A little over two weeks ago the Dutch ereader maker Icarus put their newest ereader, the Illumina XL, up for pre-order. Now they've launched a crowd funding campaign.
Yesterday a reader tipped me to the news that Icarus has launched a crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo. The ereader maker seeks to raise $57,000 to fund the manufacturing of the Illumina XL, and they want your support.
They're using the campaign to sell discounted pre-orders. For $170, you can get the Illumina XL, and for $180 you can get the ereader plus a case. The prices correspond to about the same as the (pre-VAT) retail price on the Icarus website.
The Illumina XL is not your average ereader. It runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean on a dual-core 1GHz CPU with 512MB RAM. It has 8GB storage, a microSD card slot, Wifi, and a headphone jack for audio. Weighing in at 275 grams, the Illumina XL measures 9mm thin and has a 2.8Ah battery.
Aside from the RAM, the specs so far are pretty decent for an ereader. It will be fast and you'll be able to install Android apps, but I'm not so happy about the screen.
The Illumina XL has an 8" epaper screen with frontlight and touchscreen, like many ereaders, only in the case of the XL the screen is not made by E-ink. This device uses a knockoff epaper screen from E-ink's Chinese competitor, Ganzhou OED Technologies. We can tell the manufacturer by the screen resolution, which is 1024 x 768 (150ppi). In comparison, E-ink's 8" screen sports a resolution of 1,600 x 1,200 (250ppi).
Now, the lower screen resolution might not put you off, but I find it unappealing, especially when combined with the limited RAM and price.
But if it doesn't bother you, the Indiegogo campaign awaits. Do note, though, that this is a flexible funding campaign, which means that Icarus will collect your funds even if they don't raise the full $57,000.