The Icarus Illumina XL first started shipping last month to customers that pre-ordered one or backed Icarus’s crowdfunding campaign they launched back in November.
Now the Illumina XL is available to order from Amazon.com for $199.
There’s also a bundle package that comes with a cover for $20 more.
Icarus is a company that is based in the Netherlands so being able to order the device from Amazon makes it a lot easier (and cheaper) to get one outside of Europe.
The Illumina XL is one of just a handful of 8-inch E Ink ebook readers to ever be released. Most dedicated ereaders have smaller 6-inch displays, and a lot of folks have been asking for ereaders with larger screens for years, so it’s good to see Icarus providing an option.
I thought about ordering one to review but I decided against it. I’m kind of burned out on reviewing Android ereaders, to be honest. They all have software that is 95% the same going back over the past couple years. The Illumina XL runs Android 4.2 and was made by the same company as the inkBook Obsidian that I just reviewed, so the software is virtually identical aside from a few tweaks here and there.
The 8-inch screen is the one thing that makes this ereader unique. Since they are so rare, I’ve only ever reviewed one 8-inch E Ink ereader, the iRex DR-800, and it was way back in 2010. It was a really cool ereader that was ahead of its time. The problem was it sold for $399 and only like 3 people bought one before the company went bankrupt and pulled them from the shelves.
Hopefully the 8-inch size catches on and other companies like Amazon and Kobo start giving customers more ereader sizes. I could never understand why tablets and phones come in twenty different sizes but ebook readers only come in one or two.