Onyx Boox Note Air3 Puts Touchscreen, Stylus, and Android 12 In A Textbook-Sized E-Reader

Just a couple months ago, Onyx introduced a phone-sized e-reader, allowing you to read books on an e-paper tablet that fits conveniently in your pants pocket. It’s great, making for the most convenient way to keep a paper-like e-reader on hand. This time around, they’re back to doing what they do best, which is large textbook-sized e-readers. That’s exactly what they’re bringing with the Onyx Boox Note Air3.

No, this isn’t quite one of their massive 13-inch e-paper devices. Instead, it’s a tad more compact at 10.3 inches, so it’s still big enough to display magazine, comic book, and textbook pages, all while being a good size to squeeze inside even smaller backpacks.

The Onyx Boox Note Air3 is a 10.3-inch e-reader with an E-Ink Carta 1200 touchscreen that features a resolution of 1,404 x 1,872 pixels and 16 levels of grayscale. There’s a large bezel on one side that lets you hold it securely in hand without blocking any part of the screen, while front lighting makes it possible to read even in darker rooms. It has a textured film surface that, the outfit claims, will enable a pen and paper feel when using the included stylus, along with the outfit’s Smart Scribe feature that can automatically refine hand-written notes and sketches (to get rid of ugly crooked lines), convert handwriting to text, and perform all sorts of other tasks.

It runs a full build of Android 12, so you can download and use any reading-focused apps, including ebook readers, comic book readers, bookmarking apps, and more.  You also get access to drawing apps, document editors, and any other app you want on the platform, although you are, of course, limited by the low refresh rates of the e-paper display, so don’t bother with any fast-paced games, since it can’t exactly reproduce frames fast enough to make playing worthwhile.

The Onyx Boox Note Air3 allows you to annotate books using the stylus, automatically highlight text by simply drawing lines around them, delete text by simply scribbling over them (like you do on a paper notebook), and all sorts of other neat tricks that make it easier to use with the stylus. It supports 17 different file formats, including books, comic books, images, and documents, as well as focused reading features like Article Mode and text-to-speech. Audio formats, namely WAV and MP3, are supported, as well, so you can use it to listen to music, audiobooks, and podcasts. The stylus comes with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, by the way, so you can draw thicker lines, thinner lines, and more by simply adjusting the amount of pressure you apply.

It’s powered by a 2.4GHz eight-core Qualcomm CPU with 4GB of RAM, so it should handle most any Android app with ease, along with 64GB of RAM. Other features include fingerprint recognition (via the power button), a microSD card slot, built-in dual speakers, a built-in mic, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, a 3,700 mAh battery, and a USB-C port with OTG support.

The Onyx Boox Note Air3 is available now, priced at $399.99.

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