eReaders have been on the market for several years but if you want an ereader/ewriter that offers more capabilities and makes reading and writing on a screen as easy as playing an online casino game, check out the Onyx Boox Note 3. The Onyx Note 3 displays content clearly in any light on the large but light-weight screen. In addition to reading, you can write on the Note’s AG glass flat cover-lens and unlock all your books and notes at any time and from any location.
The Onyx Note 3 is brand new, having been released only a few months ago. It runs on Google Android 10 which enables users to access over 1 million free and paid apps on Google Play. There’s digital/analog USB-C support for podcasts, audiobooks and music and Bluetooth 5 for wireless headphones.
Onyx released a new SKU, the Note Air, shortly before the Note 3 came out but the Note 3 has already been identified as the preferred device by users who want it for both professional and leisure use. Although the AIR has more LED lights, which are located on both sides, the Note 3 features a lighter E INK Mobius display and thinner design which increases the ease of portability. The Note 3 also has a larger battery and an extra 1GB of RAM as well as an easy-to-grip stylus that makes it a more convenient device.
Onyx Note 3 is Boox’s flagship 10.3 inch enote. Users who rely on it for writing will find that the E INK means that anyone who is using it for a long period of time will find it to be one of the easiest devices for viewing in various conditions. The battery can last for close to a month because eINK draws power only when the screen state changes so it can remain in standby mode for long periods of time. Unlike the Android or iPad tablets, the Note 3 doesn’t reflect light which makes it convenient to use when outside or on location.
You can use the Note for taking notes, editing PDF files, writing documents and drawing freehand. The screen can display a 5.8 x 8.3 inch document. The Note’s stylus is black and has erasers on the top and side and withstands heavy usage over long periods of time. The screen has both a color temperature system and a front-lit display so you can read in the dark or work in the light by muting the 28 LED lights.
The device offers 64GB of internal storage along with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor. It’s 33% faster than the Note 2 and connects to Bluetooth to allow you to access wireless accessories such as the external speaker or headphones to listen to audiobooks or music, microphone and keyboard. The microphone can be used for both voice chat and voice-to-text in the note-taking app. A USB-C-enabled SD Card for enhanced storage, etc comes with the device.
Onyx Boox Note 3 runs on Android 10 which allows users to enter Google Play, enable Play Services and Play Settings and proceed to download millions apps, both free and paid. This is a significant improvement over other e-notes on the market, notably Supernote and Remarkable, which don’t offer full access to Play or allow users to install their own apps. With Onyx the user can easily customize the experience including syncing documents to Google Drive or Dropbox by simply installing the apps.
The Boox OS, Onyx’s custom version of Android, adds new functionalities that you can’t find on other devices. You can run two apps simultaneously (split screen with one app on each side) and interact with both at the same time. For example, you can keep the ereading window open on one side and the enote on the other, 2 PDF files open at the same time, etc. The screencast automatically projects whatever is on the screen onto a PC or mobile phone. The note-taking app allows for copy/paste functionality. There are multiple layers and multiple templates on that app.
All ebooks and PDF files are stored on the homescreen which also displays the Onyx Bookstore which has a store of open source and royalty-free books. Notes are stored in “Notes” where the file manager displays all user-created directories that have been opened on the device. Stock Onyx apps are stored in Apps including the device’s browser, memos, music, gallery, monitor, dictionary, and Onyx Boox App Store. Users can customize Note through the settings menu to establish a WiFi network, connect Bluetooth accessories, enable app installations, search for a firmware update and add a Google Account.
With each new generation of products, the Onyx Boox software experience has been becoming more refined and more streamlined. Everything is intuitive, responsive and snappy. Every few month the company issues new firmware updates with bug fixes and new features.
When push comes to shove, the main reason that a user would want to upgrade from a Kindle or other ereader to a device such as the Onyx Boox Note 3 involves the note taking experience. There are multiple pens and pencils (including a mechanical pencil), the 2-app-running function and, most notably, the note writing itself. The device has layers, similar to Adobe Photoshop, where the user can use up to 5 layers to enhance the written text and, for instance, draw images in the background and foreground including industrial designs, character art, environment art and more.
There are pens and pencils along with fountain pens, paint brushes, ballpoint pens, markers and text with various degrees of thickness or thinness and pressure sensitivity that allow the user to draw or write in blue, green, red, white, black or various shades of grey. The drawings can be exported as a PNG or PDF file to a PC/MAC so even though the colors don’t show accurately on the E INK display, they will display properly once opened on a computer.
There’s a microphone at the bottom of the Note 3 screen to enable the user to employ voice to text and transcribe audio notes to text. Note taking has never been easier.
Other Note 3 bells and whistles include:
- Ability to export notes from a PC/MAC to the Note 3 and from the Note 3 to a PC/MAC
- Screencast from your Note 3 screen to a PC
- Sync your Note 3 to your smartphone and from a smartphone to the Note 3
- Store massive amounts of material on the 1GB cloud storage system
- Integrate smartphone to the Note 3 cloud storage
- Read and edit PDF files
- Download Kindle from Google Play to read ebooks
If you want a device that has pretty much all of the functionalities of iPad Air, Apple Pencil, Samsung Galaxy Tab and iPad Pro plus extra long battery life and a screen that’s easy on the eyes, the Onyx Boox Note 3 is the device for you.