Onyx Boox Max Lumi2 & Note Air2, hands on: Capable E Ink tablets for content consumption and creation

Nancy J. Delong


Remaining: Onyx Boox Max Lumi2 (thirteen.3 inch screen). Appropriate: Onyx Boox Observe Air2 (10.3-inch screen).

Photos: Onyx

Onyx says it is the only company that helps make E Ink products with screen dimensions ranging from 6 inches to thirteen inches. I was not long ago sent its hottest choices, the thirteen.3-inch Boox Max Lumi2 and the smaller 10.3-inch Boox Observe Air2. There are some shared features, together with the capacity to operate the two as an e-reader and as a written content creation device. Also, the two products deploy the very same Android eleven functioning method and person interface, and the two use the very same stylus.   

Applying E Ink products for written content creation is not as exceptional as it as soon as was. E-reader expert Kobo launched its Elipsa earlier this 12 months, for case in point, even though Amazing is on the 2nd model of its tablet, the reMarkable two. 

Onyx products are out there direct online, where the Onyx Boox Max Lumi2 fees $879.ninety nine and Boox Observe Air2 fees $499.ninety nine. Each appear with a sleeve and established of five stylus suggestions. In the British isles, I identified the products with no the bundled accessories at Amazon for £799.ninety nine and £499.ninety nine respectively.



  • Plenty of storage
  • Extended battery daily life
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Great file structure assistance

Will not Like

Specification comparison

Boox Max Lumi2   

Boox Observe Air2   


thirteen.3 inches, two,200 x one,650 pixels (207ppi) 

10.3 inches, one,404 x one,072 pixels (227ppi) 








twin band (two.4GHz, 5GHz)   

twin band (two.4GHz, 5GHz)   




Android model



File formats supported   


Impression  PNG, JPG, TIFF, BMP

Audio  WAV, MP3


Impression   PNG, JPG, TIFF, BMP

Audio  WAV, MP3










Battery measurement / daily life  

four,300mAh / up to 6 months (standby)   

3,000mAh / up to four months (standby)   


310mm x 228mm x 7.9mm   

229.4mm x 195.4mm x five.8mm   

Excess weight



Cloud storage

5GB involved

5GB involved


$879.ninety nine

$499.ninety nine



  • Compact and light-weight
  • Reasonably very affordable
  • Great file structure assistance

Will not Like

Each tablets have a similar person interface and method of procedure, with finger sweeps and taps supported as very well as stylus input. The larger sized Max Lumi2 has a fingerprint scanner under the screen this is absent in the smaller Observe Air2 model, despite the fact that the two products can be password protected. 


Templates are out there for creating written content on the Onyx Boox products.

Impression: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The Boox products provide access to a library of books, but it can be a really feeble collection of public domain performs. Even so, e-guide enthusiasts need to not despair. Each products operate on a model of Android eleven, which implies there’s Perform Shop access to e-guide examining solutions this kind of as the Kindle and Kobo viewers, as very well as Google Perform Publications, Audible and Libby (utilized by my personal public library service and many other people). There are also news applications from The Guardian, the BBC, The Economist, The New York Times and extra. 

A USB-C relationship to a computer permits written content to be copied to a Boox device, and I identified that labored really effortlessly. Alternatively you can use BooxDrop, a QR-code based method that permits wireless written content transfer to a Boox. It is really a small convoluted, but it does operate and supports file sharing from laptop computer, cellphone or tablet. Further knowledge sharing comes by way of OneNote, Dropbox and Evernote, as very well as the 5GB of provided cloud storage for each Boox device, with login by way of the device’s configurations area. With many doc formats supported, you need to be able to access what you have to have. 

There is a model of Chrome on board, and even though this obviously renders internet webpages in monochrome, it features fairly very well.  

When it comes to knowledge entry the ridged stylus is quick to hold, earning it snug to make or edit/annotate existing documents. The smaller Observe Air2 has a marked location alongside just one extensive edge where the stylus can be held by a magnet. I could not locate a similar location on the larger sized Max Lumi2, despite the fact that its stylus has the very same marking. 

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Primary written content is positioned into templates. Blank portrait and landscape templates are involved, people can make their personal (these are saved underneath a tab labelled ‘local’), and even further types can be down load. There are a great deal of drawing equipment, and many distinctive brush and pen variations can be configured and switched concerning by tapping at a menu at the prime of the screen. This is perfect for creating art assignments, schematic drawings, flowcharts and the like. 

Each the Max Lumi2 and the Observe Air2 have microphones and speakers, and recordings can be included into notes. Handwriting recognition is involved: it can be a little bit sluggish, but if you write fairly neatly it performs very well enough. 


The person-configurable ‘navigation ball’ presents quick access to routinely-utilized features.

Impression: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The person interface is fairly quick to navigate, despite the fact that you can expect to have to have to familiarise oneself with numerous menus dotted all over the workspace, and there’s a ‘navigation ball’ to grasp. This can be known as up at any time, with nine configurable pop-out buttons furnishing rapid access to your most routinely utilized features. 

The make of the two products is sound, and each individual feels very well weighted specified its measurement. The smaller Observe Air2 has a nicer design, with its blue and orange color scheme including a specified panache. The larger sized Max Lumi2 is alternatively significantly less appealing to seem at, which is a disgrace.  

Onyx has accomplished very well to provide a rounded person practical experience that caters for doc creation and annotation, even though also supporting e-guide examining by way of the two the two most well-liked formats Kindle and Kobo, and a well-liked public library structure in Libby. Synchronisation across products need to imply a seamless practical experience for enthusiasts of the two proprietary formats and the public library financial loans method.  

Onyx Boox products will inevitably be anything further to have alternatively than a alternative for your existing cellphone, tablet or laptop computer. There are undoubtedly circumstances where they can incorporate value — but which variety issue is the finest suit?


The thirteen.3-inch Boox Max Lumi2 (remaining) fees $879.ninety nine, even though the 10.3-inch Observe Air2 (suitable) fees $499.ninety nine.

Photos: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

There are many factors to weigh up. The smaller Observe Air2 is simpler to tote and considerably more affordable, even though the larger sized and extra pricey Max Lumi2 features extra storage place and longer battery daily life. I also identified applying the break up-screen element simpler on the larger sized screen. That explained, the Max Lumi2’s footprint is virtually equivalent to that of my laptop computer. 

Whichever device you opt for, Onyx will provide a able E Ink tablet acceptable for creating as very well as consuming written content. 

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