Friday, 25 September 2020

Something different from Onyx Boox

Onyx Boox regularly releases new devices, so that it becomes difficult to follow the logic or need for a new iteration. One note-taking e-reader that was announced recently is the Onyx Boox Note Air - an e-reader that is slightly different than anything Onyx Boox released in the past. 

The design of the Onyx Boox Note Air is closer to the Kobo Forma, Libra H20 and Kindle Oasis, with one end of the device wider than the other. The one-sided extra width makes the device more comfortable to hold and rotate for landscape viewing. Onyx, for the first time, also added a built-in G-sensor to enable auto-rotation of the Boox Note Air. Another update is the re-design of the stylus that magnetically attaches to the side of the e-reader. Other Onyx Boox e-readers use a generic EMR stylus that Boyue uses too. 

One worrying aspect of the Boox Note Air is its 3000 mAh battery capacity. In comparison, the Onyx Boox Note 2 has a larger 4300 mAh capacity. As noted in previous posts, Android e-readers consume more battery, and the EMR touch layer also drains the battery quicker with extensive stylus input. The Likebook Ares Note has a similar battery capacity as the Boox Note Air (3300 mAh) and I found that it drained quickly when writing notes and using third-party Android applications.

Overall, the Onyx Boox Note Air is a unique device and is not part of the Note 10.3-inches series. It does offer some upgrades to the Note 2 - a faster processor, DDR4 RAM (although it only has 3GB RAM) and Bluetooth 5.0. At the same time, there are downgrades in comparison to the Note 2 - smaller battery capacity, less RAM, half the storage, single speaker, no fingerprint sensor, no Mobius backplane and heavier weight (despite being called the Boox Note Air!). On balance, as there are more downgrades than upgrades, the Onyx Boox Air costs slightly less than the Note 2. In my view, the biggest issue is the smaller battery capacity, so it will be interesting to follow the opinions of users on the longevity of the battery life. 

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