Large screen e-readers are an anomaly in the market, as the vast majority of companies focus exclusively on the six inch class. Onyx has continued to buck the trend with their portfolio of 9.7 inch e-readers. This week, the brand new M96 Plus is now Available to purchase.
The M96 Plus features an e-Ink Pearl display with a resolution of 1200×825 Pixels and 256 PPI. This model is a bit of an upgrade over the M96, which is a bit long in the tooth. It has 1 GB of RAM, instead of 512 and 8 GB of internal memory vs 4 GB of the original model.
I think users will be attracted to the fact this large screen e-reader has built in speakers and a 3.5mm headphone jack. This will allow you to listen to music and audiobooks. Additionally for people with vision disorders there are options for text to speech.
Likely the major selling point is the fact it runs Google Android. It ships with Android 4.04, but a source at Onyx has told me that within a month they will upgrade the OS to 4.4 (Kit-Kat).
The M96 Plus is currently being sold by a single German website, but it ships the e-reader anywhere in the world. The e-Reader just received an English firmware update, so its completely viable for most users.
So the big question, is the M96 Plus a good e-reader? A user emailed us and gave their thoughts on the new model. “As a student at the University I had to print every week some 200 pages. With this new e-reader, I don’t do that anymore. Their Neo Reader app, exclusive for their devices, is the best I have seen to date, for tackling PDF documents. There are multiple zooming variants which help you to adapt to the characteristics of your document.”
So what are the cons? Well, he said “The glass screen makes the e-reader very heavy, so its hard to use it while commuting. It also does not come with any dictionaries, you have to download them yourself. The software is also not as refined as Amazon or Kobo, this is because the Chinese market is really not that choosy about design and software, so there is not so much pressure to make things more attractive.”
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve 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. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.