Onyx Launches a 9.7″ E-ink Android Tablet in Russia
Android on E-ink is still a pipe dream in the US but the rest of the world is another matter. Onyx’s Russian retail partner MakCentr has just announced a new 9.7″ Onyx Boox ebook reader.
The Boox M96M Zeus runs Android 4.0 and is available now with a retail price of 14,990 rubles, or about $420 USD.
This ereader is based on a 9.7″ Pearl E-ink screen with a resolution of 1200 x 825, and it comes with both a touchscreen
and a frontlight. It runs a customized version of Android 4.0.4 on a 1GHz Freescale i.MX6 Solo Lite CPU with 512MB RAM, 4GB Flash storage, a microSD card slot, Bluetooth, and Wifi. Weighing in at 510 grams, the Boox M96M Zeus has a 1.6Ah battery with an expected one month of runtime without charging.
In terms of software, the Zeus runs Onyx’s custom reading app, which includes support for a wide variety of ebook formats. The Zeus is also going to ship with FBReader, CoolReader, and AlReader, giving readers the choice of several good reading apps. Readers will also find English-Russian and Russian-English dictionaries on the Zeus, as well as the option for installing additional dictionaries.
If you’re thinking that the specs are rather thin for a $400 device, I agree. I think this device would have a lot more success if it had a dual-core CPU (at least) as well as more RAM and an external USB for accessories. The extra hardware would enable users to use the Zeus as an Android tablet rather than as an ebook reader. As it stands, the Zeus is so underpowered and overpriced that it has priced itself out of my pocketbook.
Onyx M96M Zeus is a 9.7 inch Android eReader (for Russia) – Liliputing April 21, 2014 um 11:01 am
[…] books in a variety of formats (including EPUBC, Mobipocket, TXT, HTML, and more), according to The Digital Reader the device also supports third-party Android eReader apps including Cool Reader and […]
reichsputin April 21, 2014 um 2:35 pm
It DOES have Bluetooth for connecting bluetooth peripherals.
Nate Hoffelder April 21, 2014 um 2:45 pm
Yep. After someone pointed out my mistake about the frontlight, I double checked everything.
djrichard April 22, 2014 um 1:04 am
"customized version of Android 4.0.4". Do you think it would work with Google Play Store? Or would we have to instead side-load apps?
reichsputin April 22, 2014 um 3:45 am
Onyx Android E-Ink readers don’t have Play Store out of the box, but it can easily be installed.
Leonid April 22, 2014 um 5:30 am
This is not 100% accurate. Onyx sell slightly different devices (both in term of the hardware and the software) in different geographies. All the previous Android models Onyx sold in Russia (5 of them) had Play Store pre-installed.