The Boyue Lemon Read 1 is a device that is geared towards schools in China, but the funny thing is, it is running the same OS as the Boyue P6 and it even looks like the P6, but it’s not. Think of it as the second generation P6, that improves it in some very important ways. It now has stereo speakers, Bluetooth, volume control buttons, a 3.5mm headphone jack and USB-C. It is entirely in English and supports dozens of languages during setup. It is also $139, making it one of the most affordable e-readers with Google Play in the world.
Hardware and Software
The Boyue Lemon Read features a 6 inch E INK Carta HD display with a resolution of 1448×1072 with 300 PPI. The screen is flush with the bezel and there is a layer of glass. The bezels along the side are fairly big and chunky, the overall color scheme is piano black. The back of the device has the Lemon Read logo in gold. This device is geared towards not only reading during the day, but also night. It has a front-lit display with 24 LED lights, that are underneath the layer of glass and project light evenly across the screen. There are no splotches or grey areas where the light does not cover. This is the most white LED lights I have ever seen in a six inch e-reader.
Underneath the hood is a quad core 1.6 GHZ processor, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. There is no expandable memory. It has Bluetooth 5.1 and this gives you the ability to plugin a pair of wireless headphones or earbuds. You can listen to tunes via the two stereo speakers and control the volume with physical buttons on the side of the screen. There is also a physical home button, which helps you jump directly to the home screen, no matter where you are on the device. There are software back keys, if you want to quickly jump back. You can access the internet with WIFI and has a USB-C port for charging or transferring data.
This is an e-reader and not a digital note taking device. It is geared specifically for reading ebooks. You can sideload in your own, since it supports a myriad of formats such as TXT, CHM, FB2, MOBI, HTML, RTF, HTXT, EPUB, PDB, DOC, PRC, PDF, DJVU, ASW, PRC and manga formats such as CBR and CBZ. If you don’t have an extensive ebook collection, you can use Google Play, to access millions of free and paid apps. So you have a Kindle, Kobo or Nook account, you can use their app to read your purchases.
If you have an older Boyue, such as the Ares, Muses, Mars or something else, there are dramatic improves on the Lemon Read. Boyue completely revised the entire system and there is now bright and bubbly boxes. This ensures that there are no little, tiny icons. Everything is easy to tap with your finger to open up certain programs, like your Library, Settings, Reading app and so on. Basically, the main home screen comprises of 8 boxes. There is a setting to to expand the boxes, to fit even more on the screen or less. There is an option in the settings menu to adjust the home screen. So you can remove the boxes you don’t use and keep the ones you do. For example, if you don’t want quick access to the gallery, i can add in the Kindle app and Overdrive Libby.
I won’t go over every single menu and setting, since you can watch our review video for that. Suffice to say, there are a few important things to setup when you buy this. Firstly, swipe downwards from the top of the screen and check out the global options that will allow you to craft the Lemon Read to your liking. If you drag your finger from the top/center downwards you will get a few options. You can adjust the global contrast, to make everything darker or lighter, in terms of the text and menus. There is also an A2 mode, which will degrade image quality, while increasing system performance. This is great if you are running apps, with complicated animations, such as page turns. I find A2 mode is great for browsing or doing anything that isn’t image heavy.
At first glance, hearing that this is a white label Likebook P6, I thought this would just be a carbon copy. This is because Boyue is their own OEM now, which means they have their own factories that produce these. I thought there would be nothing special about this, just a P6 with different logo.
However I was mistaken. Upon further investigation, it’s actually more advanced, updated, and far more different than its P6 counterpart. It has brand new stereo speakers, volume control, integrated hardware home button, USB-C, and a 3.5 mm headphone jack are significant hardware changes from its base shell.
The pros out weigh the cons with this powerful little 6 inch e-reader. Lemon read in China has their hand in over 3,000 schools and educational institutions and placed a gigantic order with Boyue. They have a bunch extra and wanted to sell them through Good e-Reader. This is extremely fortuitous timing, since the P6 has been out of stock for 4 months.
Lemon Read 1$139.99
- Android 8.1 and Google Play
- Great for book reading
- Stereo speakers
- Solid hardware specs
- Android 8.1 is a bit old
- Does not support fast charging
- Have to sideload in books, unless you use apps
- Chinese documentation
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.