The Inkcase Plus is a portable secondary e-ink touchscreen extension of your Android smartphone. It was designed to connect via Bluetooth and run a series of dedicated apps that allow you to view pictures, read e-Books or use as a sports tracker.
The InkCase Plus features a 3.5 inch 360 X 600 resolution Mobius e-ink display. It comes with its own battery, which should last about a month with regular use. Unlike the Yotaphone which has the e-ink screen physically apart of the hardware, this one is separate. There is a dedicated case that Oaxis sells that fits the e-ink screen inside, giving you the functionality of an Android phone on the right and Inkcase Plus on the left.
There are 4 main apps that are available to download from the Google Play store that adds new functionality to the device. There is a connectivity app which basically establishes the Bluetooth connection and lists the number of apps that were specifically created for it. There is also a photo and sports app, which allow you to send over content to your Inkcase. The sports app is a bit of a letdown because the timer is staggered to refresh every 5-10 seconds and basically is just sending over a series of screenshots.
The best app that was made for the Inkcase Plus is the EpiReader app. It allows you to take advantage of the manual page turn keys and turns it into a dedicated e-reader. All you have to do is download EPUB or PDF documents to your phone and import them into the EpiReader app. You can then access a menu function to transmit the entire book to your portable and read to your hearts content.
You can think of the Inkcase Plus as a dumb terminal, when you are reading there is no options to increase the size of the font, change the font-type or augment the linespacing. Instead, you have to do this on your phone, within the app itself. After making the adjustments it is sent over to the Inkcase live, so you can read books with the font size of your choice. To find the ideal reading setup it does take a bit of time to find your sweet spot.
There are a few other options the Incase Plus allows you to employ. Anytime you get a notification on your phone, such as a phone call, text message, Whatsapp ping or an incoming Skype message, you see it all on the portable. It is possible to disable these notifications, but you have to do it one by one.
I think this device is really solid. You can think of it as a super low-cost e-reader where you can read books and avoid all the notifications that constantly barrage you on the phone. The screen isn’t the largest in the world, but users coming from a Blackberry background or a flip phone will feel right at home. You can buy the Incase Plus with the official case for your Android phone for $105.
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.