Tolino announced the Shine 4 e-Reader at the Frankfurt Bookfair and this is considered one step up from the Tolino Page, which is really barebones. It hardly ever receives much media attention, the last time it was updated was back in early 2020. The Shine is employing the new E INK Carta 1200 display panel. This increases the performance by 30%, when compared to the previous generation model. Reading eBooks from various online retailers will be amazing, since it has a six inch 300 PPI display and you can deal with many bookstores at the same time, instead of being locked into just one. It is available now and is retailing for €139.00 in Germany and the surrounding regions.
The Tolino Shine 4 features a 6-inch E Ink Carta 1200 display with a resolution of 1072×1404 and 300 PPI. It has16 grayscale levels and can switch the orientation between portrait and landscape mode. There is an integrated lighting with smart Light that has both white and amber LED lights to provide a nice blend between the two. These can be manually adjusted or automatically, based on the clock and time of day. It does not have an ambient light sensor. It has a sunken bezel, which means there is no layer of glass. This makes it easier to read and the text really pops. The front of the Shine is black and the back is dark blue. The power button is also on the back, instead of the sides.
Underneath the hood is a 1.8 GHz AllWinner B300 Quad Core Processor, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage to house all of your eBooks, manga or comics. The Tolino Cloud is capable of housing 25 GB of additional online storage in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. You will be able to connect up to the internet with WLAN 802.11 ac/b/g/n (2,4 and 5 GHz) and free use of Deutsche Telekom AG Hotspots in Germany. You can power the Shine with USB-C to your computer or a wall outlet. The battery is 1500 mAh, which should be good enough for 2-3 weeks of reading. The dimensions are 112.1 x 158.8 x 8.5 mm and weighs 172 g.
You will be able to read in the bathtub or beach, since it is waterproof and rated IPX 8, so it can be totally submerged in fresh water for up to 60 minutes and a depth of 2 meters. You can easily run it under tap water to clean it off, if you spill coffee or tea on it. This is especially useful when you are eating and reading at the same time.
This e-Reader is relevant in a couple of markets. It supports English, German, Spanish, French, Italian and Dutch. There are over 3 million books available from the various Tolino Stores and are available in multiple languages. However, you are not obligated to buy anything and can elect to sideload in your own library and the supported book formats are EPUB, PDF and TXT. One of the cool features on this model is library link, which allows users to merge libraries from multiple Tolino bookstores. I think this e-Reader only makes sense if you live in German, Belgium or Switzerland. It is impossible to buy it outside of Europe, since none of the Tolino Alliance members ship it to North America.
The retail packaging is really nice it is a combination of sea foam green and sky blue with a picture of the Shine 4 on the front. On the back is some light tech specs and certifications. When you take off the cardboard with all of the imagery there is a sea foam green tray, which contains the reader, quick start guide, warranty card and black USB-C cable.
Suffice to say this is a nice reader, however it is based on the Kobo Clara 2 design, so the entire hardware is the same. The only thing that is different is the quad core processor and 1GB of RAM, the new Clara uses a dual core processor and 512 MB of RAM. The Tolino has more power because it is running Android.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.