The Onyx Boox Tab Extremely C is an impressively constructed jack of all trades, providing a big, vibrant canvas for studying alongside a pointy note-taking facility. Nevertheless, for internet looking, media playback, and just about some other operate, you’re nonetheless higher off with a daily sensible gadget or laptop computer.
- Premium construct
- Entry to Google Play Retailer
- Strong stylus expertise
- Restricted for internet and media content material
- Huge and hulking
Color e-ink showCombines the easy-reading, power-saving advantages of e-ink with a 4,096-colour palette
Runs on Android 11The gadget comes preinstalled with Android 11
Bundled with a stylusComes with a full-sized stylus able to 4,096 ranges of strain
Some would argue that the e-reader arguably reached its ultimate type a while in the past, every time it was that Amazon began providing Kindles that had been as nice-to-hold as they had been sharp-to-read. Onyx clearly believes in any other case.
Earlier efforts from the agency, just like the Onyx Boox Notice Air 2 Plus or certainly the Onyx Boox Tab Extremely (no ‘C’), mixed the e-ink readability and sterling battery lifetime of an e-reader with the massive show, refined software program, and wider app entry of an Android pill. In addition they included note-taking capabilities through a bundled stylus.
The Onyx Boox Tab Extremely C takes that formulation and goes one step additional, including a splash of color to proceedings. At a price of £600 on Amazon, this definitely isn’t an inexpensive digital studying and note-taking answer. So is that additional expenditure value it?
- Strong metallic construct
- At 480g, fairly heavy for an e-reader
- Bundled stylus and magnetised edges
Earlier Onyx e-readers have been impeccably constructed, and that continues to be the case with the Boox Tab Extremely C. This blocky, squared-off pill has a strong metallic physique that screams ‘premium’ – not less than inside the context of a pill.
In e-reader phrases, the Boox Tab Extremely C is considerably unforgiving. These onerous, squared-off surfaces aren’t essentially the most snug to carry for lengthy intervals.
Whereas one side-bezel is round 3 times the thickness as the remaining, suggesting you need to be holding onto it with one hand, an general weight of 480g (twice the burden of even the heaviest smartphone) implies that you’ll wish to convey a second hand into play, or to prop this pill up in your lap. The optionally available keyboard cowl will prop it up on a flat floor for you, on the expense of including additional weight.
I briefly examined that keyboard case, and located it to be a well-built accent that gives premium safety together with a considerably pointless typing provision. The typing expertise is strong, with good key journey, if barely too firmly sprung. Nevertheless, it’s completely no substitute for even a mediocre compact laptop computer. It’s extra cramped, much less viable for truly typing in your lap, and the sluggish show isn’t precisely conducive to the kind of gentle multitasking and app-switching that the majority writing initiatives require.
Additional pill influences might be seen on the again of the Boox Tab Extremely C with its 16MP digicam. That is being positioned as a ‘sensible scanner’, which is a reference to its meant operate as a doc scanner somewhat than for snapping footage of your canine.
There’s a patterned plastic strip operating up the again of your complete thicker aspect, which provides a hotter, softer texture to your fingers to grip, in addition to a probable portal for the gadget’s Wi-Fi connectivity. Each of the longer edges have magnetised sections in direction of the centre the place the included stylus might be affixed, although you need to make some effort to get the alignment proper. It’s not fairly the easy snap that I might have preferred.
USB-C is within the headlines proper now due to Apple’s Pauline conversion with the brand new iPhone 15 line, however it’s been an on a regular basis truth of life for everybody else. There’s a USB-C port offered right here, although considerably curiously, it’s located on the far left of the underside edge. Not that such odd placement actually issues, given the usually epic battery life figures that such e-readers obtain.
On the highest fringe of the Extremely C you’ll discover an elongated energy button, which additionally doubles as a fingerprint sensor. That’s an uncommon inclusion for a pure e-reader, and nods to the gadget’s hybrid nature. You’ll have to dive into the Settings menu to activate this, although, because it doesn’t type a part of the set-up course of.
- 10.3-inch e-ink display screen
- 4,096 colors
- Entrance lit
Onyx has outfitted the Boox Tab Extremely C with a ten.3-inch Kaleido 3 e-ink show, with a most decision of two,480 x 1,860 (300ppi) in black and white. It’s a lot huge and sharp sufficient for all ebook content material, and it additionally sports activities sturdy frontlighting with absolutely adjustable brightness and heat.
Nevertheless, the massive characteristic right here is the Boox Tab Extremely C’s color output. Don’t go anticipating a tablet-like expertise – at simply 4,096 colors, this provides a really fundamental, washed-out palette, whereas color content material additionally halves the display screen decision to 1,240 x 930 (150ppi). Nonetheless, it makes studying comics on the gadget a a lot better expertise than on common e-readers.
You’ll be able to technically watch YouTube movies on this pill, however you actually wouldn’t wish to. The poor distinction, restricted color palette, and glacial refresh charge could make for a weird, virtually impressionistic expertise.
The display screen additionally suffers badly from ghosting all through. You’ll usually encounter the faint suggestion of an app icon or another display screen ingredient that has been displayed beforehand.
Onyx has applied an app optimisation system, which helps you to change the steadiness of sharpness and velocity in line with the content material. It’s on Balanced by default, however HD achieves sharper textual content, Quick Mode will get you higher (however nonetheless clunky) internet looking, and Ultrafast is technically for video playback. Once more, although, you actually don’t wish to be counting on the Onyx Boox Tab Extremely C for such issues.
Whereas it’s good that the producer has thought concerning the limitations of this display screen know-how, and the way to mitigate these points for quite a lot of content material, it’s all a bit clunky. Do you actually wish to be fiddling about in a devoted menu each time you turn to a brand new form of media content material? For many informal e-reader customers, I believe that the reply is ‘no’.
It is perhaps laggy in terms of fast-moving media content material, however the display screen responds effectively to the bundled stylus. With 4,096 strain ranges and a dimension and really feel that may solely be described as ‘pen-like’, jotting down notes feels pure and dependable.
Make no mistake right here – whereas the Onyx Boox Tab Extremely C is perhaps positioned as a color e-ink gadget, this isn’t a ‘better of each worlds’ gadget by any means. Certainly, I’d argue that the entire color ingredient is overplayed at finest, and superfluous at worst.
It does its finest work with e-books and fundamental note-taking – identical to the Kobo Elipsa 2E, the Kindle Scribe, and the ReMarkable 2, all of which use monochrome e-ink shows for a considerably cheaper price.
Efficiency and software program
- Snapdragon 662 SoC
- Sparse UI based mostly on Android 11
- Entry to Google Play Retailer
The Onyx Boox Tab Extremely C runs on a Snapdragon 662 chip with 4GB of RAM backing it up. If that makes it sound somewhat like an Android pill, that’s as a result of it primarily is one.
True, it’s solely operating on creaky outdated Android 11 (Android 14 is imminent on the earth of smartphones and tablets), and a closely simplified model of it at that. However the residence display screen right here seems a bit like a Basic Mac OS/Home windows 95-style demake of Google’s cellular working system. We’re speaking clear, fundamental app icons sat on prime of a clean background, with bigger folders for any downloaded books or created notes. It really works effectively right here.
There’s an Android-style navigation bar alongside the underside for books, residence, information, and settings, and also you get a bunch of pre-installed apps and instruments identical to some other Android gadget. There’s a bespoke internet browser, a dictionary, a number of fundamental instruments, and extra.
Crucially, there’s additionally the Google Play Retailer. Which means that you could have entry to all the 1000’s of apps which have constructed up on Google’s app retailer over the previous decade-and-a-half. Most of those will probably be wholly unsuited to make use of on this gadget, however the principle profit is that you simply’ll be capable to entry any ebooks you’ve gathered throughout a number of companies and cloud storage apps over time.
Inside minutes, I used to be downloading the ebooks and digital comedian books I had purchased over time from the Amazon Kindle app and Google’s personal Play Books app, and studying and annotating paperwork saved on Dropbox or OneDrive. Studying all of those codecs of their respective apps, or by means of the outstanding Library folder within the case of downloaded PDFs, felt utterly pure on the Extremely C’s e-ink show. Native, even.
It’s necessary to maintain expectations in verify, nonetheless. The Onyx Boox Tab Extremely C is perhaps constructed like an Android pill, however it doesn’t carry out like one. Whether or not it’s that lowly Qualcomm chip or the sluggish e-ink show – I believe a little bit of each, however predominantly the latter – most duties past merely skimming by means of a textual content file take a number of beats or extra longer than you is perhaps accustomed to in your pill or telephone.
Basic Android system duties like logging into an app, shifting between menus, or opening an internet web page really feel much more laborious right here. Once more, that is all fairly quick for an e-reader, however while you begin treading on the toes of tablets (Onyx itself calls this an “ePaper pill PC”), it is best to anticipate to be held to a better customary.
It’s not fairly as intuitive a UI because it could possibly be, both. You’ll have to dive into the Settings menu to arrange some issues that you simply would possibly contemplate basic in a extra common Android gadget, together with a Wi-Fi connection and a password.
In the meantime, I discovered the optionally available gesture-based navigation system to be considerably convoluted. You swipe up from the left edge for multitasking/app switching, up from the center for residence, and from the appropriate for the e-ink Centre, which helps you to tweak these show settings in line with the duty. Sliding up and down on the appropriate of the display screen, in the meantime, adjusts brightness.
There’s additionally the choice to swipe in from the left to return, which I’d suggest you activate. The choice to swipe up and down on the left for quantity management on any video or audio content material feels a bit odd, not less than inside a pill context.
I can’t fault the note-taking software program, nonetheless. In addition to a rock-solid writing expertise with the stylus, the in-built Notes app is intuitive and sufficiently succesful. Scrawl away on one of many doc templates, then hit the AI button, and the Tab Extremely C will (after a prolonged pause) translate it into digital textual content. The handwriting recognition appears to be fairly faultless, and it helps a formidable 66 languages.
Doc scanning utilizing the appropriately titled Scan Paperwork app works effectively too, and naturally, the mix of scanned PDFs and strong handwriting opens up the potential for simple doc signing and sharing.
Onyx has packed its pill with a 6,300mAh battery, which wouldn’t be particularly massive for a 10-inch pill with a power-hungry LCD, however is totally big for a low-power e-ink show.
Positive sufficient, battery life is true up there in massive e-reader territory. That’s, I didn’t have to cost it as soon as throughout my week or so with the gadget, barely draining half the tank. Whereas cranking up that frontlighting will clearly sap power quicker, the character of e-ink means it’s pointless with any form of affordable ambient lighting in play.
Standby time is excellent, with the Extremely C dropping solely round 1% a day when not in use.
Do you have to purchase it?
You need a splash of color together with your ebooks
The Onyx Boox Tab Extremely C serves as an honest full-sized e-reader with an e-ink show that’s simple on the attention, however it additionally provides a dose of color, making it viable for digital comics and illustrated books.
You need a full-fat pill expertise
The Onyx Boox Tab Extremely C may need a color show and run on Android, however its efficiency and refresh charge are approach in need of even the most affordable Android pill in terms of internet looking and media consumption.
The Onyx Boox Tab Extremely C is an attention-grabbing showcase of what’s attainable inside the conventional e-reader area, providing a big color e-ink canvas to your books and comics and Google Play Connectivity. As a pure e-reader, it’s a really sturdy provision, offered you possibly can stay with the burden.
It’s additionally an excellent note-taking gadget, with a responsive stylus bundled in and a few easy however highly effective software program for jotting down notes and sketches. The built-in scanning operate furthers its doc mastery.
Nevertheless, it’s removed from the all-encompassing hybrid that you could be be hoping for. Whereas it might surf the online and play video content material, inherent limitations with e-ink know-how imply that you simply wouldn’t essentially wish to. It additionally prices much more than the premium e-reader-notebook competitors.
It’s one other eye-catching hybrid gadget from Onyx, however the E-book Tab Extremely C has us questioning whether or not that is the true approach ahead for e-readers, or simply one other enticing dead-end.
How we check
We check each e-reader we overview completely. We use the gadget over the overview interval. We’ll all the time inform you what we discover and we by no means, ever, settle for cash to overview a product.
In contrast towards related units
Because of an e-ink show and enormous battery, the Onyx Boox Tab Extremely C can final for days if not weeks relying on utilization, and solely sips 1% a day in standby mode.
Onyx Boox Tab Extremely C overview
Quiet Mark Accredited
Display screen Measurement
First Reviewed Date
Onyx Boox Tab Extremely C
225 x 184.5 x 6.7 MM
2480 x 1860