Onyx Boox i86ML vs Pocketbook InkPad (video)
Onyx’s new 8″ ereader proved to be very disappointing when I reviewed a beta unit in late March, but the following video suggests that the production unit will be a lot better.
Instead, the video shows the i86ML, a model equipped with a frontlight. Onyx doesn’t currently offer this model, but the video was uploaded by eReader Store and that suggests that it is going to be launched in the near future.
Let’s hope Onyx improved the software, because the hardware looks pretty good. The frontlight on the i86 looked evenly lit in the video, and had a natural tone.
The Pocketbook InkPad has been available in Europe since last year, but the Onyx Boox i86 has yet to be officially released. Onyx has released a limited number in China, and a handful of units have shown up on Amazon and Ebay, but it is technically not available yet.
Both models have the same 8″ E-ink display (1,600 x 1,200 screen resolution) but it is not clear that they have the same frontlight or touchscreen. My InkPad has a capacitive touchscreen, while the Boox i86 sitting on my shelf has an IR touchscreen from Neonode. The two devices also run different OSes; the InkPad runs Pocketbook’s version of Linux, while the Boox i86 runs Android 4.0.
Aside from the screen, these are two very different ereaders, and they are a couple of your very limited options for mid-sized ereaders.
Aside from the Kobo Aura H2O and the unusable Cybook Ocean, there is not much in the way of ereaders with screen sizes between the more common 6″ models and the rare 9.7″ ereader like the Onyx Boox M96 Universe.
The i86ML is not yet available anywhere (at least, not officially) but I’ll keep you posted when it turns up.