Icarus has a brand new 9.7 inch e-reader they released a month ago and this unit brings a number of very compelling features to the table. It comes with a stylus so you can make highlights, notes and annotations. It also comes with audio support, so you can listen to your favorite audiobook and also download apps via Google Play.
The Icarus Illumina PRO features a 9.7 e-Ink Pearl HD electro magnetic touch screen, that can be controlled by the stylus. The touch screen cannot be controlled by finger touch, so you need to make sure you do not lose the stylus. There are physical buttons on the right hand side of the e-reader, allowing you to turn pages and access menu functions, much akin to the way you would interact with the Kindle DX.
The resolution of the PRO is 1200 x 825 pixels and is fairly solid for reading e-books. Most importantly the display as a built in front-light, which allows you to read in the dark. The brightness can be set in various levels and the light can also be turned off completely.
There is a 3.5 mm headphone jack and a single speaker for you to listen to music or audiobooks. There is 16GB of internal storage and an SD card that is capable of an additional 32GB of memory.
One of the most compelling aspects about this device is Bluetooth. Very few e-readers on the market have the ability to connect up a keyboard or wireless speakers. I know lots of musicians that will likely buy this reader because of the ability to connect up all of their toys.
The battery is 3000 mAh, which will allow you to turn thousands of pages of an e-book. It will likely last you a week or two if you use Android apps.
The Icarus PRO 9.7 is running a Google Android 4.0 and has the Google Play Store to access your favorite apps. There is a custom UI that makes interacting with the stylus a bit more robust. All of the main menu elements such as your library, storage, apps, settings and the internet browser are big and bubbly.
Key e-Reading Features
- Many options for cropping and displaying books. Even a special comic mode is included
- Adjustable contrast
- Two point zoom and many other settings
- Adjustable page margins
- Font sizes 100% – 600% and custom font size
- Notes via keyboard or stylus, adjustable line thickness and color
- User-defined functions for buttons
- Background music
- Screen rotation
Peter Carotenuto of Good e-Reader had this to say about the Icarus PRO 9.7 “I like this e-Reader. It’s got a Lot going for it. It’s one of the few large screen devices I’d actually recommend to people. Not only that, it has a Glowlight too, which you do not see every day. Audio is also standard on this which feels like there’s no stopping this e-Reader. That is, when you realize, there’s no touchscreen. Yes, you heard it, there’s an accompanying stylus which is actually quite nice to use, but every 3 seconds of using this device, your fingertip instinctively tries to interact with the screen. That’s a huge con. Just when it feels very 2016 with all of its amazing features, you’re transported back to 2010 when you try to touch the screen.”
This e-reader costs 399.95€ from the main Icarus Website.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.