With the upcoming release of the new Kobo Aura One, I thought it would be interesting to post a roundup of all the 8-inch E Ink ebook readers that are currently available on the market.
There aren’t very many options, however. A couple are the same device with different names, and others like the PocketBook InkPad have very limited distribution channels, and the 8-inch Cybook Ocean doesn’t even ship to North America so I’m not including it on the list.
The Kobo Aura One has the edge with the screen resolution at 300 pixels-per-inch, but others have some unique advantages as well, such as memory card slots, physical page buttons, audio support, and support for installing apps.
All have 8GB of internal storage space and 512MB of RAM, except the InkPad only has 4GB. All have frontlights as well.
Lots of people were hoping for an 8-inch Kindle with the last release, but once again it was yet another 6-inch Kindle with the exact same 300 ppi display as the other Kindles.
Hopefully Amazon will finally take a hint and release an 8-inch Kindle of their own, but that doesn’t seem very likely at this point.
Considering the fact that a large percentage of readers are over 50 and have eyes that prefer larger font sizes, you’d think that 8-inch ereaders would be more common.
It’s good to see Kobo finally taking a chance on a larger screen since the other options are harder to come by.
Kobo Aura One
The Kobo Aura One has the highest-resolution screen of the bunch, and it’s the only one with an E Ink Carta screen, the newest tech. At 7.8-inches with a resolution of 1872 x 1404 it has 300 ppi.
The Kobo Aura One also has the advantage of being waterproof. It’s IPX8 rated and can be under water for up to 60 minutes in 2 meters of water. It’s the lightest model on this list as well at 230 grams.
The Kobo Aura One gets released in September and it sells for $229 USD.
Onyx Boox i86ML
The Onyx Boox i86 has been on the market the longest out of all of these. It has an 8-inch E Ink screen with a resolution of 1600 x 1200 for 250 ppi.
It has an infrared touchscreen, physical page buttons, Bluetooth, audio and TTS support, a 3.5 mm headphone jack, and a microSD card slot.
The Onyx i86 runs Android 4.0 and can install various Android apps. It’s a bit on the heavy side at 340 grams. It currently sells for $275 online. At one point there was also a variation without a frontlight.
PocketBook InkPad 2
The PocketBook InkPad 2 was just released recently. It has an 8-inch screen E Ink screen with a resolution of 1600 x 1200, which equates to 250 ppi.
It has a capacitive touchscreen, Wi-Fi, 4GB of internal storage space, plus a microSD card slot for expansion up to 32GB. It also supports audio and has text-to-speech built-in.
The PocketBook InkPad 2 currently sells for 209 euros plus shipping.
The inkBook 8 is the 8-inch cousin to the InkBook Obsidian, and is the same hardware as the Icarus Illumina XL below.
The inkBook 8 has an 8-inch E Ink Pearl screen with a resolution of 1024 x 758, which equates to 160 ppi. The device has a capacitive touchscreen, a microSD card slot, Wi-Fi, and a 3.5 mm audio jack for audio and TTS. It weighs in at 258 grams so it’s quite a bit lighter than the two models above but not quite as light as the Aura One.
The inkBook 8 is the least expensive 8-inch ereader on the market at just $165. It runs Android 4.2 and can install Android apps.
Icarus Illumina XL
The Icarus Illumina XL is basically a more expensive version of the inkBook 8. Both are made by Boyue and share the same hardware and software features so there’s not much difference between them other than the brand name.
Like the inkBook 8, the Illumina XL has an 8-inch E Ink screen with a resolution of 1024 x 758 for 160 ppi. It has a capacitive touchscreen, a microSD card slot, Wi-Fi, a 3.5 mm audio jack for audio and TTS, and it runs Android 4.2.
The 8-inch Icarus Illumina XL is currently available via Amazon for $199 plus shipping.