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Old 08-13-2014, 09:12 PM   #1
gpassero
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Icarus Illumina (E653)

ICARUS is selling the Illumina (E653) as a the successor to the HD. It's running Android 4.2. The specs are below. Has anyone had any experience in this eink android reader?

Thanks,
Gary

Screen
Screen diagonal (inch/cm) 6 / 15.24
Screen technology E-paper (E-Ink Pearl HD)
Touchscreen Yes, capacitive touch
Resolution 1024 x 768
Connectivity
USB 2.0 Yes
WiFi 102.11 B/G/N Yes
Light
Front Light Yes
Light intensity levels 8 settings and completely off
Memory
Internal memory (Gb) 4
Expandable up to... (Gb) 32
Memory card format Micro SD
Battery
Capacity (mAh) 2000
Up to ... page refreshes 6000
Applications
Image viewer Yes
Music player Yes
Video player No
RSS reader No
Notepad No
Sketch bloc No
Reading functions
Page turning methods Page turning buttons on both sides, swiping the touchscreen
Bookmark management Yes
Go To Page Yes
Table of Contents Yes
Text search Yes
Adjust font size (sizes) Yes
Adjust font type (fonts) Yes
Install your own fonts Yes (True Type Fonts)
Adjust margins (margins) Yes
Adjust line spacing (settings) Yes
Automatic page turning Yes
Dictionary No
Background music No
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Old 08-16-2014, 06:24 AM   #2
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My Boyue (or Boeye) T61 arrived last Thursday.

Boyue appears to be the OEM for the Icarus E653 : this is confirmed by comparing the firmware updates of both the T61 (http://pan.baidu.com/share/home?uk=2...ategory/type=0) and the E653 (http://194.33.112.113/~icarusre/open...ormation_id=11).

Please keep in mind that this is my first dedicated e-ink e-reader ; I can only compare the handling and reading experience with the FNF iFive X2, a Chinese tablet which is fairly unknown but has an excellent price/performance ratio (RK3188 quadcore, 8.9", 1920x1200). It unfortunately suffers from a relatively large weight (~ 600g) and a - like most tablets - unreadable screen in sunlight.
I used it to read ebooks at night, and - now owning the T61 - currently use it to read comics ; the retina screen is a big plus here.


Back to the T61/E653.

As I like to have a lot of characters on the screen (mimicking the page layout of the real life dead tree stuff), I would have preferred a slightly larger screen (6.8-8") with a higher resolution (1440x1080 or 1600x1200), e.g. the Onyx T68.

However, as currently only the T61 offers Android 4.2, bears an affordable price tag, and serves me as a first introduction to an e-ink reader, the decision was quickly made.


I like the T61 very much.

It perfectly fits my hands, has a slightly rubber-ish texture, and offers a hardware page refresh button (which I use a lot). The built-in reading light has a very nice range, from very dim to quite bright, and appears to evenly light the screen (again, I cannot compare to other e-readers).

Extra storage is cattered for through a microSDHC slot.
Although the mounting/unmounting commands are provided for in the Storage Setup screen, the microUSB port does not seem to offer USB Host functionality (which would allow to attach e.g. USB memory sticks).


The device came with the 20140617 firmware ; I immediately installed the 20140814 update (which is initiated by copying the update.zip to the root directory ; upgrading takes a couple of minutes and leaves your data intact).

I look after my privacy, hence I do not buy Windows or Apple phones/tablets and more specifically, I want my Android stuff rooted.
The T61 is very easy to root (see below).

As the T61 runs Android but does not have access to the Google Play Store (the Google apps are missing), additional apps are installed by downloading (built-in browser) or copying (over USB) the apk to the device, and/or installing alternative market apps. I did not try to install GAPPS, as I have no use for Google's privacy-invading stuff on an e-reader.

Hence I first downloaded and installed F-Droid (https://f-droid.org), after which I installed both SuperUser and Root Verifier.

The device is rooted (this is on your own risk ; if the following sounds like gibberish, just skip it) by :
- extracting the su binary from the /assets/armeabi/ folder in the com.koushikdutta.superuser_1030.apk file ;
- copying the su to /system/xbin/ via adb remount and adb push ;
- in an adb session, chmod-ing the binary to 6755.
(I repeat : making mistakes here may brick your device, rendering it unusable.)

Root access is now verified by the previously installed 'Root Verifier' app.


After rooting,I did install a firewall (AFWall+ from the F-Droid repo) and the XPosed/XPrivacy modules (http://xposed.info).
Installing Titanium Backup (http://matrixrewriter.com/android/) and the Ghost Commander file manager (F-Droid) completed the basic Android setup.



For e-reading purposes (no rooting required), I installed both FBReader (http://fbreader.org/FBReaderJ) and CoolReader (F-Droid). Aard (F-Droid) provides the dictionary functions, and Comics Reader (F-Droid) and Open Comic reader (Play Store & https://github.com/sketchpunk/opencomicreader) are capable comics readers.

As you may have noticed by now, I strongly favour open source.


Google Play apps can easily be downloaded by the excellent cross-platform Raccoon desktop client (http://www.onyxbits.de/raccoon) and then transferred to the e-reader.
This is how I installed Calibre Companion, which works very well on the T61.



Caveat :
I bought the T61 in China, at a very favorable price (as I wrote, my first introduction to e-ink). If you need to apply for warranty, you may be out of luck (return shipping usually isn't worth the price of the device).
Not having any experience with Icarus' customer support, I nevertheless - based on my current experience with the T61 - would not hesitate to recommend the E653 to friends and relatives.


My personal conclusion : if you fancy the freedom of a (rooted) Android device, this e-reader should be on your list.



HTH,
Didier
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Old 08-16-2014, 11:31 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by didierm View Post
My Boyue (or Boeye) T61 arrived last Thursday.

Boyue appears to be the OEM for the Icarus E653 : this is confirmed by comparing the firmware updates of both the T61 (http://pan.baidu.com/share/home?uk=2...ategory/type=0) and the E653 (http://194.33.112.113/~icarusre/open...ormation_id=11).

Please keep in mind that this is my first dedicated e-ink e-reader ; I can only compare the handling and reading experience with the FNF iFive X2, a Chinese tablet which is fairly unknown but has an excellent price/performance ratio (RK3188 quadcore, 8.9", 1920x1200). It unfortunately suffers from a relatively large weight (~ 600g) and a - like most tablets - unreadable screen in sunlight.
I used it to read ebooks at night, and - now owning the T61 - currently use it to read comics ; the retina screen is a big plus here.


Back to the T61/E653.

As I like to have a lot of characters on the screen (mimicking the page layout of the real life dead tree stuff), I would have preferred a slightly larger screen (6.8-8") with a higher resolution (1440x1080 or 1600x1200), e.g. the Onyx T68.

However, as currently only the T61 offers Android 4.2, bears an affordable price tag, and serves me as a first introduction to an e-ink reader, the decision was quickly made.


I like the T61 very much.

It perfectly fits my hands, has a slightly rubber-ish texture, and offers a hardware page refresh button (which I use a lot). The built-in reading light has a very nice range, from very dim to quite bright, and appears to evenly light the screen (again, I cannot compare to other e-readers).

Extra storage is cattered for through a microSDHC slot.
Although the mounting/unmounting commands are provided for in the Storage Setup screen, the microUSB port does not seem to offer USB Host functionality (which would allow to attach e.g. USB memory sticks).


The device came with the 20140617 firmware ; I immediately installed the 20140814 update (which is initiated by copying the update.zip to the root directory ; upgrading takes a couple of minutes and leaves your data intact).

I look after my privacy, hence I do not buy Windows or Apple phones/tablets and more specifically, I want my Android stuff rooted.
The T61 is very easy to root (see below).

As the T61 runs Android but does not have access to the Google Play Store (the Google apps are missing), additional apps are installed by downloading (built-in browser) or copying (over USB) the apk to the device, and/or installing alternative market apps. I did not try to install GAPPS, as I have no use for Google's privacy-invading stuff on an e-reader.

Hence I first downloaded and installed F-Droid (https://f-droid.org), after which I installed both SuperUser and Root Verifier.

The device is rooted (this is on your own risk ; if the following sounds like gibberish, just skip it) by :
- extracting the su binary from the /assets/armeabi/ folder in the com.koushikdutta.superuser_1030.apk file ;
- copying the su to /system/xbin/ via adb remount and adb push ;
- in an adb session, chmod-ing the binary to 6755.
(I repeat : making mistakes here may brick your device, rendering it unusable.)

Root access is now verified by the previously installed 'Root Verifier' app.


After rooting,I did install a firewall (AFWall+ from the F-Droid repo) and the XPosed/XPrivacy modules (http://xposed.info).
Installing Titanium Backup (http://matrixrewriter.com/android/) and the Ghost Commander file manager (F-Droid) completed the basic Android setup.



For e-reading purposes (no rooting required), I installed both FBReader (http://fbreader.org/FBReaderJ) and CoolReader (F-Droid). Aard (F-Droid) provides the dictionary functions, and Comics Reader (F-Droid) and Open Comic reader (Play Store & https://github.com/sketchpunk/opencomicreader) are capable comics readers.

As you may have noticed by now, I strongly favour open source.


Google Play apps can easily be downloaded by the excellent cross-platform Raccoon desktop client (http://www.onyxbits.de/raccoon) and then transferred to the e-reader.
This is how I installed Calibre Companion, which works very well on the T61.



Caveat :
I bought the T61 in China, at a very favorable price (as I wrote, my first introduction to e-ink). If you need to apply for warranty, you may be out of luck (return shipping usually isn't worth the price of the device).
Not having any experience with Icarus' customer support, I nevertheless - based on my current experience with the T61 - would not hesitate to recommend the E653 to friends and relatives.


My personal conclusion : if you fancy the freedom of a (rooted) Android device, this e-reader should be on your list.



HTH,
Didier
Great... willing to obtain one
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Old 08-17-2014, 01:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by didierm View Post
Google Play apps can easily be downloaded by the excellent cross-platform Raccoon desktop client (http://www.onyxbits.de/raccoon) and then transferred to the e-reader.
This is how I installed Calibre Companion, which works very well on the T61.
Interesting... how does it deal with paid apps locked with Play Store verification?
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:59 AM   #5
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Interesting... how does it deal with paid apps locked with Play Store verification?
Raccoon requires you to login with a Google account.
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Old 08-17-2014, 09:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by didierm View Post

For e-reading purposes (no rooting required), I installed both FBReader (http://fbreader.org/FBReaderJ) and CoolReader (F-Droid). Aard (F-Droid) provides the dictionary functions, and Comics Reader (F-Droid) and Open Comic reader (Play Store & https://github.com/sketchpunk/opencomicreader) are capable comics readers.

As you may have noticed by now, I strongly favour open source.


HTH,
Didier
Hi Didier how about fast refresh with coolreader and others reading program? I think there is a black flashing with every page turn right?
I have found a german review of icarus where they show the light it's not much uniform, it's the same with yours as well?
http://allesebook.de/e-book-reader/h...nts=1#comments

(since from the photos it's showed a german text i assume it's capable of handling others european languages like french/italian/spanis)
thanks!
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Old 08-17-2014, 10:03 AM   #7
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Raccoon requires you to login with a Google account.
And on the device...

Does it decrypt the app? Or what?
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Old 08-17-2014, 05:25 PM   #8
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Hi Didier how about fast refresh with coolreader and others reading program? I think there is a black flashing with every page turn right?
I have found a german review of icarus where they show the light it's not much uniform, it's the same with yours as well?
http://allesebook.de/e-book-reader/h...nts=1#comments

(since from the photos it's showed a german text i assume it's capable of handling others european languages like french/italian/spanis)
thanks!
- At each page turn, for a fraction of a second the characters get slightly 'fuzzy' (supposedly the e-ink droplets switching their orientation). When clicking the hardware page refresh (which I do about every 5 reading pages), the page image inverts (black/white) for less than half a second.

- There is some slight LED-light 'clouding' of about the bottom 10% of the screen, but nothing disturbing : it's not distinguisable in daylight, I have absolutely no issue reading at night.

- As this is Android, you pick the language you prefer. The T61 came with Chinese preconfigured, which I changed to English US (took some guesswork ).
I'd guess the E563 comes preconfigured with English (and configurable to every Android built-in language).
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Old 08-17-2014, 05:41 PM   #9
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And on the device...

Does it decrypt the app? Or what?
Have a look at the aforementioned website : Raccoon doesn't run on the device, but is only a Google Play Store desktop client.

After downloading the apk's (with your PS credentials) on the client workstation, you transfer the apk's to the PS-deficient device and install them with any available apk-aware tool ; e.g. in the case of the E653, with the file manager.
("adb install" would be another option)
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Old 08-17-2014, 06:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by didierm View Post
Have a look at the aforementioned website : Raccoon doesn't run on the device, but is only a Google Play Store desktop client.

After downloading the apk's (with your PS credentials) on the client workstation, you transfer the apk's to the PS-deficient device and install them with any available apk-aware tool ; e.g. in the case of the E653, with the file manager.
("adb install" would be another option)
So the answer would be: it decrypts the app so you can transfer it to the device and actually run the app?
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Old 08-18-2014, 02:49 AM   #11
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So the answer would be: it decrypts the app so you can transfer it to the device and actually run the app?
I'd suggest to contact the author of the application for an authoritative answer to your technical questions (the source code is freely available too).
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Old 08-20-2014, 12:42 PM   #12
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I added a wiki page for the Boyue T61, ICARIUS Illumina
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Old 08-20-2014, 04:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by didierm View Post
Have a look at the aforementioned website : Raccoon doesn't run on the device, but is only a Google Play Store desktop client.

After downloading the apk's (with your PS credentials) on the client workstation, you transfer the apk's to the PS-deficient device and install them with any available apk-aware tool ; e.g. in the case of the E653, with the file manager.
("adb install" would be another option)


Quote:
Originally Posted by eschwartz View Post
So the answer would be: it decrypts the app so you can transfer it to the device and actually run the app?


Quote:
Originally Posted by didierm View Post
I'd suggest to contact the author of the application for an authoritative answer to your technical questions (the source code is freely available too).
@didierm, do you have any paid apps you use thru this and do they work? That's what I would like to know. Looking at source code won't do me any good.
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Old 08-21-2014, 09:29 AM   #14
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@didierm, do you have any paid apps you use thru this and do they work? That's what I would like to know. Looking at source code won't do me any good.
As I wrote in my original post :
Quote:
"This is how I installed Calibre Companion, which works very well on the T61."
Raccon is not a piracy tool : you can only download those paid apps which are linked to your Play Store account, as explained in Raccoon's FAQ.
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Old 08-21-2014, 09:38 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by didierm View Post
As I wrote in my original post :


Raccon is not a piracy tool : you can only download those paid apps which are linked to your Play Store account, as explained in Raccoon's FAQ.
I missed that, thanks.
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