Onyx Boox I62A is an $89 Android eReader

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 Boox I62A is an $89 Android eReader e-Reading Hardware

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?

Banggood.com

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

11 Comments

  1. Leonid26 November, 2014

    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.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder26 November, 2014

      That’s about what I though: an old logic board and old firmware combined with a cheap screen.

      Reply
  2. fjtorres26 November, 2014

    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.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder26 November, 2014

      Only unlocked and with more space for installing apps.

      Reply
      1. fjtorres26 November, 2014

        The Sony is thinner and lighter. 😉

        Reply
  3. Basem26 November, 2014

    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.

    Reply
    1. fjtorres26 November, 2014

      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.

      Reply
    2. Nate Hoffelder26 November, 2014

      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.

      Reply
  4. TheGreatFilter26 November, 2014

    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.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder26 November, 2014

      Yep. That was the Boox Classic. It actually costs more than the Boox I62A.

      Reply
    2. Leonid27 November, 2014

      The Onyx Boox I62A isn’t available in Russia – I’m not sure which market they target with it…

      Reply

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