The Tolino Alliance was formed in 2013 and their mandate was to combat Amazon in Germany. This was the first time Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Club Bertelsmann, Deutsche Telekom banded together to sell their own e-readers and digital books. Today, the alliance has announced the brand new Tolino Vision 2, which is a waterproof e-reader and will come out this November.
The Tolino Vision 2 has basically the same design as the first generation model that came out in April. The main differences is this model is waterproof, much akin to the Kobo H2O and Pocketbook Aqua. It also has a new function called Tap2Flip. It basically turns the entire back into a pressure sensitive touchscreen, allowing you to turn pages in an eBook.
The Tolino Vision 2 features the latest in e-Paper innovation, e Ink Carta. This is the exact screen technology found on the Kindle Paperwhite 2 and Kobo Aura H2O. This will not only provide higher contrast, but also eliminate the full page refresh issues that have plagued e-readers since the very beginning. The overall resolution is a very respectable 1024 × 758 pixels and has 212 ppi. The dimensions are identical to the first generation reader, but the new model is four grams lighter (174 grams instead of 178).
Underneath the hood is a 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 32GB via the Micro SD. Battery life is very solid and should net you around seven weeks of constant use.
This is not truly a waterproof e-reader, although its being billed that way. You can think of it as being splash resistant and likely will not be able to stand up to being completely submerged in water. This is primarily due to the fact that the bottom Micro USB does not have a waterproof protective flap.
The Vision 2 is a viable e-reader if you speak German as your primary language, because the online bookstore only sells eBooks in that language. The new e-reader is going to be released in early November and can be pre-ordered from the Thalia website for 149 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.