Today I’m taking a look at another EReader from Onyx. It’s the Monte Cristo 3 which was released in July 2017. Onyx seem to have plans of world domination as they’re continually pumping our new EReaders like they’re going out of fashion. From Onyx website, it looks like they’re focusing on the US and Russian markets which in my opinion is a pretty good strategy as both counties are massive. So let’s dive into the review and see if the the Onyx Boox Monte Cristo 3 has the potential to be an Amazon killer.
It’s Running On Android
This seems to be a good standard they’re setting as the Onyx Boox Max 2 was also running on the Android OS. What I love about this is that it means you’re EReader is really customizable. You can install and remove apps as you see fit to add extra functionality, just as you would with you phone.
One example is that you can actually install Amazon’s Audible app and listen to audiobooks. This is because the device is Bluetooth ready, meaning you can connect your wireless headphones to it. This is the same approach that was taken with Amazon’s Kindle Oasis. There is a downside though, you have to have wireless headphones as there’s no audiojack.
Oddly you can also connect your wireless keyboard to your EReader too. This seems a bit of unnecessary move as if you wanted to write out a large piece of text, you’re either going to use your phone or a laptop. Not sure what the purpose of this feature is to be honest, unless you like writing all of your text on a grey screen.
Hold onto your seats, we’re about to get a bit technical. So initially when I read about this, I just thought “OK, this is just a fancy way of saying the EReader has a backlight, so you can read in the dark.” Turns out I was mistaken.
So Onyx, employs a technology called reflective light distribution. In simple terms it means that the light from the device goes through a number of filters first before it hits out eyes. This means that when reading at night, you’ve got a much more comfortable experience and are less likely to get eyestrain.
Open Reading Format
As the Monte Cristo 3 runs on Android, this means you can pick and chose which store you download books from. By default, EPUB works out of the box which can allow you to download books from the Kobo store. For Amazon books, simply download the app and you’ve got the ability to read those too.
This is a really handy feature if you’ve had a combination of Kindle’s or Kobo’s in the past and just want the one device to read them on.
A Built In Browser That Works
What I like about Onyx is that they don’t mess around when it comes to the web browser experience. They don’t call it experimental like some other companies, they put the time in to make it work. Also, because the EReader is running on Android, its got a much higher chance of success loading those more complex sites. The UI is fairly easy to use. However, if you want something a little more familiar, simply download Chrome from the Google Play store.
I personally find I can focus on reading the content more when viewing sites on an EReader as they get rid of a lot of the visual noise when browsing as everything is displayed in grayscale as opposed to vibrant colours.
The Monte Cristo 3 comes with a massive 8gb storage as standard. With that kind of space, you can treat your EReader like your personal USB stick.
To give you some numbers, with 8gb you can store:
- 2000+ songs
- 3000+ images
- 4000+ books
The EReader also comes with an expansion slot to allow you to increase this storage if you so wish.
So let’s take a look at the design. The outer shell is made of metal as opposed to the standard plastic option which in my opinion gives EReaders a more professional look and feel. Ever since I reviewed the new Kindle Oasis, which comes with a metal frame, I’ve not been able to look back.
Onyx have also added a level of protection to the screen which you don’t normally get on standard EReaders. It comes with ASAHI reinforced glass which means it can take a number of impacts before getting damaged. With other EReaders, you would have to spend extra for this level of protection, but with Onyx you get this for free. Something I really admire
Onyx have also included a case with the Monte Cristo 3 which is a nice bonus. The case also puts the EReader into sleep mode when it’s closed which is a great idea to save the battery.
In terms of size, they opted for a 6 inch model, which is pretty standard across the industry. Although this makes it fairly lightweight, my personal these days is for something a little larger
Some Specs To Compare Against
I’ve included some specs below to give you an idea of how the Monte Cristo 3 stacks up against other market leaders:
|Onyx Boox Monte Cristo 3||New Kindle Oasis||Kindle Paperwhite||Kobo Aura One|
|Size||6 Inches||7 Inches||6 Inches||7.69 Inches|
|Display||300 PPI||300 PPI||300 PPI||300 PPI|
Where To Buy & Price
At the time of writing, the Monte Cristo 3 is priced around the $300 US mark which makes it comparable to the Kindle Oasis. This is a little steep in my opinion as whilst it does offer a number of features comparable to Amazon, it isn’t a well known brand. This product isn’t on Amazon so you’ll have to shop around a bit to get it. They have stores you can visit in the US, Russia and Ukraine as well as a couple of online stores you can purchase it from:
It’s also worth checking out EBay as these EReaders come up time to time.
What I Like
Like other Onyx products I’ve reviewed, I think it’s great that it’s running on Android. This makes the Monte Cristo 3 more than just an EReader and allows it to keep up with the times as well as the need of the user. A big plus for me is the look and feel of the product as well as including protective glass as standard. I also appreciate the fact Onyx have taken the time to make a working browser and don’t call it experimental.
What I Don’t Like
So for me the price is a little high for the features you get. I know Onyx are aiming for the more high end market but I would expect a few more features for this price (e.g. for it to be waterproof). The support for the device seems to be a little lacking too. Even though Onyx are claiming they have a presence in the US, I could not obtain a user manual in English from their website or from contacting their support team.
So that’s my review of the Monte Cristo 3 from Onyx. A great all-rounder device with great extensibility, although a little on the pricey side. So is it an Amazon killer? Not quite yet but
I’ll be keeping a close eye on Onyx to see how they plan to make their mark on a heavily monopolised market.
Until next time
Any questions, Own an Onyx? Feel free to drop in a comment below