It looks like Arta Tech has a new website and a new 8-inch inkBook ereader that’s available in Europe.
The device is called the inkBook 8. It’s an Android-based ereader that comes with a frontlight, WiFi, 8GB of internal storage, a microSD card, a capacitive touchscreen, a 1GHz dual-core processor and 512MB of RAM.
The inkBook 8 has an 8-inch E Ink Pearl screen with a resolution of 1024 x 768. That equates to 160 ppi.
A few months ago I posted an inkBook Obsidian Review for the 6-inch model.
It has some upgrades over the inkBook 8, including a higher resolution display, a flush glass screen, physical page-turn buttons, and a 50% lower price tag (£99).
The inkBook 8 has some advantages of its own too, like the 2-inch larger display and it supports audio via a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Currently the inkBook 8 is selling from Amazon UK for £150 and from InkBook.eu for 179 € (145 € excluding VAT).
Unfortunately it’s not sold from anywhere in the US but the 8-inch Icarus Illumina XL sells from Amazon for $199.
Update: It’s now available in the US too from Amazon for $170.
The inkBook 8 and Icarus Illumina XL are actually the exact same device made by the same company. The branding is the only difference, along with subtle changes in the software to reflect that.
InkBook 8 Specs
- 8-inch E Ink Pearl display.
- 1024 x 768 pixel resolution (160 dpi).
- Capacitive touchscreen.
- Android 4.2.2 operating system.
- 1 GHz Dual-Core Cortex A9 processor.
- 8GB storage space.
- 512MB RAM.
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n.
- MicroSD card slot for cards up to 32GB.
- Micro USB port.
- 3.5 mm headphone jack.
- Battery: 2800 mAh Li-ION Polymer.
- Supported formats: EPUB and PDF (reflow) with Adobe DRM (ADEPT), MOBI (without DRM), TXT, FB2, HTML, RTF, CHM.
- Pre-installed apps: Library (Books), Internet browser, Dictionary (QuickDic), Downloads, Midiapolis Drive, Email, File manager, Images, Bookshop, Midiapolis News Reader, Midiapolis App Store.
- Dimensions: 198 x 144 x 8.4 mm.
- Weight: 258 grams.
- Price: £150 at Amazon UK.
Bob Deloyd says
I don’t know what she is saying but I found this on the video…
It’s good to see the size difference, at least. 🙂
I got this, via Amazon, and had to return it after one day use. The firmware was barely functional – the interface crashed, files didn’t open via file manager and the device wouldn’t connect to server to update the system. I think the unit sent was faulty and I didn’t want to request a replacement, as you just don’t know with quality control with these re-branded Boyue devices. The display, on the other hand, was good. The resolution might be relatively low but the contrast makes up for it.
I am considering getting the Icarus Illumina XL, as they’ve been producing e-readers for some time. I know the device is identical but they develop and offer more reliable firmware updates that makes up for the slight price difference (the Icarus Illumina XL costs 199 Euros compared to Inkbook 8’s 175 Euros). If I do purchase the Icarus version, I will write a review.
Cool, thanks for letting us know. If you do get the Icarus version let us know how it compares!
Welcome – if I do, I’ll post it on my blog!
Also, the front-light is OK on the Inkbook 8. It’s inferior to the Paperwhite but serviceable.
Abu Hashim says
I also purchased this via the UK Amazon page and have posted my review on their website.
In short, I purchased the device but am returning it due to a number of flaws, not least the poor screen resolution and washed out appearance of the ink.
The crispness of the images and text on the screen does not match the reality of the ereader I purchased. It could have been an update issue but there was no way to update the device either as it gave an error message.
I don’t think the screen is washed out – the problem is with e-ink’s rendering of complex colours. It is the reason that external Android apps don’t work well with e-ink displays (the Kindle app is horrid on an e-ink device). I read your review on Amazon and think it would be expecting too much to purchase an e-ink device seeking to browse the internet or read emails. To substantiate, use the stock e-reader on these re-branded Boyue devices and compare it to most external Android apps. The text in the stock e-reader is far more legible and the contrast is adequate but with external Android apps you tend to get that washed out effect you noted (grey on grey). These applications were designed for tablet screens.
I don’t understand why these manufacturers don’t develop their own dedicated firmware that works well. Instead, they just slap on Android or put on a buggy interface that gives access to mostly unsuitable third party apps. They are already catering to a niche demand, so why not take the design of the product, both software and hardware, seriously?
Abu Hashim says
I am afraid I disagree with your comments. Colours all round were not of the quality as advertised, even in the e-readers itself such as the boot up screen with a washed out black.
Even books in the epub format were not that clear and several pdfs of Arabic text I loaded were grainy in appearance.
The e-readers should display black as black but that wasn’t happening.
To reiterate the point, the marketing images seem more crisp and sharper than the reality of what I found.
Looks like it is the same e-reader as Icarus illumnia xl 8″
the screen is not sharp enough on my illumnia xl.
Want to use e-reader for the eyes, but this makes it worse than reading on smartphone… 🙁
Yeah, they’re the same. I wonder if the fonts haven’t been optimized for the screen. 160 ppi isn’t great but it’s not horrible, better than 150 ppi on the 9.7-inch and 13.3-inch ereaders. The basic Kindle has 167 ppi and some people prefer its screen with the bolder fonts.