iReader Neo 2 with the latest E Ink Carta 1300 display: review

iReader made history with the launch of the Neo 2 e-reader device, and that’s with the new E Ink Carta 1300 display that the e-reader now comes with. At only 6 inches, it happens to be the smallest e-reader available, showcasing the latest e-ink display technology. This makes it the Neo 2’s biggest upgrade over its predecessor, with much else remaining the same. This makes us curious about how things will change with the addition of the E Ink Carta 1300 monitor. Please read on.

style and construction

In terms of appearance, the new Neo 2 is almost the same as the Neo. It has the same 6-inch display but is positioned slightly lower than the bezels. There’s nothing special about the Neo 2’s appearance, but surprisingly, the overall design of the Neo 2 has a fresh feel.

On the back, too, there’s the same set of pogo pins as on the predecessor. These are definitely there for connecting peripherals, although the company has never made it clear what they look like. As Peter speculated in his video review of the device, it could be a case with physical page-turning buttons, or it could be a case with a built-in battery and such. Regardless, the 1,700 mAh battery that comes with the Neo 2 should easily last a few weeks.

Other features of the Neo 2 include built-in speakers so you can easily listen to audiobooks. Then there’s Bluetooth functionality, allowing for the connection of other compatible accessories. This e-reader supports Wi-Fi, has a 2 GHz quad-core processor and 2 GB of memory. 32 GB of onboard storage is enough to easily store hundreds of e-books, audiobooks, and other files. The e-reader also has an integrated microphone.

User interface and software

Neo 2 provides a user interface similar to Neo or most other iReader devices. Luckily, everything was simple and well organized. The central section is where all the books are stored. At the bottom are the Bookshelf, Shop, and Settings tabs, which will take you there.

Swiping down from the top will reveal a series of controls. There are Wi-Fi and Bluetooth options at the top, followed by controls for power saving, global refresh, screenshots, dark mode, smart assistant, and lock screen.

Then there’s the headlight feature, which allows you to control the cool and warm colors of the light as needed. That said, there are a few preset options you can choose from, namely Lights Off, Day, Night, and Quilt.

At the bottom is the volume control.

Unless you are fluent in Chinese, a bookstore may not be of much use to international users. The reason is simple. Most of the books provided are in Chinese and only a few are in English. Among them, the chance of getting a book you like will be very slim. The best thing you can do is sideload your own books onto the device via your PC.

The Neo 2 runs Android, but you don’t have the option to sideload your own apps. This also means you have to use the default e-book reading app that comes pre-installed on your device. You can’t even delete unwanted apps, which is a big letdown.

There’s also a floating ball you can click on, which will open a set of options. You can turn the ball on or off as needed.

Reading experience

Compared with the Carta 1200 monitor, the performance of the E Ink Carta 1300 monitor is significantly improved by 35%. The 6-inch display on the Neo 2 offers a resolution of 1072 × 1448, which is equivalent to a pixel density of 300 PPI. All of this greatly improves the reading experience, with text and images clearer than before and page refreshes faster.

PDF rendering was good enough, thanks to the excellent contrast provided by the Carta 1300 monitor. Unfortunately, a 6-inch monitor is not large enough to view PDF files clearly. That means you can enjoy the benefits of the latest e-ink display technology and read e-books on Neo 2 that look great.

Another 6-inch e-reader with a Carta 1300 display is the Onyx Boox Poke 5. This makes the iReader Neo 2 the best e-reader you can buy right now.

in conclusion

The Neo 2 is an interesting device. It uses the latest e-ink screen technology, but the company hasn’t implemented any other software changes or features on the actual device itself, and it’s basically the same as the first-generation Neo. But other than that, it’s a very nice looking device, both in terms of aesthetics and screen technology. Beyond that, it’s lightning-fast for an e-book reader.

One of the only things that really hurts this unit is that you can’t sideload within your own app via traditional means, no drag and drop, no install from storage, nothing. Other than that, it’s an incredibly proficient and high-quality unit that fits in the palm of your hand. It has onboard audio and light, and it also has pogo pins on the back that look like an unknown accessory.

Palm Reading 2

$239.99 USD

Palm Reading 2Palm Reading 2


  • 300 pixels/inch
  • Charter 1300
  • light
  • Quick response
  • Supports e-books and audiobooks


  • Unable to sideload APK file
  • UI is outdated
  • Chinese bookstore
  • no outstanding features
  • expensive

With a keen interest in technology, I make it a point to keep myself updated with the latest developments in technology and gadgets. This includes smartphone or tablet devices and even extends to artificial intelligence and self-driving cars, the latter of which is my latest fad. Besides writing, I enjoy watching videos, reading, listening to music, or trying different recipes. Film is another aspect that interests me and I may make a film at some point in the future.

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