Onyx makes eReaders and other devices with E Ink screens. For the most part, the company’s products are Kindle-sized. But Onyx also has a 9.7 inch model called the Prometheus, and last year the company launched a 13.3 inch eReader called the Onyx Boox Max.

Now there’s an updated large-screen mode. The Onyx Boox Max Carta is virtually identical to the original Max in most respects, but it has one key new feature: a higher-resolution display.

While the original Onyx Boox Max has a 1600 x 1200 pixel E Ink Mobius display, the new version has an E Ink Carta 2200 x 1650 pixel display.

In other words, the Max has about 150 pixels per inch. The Max Carta has more than 200 pixels per inch, which should make text and graphics look sharper.

There aren’t a lot of 13.3 inch E Ink devices on the market. Sony has a new one, and last year eBook blog Good e-Reader launched one through a  crowdfunding campaign.

And with scarcity comes… a high price tag. There are only a few places to buy an Onyx Boox Max Carta right now. German retailer eReader Store is selling it for € 669 ($728) before tax. And Chinese gadget store Banggood is currently selling the Onyx Boox Max Carta for $679… but that’s a promotional price that ends on May 10th.

You could buy a lot of Kindles for that kind of money. But you wouldn’t be able to view large, high-res PDFs as well on their 6 inch displays. Fans of big-screen devices like this often cite their utility for viewing blueprints, textbooks, and other content that was originally formatted for larger screens.

The Onyx Boox Max Carta has a touchscreen and supports stylus input for handwritten notes and annotations.

Other features include a 1 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, an Android 4.0-based operating system, a 4,100 mAh battery, 802.11b/g/ WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, a headset jack a micro USB 2.0 port, and a microSD card reader.

While it requires different software, Onyx has also shown that it’s possible to use the same hardware as a secondary screen for a computer:

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21 replies on “Onyx Boox Max Carta is a 13.3 inch, 2200 x 1650 eReader”

  1. The display is really interesting. But having used similar devices before, including the goodereader device and a prior Onyx device, I would be very wary–the CPU is not that powerful. The operating system is generic android and not suited to an e-ink display. Sticking with Android 4.0 is also very worrisome. It will work, but it will likely require a lot of tinkering. At best, you bulk upload PDFs or Epub files, but trying to use it for anything else is likely to suffer. Finding a reliable program to run on android 4.0 for taking notes is also iffy. The jury is still out on the ReMarkable reader, but at least they have a custom linux OS instead of generic android.

  2. The weight is surprisingly reasonable at 480 grams (1 pound, 1 ounce). This newer version sees a weight increase of 30 grams (1 ounce). Not bad at all… as anything over this weight feels like labor re: long-term usage (from personal experience).

    Also, I only know of one device maker that produces a color e-ink tablet. That’s what’s missing here for me. If not for the lack of color, I would be seriously tempted as a dedicated reader.

    Supported formats include: TXT, HTML, RTF, FB2, FB2.zip, DOC, DOCX, PRC, MOBI, CHM, PDB, DOC, EPUB
    Graphic: JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP
    Others: PDF, DjVu, MP3

    1. Surface Book: if used as a notebook, the battery is ok. (I need a tablet.)

      Surface Pro 4: no. Twice as long and we start talking.

      Both: glare display. not even remotely comparable to current iPad displays, which are still too bad by far compared to matte displays. Battery replacement service is essentially non-existing, and this is no surprise because it is essentally impossible to disassemble and not destroy the Surfaces. There have been reports that the battery died after some half of a year meaning having burnt the money of purchasing the devices.

  3. Wenngleich es weniger hässlich ist als vorherige Modelle, hässlich ist es mit fest verbauter Schlaufe, asymmetrischer Displayanordnung, überflüssigen Tasten und fettem Herstellernamen immer noch. Veraltetes Betriebssystem, veraltetes microUSB statt USB-C. Auch wenn ich vielleicht sonst bereit wäre, so ein Gerät wegen des matten 4:3-Displays und vertretbaren Gewichts trotz nur 16 Graustufen und hohen Preises zu kaufen – aber ich tue es nicht, solange immer die gleichen Designfehler gemacht werden. Fast alle Tablets haben ein brauchbares Design, aber wegen mangelnden Wettbewerbs haben fast alle Ebookreader ein hässliches Design und mangelhafte Funktionalität.

    Tablets gibt es nicht matt 4:3 – Ebookreader gibt es nicht mit brauchbarem Betriebsystem (zB Windows Pro) und Design. Auf die Idee, die Vorteile beider Gerätegattungen zu vereinen, ist auch im Jahr 7 nach iPad noch kein Hersteller gekommen. Ich suche dringend so ein Gerät, gebe aber keine €800 für eine Krücke aus, die nur ein paar Vorteile und ansonsten schwere Nachteile bietet. Es darf auch dreimal so viel kosten, aber dafür will ich dann matt, 4:3, gefälliges Design, Windows, Zuverlässigkeit, Akkulaufzeit 1 Tag UND 5+ Jahre Akkutauschservice haben – statt nur 2 von mehreren u.A. dieser wesentlichen Aspekte. Z.B. bieten Toshiba Porteges i.W. all das – mit Ausnahme des Seitenverhältnisses; 16:9 sind aber unbrauchbar, Lüfter haben in solchen Geräten auch nichts zu suchen und mehr als 800g verwehren die Handhaltbarkeit, die die Ebookreader bieten.

    Wird es nach weiteren 7 Jahren endlich die perfekte Fusion aus Tablets und Ebookreadern geben? Bis dahin muss es weiterhin der PC tun.

    1. So do I. Heck, I’d be tempted to get the only e-reader that was made with it if I got the chance.

  4. I don”t know about this. You can buy a Surface Pro 4 in the US starting at $100 less.

    1. Many of us prefer eink for long reading sessions. The surface pro 4/iPad pro are heavier and have reflective displays. Both are nice (I have both…) but I still far prefer reading on eink.

  5. Android 4.0????? That alone makes this thing worthless. Google is in the process of discontinuing support for the OS version and I don’t think Amazon supports it for new Kindle installations now. Also, I have a four year old tablet that runs 4.1.1. That version is at least six months newer than 4.0. This isn’t Windows where support (at least until Windows 10 which is theoretically perpetual) continues for ten or more years from release date. What idiot would use Android 4.0 for newly designed devices? I guess we found one but don’t expect this device to sell even 100 units at retail.

    The price of this monstrosity would be ridiculous even if it had a recent version of Android installed on it. With the essentially worthless Android version that comes with it the price is insanely ludicrous. Whatever Shenzhen imbecile came up with this one as a new model device needs to be sent to Beijing for a tour of electronics shops. Maybe he would then see that using four or five year old Android OS versions isn’t financially prudent and certainly not good for sales.

    1. It’s for reading books. Does running on top of a 2.4 series linux kernel makes Kindles less useful? Guess not. But try to ask any sysadmin if they would use a system still running on 2.4, and they’ll laugh in your face.
      Although for this price they should have made a more up-to-date OS, but in the end it doesn’t really matter.

        1. What about the Kindle app or Google Play Books? The play store is just saying “varies with device” for android version required.

        2. Did you find a device that will work? I’m in the same boat – safaribooks is one of my main usecases for wanted an android eink device. I’m looking for ~9-7″+, preferably with frontlight that can run the kindle app and safaribooks.

          1. I ended up getting the boox max carta. There is an android 4.4 image available. I’ve been able to use Safari Books and Kindle via the google play store. That said, it’s SLOW. I’m afraid we’re just going to be forced to use traditional tablet devices if we want any sort of usability. It’s a shame.

    1. A second hand kindle DX satisfies the PDF and cheap price parts, but no SD card slot iirc.

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