Onyx shows off producitivity-focused E-Ink convertible laptop "typewriter" and tablets in Hong Kong

The Onyx Boox Typewriter is the first E Ink laptop in the world. (Source: Charbax)
The Onyx Boox Typewriter is the first E Ink laptop in the world. (Source: Charbax)
Onyx has introduced two prototypes of E-Ink devices: A "Typewriter" laptop, and a high-resolution Android tablet aimed not just at reading but for productivity.
Douglas Black,

The Kindle might be the most famous implementation of the technology, but E Ink devices have been around for years. The first commercial E Ink product was Sony's Librié, released 13 years ago in 2004, looked and functioned remarkably similar to the E-Ink readers of today. Chinese company Onyx is looking to advance the technology with some E-Ink products that push the boundaries of what we expect from the technology. Two interesting prototypes were shown off at the Hong Kong Global Sources Fair this week: a 2-in-1 E-Ink laptop designed for productivity called the Onyx Typewriter, and a high-performance 10.3-inch reader tablet called the BOOX Buddy. 

The Onyx Typewriter, billed as the world's first E-Ink laptop, looks like quite a fascinating product. The grey plastic design with speakers on the bezels might call to mind the greyscale laptops of old, but it is built on new technology. The 2-in-1 sports a detachable display that can be used as a traditional E-ink tablet, runs Android, and connects with both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (Bluetooth powers a special feature for document sharing between computers). The screen updates fast enough to keep up with typing and uses a special microchip developed to reduce power consumption to update the E-ink display. Onyx says users should expect 1-2 weeks of battery life depending on usage. The Typewriter could be a great productivity tool for writers who need incredible battery life or those who do work in direct sunlight—or typists who just want to save their eyes.

The 10.3-inch BOOX Buddy is an Android-powered E Ink tablet. The thin-and-light plastic tablet has support for annotations and digitizers (such as a Wacom stylus), but even those wouldn't be useful features if the tablet refreshed the screen as slowly as Kindle; fortunately, Onyx has managed to make the E Ink display update so fast that it is nearly as responsive as an LCD panel. The company hopes that creators will find the tablet useful for collaborative work.

E Ink is a unique display technology that has extremely low power consumption while remaining highly visible in sunlight. Because E Ink can use a plastic screen, it is easy to make products that are both flexible and rugged when utilizing E Ink displays. As these displays are not glossy and usually operate in natural light, they are also much less stressful on the user's eyes than a regular display.

Onyx estimates the products will be available in the second half of 2017.


static version load dynamic
Loading Comments
Comment on this article
Please share our article, every link counts!
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2017 04 > Onyx shows off producitivity-focused E-Ink convertible laptop "typewriter" and tablets in Hong Kong
Douglas Black, 2017-04-16 (Update: 2017-04-16)
Douglas Black
Douglas Black - Editor
Douglas Black is a technology analyst, teacher, writer, and DJ. He is also Managing Editor of UltrabookReview.