Can the new “Tolino Shine” survive the battle?

Tolino Shine eReader, a new affordable model released in Germany by Deutsche Telekom. A 6 inch HD e-ink screen with IR touch and wi-fi connectivity is expected to compete with latest Kobo& Kindle models.

The device supports only German user interface and 3 book formats along with a German content bookstore. A key feature of Tolino Shine is the front-light, yet there’s no easy-access quick brightness control only through the settings menu.

The interesting fact is that Tolino supports Android OS which gives hope to users of having an unofficial custom firmware, aside from compromising the warranty and performance of the device, waiting for this unofficial firmware is a risky assumption from users’ side since developers will only be interested in releasing such firmware on forums only if the model became popular enough.

Android is a very popular operating system for latest mobile devices and is not the most favorable for e-ink eReaders yet since it loses a lot of functionalities when it’s optimized to work on the slower e-ink screens.

Tolino is having an infrared touch screen, a technology that increases the thickness of the device and is not anymore avoided by today’s popular brands who usually aim at the compactness, comfort and portability of the eReader. Both the power and front-light buttons are placed awkwardly at the right and left corners above the screen, with a rigid mechanical feeling to them while the home button is placed in a very large space below the screen.

Many news followers/forum readers commented on both the unusual color selection and button shape, which seems to be odd compared to today’s market trend for eReaders market.