First look at the Onyx Boox Tab Ultra writing tablet
The Onyx Boox Tab Ultra is a new generation of E INK tablets that is quite different from their entire product line of dedicated eReaders and eNotebooks. Onyx has developed new speed modes called BOOX Super Refresh Technology which makes it more responsive than other e-paper tablets in the market. The Ultra’s main selling points are the new camera system featuring OCR technology and also featuring a dedicated GPU to handle games and other media content. Android 11 is the operating system and it has full access to the Google Play Store. It is available for purchase from the Good e-Reader store for $599.
The Tab Ultra features a 10.3-inch E INK Carta HD display with 1404×1872 resolution with 227 PPI. The sides of the bezel around the screen are black, but the backplate has a sleek phantom black color and there’s a stripe on the front of the bezel with that color too, it makes the left side look like it’s a spine of a book. The back is where the 16 MP camera sits. You can take photos of documents, books or manga and edit them with the note taking app.
There is an illuminated display on the front with white and amber LED lights for cool and warm illumination. This lighting system shines on the e-paper screen and not in your eyes, making it a pleasant experience to use with minimal lighting.
You can take notes on the TAB Ultra and it comes with a free Boox Pen 2 Pro. The screen has 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity and palm rejection. Onyx has a great note-taking experience that’s great for freehand drawing, taking notes, jotting down your thought process, or editing PDFs. The latency when drawing is very low and there are many templates to choose from for your backgrounds.
Under the hood is a Qualcomm octa-core CPU 662 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. If that’s not enough for you, there’s an SD card slot capable of hosting an additional 2TB of additional storage. You can listen to audiobooks, music or podcasts through wireless headphones or an external speaker with the associated Bluetooth 5.0 standard. However, there are also two speakers you can use and the sound quality is excellent. There are also two microphones, so it’s good for taking audio notes or talking with your friends. Transferring documents, books or PDFs is easy with the USB-C port. One of the good things about the Tab Ultra is the G-sensor, which will automatically rotate the screen, like an iPad. You can surf the web, access cloud storage or download apps as it has 2.4GHz + 5GHz Wi-Fi. It’s powered by a giant 6700mAh battery, which should last around three weeks of constant use. The dimensions are 225x184x6.7mm and weighs 480g.
The Boox Tab Ultra runs Google Android 11 and has full access to the Google Play Store, which comes pre-installed. Users can simply log into their account and start downloading their favorite apps. The built-in e-reader app is really good and supports a myriad of formats, such as PDF, EPUB, PDF-DRM, EPUB-DRM, TXT, RTF, HTML, CHM, DOC, FB2.
The Tab Ultra’s retail packaging is pretty vanilla. There’s a black box with a cutout of the tablet, and on the back is a bunch of tech specs in a dozen different languages. This has always been a big draw to invest in the Onyx ecosystem. Language support is critical to a brand’s success, and because it uses the standard Android language system, no one will be without their native language on the UI and all apps. Inside the box are a Pen-2-Pro, spare nibs, a quick start guide and warranty information, plus a USB-C cable.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and The New York Times. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.