Most eReaders have roughly book-shaped designs, which is great for reading, but not so great for fitting inside your pocket. The Onyx BOOX Palma is a bit different.
It features a 6.13 inch E Ink display with 300 pixels per inch and a phone-like design that should make it a much more pocketable device. The Onyx BOOX Palma is up for pre-order for $250 and it should begin shipping in August, 2023.
That price includes a protective case, and represents a $30 pre-order discount: the Onyx BOOX Palma is expected to have a retail price of $280.
The Palma may look like a phone, but it doesn’t have a cellular modem. What it does have is support for WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0, a Qualcomm octa-core processor, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and “Onyx BOOX Super Refresh” software that allows uses to choose between faster or slower screen refresh rates depending on whether they want to prioritize animations or higher-quality imagery (since speeding up page refreshes on E Ink displays usually leads to ghosting, where some of the previous image bleeds through to the next frame).
While the device is clearly designed first and foremost for reading, it runs an Android 11-based operating system, which means you could also use it to run any Android apps you can find that play well wit E Ink displays.
With built-in speakers and Bluetooth support, you could also use it as a portable media player. And there are dual microphones that you could use to record voice memos or place calls over WiFi.
Other features include a rear camera for snapping photos (but no front camera for selfies or video calls), a set of customizable side buttons, and a touchscreen display with a front-light that supports brightness and color temperature adjustments. There’s a USB-C port for charging and data.
Unlike some Onyx BOOX devices, the Palma does not support stylus input.
This isn’t the first phone-sized device we’ve seen with an E Ink display. Xiaomi’s InkPalm and InkPalm Plus have been around for a few years. And there’s also the Hisense Hi Reader Pro, which launched last year. And Hisense has even been selling E Ink smartphones for a few years.
But most of those devices are designed primarily for the Chinese market, while Onyx BOOX devices tend to be sold worldwide.