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Octovo Light for Kindle – Review

February 22, 2010

In my two months as a Kindle owner, I found myself regularly visiting the Amazon website, debating on whether or not to purchase one of the available Kindle lights—each time deciding to hold off due to a belief that someone, seeing a potential customer base exceeding 2 million and counting, would surely develop a reading light just for the Kindle.

I almost bit on the recent Kandle, but for reasons covered later in the post, I continued the wait. I redirected my search efforts to upcoming products and learned about the Octovo. They were gracious enough to provide a sample in rapid fashion, and here is the review.

Note about the review

I do not have any of the competing lights, and will, therefore, attempt to compare by addressing the flaws and limitations—as noted within the customer reviews on Amazon—of the currently available reading lights. While not a thoroughly comprehensive comparison review due to my lack of compared models, I do believe the objective details in the table below will support my premise that most Kindle owners will find the Octovo the best light (soon to be) on the market.

Looks

Compact and metal

The Kindle 2 is an elegant and simplistic-looking device—this prepares the  mind, whether reading in public or in the privacy of one’s home. Clamping black plastic on and twisting a flexible arm up and over my Kindle seemed off-putting to me (imagine the snickers from an IPad-wielding patron sharing the dimly lit coffee house).

The Octovo is aesthetically pleasing. The brushed aluminum casing matches the back of the Kindle. The light simply swivels in front, instantly turning on the light. There is no adjusting for proper angle.

Fit and Battery

Perfect fit - no spring clamp

Unlike the Kandle, the Octovo only fits the Kindle (different models will be sold for the Nook and Sony). The raised rubber holds the Octovo in place as one just slips the light onto the top of the Kindle.   Conversely, sliding the Kandle onto the Kindle requires one to “stop short” before reaching the back of the clip, lest one clamps onto the Kindle screen.

Moreover, the Kandle uses 2 CR2032 batteries, which may offer a lighter combined light, but are more expensive, harder to find, and not available as rechargeables (and don’t forget a small-head Philips screwdriver with you on vacation, in case you have to change the batteries). The Octovo uses a single AA battery.

With a regular alkaline battery, the total weight of the Octovo is merely 1.7 ounces (1.9 with NiMH). This is rivaled only by the 1.5 oz Kandle and 1.4 oz M-Edge, but is less than half the total weight of the Mighty Bright and Great Point Light.

The Octovo should also work with cases that allow access to the top of the Kindle—it was a tad snug with my Grantwood zippered case, due to the zipper, but remained secure.

Light

No "hot spot"

As for the light itself, the design of the Octovo ensures that it will only maneuver to one position—a limiting factor that means that if the product designers got it right, then this would be the simplest light to setup; if not, then it would be a total failure. Well, since this product is specific to the Kindle, they were able to find the proper angle without worry that the customer will position it incorrectly on the Kindle.

And, so, the light illuminates the entire screen with no “hot spot” (from the bulb’s reflection on the screen). Text can be read from top to bottom without tilting the Kindle or readjusting the light.  (note:  although I was unable to test the light on a Kindle DX, another reviewer has indicated that the bottom of the screen is legible)

Summary

The best summary of the Octovo is that the entire process, from attaching to the Kindle, to commencing actual reading, is 1 second. There is no on/off switch, no adjustment of the light, no proper clamping position to fret over.

And that is the best one can expect from an accessory for a device that has made reading such a seamless enterprise.

Availability and Price

The Octovo is scheduled for a late-March arrival at Amazon.com and the Octovo website. The wait may be hard, but will be well worth the patience.  The manufacturer is suggesting a list price of $29.99, and while this may seem steep for a reading lamp, it falls in line with the limited other eBook reader lights currently on the market.

Comparison Table

Mighty Bright XtraFlex2 M-Edge e-Luminator2 Great Point Light Flex Neck Kandle Octovo
weight 3 oz 0.9 oz 4 oz 1.3 oz 0.85 oz
Batteries 3 AAA 1 AAA 2 CR2032 2 CR2032 1 AA
Total weight
(*rechargeable NiMH batteries)
4.5 oz* 1.4 oz 4 oz* 1.5 oz 1.9 oz*
Battery life (mfg) 40 hours 20 hours 20 hours 25 hours 25 hours
#  LED lights 2 1 2 2 1
Brightness levels 1 2 1 1 1
Attaches Spring clip Only M-Edge cases (not directly to Kindle) Spring clip Spring clip One-size rubber grip
Casing Plastic Plastic Plastic Plastic Brushed aluminum
Color(s) Black White Black; White White Brushed aluminum
Website Mighty Bright M-Edge Great Point Light Ozeri Octovo (not yet on website)
Price
(Amazon)
$19.99 $29.99 ($24.99 + $5 shipping) $19.99 $25.00 $29.99 (mfg. suggested)
No product page
Most common customer complaints On/off switch (too easily activated)

blue tinge of light

Large clip size

Weak clamp grip on naked Kindle

On/off switch (too easily activated)

Less bright than Mighty Bright.

Inconvenience and expense of batteries with no rechargeable option

On/off switch is a bit flimsy

Short arm creates a “hot-spot” (where the bulb reflects on the screen)

On/off switch is hard to operate as well as flimsy

Inconvenience and expense of batteries with no rechargeable option

Mini-Philips head screwdriver required to open the battery compartment

Short arm results in noticeable darker bottom screen

n/a

Notes from the manufacturer

“The led we used is designed to bring forward the text on the screen for ease of reading,
i.e; there is a contrast between the text and the ‘dead’ gray space on the screen. The light is a soft tone light that allows ease of reading.”  The light will also come with a protective pouch.

Other pictures

Closed (auto power-off)

Rear view

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 14, 2010 10:20 am

    Does it work with the Kindle DX?

    • April 14, 2010 7:07 pm

      It does fit on the DX. I do not have a DX to test to see if it adequately lights the bottom part of the screen, but the review at Kindleboards says that: “The lower part of the DX screen isn’t lit up quite as brightly as the area nearer the light, but I found it adequately lit for reading over the entire real estate of the DX screen.”

  2. Gene Venable permalink
    October 3, 2010 12:45 pm

    One factor of every detachable light is the fact that it can be lost. The more expensive the light, the more expensive replacing it will be. To me, this is significant.

    I am not getting a case for my Kindle 3 because I think it’s unlikely to be broken or damaged, but if it is, I can replace it at a low cost. If I did have to replace it, technology moves so quickly these days that I could get a better one, or go back to my Kindle 2 for awhile.

    The book light seems quite losable to me. If there was a way to permanently attach it to the Kindle 3, that would be a plus.

  3. December 29, 2010 2:52 pm

    THANK YOU for the AWESOME comparison table! I’ve been looking for this info everywhere. I love reviews on Amazon, but after a while I get exhausted flipping back and forth between multiple tabs, sorting through hundreds of reviews, and trying to locate the little but all important details like weight.

    If you do an update for lights for the Kindle 3, I would love to see your comparison table include the Belkin Clip-On Kindle light and the various Verso kindle lights (clip on, rechargeable wrap, and rechargeable arc).

  4. David permalink
    January 5, 2012 4:51 pm

    Excellent review and helped me make my mind up on replacing my current reading it which is not fit for purpose. have also found the reviews on amazon to be extremely useful but seeing all the data brought into one place was very much appreciated.

  5. June 22, 2013 10:20 pm

    I have read so many content concerning the blogger lovers except this post is actually a fastidious piece of writing,
    keep it up.

Trackbacks

  1. Round up #15: Calibre, UK Kindle? « I Love My Kindle
  2. Octovo Solis light for Kindle available today « Kindlelove or: How I Learned to Stop Dawdling and Love the eReader

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