iReader Ocean 2 review

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The iReader Ocean 2 presents itself as a handy e-reader device with a 7-inch E Ink display. The device comes with an asymmetrical design similar to that of the Amazon Kindle Oasis 3. The left spine is also where the page turn buttons are placed. However, unlike the Kindle Oasis 3, the iReader Ocean 2 runs Android, meaning apps can still be downloaded from other sources. Additionally, the lightweight design combined with the compact dimensions makes the Ocean 2 easy to read.

Specifications and Features

In terms of specs, the Ocean 2 comes with a 2GHz dual-core processor under the hood which the company says contributes to 17% faster page turn rates. The other highlight of the Ocean 2 is the incredible 128GB of LPDDR4 storage that comes with it, which is clearly the most storage ever offered in any e-reader device so far. There’s no SD card slot either, further justifying the large storage on offer.

Another reason could be the excellent music playback capabilities that the Ocean 2 boasts of, and music files surely take up a bit more storage than e-books. It supports five different music formats which also makes the device a complete music player. The audio output is really good and rightly complements the device’s built-in music app. So if you want something other than reading eBooks or listening to audiobooks, there’s always music you can catch up on. Otherwise, an 1800mAh power source keeps the device going and can comfortably sustain 72 hours of playtime. The device supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0 wireless connectivity.

display

Meanwhile, there is the 7-inch E Ink Carta 1200 display with 300 PPI resolution that comes with the device. The display supports 16 levels of grayscale which the company claims has been tuned to simulate 256 levels of gray using appropriate algorithms. The device also offers a 28-level DC warm and cool light setting that adjusts itself based on ambient light to allow for the perfect reading experience. Display response times have improved by 20%, while contrast is also improved by 15%.

building

The Ocean 2 is also extremely thin and light, measuring just 3.5mm and weighing 170 grams. The spine, which is thicker than the rest of the body, provides a nice place to hold the device for reading. The two ergonomically placed rotary knobs allow you to operate the device with one hand while operating the buttons with your fingers. The buttons are again user programmable and can be configured to perform other tasks such as back or global refresh functionality.

The user interface

The user interface has been kept simple, which largely consists of three main tabs placed at the bottom. The left tab will lead to the section where all your e-books are stored while the middle tab lets you access the App Store. Unfortunately, it’s largely Chinese products here, which is understandable given that the device is intended for sale in mainland China.

The rightmost tab, on the other hand, is the Settings menu which again leads to various device features. These include text, music, images, file explorer, etc. Swiping down from top reveals more controls like light modes, audio level, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and system-wide refresh option. There are also a few preset light mode options like Outdoor, Night, Indoor, Custom, etc.

Read and listen

The e-reader supports a wide range of e-book formats, from PDFs and Mobi to DJVU format. While the 7-inch screen might seem a bit small for PDFs, the manga looks great. In fact, the 7-inch screen seems ideal for digital graphic content such as manga. The E Ink Carta display, which offers significantly better contrast and page response times, helps with all of this.

Also, as with most aspects of the e-reader, whoever reads the books is also Chinese. While this may be fine for Chinese audiences, and that’s what the device is supposed to be anyway, the same is not true for English-speaking audiences. On the contrary, things turn out to be a little unpleasant here. The audio quality, however, is top-notch and leaves almost nothing to be desired. It’s crisp, loud and clear with a good dose of bass too.

Conclusion

Overall, the iReader Ocean 2 is a great e-reader while still providing an immersive listening experience, whether it’s audiobooks or just music. The build quality is also excellent. In fact, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any fault with the device, except for one glaring omission, and that’s its lack of English support. There’s a bit of English in there, though there’s no denying it’s still predominantly Chinese.

iReader Ocean 2

$219.99

iReader Ocean 2

Advantages

  • Elegant design
  • You can import into your own ebooks
  • Manual page change buttons

The inconvenients

  • No SD
  • Unable to download Android apps
  • No English
  • The bookstore is in Chinese
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