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Icarus Illumina XL6 Features a 7.8″ Screen, Octacore CPU, Ships Next Month for 268 Euros

When I scooped my competition with the news of the Likebook Mars Android ereader earlier this week, the two questions everyone was asking were when could we buy it, and what OS did it run.

I can now report that the Likebook Mars runs a version of Android 6.0, and it is scheduled to be released in Europe at the beginning of next month (it shipped in China this week, which is where the Youtube videos came from).

The European ereader importer Icarus is now listing a new ereader called the Illumina XL6. While Icarus doesn’t say this explicitly, this is actually a rebranded Boyue Likebook Mars, and it is going to cost 268 euros.

The Illumina XL6 features a Rockchip RK3368 octa-core, 64-bit processor and 2GB RAM. That seems like overkill for an ereader, but as we saw in the videos earlier this week, Boyue built this machine to do more than just read ebooks.

It ships with Google Play, and clearly Boyue is intending the Illumina XL6 to be much more than just an ereader. That’s why it has audio, and a newer version of Android, and more processing power than any mainstream ereader short of the Kindle Oasis (while the Oasis only has a dual-core CPU, its Freescale chip is also more capable than a Rockchip CPU).

The Illumina XL6 is another bid to be the E-ink Android tablet desired by a niche market segment (I used to be one of them), and with a price of 268 euros it is priced to compete.


  • CPU: 1.5GHz octa-core RK3368 CPU
  • OS: Likebook OS (Android 6.0.1)
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Storage: 16GB, microSD card slot (up to 128GB)
  • Screen: 7.8″ Carta E-ink display, 1404 x 1872 resolution (300 ppi)
  • Battery: 2.8 Ah battery
  • Connectivity: Wifi, BT
  • Dimensions: 14.5 cm x 20 cm x 9 mm
  • Weight: 275 grams

via MobileRead

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Mike Cane September 6, 2018 um 8:31 am

Hang on. Your specs seem to be wrong. The Illumina page says this: "The Illumina XL6 comes with 16Gb of internal memory, which is enough for thousands of books. The memory cannot be expanded."

WTF did you get microSD from? This was slightly interesting until no microSD.

Nate Hoffelder September 6, 2018 um 9:41 am

I actually got that from the Likebook Mars specs. I didn’t catch that the specs were different.

Xaver Basora September 6, 2018 um 9:49 am


An ebook reader that has ambitions to be more but without a micro SD slot is a dealbreaker. Especially at 300 euros.
Seriously just how much does an micro SD slot cost to add?

Nate Hoffelder September 6, 2018 um 10:52 am

I’m betting it does have the card slot, and for just that reason.

grg September 6, 2018 um 11:13 am

I really hope it has the card slot! That would be one big advantage to the recent offers from Onyx, even if the screen is probably glass-based rather than plastic.
The Onyx Boox Note is a great device apart for its lack of an SD-slot, but at least it’s got 32gb memory which I’ve been able to somehow manage with so far (although it dies limit what I can do with the device, eg no space for a full Linux chroot). With only 16gb on the 7.8 inch version I wouldn’t manage even for my documents, even though I’d otherwise be intrigued by the slightly smaller form factor.
(now if they’d come up with a penabled 8 inch eink device with a decent SOC and microSD slot…)

Jacek September 7, 2018 um 4:50 am

It now for 229.95€ (presale price?)-

Nate Hoffelder September 7, 2018 um 5:49 am


snazzy_cauldron September 7, 2018 um 8:16 am

Nate, you wrote that you "used to be part" of the niche market segment – what caused you to remove yourself from that list? Is it your opinion that Android e-ink readers aren’t any good, or was it something else?

Nate Hoffelder September 7, 2018 um 8:22 am

While I like the concept, I never really stuck with using one for very long. I kept switching back to a regular tablet, and finally had to admit that they don’t really suit me.

Jake September 10, 2018 um 5:50 am

Icarus lists the device for 230 € without SD card for. For me, the dealbreaker is the missing Bluetooth…

Arbait September 12, 2018 um 12:40 pm

For me, no waterproof is a dealbreaker for any ereader so I stay with my two years old Kobo Aura One… I dream for a small form waterproof ereader, 6 inch maximum…

Nate Hoffelder September 12, 2018 um 1:58 pm

I don’t know; my ereaders have never gotten wet enough for the waterproofing to matter.

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