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Boox tablets are welcome options in the growing oversize e-reader niche

When it comes to e-paper devices, the Kindle is of course the first brand people think of, though I’ve done my best to spread the Kobo and reMarkable gospel as well. Chinese e-reader maker Boox is a relatively new entrant to the space, and its devices are experimental but useful options in the niche market of monochrome tablets. In fact, they make my new favorite small device.
A brand from parent company Onyx, Boox has a wide array of devices, some might say too wide, ranging from pocketable to medium-sized e-readers to A4-sized tablets. Its branding is not particularly memorable and slightly updated versions come out quite regularly — one device I hoped to test was actually being replaced by the time I got around to writing this article.
The unifying aspect is the OS, a modified version of Android 10 with a few special-made apps for reading and productivity. Made with Chinese consumers in mind, the services probably aren’t ones you will have heard of.
I tested several devices from Boox, the simplest being the Poke 3 e-reader, then the larger and more complex Note2, followed by the svelte Note Air and enormous Max Lumi. Most recently I have been looking at the Nova3 Color, which uses E Ink’s latest Kaleido Plus color screen.
The truth is if you didn’t turn them on you probably wouldn’t be able to tell that these devices were all from the same company. They have quite different hardware styles, though of course there’s only so much room for expression in a black tablet with a screen in shades of grey.

Little and big


Boox tablets are welcome options in the growing oversize e-reader niche
Image Credits: Devin Coldewey / TechCrunch
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