Distributor: Standaard Boekhandel
Tolino Shine 2HD – Hardware Review
In 2015 we were given two e-readers by the Standaard Boekhandel to try out their spiffy line of Tolino devices. We were allowed to fiddle with both the budget priced device, as well as their slightly more expensive model, and truth be told, while the high-end model certainly was quicker and a bit more stylish, the original Shine certainly shined in its own way and proved to be an exquisite investment for casual readers. This time the Tolino family welcomes a new addition, namely the Shine’s bigger brother, which comes at a slightly higher price, but with a lot more power under its hood. We were eager to see the difference with what the original model provided us with.
Simple is still the keyword of the Tolino devices, and truth be told, that’s how we like it for a device such as this. You’ll be treated to a device that looks like a combination of the original Shine and the Vision 2, which creates a fairly fancy piece of hardware. Just like the first Shine, the screen is embedded slightly lower than the frame, which actually creates just that: a proper frame. Encasing the screen in such a fashion adds a small design-ish feature to the device, to give it a small and original touch.
All of the buttons are properly implemented in the design, thus you will hardly notice they are there, giving the device a smoother look. In combination with the matte rubber-like coating this also gives the device a more expensive feel and look.
Slim, light and compact seem to be the key components of this device when talking about the comfort features. With only 184 grams, the device will undoubtedly weigh a lot less than your average book, thus removing the strain for those who like to dive into thicker books, for longer periods of time. The soft materials used for the exterior of the device is also a nice, comfortable touch, making the device feel a lot softer than you’d initially expect.
Sadly, the soft padding has a small disadvantage, as it shows fingerprints quite rapidly. It’s still possible to keep the device clean if you do a regular upkeep, thus wipe off some of the grime and dirt after every session. Nonetheless, other features are a tad harder to clean, namely the edges of the screen, due to the frame encasing it. That being said, it’s a lot easier to keep the screen, and the edges of said monitor clean, than it was for the original Shine.
- 164 mm x 113,5 mm x 9,3 mm
- 184 grams
- 6 inch display
- E-Ink Carta monitor
- Powerful processor
- Built in shop
- 4GB storage (Only 2GB available for books)
- Supports ePub, PDF and txt
- 7 weeks battery life
- Cloud synchronization of books
This new version of the Shine is also very simple to use, as you’ll simply have to charge the device with the mini-USB cable that is supplied with the hardware. From then on you’re good to go, as you can simply connect the Shine 2HD to your PC, drag and drop a few books from your hard disk to the storage room of the Tolino e-reader, and you’ll have yourself a hefty amount of reading pleasure. This device will support ePub, PDF and Txt files, which will grant you more than enough options to find great online books, often at a very low price compared to the ones you find in shops.
You’ll also have the possibility to link an account of the Standaard Boekhandel to this device, as their store is already a standard feature on the e-reader, if you have Wi-Fi at your disposal. This will make it rather easy to download new books if needed, or simply browse the catalogue to see what’s new, and what might be interesting for the future. The e-reader will also keep track of what books you have stored in the cloud, and if you can’t make up your mind and decide to read the first few pages of a set of books, it will also save your progress, thus start where you left off.
The proper basic capabilities of what you’d desire for a device such as this are all there. You will have around 2GB of storage room, allowing you to bring approximately 1000 books with you, in the palm of your hand. With the added backlight, you will pretty much have the same functionalities as you would with the Vision 2, making this a great competitor for said device.
Another clear difference is the massive upgrade in processing (drawing of the digital ink) speed, which makes it actually rather hard to decide if this device is faster than the Vision 2 or not. However, we can guarantee that this is a huge improvement compared to the first Shine, which worked fine all in all, but proved to be rather slow. Instant page-flipping action is what you can expect from this one.
With a vague description on the box that stated ‘a few weeks of battery life’ we were quite skeptical, but in the end, it all turned out fine as we could indeed use the device for several weeks, with a fair amount of actual reading periods, thus not only leaving the device idle in standby. You’ll be glad to hear that you won’t have to keep a power source and your cable nearby, to make sure you can read one of your favorite novels whenever you like. A small note about the cable, while this only be a minor comment, there’s also a clear improvement. This time you’ll get a longer cable, which is also braided, thus making it easier to plug in the device, still read comfortably, and not having to fear that the cable will snap easily.
Even though the first Shine is being shoved into retirement, leaving you only with a slightly more expensive version of the Shine series and the Vision 2 to choose from out of the Standaard Boekhandel’s catalogue, a massive improvement is clearly noticeable. For us it’s rather hard to state which of the two models for sale is the best one. Nonetheless this device is a tad lower in price than the Vision 2, but has the same features, except for the function where you can tap the back to flip a page. However, we felt this device processed items a tad faster, with fewer screen-flickers. To slowly wind down our opinion, it’s safe to say that this e-reader is more than worth its price.