It wasn’t just the iReader Ocean 3 that the Chinese company had launched during end-2023 but also followed that up with another iteration of it by the name iReader Ocean 3 Turbo. The company is justifying the Turbo badging with a more beefed-up internal build, which includes double the storage and memory along with a more powerful processor as well. That should allow for a more beefy performance. Or is it? Let’s find that out in this review.
Style and build
The iReader Ocean 3 Turbo looks exactly the same as the Ocean 3, which again has the same exact looks as the iReader Color 7. All of them share the same external build but differ internally. That way, there is the familiar Oasis-like external build where you have one portion slightly thicker than the rest. The thicker end is where most of the internal electronics and other stuff are packed, including the battery.
The design might look odd and asymmetrical but the fact is, the thicker portion serves as a nice place to hold the device. A disadvantage of such a design is that it is extremely unstable when placed on a flat surface. But then, you seldom read off an e-reader placed on a table. Also, with a lightweight build (170 grams), you won’t have any qualms holding the device in your hand while reading, even if it is for long hours.
On the top right at the thicker end lies the Power button along with the status indicator light, the USB-C port, and a microphone. At the bottom right lies the speaker. There isn’t anything else on the left or the right edge. The thicker right spine has the page turn buttons which again can be programmed to perform other functions. The rear has a matte finish which does a good job in repelling fingerprints.
The User Interface
The UI is the same that you have with the iReader Ocean 3 or the Color 7, or for that matter, almost every other e-reader device from iReader. It’s simple, clean, and easily comprehensible. Swipe down from the top and there is the familiar set of features. Those include the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth buttons at the top followed by options like Power saver, Global refresh, 90-degree rotation, Screenshot, Smart Assistant, and Lock screen.
Below it lies the pre-set backlight options which include Daytime, Night, Quilt, Lights off, and Custom. With the latter, you have slider controls to set Brightness and Temperature controls as per your preference.
At the bottom lies the Volume slider control.
Also, remember the presence of the speed modes that Peter talked about in the video review of the Ocean 3 e-reader? Those are mysteriously missing on the Ocean 3 Turbo, which is surprising as those modes would have been great to put the Turbo badging of the device to the test.
Meanwhile, other notable features of the UI include the Dark Mode that you have under Settings > Display. Invoking the Dark Mode will invert the colors across the entire device so that everything white would turn to black and vice-versa.
Then there is the General setting which offers a host of controls such as Reading Light, Sleep Time, Date & Time, Language Settings, Smart Assistant, Intelligent Button, and USB Book Import. Of these, the Intelligent Buttons option is worth mentioning as this lets you have control over the physical buttons on the right. Also, each of the buttons has dual functionality, single click and long press.
Single-click options you have include Previous Page, Next Page, Return, Back to Home Page, Global Refresh, and Light On/Off.
Long-press options include Back to Home Page, Lights On/Off, Global Refresh, Screenshot, and None.
You can mix and match the settings you wish to have for the single click or long click action of either button.
The iReader Ocean 3 series which comprises the standard and the Turbo models offers one of the best reading experiences you can have. The background is as white as it can get. This is quite unlike what you have with Kaleido 3-enabled e-readers where the display is quite greyish in monochrome mode. On the Ocean 3 Turbo, the black text stands out against the white background which makes reading off it extremely comfortable and inviting. Complementing the crisp and clear texts is the super quick page turn actions which too adds to the reading feel immensely.
You can also change hands as per your will given that the device supports auto rotate feature. Not only does the page rotate automatically but the buttons too adjust accordingly to ensure they perform as intended. You can also place it in landscape mode in which case the texts spread out in two columns. In that case, the button for page forward action turns to page right functionality.
7-inch displays have never been conducive for reading PDF files and the Ocean 3 Turbo is no different. However, with the added processing strength, all of it is extremely quick. That includes the time it needs to load the PDF file, the page turn action, or pinch-to-zoom, all of it happens to be extremely quick. However, while all of that is nice, the texts are just too small to allow for comfortable reading. Also, pinch-n-zoom isn’t going to be of much use given the lack of a mini-map feature.
At the bottom lies the Contents, Note, Progress, and Settings options. Under Settings, you have the option to change Zoom Ratio, Whitespace, Crop, Contrast, Landscape, and More options.
Tapping on More will let you have even more options which include Page Turning, Page Turning Effect, Landscape Dual Page Turning, Book Layout, Embedded Font Display, and Page Number Options. There is also Word Wide, Display Ideas, Show, Top Info Area, Show Bottom Info Area, and Other options as well.
The 7-inch display here is extremely conducive to reading manga. The texts and images look sharp and the pages turn really quick. Equally quick is the pinch-n-zoom action which you can always do if you wish to have a more detailed look at the images or the text bubbles. On the whole, reading manga on the Ocean 3 Turbo is an extremely satisfying experience so it can well be your go-to e-reader for reading manga or graphic novels.
The iReader Ocean 3 Turbo offers default access to a Store that is stacked to the brim with content of almost any type that you may need. That includes magazines, editorials, newspapers, e-books, comics, and whatnot. You can also have free trials of the content before actually buying those. So far so good but the one thing that will likely hold you back on accessing any of these is that all of that is in Chinese.
There are the Bookshelf, Store, and Settings options at the bottom which are in English but within Store, everything is in Chinese. So, unless you are well-versed in the Chinese language, all of that is going to be of no use to you. So, the only way you can make the most of the e-reader is by sideloading content, which again can be done quite easily. The content also gets arranged automatically and you will also get to see the progress made with those.
The music playback is exactly the same as it has been with the Ocean 3 or the Color 7. That is understandable considering that it is the same chassis and a very similar internal setup. The music is quite loud and is enough to fill the entire room but lacks in quality. That is perhaps the least to be expected out of a speaker that small though the emphasis right from the start might have been to be loud instead of being rich and fulfilling.
The Ocean 3 has been a perennial favorite of iReader for quite some time, boasting that it is in fact the “Oasis killer”. The turbo version brings even more things to love from an already beloved unit. Double the processor, double the speed, double the RAM, global dark mode, and Img256 refinements all mean that this unit is definitely, within the realm of e-readers, turbocharged. Its design is relatively unchanged from the Ocean 2, still boasting a very Oasis-like build and fairly cookie-cutter black plastic housing.