We’ve been fans of Onyx’s Boox ereader and tablets for some time, especially the Boox Nova Air C, one of our picks for the best ereader. The Air C has a color LCD layer on top of the black and white E Ink, but now, the company is taking its E Ink even closer to full-featured tablet territory, adding features we normally expect in a tablet like the iPad. 10.9.
The Onyx Boox Tab Ultra is a 10.3-inch E Ink tablet with a 16MP camera on the back, a feature we would never expect paired with an E Ink display. OE Ink is very slow to update, but Onyx did a tremendous job getting the Boox Tab Ultra moving as fast as possible. The tablet has an 8-core Qualcomm processor and a GPU that Onyx says is tailor-made for faster refresh rates on its display.
The camera will not be used for normal photography, we suspect. Instead, the Onyx praises the sensor’s ability to photograph and scan documents, which is more in line with the technology. We’re curious to see how the E Ink handles viewfinder tasks with the camera.
Onyx says the Boox Tab Ultra is based on the specs of the Note Air 2 Plus, and we’ve found the Note Air 2 to be an excellent digital note-taking device. The Boox Tab Ultra gets a stylus, and the Onyx wisely adheres to Wacom-style EMR technology, a much better choice than using proprietary technology, as Apple and Microsoft prefer. Samsung uses this technology in its S Pen stylus.
The tablet strangely runs Android 11, putting it two generations behind the latest version of Android 13. It seems doubtful to expect such an exclusive offering to receive regular updates, but we hope the Onyx manages to keep the Tab Ultra safe.
The Boox Tab Ultra gets 4GB of RAM, which should be enough to drive apps on the monochrome screen, and 128GB of storage. Don’t worry about running out of space, because the Onyx offers a microSD card slot.
The Boox Tab Ultra will be released on the Boox online store on October 27th. The tablet will cost $599.99 in the US. Pricing in our other favorite markets is not yet available.
In addition to the Tab Ultra, Onyx is also updating some of its other popular E Ink tablets. The Nova Air 2 updates the Boox Nova Air which we call a “cute-looking, super-thin and incredibly flexible 7.8-inch device for digital note taking on the go”.
The new device has a 7.8-inch E Ink display, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage space, as well as supporting the Onyx Pen Plus stylus. The Nova Air 2 will cost $399.99 in the US, though we’re still awaiting pricing in other markets.
The Onyx Boox Leaf 2 updates the company’s simplest line of electronic reading devices. Instead of a pen, this device is for reading and receives updates with page turn buttons. It has a 7-inch screen, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage and a microSD card slot. The Leaf 2 retails for $199.99 in the US – again, pricing in other markets is not yet available.