The Tolino Alliance has been making e-readers for the last two years. Major players of the initiative include Deutsche Telekom, Hugendubel, Thalia, Bertelsmann and World View. All of these companies banded together in a bid to fend off Amazon dominance in the German marketplace. The e-readers are sold in major phone shops, bookstores and tech shops. The first two generations of the Tolino Shine were not very compelling and suffered from sluggish hardware. In a few days, the Tolino Vision will hit Germany and bears a striking resemblance to the Kindle Paperwhite 2 and Kobo Aura.
The Tolino Vision features the same e Ink Carta screen technology found on the Kindle Paperwhite 2. This will not only provide higher contrast, but also eliminate the refreshing of the display. The overall resolution is a very respectable 1024 × 758 pixels. One of the things that stands out with this model is that the screen is flush with the bezel. The only other e-reader to do this was the six inch Kobo Aura, it almost feels like a tablet or smartphone in this respect. You might ask, what’s the big deal? 99% of e-readers on the market have sunken touchscreen displays. This makes it very hard to press on menu options or access settings that are near the edges.
Underneath the hood is Freescale iMx6 1 GHz processor and 512 MB RAM. There is 4GB of internal memory, but after you take it out of the box for the first time, you are relegated to two. This will store around 1,500 eBooks on average, but you can expand it up to 32 GB via the Micro SD card if you are a digital hoarder.
This e-reader compared to the Shine line is elegant, sleek and sexy. Not only is the flush bezel a boon but it is packed with a matte and non-reflective glass. In addition, the home button has been replaced by a touch sensitive sensor. It only weighs 178 grams and can easily be held in one hand for long reading sessions.
The main reading formats are ePUB and PDF, which are the most common ones out there. It is certified with Adobe, so you can buy DRM books at other bookstores, other than the default one. You can switch between six different fonts and adjust the font-type on demand. There are numerous languages packed into the Vision, because people tend to use it in countries of close proximity of Germany.
The Tonio Vision should be in our Review labs in the next few weeks. It goes on sale April 5th 2014 for 129 euros.
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.