Tech

The Onyx Boox Leaf 2 handles any reading service you throw at it


I don’t want to be picky, but the Kindle isn’t good enough.for YearMe called of Amazon kindle oasis The platonic ideal of an e-reader with physical page-turn buttons, a crisp display, solid backlighting, and (and) a unique design. I felt like I had entered the endgame of the e-reader. But then he adopted Libby for library books, her viz for comics, and read galleys directly from publishers.

yes Started buying Android E Ink tablets from China And we’re waiting for the final blend of Android’s flexibility and Amazon’s great design and build quality.And I’m pretty sure New $199 Leaf 2 from Onyx Boox have it This is my endgame e-reader, at least for now.

How to rate and review products

You may not know Onyx Boox, that’s okay. The company is based in China, and the only way to get the product in the US is through Good e-Reader (a site that reviews and sells e-readers), Onyx Boox on his website (boox.com). , or Amazon. Also, the company is primarily based in China, so tech support is spotty at best. is the fact that it shares with what appears to be a Russian company with a product lineup of This brand is highly deceptive.

However, I have interacted with real people at the company (in China), received embargo and pricing information, and have now purchased at least three different products from that website without issue, so Boox boox.com At least in my experience, it keeps going up.

Onyx Boox has been making Android E Ink tablets for years, but they tend to be very expensive compared to Kindles and Kobos. The Leaf 2’s $199 price tag is a lot more than you’d pay for one. Basic Kindle or even paper white, but it’s $150 less than the premium Kindle Oasis. The only thing it lacks is waterproofness, but I don’t typically settle in the bath to read, so this isn’t a deal breaker for me.

Along the handle is not only a microSD card slot, but also an oddly-placed USB-C port for charging. This would have been better on the bottom or top of the device.

Its display is nearly identical to that found in the latest Kindle Oasis, and text is sharp and easy to read. Black and white comics look just as good as they do on the iPad. With the front light, you can fine-tune the brightness of warm and cold light separately or separately, so you always have the perfect brightness. given reading situation. (If you have other light sources, I usually leave them off.)

But the feature that really sets the Leaf 2 apart from other Android E Ink tablets (or less flexible e-readers) is its page-turn buttons. The Leaf 2 has two physical page-turn buttons on the left side of the device, and thanks to an internal G-sensor, pages will quickly turn when you switch hands.

Also new to Leaf 2 are buttons, which work in almost any app, whether or not it has built-in recognition for page turn buttons. Typically, Onyx Boox and other Android E Ink tablet makers have relied on accessibility features that turn the phone’s volume buttons into page turn buttons. The e-reader simply maps the page turn buttons to the volume and voila, the Kindle or Nook experience is as natural as a native e-reader.

However, in Leaf 2, the menu ([サイド キー設定]), there is another setting that allows you to force other apps to recognize page turns as well. So the Nook and Kindle apps use the volume button setting, and apps like Libby that don’t have any page turn functionality at all fall back to the page turn button setting. It can be a bit cumbersome and cumbersome if you’re jumping between multiple apps to read every day, but Libby allows you to turn pages beautifully — something you couldn’t do before!

1/Four

These buttons work surprisingly well.

As for battery life…it depends. If you run a lot of Android apps and have Wi-Fi active, expect about a week or less of battery life. But with Wi-Fi off, I usually only need to charge every few weeks.

Android apps can drain the battery, but they also give the device flexibility. Leaf 2’s flexibility fascinates me. Leaf 2 comes with its own mediocre app store built-in. As this is a Chinese e-book reader, Google Play is not available out of the box.But Onyx Brooks We provide a guide to get the Play Store working — This mostly involves registering the device with a Google account and waiting for Google’s servers to recognize its existence (in my experience this takes about 2-3 hours, Onyx Boox warns that it can take up to 48 hours).

Once the store is up and running, this will be a full-fledged E Ink Android tablet with easy downloadable apps from Libby, Kindle, Barnes & Noble, and even NetGalley (a book gallery for publishers). became. You can add a video app if you want, but we don’t recommend it because the delayed black and white versions of YouTube and TikTok aren’t the ideal way to use either app.

Agree to continue: Onyx Boox Leaf 2

All smart devices today require agreement to a set of terms of use before they can be used. This contract is something that no one actually reads. It is impossible to read and analyze all these contracts. However, when reviewing a device, it now accurately counts the number of times I have to press the “accept” button to use the device.

By setting up your Onyx Boox Leaf 2, you agree to:

You can add Google Play Store if you want. In that case, you agree to:

  • Google terms of service
  • Google’s privacy policy

Final tally: 1 mandatory and 2 optional contracts.

The actual automatic download for me was EinkBro, a browser designed for E Ink. It sounds silly considering Leaf 2 comes with its own browser, but EinkBro is fast and paginates websites instead of forcing scrolling.

Beyond the built-in browser, the Leaf 2 has plenty of apps to make it behave more like a tablet than I’d like. There’s an audio recorder, gallery, music player, and even a calculator unlike the iPad. With the Play Store installed, I didn’t need to use the Boox app store at all. The same goes for BooxDrop, a native cloud storage app. Both require an Onyx account, but I’ve never set one up and haven’t missed anything as a result.

Despite so many caveats and goofy built-in apps that try to style it as a traditional tablet competitor, the Leaf 2 is one of the most enjoyable ways to read a book. I’m not bound to someone’s walled garden, nor do I have to make weird sacrifices to read what I want to read when I want to read it. There are actual physical buttons that you press to turn pages. The Onyx Boox Leaf 2 finally took the itch out of my quest for the ideal e-reader.

Photographer Amelia Holowaty Clareth / The Barge



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