The Onyx Boox Leaf came out in late November and it is dedicated ebook reader with no taking functionality. You will be able to sideload in your own ebook collection in a myriad of formats, and read them right on the device. If you already have an extensive collection that you purchased on Amazon, Kobo, Nook, Scribd or Audible, you can install these apps directly from Google Play. The leaf retails for $249 and can be purchased from the Good e-Reader Store.
The Leaf features a 7 inch E INK Carta HD display with a resolution of 1680×1404 with 300 PPI. The screen is completely flush with the bezel with a flat cover lens. There is a front-lit display with a series of white and amber LED lights, which can be combined to provide a warm candlelight effect. The distribution of lights is nice and even. It has a similar two tone design color scheme on the hardware, that is similar to the Note Air. Instead of having a blue strip on the side, it is dark grey, which adds some nice contrast.
Underneath the hood is a Snapdragon 636 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. It has a speaker, where you can listen to audiobooks, podcasts or music. There is Bluetooth 5.0, so it is possible to pair wireless headphones or an external speaker to listen too. The USB-C port is used for transferring digital content from your PC or MAC to your Leaf, it is also used for charging the 2000 mAh battery. There is also a g-sensor to automatically switch between landscape and portrait mode. The microphone will allow users to voice communicate with apps, such as Facetime, Discord, Whatsapp or Line.
The retail packaging is black and on the front, is a cut-out style design, which gives you a sense of what the e-reader looks like. On the back, is a bunch of technical specs, in a number of different languages. Onyx has always relied heavily on what the hardware is capable of, they certainly don’t use marketing jargon. When you open the box, the Leaf is sitting front and center. The back seems to be made of plastic and the front is aluminum. There are pogo pin connectors on the side, this is for the optional magnetic case with page turn buttons. On the bottom is the USB-C port and twin stereo speakers. I always like when e-reader companies put them on the bottom, instead of the back. Normally, people use it in a case or laying down on a table, bed and the speakers can get muffled. This is a similar placement of speakers that the Apple iPad employs. You also get warranty card, quick start guide and a USB-C to USB-A cable.
I like the silver and black design of the Note Leaf. It is light and easy to hold in one hand. Android 10 is a big selling point and it comes with the new version of Boox OS, which has optimization for the Kindle app, so you will not get animated page turns.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.