Thinking and Decision making
If you can pull yourself away from making good use of all the functionality of an android tablet then this can be a superbly focused place for your thoughts. Just be sure to disable notifications and not install your favourite games!
You can use any email app you like on this device, but that doesn't mean that you will prefer it to managing your inbox on your laptop. And in the age of MSTeams and Zoom, this isn't going to be first choice for communicating.
Full android apps make this a great place to start or do a little light editing of work in the microsoft office or google apps environments, but you would soon be looking for more screen real estate to be really productive with your team.
Reading and Learning
The Neo reader app is great, especially in adapting the reading experience to suit all types of .pdfs or other formats, even large documents can be read on this excellent reader. You also have the access to any reading app you might want to access books in. The versatility of the device means you can access learning wherever it is served on the internet.
Planning and Organisation
I am loving using this device as my planner, and the integrations that you can have with, apps, calendars, or other cloud services make this a stand out use case for your productive life. Though it must be said, none of the third party apps work as well as the native boox ones do on an e-ink screen.
Innovation and Creation
You can draw, sketch, edit and mark up if you are a visual thinker. You can develop software and apps, everything you could do on any android tablet. (And please, I encourage you, if you are a developer, please develop apps for e-ink tablets, because it's a growing market!)
Boox Tablets are fully featured, they aim to do everything that an LCD android tablet will do. But are they too jam packed with possibilities that you'll just end up distracting yourself by playing chess?
Seems to be a bit of an all rounder right? That's probably fair. It is certainly the one you should buy if you can't make up your mind if this is more important than that!
Who is it definitely for? The people who know and appreciate tech. The people who like to have all the options, and don't mind finding them.
Everything you need to know iss easy to find in the user manual. Just don't expect it always to be intuitive.
Once you get to a place where you can do more, then the user interface needs to be more complex. If you want to buy this, it's going to be a because you prize the ability to do more, higher than the ability to do it easily.
Annual iterative designs, produce rapid product improvements! For reading it excels, their reading app is great, and if you wanted to use a different app, to access a different library then you can! It also has the bi colour front light. I said in an earlier review "it needs a global handwriting input like scribble." It's now got one, and it's better than scribble.
And games, let's not forget chess.
Because of the vast and varied capability of the device, you'll find loads of customisation as well, and I don't think that your experience of this device will be much like my experience of the device, because you will learn to use it in a different way. For example I didn't like that it refreshed every time you rescaled a drawing, well you can turn it off.
One design feature to mention is that it feels like a tablet. It is made of a cold metal. But then the excellent range of cases that Boox have made for these devices solve this.
Typing on the normal keyboard is a pain, I use gboard, or the handwriting input. The built in voice recognition is pretty good now too. Boox used to have a keyboard case for the earlier Note series. This could make an excellent eink typewriter. I have a low profile mechanical keyboard, which is a pleasure to tap away on.
It also updates notes across all boox devices. And if you are editing on two simultaneously, it merges the changes. That way you could have a Nova Air for on the go, and a Max Lumi for your desk. Cool right, if you wanted to spend that amount on e-ink screens!
I found the screen shows ghosting more often than other devices, I think that this is because it is constantly trying to optimise for the particular app that it is using. If it is an app downloaded from the Boox store then they have taken the time to get the right settings to ensure good contrast, and optimum refresh rate. This is how they make Microsoft OneNote usable.
In non optimised Android apps from the google play store you can customise all of the settings yourself until you are happy with the results. If you get too much ghosting, you can chose a more regular screen refresh, or keep thee refresh button handy in the floating menu ball, or by a swipe up from the bottom.
Drawing is good, the range of tools is good, but I find I get accidental taps with my hand and it moves the page. You can however, turn off touch and only have the pen be sensitive. You can customise everything! Even the space at either side where you can tap for a page turn. I'd love to see Boox make a dedicated drawing app, because the stylus can support tilt. We could have a whole range of artistic textured pencils and brushes. This would be a good feature to add, especially as colour e-ink rolls out during the decade.
Split screen mode is great. Miracast is great. Microphones, speakers, USB-C.
It has all the features that you could want. For example auto rotate, and if they annoy you, you can turn it off!
This is a common complaint, too many distractions, people, professionals, want a distraction free experience, so you can turn off notifications. People want it to focus on work, so don't install any games. But then if you want to listen to a podcast, and audio book, or whizz through some e-learning on your e-ink screen you can.
The converse argument, and if you decide you don't want this, it's because you don't really want another fully connected, fully capable device. Maybe really you are looking for something which gets out of your way, so the tech recedes into the background and you are free to think.
Because it can do more you will want to do more. That was my experience initially, but now it has grown up, or maybe I have grown up and I find it an incredibly useful place for focus. I look forward to sessions writing on it, with the pen, writing creatively. I look forward to opening it in the morning, to check what I had planned for the day. It's going to be difficult to not use this in order to evaluate the other devices which have recently been dropped in my office.
You have to assess if that's what you really want? Have you been sold the eink tablet experience by the remarkable advertising. Do you just want to replace your diary, or notebook? Then this might not be for you. Or maybe you do want to spend less time at your laptop, or staring at your phone? This can do so much for you, with very few compromises.