ONYX BOOX Tab Ultra C – FULL REVIEW – Color E Ink Tablet
The Onyx books tab Ultra C, which comes closest to delivering the exact experience. I imagined when eating technology started popping up in Tech, demos at CES and other trade shows in the mid 2000s Amazons 2007 announcement of the first Kindle got me incredibly excited because their investment meant this weird Niche technology was almost guaranteed to become mainstream or pseudo mainstream And it did with more than 150 million Kindles being sold worldwide. These arent smartphone numbers, but theyre enough to establish a pretty solid Market, but, unlike the Breakneck Pace in which smartphones and most other consumer electronics categories have barreled forward, the past 15 years have seen only moderate improvements to e inks resolution. Contrast ratio and refresh rates Ive used the Kindle for well over a decade, and my Kindle today isnt a whole lot different from my Kindle from 2013. aside from some nice, but not necessary quality of life improvements, e ink is still relatively slow compared to most other Display Technologies youre not going to enjoy watching a video on it. For example, since itll look more like a slideshow and until very recently, its black to color color is a challenge for eating to create black and white images negatively charged black particles and positively charged white particles float in a clear liquid layer sandwiched between two electrodes, which Can generate precise electric fields to manipulate the particles into new positions? These positions form the letters that you see on any inks display, since the particles only move when an electric field is applied, stopping the electricity also stops the particles thats.
Why eating displays have such a famously long battery life while the screen is holding a static image? You dont need to use power, as you might imagine, introducing color transforms this delicate to particle dance into an intricately choreographed performance among multiple partners where black and white only requires positive or negative charge. Color Demands a new approach with multiple new types of particles that respond in more nuanced ways to electrical Fields via differentiation through variable particle size, then these nuanced particles need to be manipulated with even more Precision. In addition, an array of color filters are printed Atop. The display to refine and modify the arrangement of particles below this roughly halves. The 300 pixel per inch black and white resolution, but it produces a satisfying if somewhat muted, color scheme and thats, where we are today. There have been examples of color e ink displays in the past, but its taken, the better part of of two decades to bring better versions of these displays to mainstream consumer products. Lets take a step back here and ask kind of an important question: why does anyone need a color e ink display, after all, LCD and OLED panels produce far more vibrant colors at much higher resolutions and refresh rates? The answer is surprisingly difficult to explain to someone unfamiliar with eating other than to say its, like the difference between reading a color, printed newspaper and visiting the papers website on your computer, the experiences are just fundamentally different with e ink, offering the notable benefit of less Eye strain with its paper like appearance, Im, sure everyone watching this has different use case for their coloring tablets.
But for me, it all boils down to a single use. Editing I write novels, which average around 100 000 words lets, say and part of my editing process has been printing the books to edit with colorful pens and paper. I used colors to distinguish English between different types of edits, green for grammar, red for redactions purple for rewrites and so on. It helped me stay organized in my own head and then later helped more easily apply different types of edits in scrivener. My writing program of choice after I purchased the Sony DPT rp1 about six years ago. I saved a lot of paper but lost the ability to use color. Since the Sony Inc tablet only supports black and white. You can technically write in color on the Sony Tablet, but it only shows up once you offload the PDF to a color monitor, not while youre, actually taking notes and you cant use multiple colors in a single document. So for years, Ive been craving a better solution. After testing multiple other tablets, including a recent model from Big me that seems similar on the surface, Ive decided that, for English speakers at least the books is far superior carrier. U.S companies dont offer a competitive product and Bigbys, offering is clearly not meant for an English reading audience and has generally inferior software options and support, even when used by someone who reads and speaks Chinese. So the books is really the only choice right now and thank goodness its a good one.
First lets get a couple of obvious negatives out of the way, while the books runs Android 11 and can access apps from the Play Store in no world. Will this replace a traditional tablet like an iPad? The refresh rate is still firmly in e ink territory, meaning its slow. You can adjust the refresh rate with a swipe up from the bottom right of the display, but the faster it gets. The worse. The screen looks to the point that I probably wouldnt use the fastest refresh rate meant for video all that often, if ever second, the colors are muted. One look at the marketing language tells you all you need to know they describe the colors as pleasant and peaceful. Not vibrant or lifelike another eating technology gallery 3 produces much more vibrant colors, but the trade off is that the refresh rate makes it basically unusable as a tablet. Even for basic tasks like reading the collido screen on the books does produce more subtle or gentle colors. Something that holds true, no matter how you fiddle with the color enhancement sliders, which, to my eyes, affect next to nothing if youre. Okay, with that the Mellow colors are totally usable and even a nice break from the intense eye strain that can come with long hours. In front of an LCD whats, less usable is the ghosting that occurs. Anyone who has used the ink screens knows that ghosting is a problem, but you might not realize how much more of a problem it can be on a color screen.
Theres way more particles to get stuck in their positions under the changing electric fields, which can lead to some pretty obvious after images of what you were just looking at, especially in the higher refresh modes, which you pretty much have to use while typing. To avoid annoying delays, this is such a common occurrence that the keyboard even has a shortcut to force. A refresh of the entire display. One forced refresh makes the after image dimmer and another, usually erases it entirely. Unlike OLED Burnin, this isnt a lasting problem, though it is an ongoing concern that youll have to deal with on a fairly regular basis. One nice thing about e ink has always been that it becomes more visible in direct sunlight, the opposite of a traditional display and the same as printed ink on regular paper. However, because color e ink displays have an extra color filter, this dims the ink a bit making the useful front light much more necessary than on say a Kindle. Its a good thing, then that the light is great it provides. Even illumination can be adjusted to multiple levels of brightness and even color. Temperatures ranging from a cool white to a very warm orange at its warmest the colors on the screen, do become a lot harder to distinguish, though. A downside of the light is that it uses a lot more battery, as I mentioned earlier, maintaining a static image on an e ink display. Doesnt use much power if any, but the front light.
Certainly, does you wont get much more than a day of battery life on this tablet, unlike many e readers, which can last weeks before demanding a charge, not a problem for me, but your use case may require more longevity. Next lets dive into the software. The books runs Android 11 and allows you to install apps from the Play Store on its built in 128. Gigabytes of storage, which is great. You can natively sync files via Dropbox and Google Drive, install your favorite apps like Kindle and really do a lot of what youd expect on any Android tablet. Obviously, given the limitations of the screen, youre not going to want to play games or watch Netflix, but for text related, apps youre, all set books also provide several native apps. They allow file transfers on your local network or remotely via their push.books.com transfer service. If you trust them enough to sign up for an onyx account, that is, this is a Chinese company and while the US isnt exactly known for its Ironclad consumer privacy laws, China is a touchy subject for some, depending upon your risk, tolerance. How much you care about data breaches? What sort of information you plan on storing on your device and how much you trust the Chinese government? You may want to carefully consider your options and perhaps the purchase itself. If you do proceed, youll find that the software experience is good, its not as polished as parts of the Google or Apple ecosystems, but most of the functionality is laid out well and provides the features.
Youd expect, for example, opening a PDF in the native app allows for annotations, like writing and highlighting type text, editions and even optical character, recognition or OCR speaking of OCR theres, a surprisingly robust, OCR app that allows you to take a picture of a document with the Rear camera edit it and then recognize the text inside it with a decent but not Flawless accuracy. This is totally unnecessary for my workflow, but I can see how it would be useful for others. You can even send the scanned documents to PDF or a note after youre done, and the built in Notes. App is also pretty good. You can do everything youd expect and a bit more like adding new layers using text, recognition to convert your handwritten notes into type text and even pick from a lot of brush options. The coolest part and the biggest Improvement compared to my time with Sonys eating tablet, is the actual writing experience. The books pen to Pro Stylus is like one from Wacom in that it doesnt require a battery or charging. It has a nib on one end and an eraser on the other another feature I love and miss on my apple pencil. Unfortunately, the weight is not distributed correctly, its distinctively top heavy, which makes it feel as if it wants to slip or tip over the back of your palm. While writing not that it actually would much better is the feel of the nib against the screen.
Theres. Much more friction than an apple pencil, which makes it much more paper like a good thing in my book, 4096 levels of pressure, sensitivity, theoretically bring it up to par with other payan pens, but it doesnt feel as nuanced as a Wacom stylus, where you can really Control line thickness with pressure, but compared to really any other e ink tablet. Ive used its great better than the Kindle scribe and even the remarkable tablet. It also attaches magnetically to the side of the device with a firm click, but dont think it wont, come loose in a bag pretty much any magnetically attached. Stylus will fall off, given enough Jocelyn since were talking about accessories. We might as well move on to the keyboard. This is an extra cost which can range from 50 to 100 depending upon how and when you order it now. What I like is that the tablet attaches magnetically and the keyboard draws power through five pins along the bottom. In other words, you dont ever have to charge it. Unfortunately, the connection is fickle to the point of being unusable in some situations on a desk. It doesnt matter, but on your lap you might find yourself frequently dislodging the keyboard from its connection. When this happens, the display will move to portrait mode depending upon your settings and youll be annoyed, perhaps its for the best, though, because the single angle you get with the keyboard is really best used on a deck on your lap.
Its in a bit of a weird position, other than that the keys are Pleasant and easy to type on with maybe a bit too much actuation for us, but a lot of travel, theyre well spaced, and although the shift key is a bit too short for my Liking, I didnt have any problem typing at speed. Do keep in mind that theres no backlight so typing in the dark is a challenge. The main problem with the keyboard actually isnt the keyboard its the screen. Every e ink screen will have lag between when you hit a key and when the letter shows up, this could be mitigated a bit by adjusting the refresh rate to one of its faster settings on the slowest setting, which has the sharpest text its really too slow. To type theres a huge delay and the screen tends to Do complete refreshes, often in a way that distracts from typing on the fastest setting its much more usable but youre. Sacrificing resolution and overall quality for Speed so somewhere in the middle, is ideal and youre still not getting an instant response like you would on an LCD. It definitely takes some getting used to close the keyboard and you have a decently nice case. The outside attracts dust which I dont like, but I do like how the magnetic clasp secures the stylus. I also like that it puts the tablet to sleep when closed and wakes it up when open thats a genuinely nice touch I didnt expect.
I should probably also mention that the tablet itself is very well built its much heavier than the Kindle, but the weight feels appropriate seams are tight, edges are clean and the screen is flush. This is a very high quality piece of consumer electronics and it wont fill out of place next to your iPhone or high end Android device. As someone who writes with his left hand, I also like that I can turn the tablet around, so the grip is on the right either manually or with the auto rotate feature enabled, and so we come to the cost at 600 or 700 plus dollars after the Keyboard and tax: this is not a cheap device. You can buy an iPad for about half that cost and thatll be superior in every way, except for the pesky fact that it doesnt have any ink display. I spend hours and hours editing books, so the price makes sense for me, but if youre just looking to read a few books, youd be better off with a dedicated e reader and if youre looking for a full tablet experience, a traditional tablet will suit you better. The books really is a niche device, one that Im thankful exists and one that Ive been waiting for for well over a decade. My single complaint so far is I want a bigger screen, something to match a piece of printer paper like on my Sony device, but until that device exists, Ive decided the better writing experience, color, colors front light and flexibility are more important.