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Saturday, 2 October 2021

Max Lumi's monitor functionality compared to the Onyx Boox Mira

Onyx Boox sells two E Ink monitors - the Mira Pro and Mira. The Mira Pro is a regular-sized 23-inches monitor. On the other hand, the Boox Mira is a 13.3-inches portable E Ink monitor that weighs 590 grams. Considering Max Lumi's screen is 13.3-inches - the largest note-taking e-reader from Onyx Boox - and can be used as a monitor, shouldn't it be a better option? After all, the Lumi costs slightly more but has the added functionality of being a note-taking e-reader. 

I think it is not right to compare the Lumi to the Mira. The Max Lumi is a note-taking e-reader first and is not optimised to be used as a monitor. To use the Lumi as a monitor, it is necessary first to access a designated application. Accordingly, the monitor feature is baked into Boox's Android-based operating system - to customise the front light, change the display mode or contrast, it is necessary to use the application's settings. 

Other issues to consider is input lag, resolution optimisation problems, increasing battery damage and E Ink screen degradation. Of course, this is not to say an E Ink monitor will resolve these issues. Nevertheless, a purpose-built monitor can help with specifically designed features like setting refresh speed when scrolling, improving input lag, providing an optimised list of display modes and resolution scaling. Onyx Boox will also release desktop software to manipulate the display's output based on the use case. Working from within the desktop environment cuts the need for a third-party go-between (as with the Lumi). 

The more significant issue is what can an E Ink monitor realistically offer? Technically, an E Ink display can play a video, but image degradation and ghosting mean it isn't a realistic option. As a niche product, the use cases of an E Ink monitor is some coding, light web browsing, word processing, general productivity like reading documents and accessing emails. Most of the noted tasks may work on the Max Lumi, but the experience is better optimised with a dedicated monitor.

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