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Onyx Boox Note Air 3 Review: A beautiful e-ink tablet with app support, even in black and white

Reading Android. With pen input, Android operating system, and a stylish metal casing, the Onyx Boox Note Air 3 aims to win over buyers looking at a capable e-ink tablet. We liked the version with the color display before and set out to see if the version with the black and white E-Ink Carta display is convincing as well.
Onyx Boox Note Air 3
Onyx Boox Note Air 3
Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G 8 x 1.8 - 2.4 GHz, Kryo 265 Gold (Cortex-A73) / Silver (Cortex-A53)
Graphics adapter
Memory
4 GB 
Display
10.30 inch 4:3, 1872 x 1404 pixel 227 PPI, capacitive touchscreen, E-Ink, Carta , glossy: no
Storage
64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash, 64 GB 
, 51 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Card Reader: microSD, Sensors: G-sensor, hall sensor
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5/), Bluetooth 5.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 5.8 x 226 x 193 ( = 0.23 x 8.9 x 7.6 in)
Battery
3700 mAh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Android 12
Additional features
Speakers: stereo speakers, Stylus, USB cable, 24 Months Warranty, fanless
Weight
430 g ( = 15.17 oz / 0.95 pounds) ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)
Price
449 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Possible competitors in comparison

Bewertung
Datum
Modell
Gewicht
Laufwerk
Groesse
Aufloesung
Preis ab
79 %
01/2024
Onyx Boox Note Air 3
SD 680, Adreno 610
430 g64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash10.30"1872x1404
77.5 %
11/2023
Onyx Boox Note Air 3 C
SD 680, Adreno 610
430 g64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash10.30"1240x930
75.2 %
08/2023
Lenovo Smart Paper
RK3566, Mali-G52 MP2
408 g64 GB eMMC Flash10.30"1872x1404
79.4 %
08/2022
Huawei MatePad Paper
Kirin 820e, Mali-G57 MP6
360 g64 GB UFS 2.2 Flash10.30"1872x1404

Case and equipment: Great, but heavy aluminum chassis

After reviewing the Onyx Boox Note Air 3 C with a color display, we now take a look at the Onyx Boox Note Air 3 without the "C" but with a black and white e-ink display. The casing is identical to the color version, so you again get a rather thin 5.8 mm chassis in classic anthracite with orange highlights.

At 430 g, the tablet weighs just as much as the color screen version and is therefore comparatively heavy for an e-ink tablet with a 10.3-inch screen.

The manufacturer protects the display with Onyx Glass, which enables a flat front. Overall, the build quality and stability are of a high standard. However, there is a gap around the screen, which feels somewhat unpleasant when moving over it.

The Onyx Boox Note Air 3 comes with 64 GB of UFS 2.1 memory and 4 GB of RAM, offering a similar amount of space for files as comparable e-ink tablets.

There is also a microSD reader, which we tested with our Angelbird V60 reference card. In the copy test and also in the CPDT benchmark, the reader performs slightly better than the Note Air 3 C and offers decent overall speed for file transfer. However, the reader cannot utilize the full speed potential of our microSD card.

The USB-C port is used for data transfer and charging as well as for connecting peripheral devices. However, it is only connected according to the USB 2.0 standard and therefore not one of the fastest.

Onyx Boox Note Air 3
Onyx Boox Note Air 3
Onyx Boox Note Air 3
Onyx Boox Note Air 3

Size comparison

225.2 mm / 8.87 inch 182.7 mm / 7.19 inch 6.65 mm / 0.2618 inch 360 g0.794 lbs226 mm / 8.9 inch 193 mm / 7.6 inch 5.8 mm / 0.2283 inch 430 g0.948 lbs226 mm / 8.9 inch 193 mm / 7.6 inch 5.8 mm / 0.2283 inch 430 g0.948 lbs226 mm / 8.9 inch 195 mm / 7.68 inch 5.5 mm / 0.2165 inch 408 g0.899 lbs210 mm / 8.27 inch 148 mm / 5.83 inch 1 mm / 0.03937 inch 2.9 g0.00639 lbs
SD Card Reader - average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Onyx Boox Note Air 3
  (Angelbird V60)
36.2 MB/s
Average of class Tablet
  (7.61 - 101.6, n=58, last 2 years)
31.3 MB/s -14%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3 C
  (Angelbird V60)
28.6 MB/s -21%

Cross Platform Disk Test (CPDT)

0510152025303540455055606570758085Tooltip
Onyx Boox Note Air 3 C Adreno 610, SD 680, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash; SDCard Sequential Write 0.5 GB; Angelbird V60: Ø43.5 (28.7-54.3)
Onyx Boox Note Air 3 C Adreno 610, SD 680, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash; SDCard Sequential Read 0.5 GB; Angelbird V60: Ø77.9 (35.8-86.7)

Communication, software and operation: Based on Android 12

The Onyx Boox Note Air 3 uses only the WiFi 5 standard and thus achieves average speeds between 300 and 350 Mbps, which is what you would expect. The Huawei MatePad Paper shows, however, that Wi-Fi 6 with even higher speeds is possible in this price range. The Onyx Boox Air 3 can, therefore, not fully utilize a Gigabit Internet connection but still offers decent throughput for everyday use.

The software of the e-ink tablet is based on Android 12 and comes with a pre-installed Google Play Store so that apps can be downloaded. In the vast majority of cases, this works without any problems and apps that are not too demanding run smoothly on the device. However, you should bear in mind that the slow-response black and white screen with only 16 shades of gray makes the e-reader rather unsuitable for fast-paced games and videos.

The layout of the main menu is also very different from that of conventional Android tablets: the e-book library, the store and a note function are clearly aimed at the special features and the predominant use of an e-reader. Speaking of the store: you shouldn't have too high expectations here. At least in Europe, you can't buy books but only download open-source books.

The touchscreen responds reliably, but much slower than OLED or IPS displays. You have to get used to this and be patient when typing quickly on the keyboard. A pin code or password can be set to protect the data. Moreover, the Onyx Boox Note Air 3 can also be unlocked biometrically using a fingerprint scanner integrated into the standby button. This works securely and quickly after the finger has been registered for the first time.

The e-ink tablet comes with a stylus that can be used to write handwritten notes or make drawings. Apps from the Google Play Store can also be used for this without any compatibility issues. The stylus is also a precise tool for operation, especially when it comes to small buttons on the screen.

Networking
iperf3 transmit AXE11000
Huawei MatePad Paper
945 (826min - 958max) MBit/s +188%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3 C
350 (322min - 366max) MBit/s +7%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3
328 (266min - 366max) MBit/s
Lenovo Smart Paper
286 (236min - 308max) MBit/s -13%
iperf3 receive AXE11000
Huawei MatePad Paper
928 (812min - 949max) MBit/s +201%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3
308 (267min - 325max) MBit/s
Onyx Boox Note Air 3 C
294 (274min - 318max) MBit/s -5%
Lenovo Smart Paper
211 (186min - 246max) MBit/s -31%

Legend

 
Onyx Boox Note Air 3 Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Qualcomm Adreno 610, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
Onyx Boox Note Air 3 C Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Qualcomm Adreno 610, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
Lenovo Smart Paper Rockchip RK3566, ARM Mali-G52 MP2, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Huawei MatePad Paper HiSilicon Kirin 820e, ARM Mali-G57 MP6, 64 GB UFS 2.2 Flash
020406080100120140160180200220240260280300320340360Tooltip
Onyx Boox Note Air 3; iperf3 receive AXE11000; iperf 3.1.3: Ø308 (267-325)
Onyx Boox Note Air 3; iperf3 transmit AXE11000; iperf 3.1.3: Ø329 (266-366)

E-reading: Comprehensive support for pen input

The Onyx Boox Note Air 3 supports numerous document formats such as AZW3 for books from Amazon, TXT, HTML, CBR, CBZ, RTF, FB2, DOC, DOCX, PRC, MOBI, CHM and EPUB. And, thanks to Android app support, other reader apps can also be easily installed and used on the tablet.

The Neo Reader is the pre-installed e-reading app: it allows you to scroll through books quickly, preview the next pages, jump to completely different places in the book or document via a progress bar and also offers an automatic page-turning function, which allows you to set the time to the next page individually. If desired, a text-to-speech function can also read the book aloud.

The software also includes comprehensive support for the stylus, which can be used to make markings or notes. The screen can also be split so that you can save your annotations in a separate document while the book text is visible.

Display: High-res e-ink Carta

Close-up of the screen
Close-up of the screen

The display used is an e-ink Carta with a resolution of 1,872 x 1,404 pixels. We also find this display in the Lenovo Smart Paper and Huawei MatePad Paper. An e-ink tablet works very differently to a conventional OLED or IPS display: it has a matte surface and actual black and white color particles, which have different electronic charges. These can now be activated and deactivated to compose the image. An image can also remain static without requiring any additional energy.

The display in the Onyx Boox Note Air 3 can display 16 shades of gray and has LED lighting, which can be as bright as 121 cd/m². Due to the high contrast and the image being actually made up of physical particles, the built-in lighting can be completely dispensed with in ambient light.

The few shades of gray do not allow for an overly accurate representation of brightness nuances, but there is also no flickering of the image once it is set up. Only the foreground lighting could flicker, as it is an LED solution. However, the manufacturer promises to remedy this by supplying the light source with direct current.

The image build-up takes some time and fast movements look more like a slide show.

114
cd/m²
120
cd/m²
121
cd/m²
108
cd/m²
109
cd/m²
115
cd/m²
98
cd/m²
100
cd/m²
100
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
tested with X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 121 cd/m² (Nits) Average: 109.4 cd/m² Minimum: 0.2 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 81 %
Center on Battery: 109 cd/m²
Contrast: ∞:1 (Black: 0 cd/m²)
ΔE Greyscale 9.8 | 0.57-98 Ø5.3
Gamma: 2.024
Onyx Boox Note Air 3
E-Ink, 1872x1404, 10.30
Onyx Boox Note Air 3 C
E-Ink Kaleido 3, 1240x930, 10.30
Lenovo Smart Paper
E-Ink, 1872x1404, 10.30
Huawei MatePad Paper
E-Ink, 1872x1404, 10.30
Response Times
28%
46%
26%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
154.5 ?(66.4, 88.1)
121 ?(66.8, 54.2)
22%
134.4 ?(56.2, 68.2)
13%
121 ?(61, 60)
22%
Response Time Black / White *
133.2 ?(61.7, 71.5)
89.3 ?(43.5, 45.8)
33%
27.5 ?(14.4, 13.1)
79%
94 ?(47, 47)
29%
PWM Frequency
Screen
-29%
1%
-21%
Brightness middle
109
46.5
-57%
113
4%
61.9
-43%
Brightness
109
47
-57%
106
-3%
60
-45%
Brightness Distribution
81
91
12%
83
2%
80
-1%
Black Level *
Greyscale dE 2000 *
9.8
11.1
-13%
9.9
-1%
9.1
7%
Gamma
2.024 109%
1.211 182%
1.371 160%
2.02 109%
CCT
8885 73%
6463 101%
7116 91%
6848 95%
Colorchecker dE 2000 *
20.45
Colorchecker dE 2000 max. *
39.33
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-1% / -10%
24% / 16%
3% / -5%

* ... smaller is better

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
133.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 61.7 ms rise
↘ 71.5 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.1 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 100 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (21.5 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
154.5 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 66.4 ms rise
↘ 88.1 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.2 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 100 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (33.7 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 17915 (minimum: 5 - maximum: 3846000) Hz was measured.

CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Grayscale

Performance, emissions and battery life: Good endurance for reading evenings

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 is a slightly older SoC from 2020. It is manufactured using the relatively energy-saving 6 nm process and offers eight processor cores that clock at up to 2.4 GHz. For reading books and documents, it offers significantly more power than can be found in cheaper e-readers giving you a smooth experience.

The Snapdragon 680 is generally sufficient for apps from the Google Play Store. However, you shouldn't have too high expectations here and avoid very complex apps otherwise the experience can be sluggish. That being said, if you just want to write a message or surf the Internet, you can do so with sufficient speed.

The Onyx Boox Note Air 3 comes with UFS 2.1 flash for data storage. This enables fast data transfers and shortens the loading times of apps.

Onyx installs two loudspeakers both towards one side of the tablet, so you get a slight stereo effect when using it in landscape mode. Audio books or radios can be played clearly, but the sound is very muffled and treble-heavy, so that music or even movie sound is rather weak.

You can connect external speakers or headphones via USB-C or Bluetooth. This works without any problems and offers significantly better sound.

The tablet's battery has a capacity of 700 mAh. With the screen light set to low, you can browse through a book for up to 17:32 hours before the e-reader needs to be plugged in. So even long hours of reading during winter are not hindered by battery life concerns.

Geekbench 5.5
Single-Core
Average of class Tablet
  (140 - 1892, n=68, last 2 years)
664 Points +90%
Huawei MatePad Paper
HiSilicon Kirin 820e, Mali-G57 MP6, 4096
566 Points +62%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G
  (323 - 384, n=14)
373 Points +7%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
349 Points
Onyx Boox Note Air 3 C
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
323 Points -7%
Lenovo Smart Paper
Rockchip RK3566, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
143 Points -59%
Multi-Core
Average of class Tablet
  (312 - 8524, n=68, last 2 years)
2362 Points +73%
Huawei MatePad Paper
HiSilicon Kirin 820e, Mali-G57 MP6, 4096
1853 Points +36%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G
  (1287 - 1738, n=14)
1580 Points +16%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
1366 Points
Onyx Boox Note Air 3 C
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
1287 Points -6%
Lenovo Smart Paper
Rockchip RK3566, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
312 Points -77%
Geekbench 6.2
Single-Core
Average of class Tablet
  (185 - 2107, n=44, last 2 years)
812 Points +89%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3 C
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
436 Points +1%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
430 Points
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G
  (413 - 436, n=4)
424 Points -1%
Lenovo Smart Paper
Rockchip RK3566, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
203 Points -53%
Multi-Core
Average of class Tablet
  (493 - 5652, n=44, last 2 years)
2287 Points +148%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G
  (865 - 1450, n=4)
1169 Points +27%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
921 Points
Onyx Boox Note Air 3 C
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
865 Points -6%
Lenovo Smart Paper
Rockchip RK3566, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
493 Points -46%
PCMark for Android - Work 3.0
Average of class Tablet
  (3195 - 17267, n=65, last 2 years)
8736 Points +89%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G
  (4535 - 8730, n=14)
6497 Points +41%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
4622 Points
Onyx Boox Note Air 3 C
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
4535 Points -2%
Lenovo Smart Paper
Rockchip RK3566, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
4045 Points -12%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1)
Huawei MatePad Paper
HiSilicon Kirin 820e, Mali-G57 MP6, 4096
2571 Points +93%
Average of class Tablet
  (361 - 14235, n=51, last 2 years)
2019 Points +51%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G
  (1231 - 1441, n=13)
1342 Points +1%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
1334 Points
Onyx Boox Note Air 3 C
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
1231 Points -8%
Lenovo Smart Paper
Rockchip RK3566, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
567 Points -57%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics
Huawei MatePad Paper
HiSilicon Kirin 820e, Mali-G57 MP6, 4096
2675 Points +125%
Average of class Tablet
  (290 - 24605, n=51, last 2 years)
2126 Points +79%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
1191 Points
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G
  (1077 - 1273, n=13)
1170 Points -2%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3 C
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
1077 Points -10%
Lenovo Smart Paper
Rockchip RK3566, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
517 Points -57%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics
Average of class Tablet
  (858 - 5751, n=51, last 2 years)
2790 Points +21%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G
  (2301 - 2930, n=13)
2708 Points +18%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3 C
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
2462 Points +7%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
2301 Points
Huawei MatePad Paper
HiSilicon Kirin 820e, Mali-G57 MP6, 4096
2262 Points -2%
Lenovo Smart Paper
Rockchip RK3566, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
858 Points -63%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited
Huawei MatePad Paper
HiSilicon Kirin 820e, Mali-G57 MP6, 4096
4281 Points +1503%
Average of class Tablet
  (267 - 14235, n=60, last 2 years)
3212 Points +1103%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G
  (267 - 1429, n=14)
1264 Points +373%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3 C
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
1079 Points +304%
Lenovo Smart Paper
Rockchip RK3566, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
596 Points +123%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
267 Points
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Graphics
Huawei MatePad Paper
HiSilicon Kirin 820e, Mali-G57 MP6, 4096
4472 Points +1763%
Average of class Tablet
  (240 - 24605, n=60, last 2 years)
3812 Points +1488%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3 C
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
1191 Points +396%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G
  (240 - 1309, n=14)
1130 Points +371%
Lenovo Smart Paper
Rockchip RK3566, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
530 Points +121%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
240 Points
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Physics
Huawei MatePad Paper
HiSilicon Kirin 820e, Mali-G57 MP6, 4096
3725 Points +745%
Average of class Tablet
  (441 - 5751, n=60, last 2 years)
3237 Points +634%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G
  (441 - 2853, n=14)
2386 Points +441%
Lenovo Smart Paper
Rockchip RK3566, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
1061 Points +141%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3 C
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
812 Points +84%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
441 Points
Wild Life Score
Huawei MatePad Paper
HiSilicon Kirin 820e, Mali-G57 MP6, 4096
1925 Points +290%
Average of class Tablet
  (286 - 7933, n=60, last 2 years)
1631 Points +231%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
493 Points
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G
  (437 - 589, n=14)
461 Points -6%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3 C
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
437 Points -11%
Lenovo Smart Paper
Rockchip RK3566, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
286 Points -42%
Wild Life Unlimited Score
Average of class Tablet
  (289 - 25317, n=66, last 2 years)
2922 Points +575%
Huawei MatePad Paper
HiSilicon Kirin 820e, Mali-G57 MP6, 4096
1886 Points +336%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G
  (417 - 574, n=14)
448 Points +3%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
433 Points
Onyx Boox Note Air 3 C
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
418 Points -3%
Lenovo Smart Paper
Rockchip RK3566, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
289 Points -33%
Wild Life Extreme
Average of class Tablet
  (75 - 6919, n=66, last 2 years)
837 Points +615%
Huawei MatePad Paper
HiSilicon Kirin 820e, Mali-G57 MP6, 4096
625 Points +434%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3 C
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
130 Points +11%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
117 Points
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G
  (22 - 130, n=15)
115.6 Points -1%
Lenovo Smart Paper
Rockchip RK3566, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
75 Points -36%
Wild Life Extreme Unlimited
Average of class Tablet
  (72 - 6909, n=64, last 2 years)
887 Points +582%
Huawei MatePad Paper
HiSilicon Kirin 820e, Mali-G57 MP6, 4096
609 Points +368%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
130 Points
Onyx Boox Note Air 3 C
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
125 Points -4%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G
  (112 - 130, n=13)
122.4 Points -6%
Lenovo Smart Paper
Rockchip RK3566, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
72 Points -45%
GFXBench
on screen Aztec Ruins Normal Tier Onscreen
Average of class Tablet
  (3 - 111, n=70, last 2 years)
21.2 fps +159%
Huawei MatePad Paper
HiSilicon Kirin 820e, Mali-G57 MP6, 4096
19 fps +132%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G
  (4.6 - 17, n=14)
9.51 fps +16%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
8.2 fps
Onyx Boox Note Air 3 C
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
4.6 fps -44%
Lenovo Smart Paper
Rockchip RK3566, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
3 fps -63%
1920x1080 Aztec Ruins Normal Tier Offscreen
Average of class Tablet
  (2.5 - 279, n=70, last 2 years)
35.5 fps +318%
Huawei MatePad Paper
HiSilicon Kirin 820e, Mali-G57 MP6, 4096
29 fps +241%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G
  (5.1 - 9.8, n=14)
9.08 fps +7%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
8.5 fps
Onyx Boox Note Air 3 C
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
7.6 fps -11%
Lenovo Smart Paper
Rockchip RK3566, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
3.9 fps -54%
on screen Aztec Ruins High Tier Onscreen
Average of class Tablet
  (1.9 - 97.3, n=70, last 2 years)
14.3 fps +192%
Huawei MatePad Paper
HiSilicon Kirin 820e, Mali-G57 MP6, 4096
13 fps +165%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G
  (2.7 - 11, n=14)
5.65 fps +15%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
4.9 fps
Onyx Boox Note Air 3 C
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
2.7 fps -45%
Lenovo Smart Paper
Rockchip RK3566, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
1.9 fps -61%
2560x1440 Aztec Ruins High Tier Offscreen
Average of class Tablet
  (0.9 - 90, n=70, last 2 years)
13.2 fps +326%
Huawei MatePad Paper
HiSilicon Kirin 820e, Mali-G57 MP6, 4096
10 fps +223%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
3.1 fps
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G
  (1.4 - 3.3, n=14)
3.07 fps -1%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3 C
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
2.9 fps -6%
Lenovo Smart Paper
Rockchip RK3566, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
1.4 fps -55%
3840x2160 4K Aztec Ruins High Tier Offscreen
Average of class Tablet
  (0.4 - 48, n=68, last 2 years)
6.22 fps +315%
Huawei MatePad Paper
HiSilicon Kirin 820e, Mali-G57 MP6, 4096
4.8 fps +220%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
1.5 fps
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G
  (1.3 - 1.5, n=9)
1.4 fps -7%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3 C
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
1.3 fps -13%
Lenovo Smart Paper
Rockchip RK3566, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
0.6 fps -60%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Average of class Tablet
  (2672 - 74614, n=72, last 2 years)
23028 Points +237%
Huawei MatePad Paper
HiSilicon Kirin 820e, Mali-G57 MP6, 4096
18755 Points +175%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G
  (6358 - 14279, n=11)
11432 Points +67%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
6832 Points
Onyx Boox Note Air 3 C
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G, Adreno 610, 4096
6358 Points -7%
Lenovo Smart Paper
Rockchip RK3566, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
5022 Points -26%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3Onyx Boox Note Air 3 CLenovo Smart PaperHuawei MatePad PaperAverage 64 GB UFS 2.1 FlashAverage of class Tablet
AndroBench 3-5
1%
-80%
1%
-25%
17%
Sequential Read 256KB
687.4
690.8
0%
163
-76%
880.1
28%
Sequential Write 256KB
381
384.1
1%
139
-64%
256.2
-33%
Random Read 4KB
151.7
157.7
4%
25.3
-83%
145.6
-4%
137.2 ?(78.2 - 192, n=52)
-10%
Random Write 4KB
164.2
160.5
-2%
8.8
-95%
183.1
12%
84.7 ?(8.77 - 208, n=52)
-48%

Temperature

Max. Load
 22.7 °C
73 F
23 °C
73 F
23.1 °C
74 F
 
 23 °C
73 F
23 °C
73 F
23.1 °C
74 F
 
 23.6 °C
74 F
23.8 °C
75 F
23.8 °C
75 F
 
Maximum: 23.8 °C = 75 F
Average: 23.2 °C = 74 F
24 °C
75 F
24 °C
75 F
24 °C
75 F
23.9 °C
75 F
23.9 °C
75 F
24.1 °C
75 F
24.1 °C
75 F
24.1 °C
75 F
24.1 °C
75 F
Maximum: 24.1 °C = 75 F
Average: 24 °C = 75 F
Power Supply (max.)  40.8 °C = 105 F | Room Temperature 20.5 °C = 69 F | Fluke t3000FC (calibrated), Voltcraft IR-260
(+) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 23.2 °C / 74 F, compared to the average of 30 °C / 86 F for the devices in the class Tablet.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 23.8 °C / 75 F, compared to the average of 33.8 °C / 93 F, ranging from 20.7 to 53.2 °C for the class Tablet.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 24.1 °C / 75 F, compared to the average of 33.3 °C / 92 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 22.8 °C / 73 F, compared to the device average of 30 °C / 86 F.


Heatmap back
Heatmap back
Heatmap Front
Heatmap Front

3DMark Wild Life Stress Test

01234567891011Tooltip
Onyx Boox Note Air 3 Adreno 610, SD 680, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash; Wild Life Extreme Stress Test; 1.1.4.1: Ø0.768 (0.691-0.864)
Lenovo Smart Paper Mali-G52 MP2, RK3566, 64 GB eMMC Flash; Wild Life Extreme Stress Test; 1.1.0.2: Ø0.447 (0.4391-0.4529)
Huawei MatePad Paper Mali-G57 MP6, Kirin 820e, 64 GB UFS 2.2 Flash; Wild Life Extreme Stress Test; 1.0.9.1: Ø3.74 (3.73-3.75)
Onyx Boox Note Air 3 Adreno 610, SD 680, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash; Wild Life Stress Test Stability; 0.0.0.0: Ø2.93 (2.93-2.94)
Lenovo Smart Paper Mali-G52 MP2, RK3566, 64 GB eMMC Flash; Wild Life Stress Test Stability; 0.0.0.0: Ø1.728 (1.71-1.735)
Huawei MatePad Paper Mali-G57 MP6, Kirin 820e, 64 GB UFS 2.2 Flash; Wild Life Stress Test Stability; 0.0.0.0: Ø11.3 (10.9-11.3)

Loudspeaker

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2037.232.22530.333.93124.119.44031.430.55037.335.26325.922.88019.51710016.516.712513.713.716013.716.72009.224.42508.335.83156.744.1400752.65008.858.26308.362.28008.963.4100010.767.912508.771.616009.170.120009.771.1250010.670.4315011.36440001259.4500012.969630013.775.9800014.468.61000015.352.1125001651.5160001737.9SPL23.981.4N0.547.4median 10.7median 59.4Delta2.71543.939.334.536.227.729.728.535.633.235.226.334.823.432.422.538.215.443.714.649.612.352.313.357.711.659.77.562.811.467.815.266.814.769.811.872.7127310.376.29.372.310.869.814.767.614.358.914.964.11566.615.46316.856.416.151.91754.225.982.10.750.6median 14.6median 632.17.8hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseOnyx Boox Note Air 3Huawei MatePad Paper
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Onyx Boox Note Air 3 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (81.4 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 34.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 7.2% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 8.3% higher than median
(-) | highs are not linear (15.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (31.6% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 88% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 10% worse
» The best had a delta of 7%, average was 23%, worst was 129%
Compared to all devices tested
» 89% of all tested devices were better, 2% similar, 9% worse
» The best had a delta of 4%, average was 25%, worst was 134%

Huawei MatePad Paper audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (82.1 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 12.8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 7.2% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (5.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.8% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (9.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (17.6% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 34% of all tested devices in this class were better, 6% similar, 59% worse
» The best had a delta of 7%, average was 23%, worst was 129%
Compared to all devices tested
» 29% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 63% worse
» The best had a delta of 4%, average was 25%, worst was 134%

Battery life

Battery Runtime - Reader / Idle
Average of class Tablet
  (746 - 5003, n=52, last 2 years)
1934 min +84%
Onyx Boox Note Air 3
3700 mAh
1052 min
Onyx Boox Note Air 3 C
3700 mAh
1030 min
Lenovo Smart Paper
3500 mAh
1056 min
Huawei MatePad Paper
3625 mAh
963 min
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
17h 32min

Pros

+ E-Ink display with matt surface
+ Simple use of Android apps possible
+ Reader software with many functions
+ Fast memory, expandable with microSD
+ Fingerprint sensor in the standby button
+ chic metal design
+ Support for stylus
+ no PWM flickering

Cons

- quite heavy
- no cameras
- Screen with slow response
- hardly usable for games and videos

Verdict: A flexible e-ink tablet thanks to app support

In review: Onyx Boox Note Air 3, test device provided by:
In review: Onyx Boox Note Air 3, test device provided by:
KEX GmbH

Just like the colorful Onyx Boox Note Air 3 C the Onyx Boox Note Air 3 with black and white screen is also a very stylish, versatile e-ink tablet with plenty of storage. It also offers the option of expanding this via microSD, comes in a sturdy metal casing, and offers quite good performance values for an e-reader along with stable WLAN connections.

The stylus also makes the tablet easy to use as a virtual notepad. Above all, however, it is the ability to install and use Android apps quickly and easily that gives the tablet a flexibility that readers with proprietary software do not offer.

The e-ink screen is great for documents and can also be used in dark areas without any problems thanks to the lighting. However, it is hardly usable for videos and other content with fast-paced movements. That being said, the display does not flicker and offers great contrast.

With the Onyx Boox Note Air 3, the manufacturer offers a high-quality e-reader that impresses with its Android app support and long runtimes."

Well-known manufacturers such as Lenovo and Huawei are now also involved in the more expensive e-ink tablet segment. The Lenovo Smart Paper however, is equipped with a very slow processor, while you will have to be a little creative with Huawei's MatePad Paper to install apps due to the lack of Google services.

Price and availability

The Onyx Boox Note Air 3 is available from our rental dealer Kex in the online shop where it costs €450. It is also available on Ebay for €20 more.

The Onyx Boox Note Air 3 is also available on Amazon.de for €450.

Onyx Boox Note Air 3 - 01/25/2024 v7
Florian Schmitt

Chassis
83 / 98 → 84%
Keyboard
60 / 80 → 76%
Pointing Device
77%
Connectivity
28 / 70 → 39%
Weight
84 / 40-88 → 92%
Battery
86%
Display
79%
Games Performance
13 / 78 → 17%
Application Performance
68 / 92 → 74%
Temperature
98%
Noise
100%
Audio
66 / 91 → 73%
Average
70%
79%
Tablet - Weighted Average

Transparency

The present review sample was made available to the author as a loan by the manufacturer or a shop for the purposes of review. The lender had no influence on this review, nor did the manufacturer receive a copy of this review before publication. There was no obligation to publish this review.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > Reviews > Onyx Boox Note Air 3 Review: A beautiful e-ink tablet with app support, even in black and white
Florian Schmitt, 2024-01-27 (Update: 2024-01-27)