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Onyx Boox 60, update May 24, 2010

Posted by CK in IT, Mobility, Productivity.
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I’m loving it.

After a week of using it, I haven’t regretted the purchase at all. PDF compatibility is spectacular, so the main criterion is fully covered. The screen performed very well under all circumstances, even strong daylight (although, it would be nice for dim-light reading if it would be slightly brighter). Reflections are marginal and definitely not an issue. Controls are very intuitive, and the software covers for everything. The touch screen works very well, accurately and is very responsive for e-ink. Judging from other e-readers I’ve seen, this one is definitely in the fast lane. As regards the size of the screen, which is quite small, if you are reading in landscape mode and zoom to selection, it’s totally fine (at least by my standards). Portrait just doesn’t work for normal PDF papers (which is my main use case), especially double-column is completely unreadable. Finally, the included case is very nice indeed, good quality and holds/protects the reader beautifully.

The only thing that needs to be fixed, is to memorize screen offsets when leaving a document. Although not a major problem, it’s a hassle to re-adjust margins every time.

I also experienced a crash within the week, but I assume the firmware is still maturing. Not a problem, really.

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Comments»

1. adamo - May 29, 2010

Does it work with password protected PDFs? I have purchased some ebooks from Apress and they are password protected.

CK - May 30, 2010

No idea. If you mail me one of those, I can test for you (or could I simply passwd-protect any PDF to try?). Also, two things to note if you’re interested:

1) It’s also coming out as Bebook Neo anytime now. There will be some book store accessible over wifi.

2) Battery life is a bit disappointing if you leave it on (even in standby mode). Switching it off completely every time you know it will be some time before you use it again, should help a lot.

adamo - June 4, 2010

I am highly interested in BeBooks! Can you elaborate a little bit more on paper reading on them? Not having to print papers is the main reason that I want to buy a BeBook.

2. CK - June 5, 2010

@adamo: Bebook Neo is the same device as Onyx Boox 60, just a re-branding with slightly different firmware.

In general, papers are impossible to read in portrait mode, even if you “zoom to selection”. In landscape, single-columns are ok when zooming to selection. For double-column in landscape, it really depends on whether the paper has formulae. If it does, usually they are quite hard to read even like that (landscape, zoom to selection of text’s full width). What I do in those cases is that I zoom on a single column, and then navigate with the touch screen. It’s a bit of a hassle, and makes heavier battery usage, but it works.

Objectively, the screen is small. Taking into account the price tag though, the superb PDF compatibility (in comparison with most other e-readers), and the fact that it works with some relevant hassle, I still wouldn’t go for a different device.

CK - June 5, 2010

Also, at least here it says that the Neo is compatible with DRM-protected PDFs. I haven’t tested with the Boox, but I assume the same applies.

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