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Hands On with the New Android 6.0 Onyx Boox Max2, Canvas, Note eReaders (video)

Some might claim that innovation has stalled in the ereader market, but that is only true if you ignore  Onyx. The Chinese ereader maker is showing off multiple new models this week at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair, including the 10.3″ Note and the Max2, a 13.3″ ereader that doubles as a monitor.

Okay, the Note isn’t that innovative – it’s an incremental improvement over existing 9.7″ models (the same is true for the Canvas). But it still has a much sharper screen (1872 x 1404, or 227 PPI), and runs a newer version of Android on a faster CPU.

All three of Onyx’s new models run Android 6 on a 1.6GHz quad-core CPU. If the prices are even close to that of the existing models then the boost to performance will make these ereaders a great buy.

please do tell me what you think of the videos below.

In particular, I want you to watch the video for the Max2 being used as a monitor. It’s hard to say without the device in front of me, but the Max2 looks like it is faster than my Dasung Paperlike Pro.

P.S. The Max2 and Canvas videos are courtesy of Notebook Italia, which also told us that Onyx hasn’t said anything specific about the release date, or the price.

Onyx Boox Canvas

Onyx Boox Max2 and Max2 Pro

Onyx Boox Max2 as a monitor

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BDR October 15, 2017 um 4:19 pm

E-ink is useful in cases when you’re staring at a relatively fixed area of a screen for long periods, like when reading e-books, but that’s not typical PC usage because your eyes are continually focusing on different areas of a wider screen as well as away from the screen.

5 years from now, e-ink monitors won’t be a thing unless they evolve into saturated color devices.

mdp October 24, 2017 um 1:31 am

It does fit on "typical PC use": office automation – text editing / spreadsheet / E-Mail / hypertext / document access…
All applications in which color is not vital.

Grg October 16, 2017 um 5:05 am

Haha, it’s funny how you get the same kind of comments on almost any article on eink that goes beyond plain ereaders! All claiming that it’s completely useless and will be gone very soon.
I don’t think anybody claims that this is more than a niche market and you’re probably right that there’s no way they’ll go mainstream unless there’s color (and probably other improvements in usability). Nonetheless, there seems to be a market for it as long as you don’t have low power sunlight visibility and non-backlight driven displays of another type. I think for the time being these devices will stick around (and hopefully continue to improve) for people with special vision requirements, the need to see stuff in direct sunlight and with lots of note taking (I don’t think Sony would have produced another one if they didn’t expect at least some revenue). I think the current tendency to finally use slightly fatter hardware and to extend the usability of the devices by combining note taking/ereading with the capability of using it as a monitor and the overall flexibility of the android system is making the onyx devices very attractive. Just wished they didn’t get rid of micro-sd cards everywhere!

Of course, how well they’ll catch on even in this nice segment will be a function of the price they can and will be offered… (and obviously how well they’ll work).

Michael October 16, 2017 um 9:30 am

What is the max lifetime refresh cycles for stuff like these monitors? I think I recall it being around 10 million state changes for Carta. No idea what it is for Carta HD, but if the same then you could theoretically blow through that in a matter of weeks if running video constantly, which might be realistic in some retail situations. I know the limit isn’t a hard and fast thing, just an estimate of when failures might start setting in. I’m guessing in the case of e-ink that would manifest as stuck pixels or wrong shades.

Basically I’m trying to figure out if we’re at a comparable stage to early SSDs, which weren’t suitable for heavy use.

Not a drawback for me either way, but might be for some. I’d love to have a nice e-ink monitor for reading and editing on. I doubt I’d use it for video often, but I’m curious about it nonetheless since it was part of the demo.

Kate October 18, 2017 um 5:57 pm

10.3″, not 103″. It’s not a billboard. 🙂

Nate Hoffelder October 18, 2017 um 7:44 pm

fixed it, thanks!

mdp October 24, 2017 um 1:43 am

Much less if you run video constantly, but durability is in the order of 5 years if you use it "office like".
A few details and basic computations:

Currently, you are better off with native Android apps. We may be only a few months away from desktop use (really).

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mdp October 24, 2017 um 1:50 am

Nate (as also posted on mobileread): in the "monitor" video there is a lag between the two monitors. That lag reminds much more of some "remote desktop connection" situations than of a HDMI link. E-ink based devices should be capable of a (roughly) 150 ms delay. Yet you stated that this may be faster than the Dasung. Does the Dasung also display a noticeable lag?
(Whenever I will hit a desktop again, I will measure those lags)

Artem Russakovskii December 8, 2017 um 1:59 pm

Nate, can you put Play Books on these things? Play Store? Other Android apps?

Nate Hoffelder December 8, 2017 um 2:49 pm

Android apps, yes. I have done so.

I’m not sure about Google Play – I think the Max came with it.

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[…] ??????????The Digital Reader?????????? […]

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