Onyx Boox I62A is an $89 Android eReader

Onyx-Boox-I62A[1]Did you ever wonder what the original Nook Touch would be like if it were updated to Android 2.3 Gingerbread and a slightly faster CPU? That ereader just showed up on a Chinese retail website. My competition discovered yesterday that Onyx has released the Boox I62A , and while this ereader lacks many of the features found on more expensive models it does offer a value which is unique.

The Onyx Boox I62A sports a 6" Pearl E-ink display with a screen resolution of 800 x 600 (I didn't know anyone was using them anymore, either). There's no frontlight, but it does have an IR touchscreen.

It runs Android 2.3 on a 1GHz Rockchip CPU with 512MB RAM. In terms of storage, it has a microSD card slot and 4GB internal. The Boox I62A also has Wifi, a headphone jack, and yes it does support TTS. And weighing in at 238 grams, the Boox I62A measures a chunky 10.2mm thick.

onyx bookx i62a

You can find the I62A for just $89 from Banggood.com. That's $10 more than the ad-subsidized price for the basic Kindle, and it's also less than what I would pay for Onyx's other new Android ereader, the Boox Classic (which lacks a touchscreen but has a Pearl HD E-ink screen).

And it even comes with a cover, which is a plus.

My competitor didn't think much of the I62 A due to the old version of Android, but that doesn't bother me so much as the low resolution screen. That cooled my interest in this ereader.

I may not be one to obsess over screen resolution but I would like a better screen here.

What do you think?


About Nate Hoffelder (11479 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."

11 Comments on Onyx Boox I62A is an $89 Android eReader

  1. It’s a budget version of the devices that were sold as Onyx Boox i63ML Maxwell and Onyx Boox i63ML Newton in Russia. Same design, same Android version – only a worse screen and no frontlight. Even the Russian market has moved on to the newer Onyx devices, such as Only Boox C67 (Marketed as Magellan 2 in Russia and AfterGlow 2 in Poland). My guess is that this device is a combination of Onyx’s leftovers – an old device with an even older screen.

  2. It is comparable to the Sony T1.
    Nothing inherently bad there. Seems like a trade-off between frontlight/XGA res and open android+audio. If I were looking for an entry level reader I could see getting one.

  3. The hardware specs seem OK but Why Android 2.3? I don’t think it would’ve cost them to put the same version of Android on their newer devices, especially with 512 MB RAM (e.g. the entry level Kindle runs near the same firmware, as you get on the Paperwhite and even Voyage). The entry Kindle is far superior to this and cheaper too. Also, Android, in my opinion, is not suitable for an e-ink device and would rather purpose specific firmware be developed.

    • Android has a lot of reading apps that work fine on eink.
      Many are way better than the typical oem reading apps and you can mix and match walled gardens. For that mission Android 2.3 is no handicap.

    • As Leonid suggested, we think that the electronics, firmware, and shell were developed for an old model. Then Onyx swapped out the screen with a cheap one.

      I think Onyx started with the older design because that cut their development costs to a minimum.

      And as for the suitability of Android on E-ink, it’s great for reading and some web browsing. It’s not so great for anything else.

  4. It appears to have a page-turn button on the side too. 2.3 is better than 2.1. That’s slightly better than the Nook ST and the Sony T1-2 (Android 2.2). For just old part put together, they’ve actually made it physically quite attractive.

    Didn’t Onyx or was it Boox just release another budget e-reader? It’s interesting to see the market develop in Europe / Russia.

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