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Tolino Shine 3 review

This is my review of the Tolino Shine 3. While the device has some strong points it disappoints in others. It's a relatively cheap E-Reader featuring an E-Ink display. E-Ink is a cool technology that uses electrically charged pigments to draw an image on the screen that persists without any power applied to it. Meaning you should get days or even weeks of battery life out of a device like this.

I have experienced weird battery drain issues over the past few weeks when the device was left in sleep mode. Sometimes it held up really well, other times the battery seemed to drain way too quickly.

Display 6" 300 ppi E-Ink Carta
Storage 8GB
Reading light yes, with adaptive colors
Cloud storage yes
Formats pdf, epub, txt
Wifi yes
Price 119€

The device runs a heavily customized version of Android and Chromium optimized for e-ink displays. It's not possible to install user supplied APK files on the device out of the box and there is no app store.

The device features an online store where you can purchase E-books from a different retailer depending on your region. In Austria it's Thalia. It's also possible to lend books from your local library using the Tolino cloud, this does however require a valid library membership card (Onleihe).

Navigation is possible using the built in touchscreen and gestures. The reader doesn't feature physical buttons to turn pages. However I haven't found this to be a big issue. Turning a page in an epub file takes about a second depending on content. I've run into lag issues when displaying epub files with complicated graphics embedded in them before. However those only affect the pages with said images and it's really not a big issue. It's not possible to change font sizes in most pdf documents so this might be an issue if you have bad eyesight.

Format compatibility is excellent supporting epub, pdf and txt files. This gives it a distinct advantage over its Kindle competitor which relies on a proprietary encrypted format. Files can be transferred from any PC that supports MTP (if you can connect your Android phone it'll work). You can also transfer an image that should be displayed on the screen while the device is sleeping.

The reader has a built in reading light (located inside the bottom bezel, shining upwards) which does a nice job illuminating the device. The light can go from cold white to warm orange for night reading and can be configured to change color temperature according to time of day.

Overall it's a solid device for a good price-point and if you have an existing Ebook library a clear winner over the Kindle.

Update 21.02.2019

The weird battery drain issues went away, though the device crashed multiple times when reading epub files that were not purchased from the store. One time it crashed so badly the device restarted. This only happened with one file so I'm not gonna ding it too hard for that but it shows that Tolino still has some work to do.


About

I'm Benjamin a 24 year old programmer from Vienna, Austria. My main focus is web development, hybrid App development and a bit of Linux system administration.

This blog contains everything I'm interested in. Programming, Linux, Networking, Languages, Books and Politics. Feel free to shoot me a message if you have any questions.

My blog is open-source and can be found on GitHub.