Onyx is one of only a handful of companies making devices with E Ink screens larger than 7 inches, and the company is bringing two new models to market next month.

The Onyx Boox Note Pro features a 10.3 inch E Ink display, a quad-core processor, and a pressure-sensitive digital pen, while the Onyx Boox Max 2 is a 13.3 inch model that has a few extra features including an HDMI input that lets you use the device as a second screen for a notebook or desktop computer.

Onyx says both models should ship in mid-February, with the Note Pro selling for $550 and the Max 2 going for $800.

Update: Onyx reached out to let me know that despite the smaller model is called the Onyx Boox Note, not the Onyx Boox Note Pro (despite handing out a flyer at CES that said “Note Pro.”

While you could buy an awful lot of Kindles for that kind of money, these Boox devices aren’t just meant for reading eBooks. I mean, they can do that: they support 11 different file formats and have have sharp displays that do a good job of showing text or images. Onyx is showing off comic books as well as text-only titles on the eReaders.

But here’s something you can’t do on a Kindle: jot notes or annotate an eBook. Both of these devices come with a Wacom pen for writing or drawing. It supports 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity and there wasn’t much lag when I used it to scribble a few notes. You can also use your fingers to navigate the touchscreen user interface.

Onyx also includes a few software features that lets you do things like open a two-panel view so you can take notes in one window while keeping an eBook open in the other. Save the note and when you return to that part of the book in the future you’ll see an icon at the top of the screen to let you know you’ve got a note associated with that passage.

The Onyx Boox Note has a USB Type-C port for charging and data trasnfer, a 10.3 inch E Ink Mobius Carta display with a resolution of 1872 x 1404 pixels, 2GB of RAM, a 1.6 GHz quad-core processor, and 32GB or 64GB of storage.

This model measures 9.8″ x 7″ x 0.26″ and weighs about 13 ounces.

It has a 4,1000 mAh battery, WiFi, Bluetooth, and the device runs Android 6.0 software. While you’re probably not going to want to watch videos or play action games on an E Ink display, you can install normal Android APK files and use them on the Onyx Boox Note… so you could always add the Kindle or Nook app, among others. There’s also a web browser built in.

Onyx uses the same basic specs for the larger model: it has the same processor, memory, battery, storage, wireless features, and operating system. But the Onyx Boox Max 2 has a micro USB 2.0 port instead of Type-C, and it also has that aforementioned micro HDMI input. There’s also a headset jack on this model and a speaker on the back.

This Max 2 features a 2200 x 1650 pixel display and the whole thing measures 12.8″ x 9.4″ x 0.3″ and weighs about 1.2 pounds.

Both new Boox devices should be available soon from Amazon.

 

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19 replies on “Onyx Boox Max 2 and Boox Note: Hands on with big screen E Ink slates”

  1. You know what would totally sell me on the Max2. If the USB port could be used to make it an E-Ink Cintique.
    If I could mirror a screen to it through HDMI, but could work in color on a main monitor like I do with my old Wacom it would be worth the price. Especially since it’s an Android tablet on it’s own.

  2. You’re clearly evading the issue since your paid by Onyx to promote their products and generate sales. So come clean and reveal what you know or can ascertain from them about the Boox Max2 PRO version. Which I believe is the white one although you’ve falsely claimed the black one to be it in your video(s). Does it have double or quadruple the storage? Does it have a micro SD card slot? Are there any other upgrades? When will it be available and for what price? You present yourself as an expert so do your research and answer these questions so your readers can make informed buying decisions. Isn’t honesty and transparency your objective rather than deceiving them into buying the wrong product for their needs?

    1. 1 – This isn’t a review. It’s a hands-on video recorded after spending about 10-20 minutes talking with Onyx representatives and receiving a brief demo of their new devices which are being shown off at the Consumer Electronics Show.

      A review would be an in-depth article explaining what it’s like to actually us the device and whether it’s worth purchasing, written after spending at least a few days testing the product in real-world conditions.

      2 – I am not paid by Onyx or any other company featured on Liliputing to publish articles or videos about their products. Liliputing makes money through advertising, affiliate links (we get a commission when you click a link from this site to Amazon or some other online stores and then buy something), and through contributions to our Patreon campaign. While Onyx or any other company is free to advertise on Liliputing, all of that goes through third-party services and I never speak directly to any of the advertisers. We’ve occasionally been approached with requests to include a paid link in the body of an article, and we’ve always declined. I can’t recall every having had an advertiser approach me and offer to pay to write a specific article or review. If that were to happen, I would decline.

      While I’m editor and primary blogger for this site, my background is in mainstream news, where there are strong firewalls between advertising and editorial content and I try to carry that through with this site, which is why I rely on third-party businesses to handle ad sales.

      3 – Check out the last two pictures in the gallery, which I added after your first comment. These are the spec sheets Onyx is showing for the products on display at the show. One is for a 10.3 inch device called the Boox Note Pro. The other is for a 13.3 inch Boox Max 2 Series, with support for 32GB and 64GB options.

      It’s entirely possible that “series” in the name does indeed suggest there will be a Boox Max 2 and a Boox Max 2 Pro, but that’s not spelled out plainly here.

      4 – I was told that both the new 10.3 inch and the new 13.3 inch models will be available in February from retailers including Amazon. I suspect the exact pricing and specifications will be listed on those retail websites and that the numbers given to me at the show were the starting prices for the new models.

      5 – To sum up, I went to the Consumer Electronics Show and wandered the show floor looking for interesting products. When I found the Onyx booth, I asked them to show me their latest gadgets. Then I recorded this video with a representative standing nearby to make any corrections necessary if I said something incorrect and to help demonstrate some of the features. I uploaded the video, wrote this article, and got accused of being a shill.

      Thanks.

      1. “Methinks thou dost protect too much”. In all fairness Onyx has been deceptive and evasive about the differences between the Max2 and the Max2 Pro. Apparently that’s why all their reps at CES in Las Vegas only speak broken english.Thus their deception could be misconstrued as miscommunication. My apologies to any libtards for my politically incorrect honesty and truthfulness.
        Since it’s a niche product with a limited customer base. I suspect they intend to release the Pro version only after sells of the non-Pro version trend down. Hence many will end up having to buy both of them to get the top of the line best product since that will meet their needs much better. If you do some more sleuthing I suspect you’ll confirm this to be the case.

        Thanks.

        1. So the only way to defend myself against your accusation is not to say anything at all?

          If you’re going to leave a rant on someone’s website, don’t complain when they actually take the time to respond.

  3. There’s some deception going on here with this “review”. It’s really a product promotion to generate sales because there’s no distinction made between the Max2 and Max 2 Pro, There’s a clear and obvious need for that comparison but it’s deliberately ignored so the Max2 could be mistaken for the top of the line $1000 Max2 Pro that at least has double the storage at 64gb and it was earlier reported to have the touch screen unlike the cheaper version but that may have been wrong. Anyhow the Max2 was selling on Amazon last night for $880 rather than the $800 price quoted here. They also deliberately avoid making any distinctions and conceal any posted questions regarding that so buyer beware!

  4. I’m giving the Max 2 a try. This may be more polished tech than the Dasung. At least, it does more and has its own battery.

  5. HDMI for eInk is interesting. Wonder how this works in practice. Browser/reference on the eInk display? Is it fast enough for desktop applications?

    1. Depends on the application. They’re positioning it more as something you’d use as a second screen for your laptop than as a standalone PC display. So you could have a web page or document open for viewing in e e ink, for example, whole watching videos or running other apps on the color screen. Of course you could use it as a primary display. But expect a bit of jitter when scrolling or doing anything that requires a high screen refesh rate.

    1. me too if it was closer to $300 i’d probably bite.. i never understood why e-ink hasn’t ever come down in price it has been on the market for like a decade

      1. I am with you here. They are expensive, but a device like this would be very useful to me. Here is hoping for a price reduction in the coming months.

      2. Because they’re still a niche product, and probably for the same reason the tablet market has waned. People prefer smaller devices, in general, and their mobile phones in particular.

    2. I am with you on that, it would be interesting if it was at a much lower price. It would be neat to read books on a bigger screen / bigger text.

      I still have my e-ink Kindle and it is still going strong. It is nice having last at least a couple of weeks before needing recharging. It is connected to my wifi and text is easy to read on it. Reading is all I do on it and all that I need for it to do. It does it well.

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