Today I’m looking at Germany’s answer to the Kindle, the Tolino Page. The device was released a couple of years ago and is pitched as a budget EReader to compete with the likes of the Kindle Paperwhite. The Tolino company was actually formed by several German bookstores banding together along with Deutsche Telekom which is certainly something different to see in the EReader space
Book Storage Capacity- 2000 books!
This is pretty impressive for such a budget EReader. You’re highlighly unlikely to fill the device. And even if you do manage to purchase 2000 books, there is additional storage on the Tolino cloud which also enables you to transfer your books between different devices.
EReader Store Independent
This is a first for me to see in the EReader space. The device supports EPUB and PDF formats. This means you could actually purchase books from the Kobo store and transfer them to your Tolino without the hefty price tag of a Kobo EReader. For Kindle Ebooks (AZW format) It’s a little more work as you’d need to run your books through an EPUB converter but there are plenty of them on the web for free. I like the idea that you’re not tied down to one marketplace for purchasing books.
You can also purchase EBooks from other stores such as Thalia and then download them onto the device:
Deutsche Telekom Hotspot Access
Similar to the Kindle Paperwhite 3G version, the Tolino offers free 3G access whilst you’re in Germany. This means that you can download books without the need for Wifi which is pretty handy for those on the go. This service unfortunately doesn’t extend beyond Germany so that’s something to consider when making a purchasing decision.
For a budget device it actually has decent font collection. The Tolino Page supports 9 font sizes and 7 different fonts as well as control over line spacing, alignment of text and margin. This level of customization I would actually say is better than the Kindle Paperwhite equivalent in terms of flexibility.
Some Security For Your EReader
Like some of the Kobo devices, the Tolino Page allows you to set a pin to lock the device which I wish more devices would adopt too. Given that we live in a technological era where locking devices has become the norm, it seems that the majority of EReaders are lacking in this area.
The design is functional but elegant in its simplicity. The Tolino Page only has a couple of buttons (Power and Home), whilst the rest of the device is controlled by touch screen. It’s also about the same size as Kindle Paperwhite] which makes for easy reading and holding the device for long periods of time. I also like the neutral colour, rather than going for a black or white design. The UI is also simple to use for those who have never used an EReader before.
This is where the device comes into its own. On Amazon it’s currently priced at:
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This makes it one of the cheapest EReaders on the market by quite a margin Even the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite can’t compete with this as it’s currently priced at:
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Some Specs To Compare Against
|Tolino Page||Original Kindle Oasis||Kindle Paperwhite||Kobo Aura One|
|Size||6 Inches||5 Inches||6 Inches||7.69 Inches|
|Display||300 PPI||300 PPI||300 PPI||300 PPI|
Some Accessories That Are Available
Amazon has a range of cases for the Tolino Page which provide a decent amount of projection for a reasonable price. Some of my favourites I’ve picked out below:
What I Like
I like the fact that this product has been a culmination of a number German bookstores and the telecom industry. It shows that when companies come together, they can do great things. Here is an EReader that is well within everyone’s price range and for a budget device it has a higher than average level of customization. I also like the fact that they’ve gone that the EBook independent route. Another first I’ve not seen before.
What I Don’t Like
Tolino had the chance to hit the international market but they’ve mainly focused on German customer markets which will ultimately limit the adoption of this device. For example, Amazon’s Whispernet service allows you to download books in a variety of countries, whereas with the Tolino Page, you can only download books via 3G in Germany. Although the EReader is EBook store independent, you still have to use additional software to convert Amazon Ebooks to an EPUB format in order for them to be used on the device. This is a little clunky.
If you’re looking for a budget EReader which focuses on one thing then it’s seriously worth considering picking up a Tolino Page. This EReader would be definitely more beneficial to those who are living in Germany and can take full advantage of the additional services provided in that country (e.g. German online bookstores and 3G hotspots).
Until next time
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Any questions? Feel free to drop in a comment below