Sunday, April 14, 2024
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REVIEWED: Onyx Boox Max2 electronic paper

A super-sized Kindle, anyone? This huge E-Ink device proves heavenly for annotating Word and PDF documents, sketching with a stylus, and taking notes

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The E-Ink revolution seems like decades ago, but the appearance of super-sized tablets like the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and 12.3-inch Microsoft Surface Pro appear to have fulled a mini rise in similarly big Kindle-style devices. Cue the Onyx Boox Max2.

Onyx Boox Max2 electronic paper: design

Last year came the Sony DPT-RP1/B Digital Paper, and this year – sporting an identical E-ink Carta screen measuring 2200×1650 pixels – is the Onyx Boox Max2. With a week-long battery, a portable 573g weight and a stylus to boot, it’s an exciting gadget. But what’s it for?

Onyx Boox Max2 electronic paper: features

Annotating PDFs and Word documents using a stylus, that’s what. Also drawing. Also taking notes with a pen. Oh, and also reading large documents, either stored on the product or via its web browser and WiFi. It’s also great to have a full-screen treatment of scientific papers and PDFs. Annotated versions are saved as PNG files. There is a surprise feature in the form of a, HDMI cable that enables it to act as a second display screen, essentially extending the scope of a computer monitor. That’s handy for avoiding tired eyes, but actually it’s already possible to get everything you need onto the Onyx Boox Max2 without cables.

Onyx Boox Max2 electronic paper: music & sound

It plays music in MP3 or even FLAC format either through a headphones slot, via Bluetooth to a pair of wireless headphones (now that was unexpected), and it even reads aloud to you (ditto).

Onyx Boox Max2 electronic paper: apps

However, the best thing about the Onyx Boox Max2 is that it runs Android 6, so essentially works like any phone. You can download any app to it (don’t bother with video apps, they don’t work). You can get all kinds of documents onto the Onyx Boox Max2’s 32GB innards via Dropbox (and it well over 15 formats), and it even supports reading apps from Kindle and Kobo.


With such an open system, and a slick design and operation, the Onyx Boox Max2 may have niche appeal, but if you get through a lot of research papers, of PDFs of any kind, and you like to take notes, the Onyx Boox Max2 is your ticket to paperless heaven. The only problem? It lacks any kind of illumination, so you can’t use it in the dark.

Price as reviewed: US$799 / UK£699

Buy the  Onyx Boox Max2 from

Buy the  Onyx Boox Max2 from