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


Left: Onyx Boox Max Lumi2 (thirteen.3 inch display screen). Proper: Onyx Boox Take note Air2 (10.3-inch display screen).

Illustrations or photos: Onyx

Onyx says it is the only firm that would make E Ink units with display screen sizes ranging from six inches to thirteen inches. I was recently despatched its latest choices, the thirteen.3-inch Boox Max Lumi2 and the smaller 10.3-inch Boox Take note Air2. There are some shared characteristics, such as the means to perform each as an e-reader and as a content material creation unit. Also, each units deploy the same Android 11 running method and person interface, and each use the same stylus.   

Working with E Ink units for content material creation is not as rare as it at the time was. E-reader expert Kobo launched its Elipsa earlier this yr, for instance, when Extraordinary is on the 2nd variation of its pill, the reMarkable 2. 

Onyx units are out there direct on line, the place the Onyx Boox Max Lumi2 expenditures $879.ninety nine and Boox Take note Air2 expenditures $499.ninety nine. Both of those come with a sleeve and established of 5 stylus strategies. In the Uk, I identified the units without having the bundled components at Amazon for £799.ninety nine and £499.ninety nine respectively.



  • A lot of storage
  • Lengthy battery life
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Good file structure assist

Really don’t Like

Specification comparison

Boox Max Lumi2   

Boox Take note Air2   


thirteen.3 inches, 2,200 x one,650 pixels (207ppi) 

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








twin band (2.4GHz, 5GHz)   

twin band (2.4GHz, 5GHz)   




Android variation



File formats supported   


Graphic  PNG, JPG, TIFF, BMP

Audio  WAV, MP3


Graphic   PNG, JPG, TIFF, BMP

Audio  WAV, MP3


of course

of course


of course

of course




Battery dimensions / life  

4,300mAh / up to six weeks (standby)   

3,000mAh / up to 4 weeks (standby)   


310mm x 228mm x seven.9mm   

229.4mm x 195.4mm x 5.8mm   




Cloud storage

5GB included

5GB included


$879.ninety nine

$499.ninety nine



  • Compact and light-weight
  • Relatively economical
  • Good file structure assist

Really don’t Like

Both of those tablets have a very similar person interface and mode of procedure, with finger sweeps and taps supported as well as stylus enter. The much larger Max Lumi2 has a fingerprint scanner underneath the display screen this is absent in the smaller Take note Air2 model, even though each units can be password shielded. 


Templates are out there for creating content material on the Onyx Boox units.

Graphic: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The Boox units present accessibility to a library of publications, but it truly is a really feeble collection of public area is effective. However, e-book admirers ought to not despair. Both of those units run on a variation of Android 11, which usually means there’s Perform Keep accessibility to e-book examining selections these kinds of as the Kindle and Kobo visitors, as well as Google Perform Books, Audible and Libby (applied by my own public library assistance and a lot of some others). There are also information apps from The Guardian, the BBC, The Economist, The New York Times and far more. 

A USB-C connection to a pc makes it possible for content material to be copied to a Boox unit, and I identified that worked incredibly effortlessly. Alternatively you can use BooxDrop, a QR-code primarily based method that makes it possible for wireless content material transfer to a Boox. It is a very little convoluted, but it does perform and supports file sharing from laptop computer, mobile phone or pill. More info sharing arrives by way of OneNote, Dropbox and Evernote, as well as the 5GB of provided cloud storage for each Boox unit, with login by way of the device’s configurations spot. With a lot of doc formats supported, you ought to be capable to accessibility what you need to have. 

There is a variation of Chrome on board, and when this obviously renders web pages in monochrome, it functions very well.  

When it arrives to info entry the ridged stylus is quick to keep, creating it cozy to generate or edit/annotate current documents. The smaller Take note Air2 has a marked location along one very long edge the place the stylus can be held by a magnet. I could not discover a very similar location on the much larger Max Lumi2, even though its stylus has the same marking. 

SEE: Gartner releases its 2021 emerging tech buzz cycle: This is what is in and headed out

Authentic content material is placed into templates. Blank portrait and landscape templates are included, consumers can generate their own (these are saved underneath a tab labelled ‘local’), and even more styles can be download. There are a lot of drawing resources, and a number of distinctive brush and pen variations can be configured and switched amongst by tapping at a menu at the leading of the display screen. This is ideal for creating art tasks, schematic drawings, flowcharts and the like. 

Both of those the Max Lumi2 and the Take note Air2 have microphones and speakers, and recordings can be extra into notes. Handwriting recognition is included: it truly is a little bit slow, but if you generate reasonably neatly it is effective well more than enough. 


The person-configurable ‘navigation ball’ offers quick accessibility to usually-applied functions.

Graphic: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The person interface is reasonably quick to navigate, even though you will need to have to familiarise you with several menus dotted all around the workspace, and there’s a ‘navigation ball’ to learn. This can be referred to as up at any time, with 9 configurable pop-out buttons delivering rapid accessibility to your most usually applied functions. 

The develop of each units is reliable, and each individual feels well weighted offered its dimensions. The smaller Take note Air2 has a nicer design and style, with its blue and orange colour scheme including a selected panache. The much larger Max Lumi2 is rather less appealing to seem at, which is a shame.  

Onyx has done well to produce a rounded person experience that caters for doc creation and annotation, when also supporting e-book examining by way of each the two most popular formats Kindle and Kobo, and a popular public library structure in Libby. Synchronisation across units ought to imply a seamless experience for admirers of the two proprietary formats and the public library loans method.  

Onyx Boox units will inevitably be anything further to have rather than a substitute for your current mobile phone, pill or laptop computer. There are surely situations the place they can insert value — but which variety element is the best match?


The thirteen.3-inch Boox Max Lumi2 (left) expenditures $879.ninety nine, when the 10.3-inch Take note Air2 (suitable) expenditures $499.ninety nine.

Illustrations or photos: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

There are a number of elements to weigh up. The smaller Take note Air2 is simpler to tote and considerably more cost-effective, when the much larger and far more high priced Max Lumi2 features far more storage space and more time battery life. I also identified using the split-display screen attribute simpler on the much larger display screen. That claimed, the Max Lumi2’s footprint is almost similar to that of my laptop computer. 

Whichever unit you decide on, Onyx will produce a capable E Ink pill acceptable for creating as well as consuming content material. 

Recent AND Relevant Material

Kobo Elipsa review: A multipurpose E Ink e-book reader and notetaker

Extraordinary 2 E Ink pill review: Wonderful for on-display screen creating, but important attributes are nevertheless lacking

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2021) review: A vintage, now contemporary, e-reader many thanks to USB-C and wireless charging

Amazon updates Kindle Paperwhite line, adds Signature Version and waterproof Little ones model

Finest e-reader 2021: Kindle, Kobo, and far more

Read far more testimonials

Maria J. Danford

Next Post

GMKtec XPanel SE portable monitor review: Perfect extra screen when you're on the go

Sat Dec 4 , 2021
I seemed at the XPanel 2 portable watch in August 2021, and I liked the further-brilliant exhibit and color spectrum offered by the fifteen.6-inch exhibit. I was curious to see what capabilities are in the XPanel SE. Like the XPanel 2, the XPanel SE from GMKtec also has a fifteen.6inch […]

You May Like