What the freaking heck is Onyx Boox? I know I was asking that very thing just a few short months ago. I had never heard of it despite having owned an ereader for years.
Onyx Boox or BOOX is a Chinese ereader brand. Like most ebook readers, it uses electronic paper technology. That’s the E-Ink glare-free screen that reads like real paper, even in direct sunlight.
What makes the Onyx Boox ereaders different from the brands you or I are familiar with is the operating system is an Android. This allows users to write personal software, which is really not needed by the average reader. A few models even have access to Google Play. Some allow note taking. Added bonus of newer models support Bluetooth connectivity. Excellent!
Models listed below are the ones currently available in the United States. Other models are available for other countries. Check out OnyxBOOX.com if you’re an international reader.
Plain Jane Model – Onyx Boox Caesar 3
If you’re looking for a simple ereader to read books without all the bells and whistles, then the Onyx Boox Caesar 3 is the ereader for you. The Caesar 3 is a 6″ E-Ink with what’s called SNOW Field, a screen that can have different parts refresh. Sounds way more complicated than we need to know, unless you are into understanding electronic devices.
The Onyx Boox also uses MOON Light technology to enable reading in poor light. Again, this is a fancy name for a complicated lighting function that reads like reflected light instead of the harsh direct light of LED screens. It’s supposed to be easier on the eyes.
With 8G of storage, plus an expansion slot for microSD, you’ll have plenty of space to store your books. This ereader is also very versatile in supporting a lot of different formats, including the popular Epub, Mobi, and PDF files we all need, plus so many more.
Like the well-known Kindle devices, you can choose from different fonts, text size, add bookmarks, and access dictionaries in multiple languages from your ereader.
Another basic model is the Onyx Boox Amundsen, that’s only available in the US from the distributor’s website, www.ectaco.com.
6″ Touch-Screen Models
We’ve got to have the touch screen models!
The Onyx Boox Darwin 3 is a 6″ touch E-Ink screen. Like the basic model, the Darwin uses MOON light technology and SNOW field function. This one has wireless capability and a basic browser to browse the internet. It has an Android OS and 8G of storage with a microSD slot. You’ll definitely have enough space with this ereader. The same formats Onyx supports are supported here, especially the ever popular Epub, Mobi and PDF files.
The Onyx Boox Poke sounds a bit hilarious, actually, but it seems like a solid ereader with a 6″ front lit screen that allows you to choose from “warm” to “cold” light or a mixture for easier nighttime reading. This super slim device comes with 8G of storage and WiFi AND Bluetooth connectivity!! Yowza!! This means this ereader is audio book compatible. Freaking awesome!
This model also uses regal refresh technology that ensures no ghost lines after turning the page, I guess. Because of the Android OS, you have access to applications on your device, which is pretty freaking excellent too. Another point in this ereader’s favor is the huge number of formats supported. They claim more than 20!
You can highlight, annotate, and look up words in the dictionary. Bonus is battery life lasts weeks, not days.
There is also the Poke Pro which has more storage at 16G.
The Onyx Boox Vasco de Gama 3 is a 6″ Multi-touch E-Ink screen with MOON light+ technology and SNOW field (partial refresh) function. The MOON light+ seems to be the ‘temperature’ control of lighting depending on the time of day, warm vs. cold light. I don’t know exactly because it’s phrased a little oddly by saying temperature control when referring to lights. Hee.
This is device supports the usual basic formats and has 8G of storage with an expansion slot.
The real bonus is this device supports network libraries for access to hundreds of free books!
The Onyx Boox Monte Cristo 4 is also available, just not on Amazon, and is considered a ‘premium’ model because of its superior materials.
Big Screen Monsters!
The following ereaders are very useful for technical and academic literature more than simple book reading and the price tags match it! That said, you could definitely read books on these.
BOOX Max2 is a massive 13.3″ screen with WiFi, Bluetooth, and HDMI connectivity, which allows you to connect to a computer monitor. It has the Android 6.0 operating system, E-Ink screen, and SNOW field function. This baby comes with a massive 32G of storage.
The really nifty thing about this ereader is the dual touch control screen that allows you to use a stylus pen to draw or make notes. It also has the ability to open an epub or mobi file on half the screen while you open a note taking app on the other half.
The BOOX Max2 Pro has 2x the storage at a whopping 64G and writes like real paper thanks to 2048 pressure sensitivity. Plus tablet mode! You can do anything on this ereader except watch videos.
BOOX Note is a 10.3″ Dual Touch HD E-Ink ereader with a whopping 32G of memory and SNOW field function. It comes with a stylus pen you can make handwritten notes with. With WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, you can surf the web or pop in headphones. Added bonus, this ereader has built in speakers! You can listen to your favorite audio book or switch from reading to Text-to-Speech easily. This ereader doesn’t have a light, however.
The BOOX Note Plus is like the Note, but with a flush glass screen for scratch resistance and handwriting search.
The BOOX Note Lite, which I can’t find in retailers yet, has a flush glass base as well but no handwriting ability at all. You can also find the Onyx Boox Nova, a 7.8″ 32G Android ereader. With WiFi and Bluetooth, this is an excellent larger version of the 6″ models. It uses regal refresh technology, adaptive front-lighting for easier nighttime reading. Supports over 20 different formats, too!! Added bonus is access to Onyx Boox EInk App store!
Handwriting and Audio – Best Features EVER!
Overall, I am very intrigued by this brand and plan on putting my hands on one soon! There are a few discontinued models that I didn’t list here that you might be able to find refurbished on Amazon, but I think I created an accurate list of the currently available models.
I am most impressed with the use of Android OS, the handwritten notes, and Bluetooth or built in speakers for audio. This is one of the few brands able to use apps and function like a tablet in a lot of ways.
Keep your eye on this brand. I see great things!
If any of you guys and gals have experience with this brand of ereader, I would love to hear your impressions! Leave me a comment with your story.
Or just leave a comment. I always respond.