Icarus has refreshed their Illumina e-Reader with the same type of open Android ecosystem that Onyx Boox has implemented. Users will be able to install their own apps, which is a boon to anyone who wants more flexibility over the reading apps they want to install.
The new Illumina e-reader changed the design a bit from its previous generation, getting rid of the d-Pad and most physical buttons. Instead the Dutch company went with physical page turn buttons and a settings/back button on the side of the unit.
The Illumina features a six inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1024×758 pixels. It has a front-light built into the top of the bezel and will basically allow you to read in the dark. It has 4 LED lights and distributes light fairly evenly.
Underneath the hood is a 1GHZ dual core processor and 512 MB of RAM. You will have 4 GB of internal storage and you can boost it up to 32 GB via the Micro SD. One of the most interesting aspects of this e-reader is the ability to play sound. You can load in your favorite audiobooks and listen to them with your headphones. This is no built in speaker and the music app won’t even open unless you have your cans plugged in. It supports a myriad of formats, including: Flac, AAC, mp3, Wav, WMA, and OGG.
Unlike the previous Illumina e-reader this model has an open version of Android. It will ship with 4.2.2, which will insure that most modern apps will be compatible. Onyx Boox is currently the only other e-reader to include Android on their current generation lineup, but it suffers from an older version, 2.3
It will be very interesting to see if Icarus can solve some of the major bugs that accompany page turn animations with an e-ink screen. This is something Onyx has been unable to solve and makes their devices unusable.
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 CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.