Onyx Boox Leaf 2 assessment: book freedom

I do not wish to be choosy, however Kindle is not adequate for me. For years I referred to as the Amazon Kindle Oasis the platonic very best of e-readers, with its bodily web page flip buttons, sharp show, strong backlight, and (on the time) distinctive design. I felt just like the e-reader had hit the endgame. However then I embraced Libby for library books, Viz for manga, and began studying extra delicacies instantly from publishers, and the Kindle felt prefer it was getting in my approach quite than serving to me learn the issues I needed.

So I began shopping for Android E Ink tablets from China and anticipated it to lastly mix the pliability of Android with Amazon’s superior design and construct high quality. And I am fairly certain it is in Onyx Boox’s new $199 Leaf 2. That is my endgame e-reader, no less than for now.


You will not be conscious of Onyx Boox and that is okay. The corporate relies in China and the one approach to get their merchandise within the US is Good e-Reader (a website that evaluations and sells e-readers), Onyx Boox’s web site (, or Amazon. And because the firm is essentially based mostly in China, tech assist is spotty at finest. What additional complicates issues is that Onyx Boox shares its title with an organization that appears like a Russian firm with nearly the identical URL and positively the identical product line. The sense of fraud is powerful with this model.

However I’ve interacted with actual individuals from the (Chinese language) firm, received embargoes and pricing info, and have now bought no less than three completely different gadgets from the web site with none issues, so Boox on, no less than in my expertise, is up and up.

Onyx Boox has been making Android E Ink tablets for years, however they are typically extraordinarily costly in comparison with the Kindle or Kobo. The Leaf 2’s $199 value level is much more than you’d pay for a fundamental Kindle or perhaps a Paperwhite, nevertheless it’s a full $150 lower than the premium Kindle Oasis. For the worth you get 32GB of storage, 2GB of RAM, a seven-inch 300ppi E Ink show, heat and funky entrance lights, Android 11, and a microSD slot. The one factor lacking is that it is waterproof, however I do not usually go to the toilet to learn, so this is not a deal breaker for me.

Its display is almost similar to that discovered on the newest Kindle Oasis, and textual content is sharp and simple to learn. Black-and-white comics look nearly as good as they do on an iPad, and the entrance gentle helps you to alter the brightness of the nice and cozy and funky lights individually or individually, so you may all the time set them to the right brightness. given learn standing. (If I’ve different gentle sources round, I often depart them off.)

However what actually units the Leaf 2 other than different Android E Ink tablets (or their much less versatile e-reader acquaintances) are the page-turning buttons that magically make this the most effective e-readers I’ve used. The Leaf 2 comes with two bodily web page flip buttons on the left aspect of the gadget, and because of the built-in G-sensor, the web page shortly orients itself once you change arms.

Additionally, new to the Leaf 2, the buttons will work with nearly any app, no matter whether or not it has a built-in characteristic to acknowledge web page flip buttons or not. Usually, Onyx Boox and different Android E Ink pill producers have relied on an accessibility characteristic that turns the amount buttons on a cellphone into web page flip buttons. E-readers map page-turning buttons to quantity, and voila – to a Kindle or Nook expertise as pure as native e-readers.

However with the Leaf 2, there’s another setting within the menu (below Aspect key settings) that permits you to pressure different apps to acknowledge web page turning as nicely. I take advantage of the Quantity Button setting within the Nook and Kindle app and fall again to the Web page Flip Button setting in non web page turning apps like Libby. It may be a bit finicky and irritating for those who’re scrolling by means of a number of apps to learn each day, nevertheless it additionally lets me flip pages easily in Libby – one thing I could not do earlier than!


As for battery life… it relies upon. If in case you have a lot of Android apps operating and energetic Wi-Fi, you may count on a few week or much less of battery life. However turning off Wi-Fi often means I solely need to cost it each few weeks.

Android apps can drain the battery, however in addition they give flexibility to this gadget, and it is the Leaf 2’s flexibility that fascinates me. The Leaf 2 comes with its personal mediocre app retailer in-built, and since it is a Chinese language e-reader, Google Play is not obtainable out of the field. However Onyx Boox does present a information for operating the Play Retailer – this basically entails registering the gadget together with your Google account and ready for the Google servers to acknowledge its existence (in my expertise this takes about two to a few hours, however Onyx Boox warns it might take as much as 48 hours. ).

As soon as the shop was up and operating, this turned a full-fledged E Ink Android pill, and it was straightforward to obtain apps for Libby, Kindle, Barnes & Noble, and even NetGalley, which offers with bookshelves for publishers. You can too add video apps for those who’re inclined, however the delayed black and white variations of YouTube and TikTok aren’t a great approach to make use of both app, so I would not suggest it.

a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin [&>a]:shadow-underline-black darkish:[&>a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin darkish:[&>a]:shadow-underline-white md:text-40 lg:-ml-100″>Conform to Proceed: Onyx Boox Leaf 2

Each sensible gadget now requires you to comply with a set of phrases and circumstances earlier than utilizing it – contracts that nobody truly reads. It’s not potential for us to learn and analyze every considered one of these agreements. Nonetheless, after we reviewed the units, we began counting precisely what number of instances you needed to hit the “settle for” button, as a result of these are offers that most individuals do not learn and positively cannot negotiate.

By putting in Onyx Boox Leaf 2, you comply with:

You may optionally add the Google Play Retailer. In that case, you comply with:

  • Google’s Phrases of Service
  • Google’s Privateness Coverage

Ultimate scoreboard: one necessary deal and two non-compulsory offers.

An actual auto obtain for me was EinkBro, a browser designed for E Ink. It sounds foolish contemplating the Leaf 2 comes with its personal browser, however EinkBro is quick and can paginate web sites as an alternative of forcing you to scroll – extraordinarily useful for those who’re studying a 200,000-word espresso store AU in Archive of Our Personal.

Moreover the built-in browser, the Leaf 2 has many different apps that intention to behave extra like a pill than I would love. There is a voice recorder, a gallery, a music participant, and even a calculator in contrast to the iPad. With the Play Retailer put in, I by no means bothered to make use of Boox’s app retailer – the identical goes for the native cloud storage app BooxDrop. Each require an Onyx account, however I’ve by no means arrange an account and have not missed something in consequence.

Regardless of the numerous caveats and all of the silly built-in apps that attempt to design it as a rival to conventional tablets, the Leaf 2 is among the most fulfilling methods to learn books. I am not constrained by anybody’s walled backyard, and I haven’t got to make awkward sacrifices to learn what I would like, after I need. I’ve actual bodily buttons to press to show pages. The Onyx Boox Leaf 2 has lastly scratched my itch for a great e-reader, and I do not see something changing it anytime quickly.

Photographer Amelia Hole Krales / Boundary

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