The Onyx Boox is one of the solid eBook readers but is also one of the pricey choices to enter the market. This is among the few eBook readers to hold a WACOM touchscreen, which means the touchscreen layer could be located under the e-ink screen. This removes the glare problems when the screen is over, much like in the Sony PRS 700. The biggest downfall of this device is that it requires you to use the stylus that comes with it. You could only use your finger and work with the touchscreen to no avail.
Generally, the eBook reader works acceptably, but many users have frequently complained of its sluggishness, and that at times, several links are not working when clinked with the stylus. In the same way, these people must keep in mind that the Onyx Boox eBook reader’s battery life only gets shorter if the touchscreen is more frequently used than the physical buttons.
A physical directional pad similar to a scroll wheel is presented at the eBook reader’s base. Found around the upper left edge of the device is a slot where the stylus is connected. On its left edge, a Wi-Fi switch is located, with the volume, USB, power switch, SD, and headphone port on the bottom. Being one of the heaviest among its competitors, the Onyx Boox eBook reader weighs approximately 10 ounces.
The device’s stylus allows the user to write notes and even draw images, which functionality comes very handy, and quite fast. Refreshing a few pixels of your sketch is done in an instant. Though this is a neat trick of the device, your notes and annotations cannot be exported.
One of the nice features of this eBook reader is that it has folder navigation, which is becoming essential with the increase of eBook collections. You may view eBooks in thumbnails, but only their titles and not with their covers. You could also view them in a list, on in details (rating, last read, title, etc.). It also features landscape and portrait orientation, arbitrary and fixed zooming, hyperlinks, text searches, and margin autocrops, as well as a built-in comic viewer.
The Onyx Boox eBook reader has a reasonable file support (13 file formats including PDF, EPUB, HTML, TIFF, MOBI, BMP, etc.)
The eBook reader is featured with a USB 2.0 cord, which can be directly attached to any computer, and Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing you to connect to any local network. The Wi-Fi connection, however, is not seamless and is much more limited as compared to the Kindle’s browser. The Onyx eBook reader only permits access to Wikipedia and Google, but since you could access almost any site through Google, there’s not much of a problem going on with browsing, except videos, of course.
With the WACOM touchscreen coming in very convenient with the stylus, navigating is a breeze for most users, though without it, you could still do pretty much everything with the navigational button, only that you don’t get to do scribbles and work with the selection zoom. At $349 in its initial release, the Onyx Boox eBook reader is very expensive considering the other options in the industry. The eBook reader has now been offered at roughly $270, but still, it doesn’t come near Amazon’s Kindle 2 3G or other competitors in the market.