The Onyx Boox Nova 3 Color is the first modern E INK Kaleido Plus e-note, or digital note taking device, that appeals towards an international audience. It is running a modern version of Android, and so it is quite easy to employ a custom keyboard and UI, depending on what region you live in. One of the big draws is that you can access millions of free and paid apps via Google Play.
You can freehand draw, take notes, edit PDF files in 16 different colors using the accompanied stylus. There are plenty of advanced features, such as being able to import pictures or audio, there is also a layer system, which is good for shading or environmental art.The Nova 3 Color can do this, thanks to the WACOM layer, which has pressure sensitivity and palm rejection technology. It is refreshing to actually draw in color on an E INK screen and it has good latency.
The Onyx Boox Nova 3 Color features 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. It 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.
There are some new software enhancements that take advantage of the Kaleido Plus screen. You can control the color contrast, color saturation and color brightness with slider bars. This was designed to accentuate different types of content. If you are reading a textbook with lots of charts, you might want to see them more pronounced, other tweaks would be necessary for full color content like magazines or comics. I find it is excellent that Onyx offers some new flexibility and control over how color can be controlled and tweaked to suit users individual needs.
Underneath the hood is 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 does it. 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 and the dimensions are 196mm, 137mm, 7.7mm and weighs 265g.
The Nova 3 Color is expensive, it retails for $419 and comes with a free case from the Good e-Reader Store. Will you buy this model, or wait for something else?
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.