Time for More eReaders with 7.8-inch E Ink Screens


Everyone has different opinions and needs when it comes to ebook readers. For some people portability is more important than screen size, and for other people a larger screen is more important than being able to fit the device in a pocket or purse.

I’ve owned a lot of ereaders over the years. The smallest was the 4.3-inch Pyrus Mini and the largest is the 13.3-inch Sony DPT-RP1. By far the most common size is 6-inches, but I’ve also reviewed 5-inch, 6.8-inch, 7.8-inch, 8.1-inch, and 9.7-inch E Ink ereaders.

Out of all the sizes my personal favorite is the 7.8-inch 300ppi screen on the Kobo Aura One.

I think Kobo really hit a sweetspot with that size.

You can fit a good amount of text on the screen without having to page forward constantly, and the device is still small enough that it’s not too heavy to hold for long periods of time.

To me the 7.8-inch size is perfect for reading ebooks, especially if you favor larger font sizes.

Now for PDFs it’s a different story. I think you need to go up to a minimum of 9.7-inches for a good reading experience, but there’s no beating the 13.3-inch E Ink screens when it comes to PDFs.

For ebooks, I much prefer the 7.8-inch screen size. Now that I’ve gotten used to it 6-inch screens just seem too small, and yet the devices are still a little too large for easy portability. I’d rather have something even smaller for reading on-the-go, like a 4.3-inch ereader that easily fits in a pocket.

The Kobo Aura One was released almost a year ago now and it’s still the only 7.8-inch ereader on the market. The Illumina XL HD is expected to get released soon and it will be the second. Hopefully more companies will follow Kobo’s lead and start offering 7.8-inch ereaders too. It’s a great size for reading.

17 Responses to “Time for More eReaders with 7.8-inch E Ink Screens”

  1. If you only own one e-reader around the 6″ size is probably the sweet spot, and maybe a bit bigger than 6″ depending on personal preference, like the 7.8″ size that Nathan prefers. Usually — the primary determining factor is how much value you place on mobility/portability that primarily affects this size preference. If you place a high value on mobility you typically will prefer the smaller e-readers.

    If you decide to buy/own two e-readers. I’d recommend something around 6″ for portability, and a larger e-reader for home use and to handle PDFs.

    I own two 6″ readers but not different sizes. I own one, a Sony e-reader to handle epub and Kobo content, and the other, a Basic Kindle (paid $50 for it) to handle mobi and Amazon content.

    If the new 13″ Sony keeps dropping in price I will pick up the Sony. It’s still a little more than I want to pay though.

    I found it is just easier that way, and I have a decent amount of both Kobo and Amazon content.

  2. I hope Amazon does a larger screen Oasis, or I may have to put up with the glitchy software of the Aura One.

  3. I actually find the Kobo Aura One still quite portable enough to carry in my everyday purse…especially since it’s remarkably light for the size.

  4. Personally and for a variety of reasons, the Kobo Aura One is my all-time favorite reader. Size is one of those factors but it’s just one factor.

    Unless someone else duplicates the typography controls and light features of the KA1 AND offers a similarly-dedicated e-reader OS, I won’t even consider another brand.

    As far as Kindle goes, I’m so disgusted with them that they’d have to add some pretty spectacular features to make me consider it. I say that, btw, as someone who has purchased 5 of their e-readers in the past. No more.

    • As I’ve stated befor I prefer the KA1 for reading and I have the patches from mobile read installed for added benefit and unparalleled reading experience and flexibility. The size, customization and control is so beyond Kindle that I almost throw up everytime I have to pick up the Voyage and have to put the KA1 back on the shelf to collect more dust, why?

      • There is a simple Calibre plugin for that. Take a look at KoboUtilities. Calling other people idiots? FAIL! 😉

        • I’ve added and tried the Kobo utilities plug-in on calibre and it doesn’t work. I’ve mentioned it many times and tried it Many circumstances and it simply doesn’t work. If you would be so kind to perhaps detail the process since I must be missing something. Are you able to export notes into a perfect PDF such as on Kindle?

          And yes perhaps calling them idiots is harsh but justifiable considering it’s such a simple feature and so crucial to add.
          It should be able to be done from the device itself like on a Kindle instead of going through a third-party plug-in which as I have mentioned, doesn’t work.

          • You are right, this does not work satisfiable. The annotations of a selected book can be copied to the clipboard, but it’s not neatly arranged. So apologies for pointing you into the wrong direction.
            Tested with kepubs.

  5. It’s a pitty Kobo’s ereader doesn’t have a plastic based screen. It’s too much fragile

    • A plastic screen would be proned to scratches. I prefer the screen as it is. It’s not as fragile as you think.

      • Plastic screens have the added benefit of having less glare as opposed to the glass flush bezels. So while my Voyage has slightly darker text, it has more glare than my Paperwhite, especially outdoors and under direct light.

        • I have no problem with any glare on my KA1, but I can see the benefit of plastic for people who are sensitive here.

          Personally, I like the darker text of a glass based screen and that I don’t have to care for scratches.

  6. Don’t forget Pocketbook’s 8″ Inkpad, which is around for 3 years now. 🙂

    • Pocketbooks aren’t even sold on this continent so they deserve forgetting. Beside the InkPad has an 8″ Pearl E Ink screen with 250 ppi, so the 7.8″ 300 ppi Carta screens are better anyway.

      • I have been under the impression, that this is an international Blog, not only talking about devices sold in the US, so I mentioned Pocketbook.

        Icarus for example who sells the Illumination XL is a dutch company. Their devices can be ordered in the US and there are surely ways to order Pocketbook devices too.

        As we are talking about screen size and not screen quality they do deserve mentioning, in my opinion.

  7. I too prefer an ereader size of just under 8 inches. Easy to transport and easier to read than a 6-inch screen.

  8. Yes, please, Amazon come out with a larger e-ink reader. After readimg on the Kobo Aura One, I don’t even like to read on the Kindle Paperwhite. I usually switch to the iPad Mini 4 when I want to read a Kindle or Nook book. Thank goodness for the iPad night shift and anti-glare coating.