The Onyx Boox Max 2 Pro is a quad-core E-Ink tablet coming this month for $800
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E-Ink displays have found themselves in a niche product category. They are great for some use cases (like those that require high-contrast static images or long battery life) but fall flat in others, especially those that require fluid animation or image processing. However, there are still some companies pushing the display technology outside of its usual product category. Introducing the Onyx Boox Max 2 Pro, a huge 13.3-inch E-Ink pseudo-tablet.
Onyx has been in the E-Ink device game for a while, and their products are remarkably good, especially considering the limitation of the technology. The Boox Max 2 Pro is their latest premium big screen reader, and it packs some impressive specs for an eReader:
- 13.3-inch 2200x1650 (4:3) E-Ink display
- 1.6 GHz quad-core processor
- Capacitive touch w/ Wacom digitizer pen support
- Support for finger input
- 2 GB RAM
- 32 GB storage
- Android 6.0
- Bluetooth 4
One of the main selling points of the Max 2 is its OS. While most eReaders (like Amazon’s Kindle) run a heavily modified version of Android, the Max 2 runs Android 6.0 with full access to the Google Play Store. Not every app will be compatible, but most of the basic ones are usable.
The other major feature is its large 13.3-inch capacitive touchscreen. E-Ink screens are usually limited by a slow refresh rate, making them suitable for reading. Do anything more active, though, and the screen usually can’t keep up. However, the Max 2 Pro seems much more responsive than other eReaders; in a video demonstration, a reviewer was able to quickly jot down notes and hand write musical notation without skipping a beat. The HDMI input port also allows users to turn the Max Pro 2 into a second screen for a connected computer, which might make reading documents easier on the eyes.
There are two big drawbacks that will likely relegate the Max 2 Pro to a small market. The first (and perhaps most limiting) is its price. It’s currently up for preorder for EUR €671.34 (USD $790.14), which is significantly more than most tablets, let alone most eReaders. The other is battery life, which is odd. One of the main advantages eReaders have over their LCD-based tablet brethren is their long battery life, which is usually measured in weeks rather than hours. However (possibly due to the large feature set), the Boox Max 2 Pro doesn’t last very long. There aren’t any hard numbers as of yet, but don’t expect the device to last all day.
So is the Onyx Boox Max 2 Pro worth $800? For the average person, probably not. But for someone that wants the absolute most powerful tablet with an E-Ink display, this may be it.