The "1-Minute" Review
- Stylus support hit-or-miss
Onyx seems to be leading the charge with its army of e-ink tablets that can do everything a regular tablet can. So far, they have yet to strike out, quickly carving a comfortable place in this new market as a reputable name. Will the Onyx Boox Max Lumi join the ranks of Onyx’s other tablets?
The Onyx Boox Max Lumi is big. There’s a good chance it’s the largest e-ink device you’ll have ever handled. Despite its size, most reviewers said that its slim profile and lightweight feel in the hand boggle the mind. Whether you’re reading a report, diving into your favorite digital magazines, or catching up on the news, you won’t have to worry about cramping hands or tired arms.
As mentioned above, the 13.3-inch e-ink display is massive compared to most gadgets out there. But the screen isn’t just large, it has a few extra tricks up its sleeve too. A fast refresh rate mode quickly separates it from other e-ink tablets. There are also 16 gray levels, which adds to its ability to show detail in images or document formatting. Reviewers found it perfect for 8.5-by-11-inch documents as its dimensions offer a nearly 1:1 ratio. They also marvelled at the Max Lumi’s ability to open many different formats and document sizes effortlessly including, sheet music, graphic novels, and even maps.
Performance excited reviewers. While you won’t experience lag-free perfection with this tablet, there are ways it has been majorly improved versus earlier Onyx Boox incarnations. There’s the option for a stark black-and-white mode for ultra-crisp lines and text. Then you have the other option, a high refresh rate mode, which sacrifices fine details but boosts the refresh rate to a sensible point.
The ability of the Onyx Boox Max Lumi to become a second PC monitor is what reviewers raved about the most. The fact that e-ink displays can run smoothly enough for this to work is pretty amazing and a sure boon to anyone looking for a lightweight, battery-efficient second display for mobile use.
Software & Storage
The Onyx Boox Max Lumi uses Android 10 and is compatible with the Google Play store. It also includes 64GB of storage. While that might not seem like much on a tablet or phone these days, that’s a lot of space when you’re primarily using the device for text and images.
There are no cameras on this model.
Determining battery life on a niche device such as this can be difficult because it all depends on what you’re doing with it. If it’s being used for reading or note-taking, for instance, it could last all week, once you add other things like video, frequent web browsing, or any sort of gaming that drops substantially.
There are two tiny, very quiet speakers on the Onyx Boox Max Lumi. While they operate okay in their own right, most reviewers highly suggest using a Bluetooth speaker or headphones when sound quality is important.
The Onyx Boox Max Lumi comes with its own stylus. It’s small and black with a pen clip to prevent rolling and has one external button with an eraser feature on the top. Because it’s a Wacom stylus it also supports multiple layers of pressure sensitivity.
Specs at a Glance
- Plastic shell
- 13.3-inch E-Ink display
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 Octa-core 1.8 GHz processor
- 4GB of RAM
- Android 10
- 64GB of storage
- No camera
- 4,300mAh battery good for a week of light use between charges
- Two speaker audio with the option for Bluetooth and headphones
- Wacom stylus
The Bottom Line
Onyx leads the pack in its quest for the most diverse e-ink tablet lineup. The Onyx Boox Max Lumi is an excellent addition. While there are some issues with the pen lagging in certain applications, it wasn’t enough to throw reviewers off. Between having the ability to access the Google Play Store and using the Max Lumi as a second PC monitor, there’s a lot of potential use for the tablet outside of just reading and note-taking.
Gizmodo says, “The appeal of the Onyx Boox Max Lumi is that it’s big. Massive, really. I feel like a toddler when I use it to read books and find myself rotating to put it in landscape mode as I would my iPad or Surface.”
PC Magazine states, “A fully functional Android tablet and secondary monitor, the Onyx Boox Max Lumi lets you do everything with E Ink that you would with a big-screen tablet."
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