With the $69/€59 basic Kindle, the $79 Kobo Touch, and the $99 Nook Glowlight, it's pretty clear that it's not easy to offer a cheap and good ereader without losing money or selling old hardware, but Onyx is going to give it a shot.
Arta Tech, an Onyx retail partner in Europe, has just unveiled the Boox Classic, a stripped down 69 euro ereader which lacks many of the features common on the latest ereaders.
The Boox Classic runs a closed version of Android 2.3 on a 1GHz CPU with 512MB RAM and 4GB internal storage. It also has Wifi and a microSD card slot, but no audio. This ereader has a 6" Pearl HD E-ink screen, but (in order to cut costs) no touchscreen or frontlight. While it does have page turn buttons, the only way to manipulate the menu is with the d-pad below the screen.
In terms of software, the Boox Classic runs Onyx's proprietary reading app (it's not bad) and it also ships with a couple other apps, including a cloud drive client and a feed reader app from Midiapolis. It's not clear at this time whether you can install additional apps, but given the lack of a touchscreen I am not sure why you would want to.
While Arta Tech and Onyx are pitching this as a new ereader, it also resembles models released last year in Russia. A couple Onyx models ran Android but lacked touchscreens. They also cost a lot more, so perhaps they are unrelated.
Weighing in at 210 grams, the Boox Classic has a 1.7 Ah battery and is 8.7 mm thick. And as another cost-cutting measure, the Boox Classic is only available in Blue. You can order it today on.
So what do you think?
If it had a touchscreen I would buy one in a heart beat, old version of Android or no. But I'm not sure how useful it will be without a touchscreen.