Despite the ubiquity of phones and tablets, eBook readers are still going strong. In fact, they’re experiencing a renaissance thanks to the advent of color e-ink readers and Amazon’s long-awaited adoption of stylus for your Kindle. Brands like Onyx are pushing the limits of what E Ink devices can do, like bringing out readers that are actually Android devices inside. It seems that the company is not done challenging the status quo yet and has just launched its latest premium E Ink device, which is also a great Android tablet that can actually go toe-to-toe with other Android tablets. Except, of course, that it has a more energy-efficient monochrome display.
If you’re amazed by the large 13.3-inch e-ink display on the new Onyx BOOX Tab X, then you haven’t been paying attention to this fast-growing market. This tablet actually replaces the BOOX Max Lumi 2 as the company’s higher-end offerings, both of which come with this gigantic E Ink display. The device is powered by an octa-core processor, has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, speakers, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a gyro sensor, and a big 6300mAh battery, which is pretty standard for tablets these days. . Of course, it’s primarily designed as an eBook reader and note-taking device, and its functionality and design revolve around these.
Most eBook readers of the past don’t have a light of their own, but that’s starting to change. But while some of Onyx’s devices have adopted front lighting, the BOOX Tab X is backlit, meaning light is directed towards you rather than across the screen’s surface. You can still adjust the coolness and warmth of those lights to your comfort, so it might not be much of a problem in the long run.
And unlike typical eBook readers, this extra-large tablet runs Android 11 instead of some custom operating system. Even better, it’s actually compatible with the Google Play Store, so you won’t be short of apps. You can definitely watch videos or even play games to some degree, but that’s more of a side effect than a selling point. Onyx modifies the interface heavily to reflect the core experience they’re after, and it’s a pretty streamlined and efficient UI.
While the Onyx BOOX Tab X is big on size and features, it’s also big on price, starting at $879.99. Fortunately, that price includes the stylus that allows you to write or even draw on the screen. Depending on where you buy it from, the package will also include a tri-fold case to protect and hold the device. While the size of the BOOX Tab X is pretty staggering, it’s likely questionable whether it’ll be something even E Ink fans would be drawn to. Fortunately, Onyx also has the 10.3-inch BOOX Tab Ultra we recently reviewed, which is a pretty good compromise between size, price, and ease of use.