demo showing the Kindle app on the 6-inch Illumina).

The 8-inch screen is another unique factor the Illumina XL has going for it. The only other 8-inch ereaders on the market are the Onyx i86 and the Pocketbook InkPad.

4 Responses to “8″ Icarus Illumina XL eReader Available for $169 on Indiegogo”

  1. Nathan, you are right, it is somewhat of a gamble and yet a tempting one 🙂 The only thing we may have to go by at this point is the reputation of the company itself. Do you have any opinion/experience in that regard? Can you comment on Icarus as being a responsible reputable company? Thanks.

    • They are based in the Netherlands and primarily serve the European ebook reader market so we don’t hear much about them here in the US. I haven’t heard of anyone having problems with them. They’ve been nice enough to loan me a couple of ereaders to review, and everything went smoothly when dealing with them. They’ve been around for several years now and do seem reputable. The only problem with buying ereaders overseas is that if there’s a defect with it, the screen is broken or light layer is scratched, return shipping to get it replaced can cost upwards of $100. I’m not sure how returns would work with a campaign like this though.

  2. Thank you for sharing your experience.
    For me the most attractive feature is 8″ screen (with frontlight) even though the resolution could be better. Plus price is very reasonable.

    But there is a risk as you explained…