Onyx Boox Nova3 Color ReviewSupply: Michael Hicks/ Android Central

Anybody searching for a brand new pill sometimes chooses between a less expensive LCD or pricier AMOLED show. Solely a really specialised shopper would select an e-ink pill as a result of they have an inclination to get costly for diminishing returns. The area of interest ReMarkable 2 presents an incredible expertise for scribbling notes, however it does not do a lot exterior of that. E-readers just like the Kindle and Kobo Nia, whereas inexpensive, are equally restricted in scope. And most tablets these days help styluses just like the S Pen or Apple Pencil for note-taking.

The Onyx Boox Nova3 Colour sits nicely exterior the traditional field for e-ink gadgets. Like the remaining, it is a comparatively costly, compact e-ink pill meant for studying ebooks and taking notes. However it additionally runs Android 10 and allows you to sideload your whole Play Retailer library, that means you’ll be able to watch YouTube movies, learn Comixology points, test your electronic mail, or do no matter else you usually do in your each day driver — with out straining your eyes.

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All in all, it really works surprisingly nicely, because of some cutting-edge Kaleido Plus show and a few reasonably-fast finances {hardware}. However regardless of being the greatest E-ink pill accessible at this time, I would nonetheless argue it is a area of interest machine that is not for everybody.

Onyx Boox Nova3 Reco

Onyx Boox Nova3 Colour

Backside line: The Onyx Boox Nova3 Colour works excellently for ebooks, audiobooks, note-taking, and fundamental Android apps. Its side-hustle as an Android pill offers us hope for the longer term, however the know-how is not fairly there but. It presents a extra customizable, difficult interface than the curated Kindle expertise.

The Good

  • E-ink appears nice for black & white, strong or shade
  • E-ink protects your eyes throughout each day looking
  • Lighter than most tablets
  • Nice navigation instruments, free Wacom Pen
  • Sideloads Play Retailer apps

The Unhealthy

  • Ghosting is annoying for many apps, crippling for others
  • Lackluster chipset and RAM
  • Pill does not get too vivid
  • Fairly costly

Onyx Boox Nova3 Colour: Worth and availability

Onyx Boox Nova3 LifestyleSupply: Onyx Boox

The Boox Nova3 Colour prices $400 or €400 and is accessible within the US, UK, and Europe. It may be discovered on a few main retailer websites like Amazon and Greatest Purchase, however it does not at all times stay in inventory; and since it ships from China, it may possibly take two to 3 weeks to reach. It ships with a display screen protector, USB-C charging cable, and a Wacom stylus pen for notes and navigation.

A observe of warning: when you purchase a resold model of the Boox Nova 3 Colour from the incorrect website, it could arrive with a unique software program model that does not correctly replace. So simply watch out to keep away from reseller websites like onyxboox.com, and follow boox.com or official retailers.

Onyx Boox Nova3 Colour: What I beloved

Onyx Boox Nova3 Color ReviewSupply: Michael Hicks/ Android Central

The Boox Nova3 Colour combines the perks of a Kindle Paperwhite and a Hearth HD pill with an Android pill’s apps and customization choices. I personally love my Kindle Oasis for giving my eyes a break whereas studying, however I do not take it out too actually because it does not do the rest. The Nova3’s app library offers it extra relevance to my each day life, with the identical escape from LCD screens for my strained eyes.

The Boox Nova3 Colour improves the Kindle method with Google Play apps and a colourful e-ink show.

Colour e-ink tablets have existed earlier than, however the Nova3 Colour displays the brand-new Kaleido Plus show, launched in Could 2021 alongside the pill. The massive change is that every Kaleido Plus pixel can show any shade individually. On the similar time, older e-ink gadgets use shade filter arrays to approximate colours, resulting in extra shade mixing. So when studying comics or internet pages, the Nova3 Colour has that low-res e-ink look you’d count on, however the hues are extra vivid, the viewing angles improved, and the pictures look extra detailed and fewer blurred than the competitors.

Pill Options
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 Octa-core 1.8GHz
Reminiscence 3GB RAM
Storage 32GB eMMC
Show 7.8-inch Kaleido Plus show with 4,096 colours
1404×1872 decision (B&W)
468×624 decision (shade)
Battery 3150mAh
USB-C charging
Working system Android 10
Connectivity WiFi (802.11b/g/n/ac) 2.4/5GHz
Bluetooth 5.0
Dimensions 197 x 137 x 7.7mm (7.8 x 5.4 x 0.3 inches)
Weight 265g (9.3oz)

To take full benefit of this display screen tech, you will must sideload Google Play apps on the Boox Nova3 Colour. Then, allow it in Settings, log into Google, and restart the pill, and you will technically have entry to any Android app you personal. Some apps actually do not carry out nicely on e-ink — largely video apps and video games — however the greatest e-book apps and comedian apps look nice. You too can add your individual DRM-free .epub, .mobi, .pdf, and different information straight out of your laptop to the pill by way of a USB-C cable — no app required.

Working Android 10, the Boox Nova3 Colour can be notably straightforward to navigate for Android customers, although I am extra used to Android 11 and 12 as of late. By tapping the highest of the show, you will pull up the acquainted Again, House, and App Switcher buttons, plus the Fast Settings.

For me, although, I appreciated how Onyx added its personal distinct nav instruments to the pill. Its Navigation Ball, which will be positioned anyplace on display screen, allows you to retailer 9 shortcut actions. Faucet it to disclose your choices, akin to opening a favourite app or altering the display screen refresh settings. You too can add 5 customized gesture shortcuts; I swipe my finger or stylus alongside the edges to regulate the quantity or brightness, or from the underside upward to return dwelling or refresh the display screen.

Onyx Boox Nova3 Color ReviewSupply: Michael Hicks/ Android Central

Ghosting is a major problem with the Boox Nova3 Colour, however Onyx’s patch has mounted the worst of it.

We’ll dive extra into this subject within the “frustration” part, however display screen refreshes are important for an e-ink pill. And not using a correct refresh, you are left with “ghost” pixels of what you considered final, nonetheless clearly seen on clean parts of the show. This is without doubt one of the foremost downsides of e-ink in comparison with an LCD pill. Regardless of my honest annoyance with the ghosting, I need to give Onyx credit score right here: I examined apps earlier than and after downloading its anti-ghosting firmware patch, and the ghosts had been a lot much less distinct post-fix. And having the choice to manually refresh the display screen with a swipe allows you to rapidly ghostbust the worst offenders.

Battery life is a selected power space for the Boox Nova3 Colour. It will not dwell as much as a Kindle’s weeks-long sturdiness, however that is an unfair comparability given how rather more the Nova3 Colour does. With full brightness and constant utilization over the course of days, I solely introduced the pill’s proportion down into the 60% vary. And after I left it sitting off for every week with out utilization, the idle battery solely drained just a few factors. I would estimate it will final you 4–7 days of moderate-to-heavy utilization, whilst you’d must recharge an Android pill a number of instances in the identical span.

Onyx Boox Nova3 Color ReviewNothing pertained to me throughout this assembly, however I certain seemed very concerned with my Nova3 Colour.Supply: Michael Hicks/ Android Central

I additionally appreciated the Wacom stylus, which felt gentle and cozy for writing on the pill. It has the identical 4096 ranges of strain because the Outstanding 2, plus the identical feeling and sound of scratching out phrases on a canvas. You possibly can obtain an Android app for note-taking, however I actually favored the native Notes app, which has loads of instruments and personalizations. I have never taken bodily notes since my faculty days, however utilizing the Nova3 Colour made me need to choose up that behavior once more.

Lastly, I will observe that because of the pill’s USB-C port and Bluetooth 5.0 help, you’ll be able to join your favourite USB-C headphones or wi-fi earbuds to take heed to audiobooks when you do not just like the quiet mono speaker system. Most traditional e-readers do not even have audio system, not to mention accent help.

Onyx Boox Nova3 Colour: What disillusioned me

Onyx Boox Nova3 Color ReviewThat is not junk on the display screen. That is some hardcore ghosting.Supply: Michael Hicks/ Android Central

You possibly can’t count on top-notch efficiency for a $400 pill, however I would definitely need one thing higher than the Snapdragon 636 and a mere 3GB of RAM. There’s noticeable lag and stuttering when navigating the OS, notably with the sideloaded Android apps. I believe e-ink tablets will at all times have some lag in comparison with LCDs, and these specs beat different competing e-ink tablets just like the Outstanding 2. However I would hoped for higher, maybe unfairly.

Holding the Boox Nova3 Colour is okay. At simply over half a pound, it is about half the burden of most traditional tablets. However in comparison with a regular e-reader, its further weight and measurement are simply noticeable when holding it above you in mattress. I may maintain it one-handed for taking notes in a gathering with out problem, however for hours of studying in a row, I would want one thing a bit lighter.

You possibly can obtain any Google Play app, however you should not hassle with streaming or gaming.

Ghosting makes sure Android apps unusable on this pill. Stream movies on the Boox Nova3 Colour, and the display screen will rapidly develop into coated in ghostly artifacts of previous photographs, even when you activate the particular A2 efficiency mode. Animated reveals like Avatar: The Final Airbender and Invincible seemed first rate, however typical live-action reveals weren’t nice to look at. Android video games weren’t even price testing.

Ghosting additionally makes an look in day-to-day use, not only for experimental apps. Whereas I like the Navigation Ball, tapping and untapping it leaves a definite nine-ball shadow on the display screen that will not disappear till you refresh it. I will additionally level out that whereas I personally loved customizing my nav instruments and settings, different folks will discover the dearth of hand-holding irritating or overwhelming.

Onyx Boox Nova3 Color ReviewOur lovely website trying a bit muted and pixellated.Supply: Michael Hicks/ Android Central

Onyx’s pill lacks a few of the polish and providers you get with a extra mainstream model.

The show additionally does not get very vivid. Whereas this ensures the pill does not damage your eyes, it additionally implies that colourful content material appears understated except you crank settings to max capability. Black and white content material appears very good because of the 300 dpi, however color-backed content material solely hits 100 dpi.

In any other case, Onyx’s pill lacks a few of the polish and providers you get with a extra mainstream model. For instance, it has generic apps like Music which you could solely use when you join the pill to your laptop and drag-and-drop MP4 information right into a folder. The identical is true in reverse for downloading your Notes to your laptop; sharing over the web was trickier to determine and concerned creating an Onyx account. By comparability, an iPad or Samsung Tab can have higher synergy with different {hardware} and apps.

Onyx Boox Nova3 Colour: Competitors

Remarkable 2 ReviewSupply: Daniel Bader / Android Central

The Onyx Boox Nova3 Colour sits within the heart of a Venn diagram between e-readers, customary Android tablets, and drawing tablets. It does nicely in every class as a jack-of-all-trades. But when a type of classes issues extra to you, you’ll be able to search for a extra specialised pill as an alternative.

If you’d like an e-reader, choosing a Kindle e-reader is the apparent selection. They weigh much less, last more per cost, and have comparable display screen resolutions — although they lack USB-C charging and Boox’s open-source book system. After all, Kobo can be your different if in case you have non-Mobi ebooks that you just need to learn.

You will need to look to Wacom for drawing tablets, which made the stylus for the Boox Nova3 Colour. For the same worth, the Wacom One has a a lot bigger 13-inch LCD for drawing or note-taking, plus an HDMI port for connecting to a show for a good higher digital canvas. Or, when you’re much less of an artist and actually simply desire a high quality note-taking machine, we’re massive followers of the Outstanding 2.

In any other case, the greatest tablets for college kids are usually Samsung or Apple tablets. These provide the full, unabridged gamut of apps for note-taking, studying, streaming, designing, and so forth; the apparent draw back is that the most effective tablets value rather more than the Boox Nova3 Colour and will not give your eyes the remaining they deserve.

Onyx Boox Nova3 Colour: Must you purchase it?

Onyx Boox Nova3 Color ReviewSupply: Michael Hicks/ Android Central

You should purchase this if …

  • You discover the Kindle ecosystem too restrictive.
  • You need an e-reader that additionally performs audiobooks and helps USB-C or wi-fi headphones.
  • You need to defend your eyes from pressure.

You should not purchase this if …

  • You do not like customizing your gadgets or unlocking options in Settings.
  • You desire a pill for streaming or gaming.
  • You are extra all for drawing than note-taking.

Onyx’s side-loaded Play Retailer apps aren’t fairly prepared for primetime, however they’re a terrific perk nonetheless.

E-ink tablets might want to overcome ghosting and additional evolve their display screen tech to compete with backlit tablets. Followers of e-ink will scoff that it is unfair to carry this in opposition to the pill, provided that ghosting does not consider as a lot when studying e-books or taking notes. But when e-ink is to interrupt out of its area of interest and justify the excessive value of admission, I would argue it must do higher exterior of its conventional strengths.

I am recommending the Boox Nova3 Colour with the idea that you just’re particularly eyeing it as a note-taking, e-book-reading pill with some further perks. In that sense, it competes with the Outstanding 2, together with each different present e-ink pill on the market at this time. However if you’d like a pill for streaming content material, messaging, gaming, and the remaining, I would say that Onyx’s side-loaded Play Retailer apps aren’t fairly prepared for primetime.

out of 5

Regardless of that, I would argue that sufficient Play Retailer apps work to make the Boox Nova3 Colour interesting. You possibly can learn Comixology, Marvel Limitless, DC Universe, Webtoon, and different comedian ebook libraries — plus your whole favourite e-book apps and book codecs that Amazon blocks — and take heed to your favourite audiobooks on one e-ink machine. That is loads of worth proper there. Simply be able to ignore the ghosts within the machine.

Onyx Boox Nova3 Reco

Onyx Boox Nova3 Colour

Backside line: This pill presents a critical improve in specs and software program in comparison with all different e-ink tablets available on the market at this time. It even presents comparable perks to straightforward LCD Android tablets. In the long run, it is well-suited for followers of e-readers and digital note-taking, however not essentially for extra mainstream customers.

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