The Onyx Boox i86 has been floating around in limbo for the last six months. An early prototype was available in early March, which offered a glimpse of what this model would bring to the table and it looks like the final product will be shipping out on June 5th 2015.
We reviewed the Onyx i86 HD on March 30th and it features an eight inch IR touchscreen with a resolution of 1600 x 1200 with 250 PPI. This model did not have a frontlight, but the final production model will. This will allow you to read in the dark and in low-light conditions.
This particular e-reader model is not using a modern version of e-paper, as found on the Kindle Voyage or Kobo Glo HD, instead it is employing an older form of Pearl. Normally, I would lament the screen quality is poor, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, reading e-books, manga and PDF files is amazing. Onyx has a bunch of software functions that enhance the rendering of image heavy content.
Underneath the hood is a 1 GHZ single core processor, 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal storage. The original i86 only had 512 MB o f RAM and 4 GB of internal storage, so there is a big upgrade here. If memory is a big issue for you, there is support for a MicroSD up to 32 GB.
One of the most exciting features about this reader is the fact it has Bluetooth and a 3.5mm headphone jack. This allows for the playbook of audiobooks and music. In addition, you can hook up external speakers to get a ton of streaming content from companies such as Spotify or Soundcloud.
The Onyx Boox i86 is running Google Android 4.04 as the primary operating system. It comes bundled with Google Play, which gives customers the ability to download their own e-reading apps, without limitations.
If you want to get your hands on the Onyx Boox i86 HDML Plus, it is retailing for around $220 US or 199€.
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.