Today I’m looking at something a little different. I’m reviewing the Boox Max 2 created by Onyx. For those of you who haven’t heard of Onyx before, they’re a company that formed around 2006 and have slowly been gaining momentum in the EReader space by setting themselves apart in a few key areas. This is not your traditional EReader for many reasons so let’s jump straight in!
This device is huge when comparing it to other EReaders. It has a 13.5 inch display which, when the average device is 6 inches, makes it a Goliath. Now my first thought was that people were going to complain that it’s just too big to use for hours on end. Seems I was mistaken as they’re pretty happy with it and appreciate the level of detail you get which such a crisp display.
The resolution of the display is 1650 X 2200 which means you get 200 PPI. For those not in the know, PPI stands for pixels per inch and the more you have, the better. This is a close benchmark to the Kindle Oasis which has 300PPI . An impressive feat for such a large device
It Runs On Android!
That’s right, it runs of the same software as many mobile phones out there including the Google Pixel. This means it has more apps that your standard EReader which I think is great. It’s not locked down either which means you have the choice of installing more apps. The Onyx Boox Max 2 has got plenty of space for them too.
The set of apps the Onyx Boox Max 2 comes with is:
- Web browser
- Play store
- Reading stats
- Sound recorder
- Google play
But there’s more. As you can install additional apps this means that you can install Audible and listen to audio-books as well as downloading the Kindle App to enable you to read Kindle books (device does not support this by default). This gives the added bonus of keeping the device up to date as the years go by.
This is the second EReader which I’ve reviewed which as Audible Integration. The first was the new Kindle Oasis and actually I think the Onyx Boox Max 2 has done a better job of it. The main downfall with the Kindle Oasis was that there was no audio jack to plug your headphones in so you had to use Bluetooth speakers or headphones to listen to your EBooks.
Not the case with the Boox Max 2. Not only have they included a headphone jack but the device has an inbuilt speaker too. No need to spend a ton of cash on fancy new Bluetooth headphones, the Boox Max 2 has got it covered.
As mentioned before, the app is not installed by default but that’s easily solvable by downloading it from the the Google Play store.
The Onyx Boox Max 2 has been designed for those who want to customise. The A2 page refreshment mode means that pages will turn faster and have less ghosting (where text remains on the page after a page turn). The only downside is that it will drain your battery life sooner but probably worth it as the device generally performs better under this mode.
Something that sets this EReader apart from Amazon and Kobo is the fact that you can customise your screensaver by uploading your favourite image with no ads, or gimmicks. I really like this feature as I, like many others want to make my EReader personal.
Something a bit different is that the EReader comes with a stylus pen which lets you write on documents to annotate them. Onyx saw the clunky way that this has been implemented on other EReaders and solved it with a pen. It’s pretty responsive and the other end of the pen acts as an eraser.
Onyx have also brought out a text to speech option which is available on some books. This is great for reducing eye strain as you can switch between reading and listening to your favourite Ebook.
The other shell is made of plastic which does make it prone to fingerprint marks, although this is mainly visible on the back of the device. Because the screen is so big, you don’t really notice the edges on it. This is great for getting lost in one of your favourite novels.
The Onyx Boox Max 2 also has a number of buttons for those who do wish to use the touchscreen functionality (although i’m not sure why you wouldn’t) which allows easy navigation between books, settings and the web browser.
The stylus is also attached unobtrusively to the side of the EReader and you don’t really feel it whilst holding the device. Another nice touch to the overall look and feel.
Now that the latest Kindle Oasis has gone with a metal outer casing, I’m now wishing more devices go this way as it makes the EReader look more robust.
Now those of you who thought the new Kindle Oasis was expensive, prepare to take a deep breath. This device is no means cheap.
The one thing to bear in mind here is that you’re paying for a hybrid device, rather than your standard EReader. Also combine this with the fact that you can constantly update it via Google play is why Onyx can justify a higher price tag. You’ll be using it for years and it will still be keeping up to date.
Some Specs To Compare Against
I’ve included the key specs from similar EReaders to give you a sense of how different the Max 2 to is. Notably the size the weight of the device.
|Onyx Boox Max 2||New Kindle Oasis||Kindle Paperwhite||Kobo Aura One|
|Size||13.5 Inches||7 Inches||6 Inches||7.69 Inches|
|Display||200 PPI||300 PPI||300 PPI||300 PPI|
Some Accessories That Are Available
Now given the cost of this device, I’d definitely recommend getting a case for it at the bare minimum. Even though Amazon sells the EReader, they unfortunately don’t make the cases for it. In fact there aren’t many places at all when you can purchase one. Sites such as [banggood.com] and [aliexpress.com] are the only where I found a couple and even then this is for the Max as opposed to the Max2 which might be a bit of a squeeze to fit it in
What I Like
I love the fact that this EReader runs on the same software as my phone. For me it means it’s going to last longer as I can keep updating it with apps to make it my own. It also means I can use it not just as an EReader. The Onyx Book Max 2 also has a working Web Browser which they don’t call experimental like the Kindle range. This is a big plus for me as they’ve taken the time to make it work with most web pages.
What I Don’t Like
Let’s talk about the price. The Onyx Boox Max 2 isn’t £20 – £30 pounds more than the rest of the EReader market, it’s hundreds of pounds more expensive. Whilst the screen is massive and the EReader is very versatile, I don’t think it justifies that kind of price tag difference. There’s also the issue that the device isn’t waterproof which seems to becoming the standard these days.
What Amazon Customers Are Saying
Overall, Amazon customers are pretty happy with it and are prepare to pay the price tag. Although fewer reviews that something like the Kindle Paperwhite, it gives you an idea of their likes and dislikes.
So that’s my review of the Onyx Boox Max2 Ereader. An EReader that really does set itself apart from the competition in many groundbreaking ways such as having a massive screen and running on Android. Just make sure you’ve got deep pockets to buy one.
Until next time
Any questions? Feel free to drop in a comment below