Onyx Boox i63ML Newton Now Shipping in Russia – Carta E-ink Screen, Android 2.3

ONYX-BOOX-i63ML-NEWTON_Black-400x400The Chinese ereader maker Onyx continues to delight ereader buyers this week with the launch of a new model in Russia. The Boox i63ML Newton is the third device to feature a Carta E-ink screen (following the Kindle Paperwhite and the Tolino Vision). It's available today from a number of Russian retailers with a retail of 6,990 rubles (about $199 USD).

The Newton runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread on a 1GHz CPU with 512MB RAM. It has 8GB of internal storage as well as a microSD card slot. The 6" screen has a resolution of 1024 x 758 and comes with a frontlight and an IR touchscreen.

Weighing in at 238 grams, the Newton has a 1.6Ah battery and is about the size of other 6" ebook readers. Like Onyx's other models, it supports a wide variety of ebook formats, including PDF, Epub, FB2, PDB, and Mobi. The Newton also supports a number of document formats, including CHM, DJVU, HTML, RTF, and Doc.

There's no mention of mp3 support (but OGG and BMP are listed) and it lacks a headphone jack/speaker, which means that the Newton _may_ lack the Ivona text to speech features found in other Onyx devices. But on the plus side this device does ship with Google Play. Given the combination of an E-ink screen and 3-year-old OS, I'm not sure how many Android apps will run on it but at least readers will get to try.

This is the third device to use E-ink's latest screen tech, and it is quite the disappointment. I have been expecting Onyx to release an ereader with a Carta screen, but I was also expecting it to run Android 4.0 or above. Onyx has a smartphone and ebook readers that run a newer version of Android, but the Newton is one of the models that hasn't been updated.

A $200 price tag is rather steep, and if the Newton had been running Android 4.0 that would have gone quite a ways to justifying the price. The newer version of Android would have enabled users to support more apps, and thus add more features.

Thanks, Leonid!

About Nate Hoffelder (11472 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

13 Comments on Onyx Boox i63ML Newton Now Shipping in Russia – Carta E-ink Screen, Android 2.3

  1. Two notes:
    1. 6990 RUB is the standard price in Russia for the top range e-ink reader for every manufacturer who officially sells there (Onyx, Pocketbook…) and it has like this for a while. So, while the price is steep, for the Russian market is priced quite regularly.
    2. I’ve been a user of the previous model of this line (Onyx Boox i63ML Maxwell) for about half a year. I’m a power user and I still don’t understand what are the benefits of having Android 4.0 on such devices. The bottleneck there is the inherent gaps of e-ink technology (lack of color, low refresh rate) and not the Android version. I can think of no app that I would want to install on the device (and that I believe will be usable on e-ink) that I could not install on Android 2.3. The only issue I had with it is when trying to install the Xposed framework. There is no port of that framework for 2.3.1 and I had to port it myself. However, most users will probably not want to install it. J

    • I agree. I use a Nook STR running 2.1 and there are very few apps I need that I can’t run on 2.1. And 2.3 is better because a lot of developers jumped from 2.1 to 2.3. for example, the multi-tab version of Jota requires 2.3. But 4.whatever? Won’t they consume more battery?

      And also, it’s a shame we can’t get this device in North America. A Kindle can’t compare with the functionality of this device. Yet another great device we can’t get.

      • I’m not so sure about the second part. They shipped it to me to Israel quite easily. I do have the advantage that I speak Russian so I could communicate with them more easily, but it’s worth a try. Keep in mind that shipping it to the US will be quite expensive though (it cost me 57USD + import charges to ship it to Israel).

        • I think the point was that there is no one selling it in the US directly. That would reduce the costs for buyers.

        • “it cost me 57USD + import charges to ship it to Israel”

          Exactly. Then there are who know what other arbritrary charges UPS will put on top, and if it breaks after a week, you’re screwed. So really we’re talking about nearly $300 for a e-reader that effectively has no warranty…

      • Name (required) // 11 May, 2014 at 4:31 pm // Reply

        I found the 2.1 version of Android on Nook Simple Touch *very* limiting. I ran out or space to install new apps very soon. I had installed a few reading apps and the package needed for rooting this ate quite a lot.
        The difference between 2.1 and 2.3 is that wit Android 2.3 you can install apps on SD card.

        So for me the 2.3 is the lowest usable version of Android on such a device. I am waiting *very* impatiently for their Onyx Midia Inkphone. This is going to be THE very firs pocketable e-ink reader with a front-lit screen.

        • It’s not out yet?

          According to the announcement it was supposed to ship in April. Has ArtaTech revised the release date?

        • I’m sorry but I think you must be doing something wrong. I have installed a crap-load of apps on the Nook STR and storage has never been an issue. I don’t even know how much storage I have. (I know this is an issue on Sony T1-2, but not on the Nook).

          I suspect you are confusing storage with free processing RAM. This is another matter. I carefully manage processing RAM. I installed a dedicated app for killing processes. My processing RAM varies between about 80 and 130 MB. Most apps such as Dropbox, a browser, Coolreader, etc will sit in the background and occupy RAM. I’m not sure that this matters as the OS will supposedly reclaim it as it’s needed. But I’m a control freak and kill processes when I know longer need them.

          As I said, and I don’t wish to be rude, I believe you are doing something wrong. Memory is not an issue on the Nook STR.

  2. Hi Leonid, I have a question for you. Is Mantano e-reader app available for 2.3 Android devices? I have it installed in my Nook STR, but it’s an old version and I couldn’t find it in Google market when I tried to install it in a friend’s Nook, I had to use the apk backup I had made from my own Nook.

    • It appears to be available for 2.3 devices (2.3 is the lowest version it supports). However, as I mentioned before, if its interface has not been specifically adjusted for use on e-ink devices, it may be problematic to use.

  3. beachwanderer // 12 May, 2014 at 3:32 am // Reply

    Re the e 43 Midia Phone: The proposed german firm Jay-tech GmbH always only stated they would start selling “early summer” (never a word about april), if they could place it with their customers (resell through one or more of the big retailers). No news yet.

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