The Onyx Boox Poke 2 Color came out late last year and had a very limited production run. This device was released to see if customers would embrace color e-paper and boy did they ever. This e-reader utilized the E INK Kaleido color e-paper, which finally made the technology ready for prime time. The Onyx Boox Nova 3 color came out a couple of weeks ago and it is using the second generation Kaleido, called Kaleido Plus. Can you really notice the difference between the two generations of the color filter array?
The Poke 2 Color is a dedicated e-reader with no note taking functionality. It is ideal for people who want to consume color content or browse the web and see images. The resolution is 1072×1448 with 300 PPI. The color panel can display over 4,096 colors and 100 PPI. The screen is sunken, so it doesn’t have a layer of glass on top of it. This will ensure that you will not see any reflections or glare from overhead lights or in direct sunlight. It also has a front-lit display, so you can read at night or during low light conditions.
The Nova 3 Color is both a dedicated e-reader and has note taking functionality. So you can read both books and freehand draw. This device has a larger 7.8 inch E Ink Carta HD and Kaleido Plus color filter array. The screen is completely flush with the bezel and has a AG glass flat cover-lens. The resolution of the black and white display is 1872×1404 with 300 PPI and the color screen has a resolution of 624×468 with 100 PPI. What is the main difference between Kaleido 1 and 2? Kaleido 2 can display over 4,096 different colors, with greater color accuracy and a 3x improved color gamut from the original Kaleido screen tech found on the Onyx Boox Poke 2 Color. This is due to the CFA being closer to the screen, so overall color blending has been dramatically improved.
Underneath the hood of the Poke 2 Color is an Octa-core 2.0 GHZ processor, 32GB of storage and 2 GB of RAM. It is powered by a 1,500 mAh battery. It is using a USB-C port with OTG. What is OTG? It basically allows you to plugin accessories into the USB port and they will just work, with no drivers necessary. This includes keyboards, mice, foot pedals, USB expansion slots and the like. It also has WIFI 2.4 and 5HZ for blazeningly quick internet speed and also Bluetooth 4.1 for wireless accessories and a microphone. Meanwhile, the Nova 3 Color is using a Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 Octa core processor, 3GB of DDR4X RAM and 32GB of internal storage. It has a USB-C port with OTG and also has Quick Charge 4.0, so you can power it up to full in under an hour. This model has two speakers that are positioned next to the USB port, this is similar to the way the iPhone speakers are positioned. There is Bluetooth 5.0, so you can listen to music and audiobooks via a pair of wireless earbuds or headphones. There is a microphone port on the bottom, which can be used for voice communication and also speech to text on the digital note taking app, it also has a new function that allows you to record your audio notes and can be played back whenever you want. It is powered by a 3150 mAh battery
There is a front-lit display of the Nova 2 Color has 8 white LED lights, while the Nova 3 Color has 17 white LED light. The light is emitted from the bottom of the screen and project light evenly. It does not have any flickering or shine directly into your eyes. This makes it easy to read at night, or in low light conditions, it has a slider bar when you tap the top center of the UI. You can adjust it as much as you want, to meet your ideal brightness level. The front-lit screen on the Nova 3, is brighter, and E INK optimized this for Kaleido Plus.
During our side by side tests between both models there is a huge advantage with the Onyx Boox Nova 3 Color. The color accuracy and gamut has been tremendously improved. The colors blend into each other very well, nothing has glaring gradient problems. The text is black and razor sharp, there is also lots of new settings to tweak the color levels, based on what type of content you are reading. Nova 2 Color had a big problem with the anything with red, including pink. All of the colors basically had a grey hue on all of the other colors, it kinda looked like a piece of fabric. When reading an ebook, the black text, was not very sharp and was diffused.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten 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.