Boyue is transitioning all of their hardware to their Meebook brand and the Meebook P6 is the exact same as the Boyue P6 that was released in 2021. This is a barebones e-reader that is really good for reading books and other digital content, such as comics and manga. This is due to the sunken screen and bezel design, there is just pure e-paper between you and your eyes, so text looks razer sharp when compared to readers that have a flush screen and bezel design, that is protected by a layer of glass. You also have full access to the Google Play Store, since it is preinstalled and users don’t have to do any workarounds. However, the Google Android 8.1 OS is a little bit old, since most modern readers have Android 10 or Android 11.
The Meebook P6 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 Meebook logo in gold. There is no physical page turn buttons or a home button, everything that is software driven.
This ebook reader 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. If you wish to have more storage, it does have an SD card slot, capable of an additional 128GB. Meebook is one of the few companies that continue to have an SD card in all of their devices, almost everyone else has abandoned expandable storage.
It has Bluetooth 5.1 and this gives you the ability to plugin a pair of wireless headphones or earbuds. It even has support for wireless speakers too. This is great for audiobooks, music, podcasts, TTS or anything that has audio. You can access the internet with WIFI and has a Micro USB port, instead of USB-C. You can use the P6 for a couple of weeks, before you have to recharge, thanks to the 1,750 mAh battery. The dimensions are 152mm by 113mm by 8mm and weighs 165g.
The Meebook P6 is minimalist and if you put it side by side with a dozen other e-readers that have an all black color scheme, it would not really stand out. I believe that on a pure hardware level, the specs are better than most other entry level e-readers, such as the Kindle, Kobo or Nook, these only have a single core processor and you have pay extra for internal storage. This also has an SD card, to expand it further. The front-lit display puts all of these other models to shame.
The Meebook P6 is running Google Android 8.1 out of the box. This gives you full access to Google Play, to download millions of free and paid apps. You can basically get going right away by attaching your Google Account in the settings menu and login. Onyx Boox is the only other brand that has Google Play on all of their e-readers and e-notes, so if Play is important, these are the only two that support it out of the box.
Most of the popular apps that you would want to download are mostly all compatible with Android 8.1, since it is still supported. You will be able to access the Kindle software and ditto for B&N Nook, Kobo, Moon+ Reader, Libby and all of the other popular reading apps. I think you should get at least 2-3 years of of this e-reader, before 8.1 starts to deprecate. The OS version is the one weak spot on this reader, but it is not a deal breaker.
The Meebook home screen is similar to the other models in their lineup. it has bright and bubbly boxes, there is around 9 icons on the home screen with text underneath that names the app. There is some customization on the settings menu that lets you show 6 apps or just a handful. You can remove the text underneath the app too. Most companies don’t really let you have much control over the home screen, but Meebook is the outlier in this regard.
There isn’t a traditional UI on this reader, instead everything is based on icons. You can launch your library, apps menu, file explorer and settings. On the top left side of the screen there are a few options the home screen button, back button, refresh and front-lit display option to control the luminosity. On the top right is an option to view all of the open apps and background processes, WIFI connectivity symbol, battery life remaining and a clock.
If you drag your finger down from the top center of the screen and downwards you can launch quick tools. This lets you access whether you want A2 mode on or off. Never heard of A2 before? By default it is off, this gives you sharp text and the image quality on anything you view, from cover art to pictures, will look amazing. When you turn on A2 mode, it slightly degrades image quality, while boosting up performance. This is useful when accessing the Google Play Store, since there are so many images, icons and animations. A2 mode will allow you to browse, scroll and click on apps faster. When looking at complex PDF files, with lots of images, A2 mode should be on.
In addition to A2 mode, on the quick tools menu, you can establish a WIFI network, pair Bluetooth devices, launch battery saver mode, take a screen shot, rotate by 180 degrees and access the settings menu. The Settings menu where you can update the firmware, change the home screen. You can adjust the volume with a slider, and also control the global contrast. Do you like your text like normal, or do you want it really dark, so there is more contrast? This slider will control the entire device, so all text can be augmented.
One of the things I like about the UI/software is the new file manager. If you sideload things onto the root directly, it will break everything down. It will show you how many EPUB ebooks you have, and group them, showing a numerical value. Ditto with txt files, PDFS, Mobis, DOCX, ZIP, APKS, Pictures, and virtually every ebook format the device supports.
Overall, the software performance on the P6 is solid. It offers enough customization without a steep learning curve. The bright and bubbly boxes are inviting. All of the apps launch fast and Meebook updates the firmware regularly, for security and enhancements.
One of the big advantages of reading on the P6, is the 300 PPI screen. You are reading on exposed e-paper and there is no glass. You will easily be able to read outdoors and have no glare on the screen, you don’t even need a matte screen protector. Meebook is almost going back old school with this industrial design, almost every new e-reader on the market has a glass screen, which protects the e-paper from scratches. The benefit is glass screens are easily waterproofed, but the tradeoff is you get glare from the sun or overhead lighting.
Meebook is not using their own e-reading software anymore, but a new one called Z-Reader. This software is compatible with all of the major ebook formats, such as TXT, CHM, FB2, MOBI, HTML, RTF, HTXT, EPUB, PDB, DOC, PRC, PDF, DJVU, ASW, PRC. It even supports CBZ and CBR, which are the most popular native manga formats. However, the sheer amount of formats is mind boggling. You can simply plugin the P6 to your PC and MAC with the USB cable and sideload them in with a file manager or with 3rd party software like Calibre. If you have an SD card populated with books you can just insert it in and if your collection is stored on the Cloud, such as Google Drive, Dropbox or anywhere else, you can just install that app and download the material.
When reading on the stock app that is a ton of flexibility and control. There are 6 different line space settings, and a ton of advanced margin control. There are 8 different font settings and you can manually control them with a slider bar too. The default font type is the one that the publisher used when making the book, but you can use dozens of the ones that are pre-loaded. If it doesn’t have your favorite font, like Bookerly or Ember, that the Kindle uses, you can plugin your P6 to your PC and copy the font to the .font director and restart your reader, and you can select it from reading a book.
Manga is really good on this device. If you decide to load in your own, using CBR/CBZ or even an EPUB, the images are sharp and speech bubbles are readable. Most of the modern manga is optimized for phones, that have a clamshell design, but sometimes looks stretched on a e-reader with a square screen. I read a bunch of manga, sideloaded manga looked a bit worse than manga I read using the Kindle App or the Kobo App or VIZ. Since they are the content deliverers, they tend to send you an optimized version for your screen size, so the images went right to the margins.
PDF is not a great experience. You need to have A2 mode on and this creates ghosting, so you always need to tap the full page refresh button on the top left of the screen. I mean, there is literary no e-reader in the world where PDFS look great on small screens. You basically need a 10.3 to read A5 documents or a 13.3 to read A4, but these are significantly more expensive.
The Meebook P6 is a peculiar ebook reader. It is priced at $189, which means it is about as expensive as the Kindle Paperwhite 11th Generation or the Kobo Libra 2, or Barnes and Noble Nook Glowlight 4. The advantages these brands have over Meebook, is that they have bookstores right on them, which have all of the latest bestsellers and audiobooks. You are invested in the ecosystem, and likely have tons of purchases on that account. Lets say you use a Kindle on your phone and you have an e-reader. Everything is synced between your devices, you buy a book on one and the its wirelessly pushed to the other, it even remembers what page you were on.
The Meebook is more agnostic. There is no bookstore on the device. You are basically have Google Play to download and install all of your apps. You can download the apps versions of the Kindle or Kobo apps. The vast majority of readers just use apps on their phones or tablets anyways and most people just buy books on their phone.
I think there is a place for the Meebook in the world. You have lots of control over the home screen and how it looks, insert an SD card for more storage, 24 LED lights, seriously advanced reading options and more!
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.