E-books with a screen diagonal of 10 inches or more are rare — such readers are not designed for a large number of sales, and therefore have a high cost. This also applies to the ONYX BOOX Lomonosov device, which received not only an E-Ink tablet size 10.1 ″ display, but also the current Android 10 operating system, stereo speakers, Type-C connector, dual-band Wi-Fi and many other features that will be discussed in the review.
- Screen: E-Ink Carta 1600×1200 pixels (4:3 ratio), 10.01″ diagonal, ASAHI tempered glass, 16 shades of gray display and Moon Light 2 flicker-free backlight
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
- Graphics: Adreno 509
- Manufacturing process: 14 nm
- Operating system: Android 10
- User Memory: 32 GB
- RAM: 3 GB
- Wi-Fi: dual-band, 2.4 + 5 GHz
- Bluetooth: Version 5.0 (SBC, AAC, LDAC, aptX, aptX HD codec support)
- Charging connector: Type-C 2.0 with USB OTG support
- Battery: 3150 mAh
- Support TXT, HTML, RTF, FB2, FB2.zip, FB3, MOBI, CHM, DOC, DOCX, EPUB, PRC, PDF, DjVu, CBR, CBZ, etc.
- Optional: SNOW Field function, carrying case included
- Dimensions: 239 x 168 x 7.2mm
- Weight: 420 grams (548 grams with case)
The book comes in a gift white cardboard box with a magnetic closure. On the back of the box there is detailed information about the technical characteristics of the device.
The delivery set consists of a case, a thick USB-Type-C cable, a user manual in Russian and English, and a warranty card.
The gray case is made of eco-leather and has a magnet, with which the hero of the review can go into or out of sleep mode if the appropriate setting is set. Work with the magnet is implemented due to the Hall sensor, which is present in the Lomonosov model and in a large number of other e-books from Onyx Boox.
Design and controls
In terms of size, the e-book is noticeably less compact compared to classic 6-inch readers, but very convenient for reading and other uses, for example, as a music collection for musicians. On the front side of the Onyx Boox Lomonosov there is a large 10-inch screen covered with a strong ASAHI protective glass. Additional protection is provided by a slightly protruding plastic rim around the screen, but you still need to be careful with the displays of almost all e-books. The bezels around the screen are 0.8 cm at the top, 2.8 cm at the bottom and 0.8 cm at the sides.
At the bottom of the front side, just below the BOOX inscription, is a customizable mechanical button. Initially, with a long hold, it turns on / off the backlight of the screen, and with a single press, it returns to the previous page / to the previous action. The action Back through the settings can be replaced with a transition to the main page, or by scrolling through the pages (back or forward).
The bottom edge is stereo speakers, well-placed at the corners to enhance the stereo effect, as well as a microphone hole and a Type-C connector. The connector supports USB OTG for connecting various gadgets to an e-reader, or even Type-C headphones without using an adapter. The main purpose of the microphone is to record voice notes, for which the Voice Recorder application is preinstalled in the reader’s operating system, but nothing prevents you from using third-party software. MP3 recordings sound rich and loud.
There is another button in the device, located on the upper edge and responsible for turning on / off or immersion in sleep / awakening from sleep. The button has a bright backlight that glows when charging or turning on the reader.
The back side and side faces of the e-book are made of textured matte plastic, pleasant to the touch. Despite the practicality of the material, the dimensions of the device and the relatively thin frames on the sides do not allow you to comfortably hold the reader with one hand in a vertical orientation, although the task is simplified when using the complete case. The build quality of the reader is excellent, and even with strong squeezing, the case does not bend or crackle.
Since there are no additional buttons on the case, the main control goes to the touch screen. When you open the top curtain, in addition to notifications, quick switches, and adjusting the backlight and sound, the Back, Home and Browse buttons (opening background processes) appear. In the e-book settings, there is a switch to gesture control, which duplicates the functions of buttons or can be configured for other actions (taking a screenshot, clearing the cache, completely redrawing the screen). Gestures are called from the bottom of the screen, which is more familiar to Android devices than the top buttons.
A translucent on-screen button was also initially made, which opens a menu with 9 customizable actions, including taking a screenshot from the screen or launching any installed software. The button itself is adjustable in size and degree of transparency, and it is easy to move it to any part of the screen.
The pixel density of the E-Ink Carta display with a resolution of 1600 × 1200 pixels and a diagonal of 10 inches is 200 ppi. This is an indicator at the level of a budget tablet, but even with this resolution, small and large fonts look even on an e-book, provided that the normal screen refresh mode is set in the settings. The mode gives the minimum number of artifacts, while the Fast, A2 and X-mode modes make the borders of letters and characters rough, while increasing the speed of page refresh.
The backlight of the screen does not shine into the user’s eyes, but onto the substrate, therefore it is more comfortable for the eyes, compared to tablet displays. In addition, in bright ambient light, you can turn off the backlight at all, and the screen will glare only in direct sunlight.
Under the microscope, we observe a standard structure for matrices of the E-Ink type.
The backlight of the Moon Light 2 screen consists of brightness-adjustable cold and warm light LEDs, due to which it will be convenient to choose the appropriate value for reading during the day, when cool shades are preferred for the purpose of concentration, or before bedtime and in the dark, when warm colors are more easily perceived by the eyes. yellowish color. The maximum backlight brightness is low — about 91 cd / m² (43 and 48 cd / m² for yellow and blue diodes, respectively), while the 6-inch analogues from Onyx reach 240 cd / m², but this figure is usually enough. The minimum brightness is 1.1 cd / m², which is comfortable for viewing information in complete darkness.
Backlight modulation and screen flicker were not detected at any brightness level.
The response time depends on the screen refresh mode — in normal mode, which is the slowest, but guarantees the highest quality picture, the transition from black to white and back takes 156 ms. In the fastest X-mode, which allows even relatively comfortable viewing of video, the figure drops to 106 ms, and these are standard numbers for E-Ink matrices.
The contrast called up from the top curtain is adjustable from 0 to 100 in increments of one division. The higher the value, the darker the information on the screen becomes, which can be useful in the case of plain text, but this negatively affects the detail of images when viewing manga, comics, etc.
The screen supports up to two simultaneous touches — this made it possible to implement the work of various gestures in the operating system and the software used. In the pre-installed reading applications, you can adjust the brightness of the backlight separately for cold and warm light diodes by swiping up and down the edges of the screen, as well as zoom in and out of the text using the Pinch gesture (spreading two fingers in different directions or directing them to one point) . You just need to take into account that such useful gestures may not work in third-party software.
It is worth mentioning the SNOW Field technology, which eliminates artifacts when turning pages, but its support is also guaranteed only in pre-installed reading software.
Hardware, operating system and software
Like modern Onyx books costing about $220 or more, the Lomonosov model is built on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 chipset with 4 Cortex A73 cores running at 1800 MHz and 4 Cortex A53 cores running at 1610 MHz. The chipset is not new by smartphone standards, but in the e-reader it provides good performance and autonomy, even successfully passing many synthetic tests. If desired, the reader can be used for games, but a large screen response time means running non-dynamic projects like chess, checkers and logic games with a predominantly static picture.
3 GB LPDDR4 RAM, and 32 GB eMMC user memory, some of which (about 9 GB) is occupied by the Android 10 operating system, optimized for e-books. There is more than enough RAM to open text files and PDFs with images, as most users should have enough of a non-volatile array, supplemented using cloud storage or connecting a drive via USB OTG. There is no support for microSD memory cards, which will be a disadvantage for some users. Opening books of about 400 pages or more takes about 2 seconds on average, depending on the book format, the number of images and other factors, and turning pages in normal screen refresh mode usually takes 0.5 seconds, plus or minus 0.2 seconds. Full inclusion of Onyx Lomonosov takes 31-32 seconds, while the exit from sleep is carried out in 1.5 seconds.
Already after the first inclusion, there is access to NeoBrowser applications (which is based on Google Chrome), Dictionaries, Calendar, Quick menu, Player, AlReader X Pro, NeoReader, voice recorder, Email, App Store, Calculator, Gallery, Clock, Data transfer, Screensavers and Web reading. Working with both basic and third-party software is approximately the same as on Android tablets — there should be no problems with optimization (unfortunately, there is no way to check absolutely all software), and many third-party options can be set to open files by default.
Additionally, in the Onyx branded application store, you can download free software for learning, working with files and e-mail, Web surfing, as well as reading books and news. An even greater choice is given by the Google Play store, which is initially unavailable and needs to be activated through the device settings. After activation, which is described in detail in the opening instructions, both free games and applications and previously purchased (on other devices) software will become available.
AlReader X Pro (version 0.85) and NeoReader 3.0 e-book reading applications pre-installed in the reader can be selected to work with most formats, or third-party software can be installed. However, the capabilities of the preinstalled options are somewhat different — it is in Neo Reader that files in DjVu and PDF formats are opened, while it is not intended to work with FB3. In Neo Reader 3.0, the work with comics, manga, documentation and various images is best implemented, but the developers have not forgotten about the text either. Without leaving the readable page, it turns out to translate words and sentences, and there are also functions for adjusting the font and highlighting through gestures, displaying two pages from the same or different books at the same time, and translating words and applications without having to leave the readable page.
AlReaderX Pro offers a huge amount of text-related settings, supporting almost all common and rare formats, but at the same time the application remains easy to manage. Among the features stand out switching to night mode, full screen mode, auto-scrolling, pronunciation of words using the voice engine, all sorts of font and indentation adjustments, as well as the choice of a system for translating text (Google Translate, etc., which you have to install yourself).
File transfer to Onyx Lomonosov is possible by wired connection to a PC or by copying files from removable media via USB OTG. These standard features are supplemented by transferring data from another device via Wi-Fi (devices must be connected to the same network) and Push-transfer with downloading files from online storage. The last method requires registration, after which the user will be provided with 5 GB of data for storage — sending files to such a cloud storage is obtained both from a computer and from Android devices. In addition, detailed instructions in Russian are given on how to use the services.
An icon has been added to the application menu to open the Web reading service, in which Web pages are saved via the Push service for data transfer in order to read them later when there is no active Internet connection.
There are several options for playing audiobooks — stereo speakers, wired headphones, and wireless headsets/speakers. The sound of the speakers is loud, however, at maximum volume, wheezing can be heard, especially when playing music. When connected via Bluetooth, as expected from the Qualcomm chipset used in the reader, SBC, AAC, LDAC, aptX and aptX HD codecs are supported, which guarantees low audio latency and high sound quality.
Operating and charging time
Due to the large screen of the reader and the 3150 mAh battery, which is also used in the smaller Onyx Boox Kon-Tiki 2 e-reader, there were doubts that the hero of the review could work for a long time on a single charge. Fears were dispelled immediately after the first test — the reader lasted 24 hours 41 minutes with the backlight on at maximum brightness and automatic page turning every 15 seconds. It was possible to completely discharge the e-book in 5924 flips.
At 50% backlight brightness, the end of the autonomy test had to wait a long 3 days 7 hours 17 minutes. During this time, 19,028 autopages of the story Overcoat (N.V. Gogol) were made in the Neo Reader 3.0 application.
Without using the backlight and when flipping every 5 seconds, 34% of the charge was spent on 20,000 flips. Unfortunately, the Neo Reader settings did not allow to set more pages, but it is safe to say that a full charge with a moderate usage scenario will last at least a week. All tests were carried out in the normal screen refresh mode and with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules turned off, which together can significantly reduce the operating time.
In sleep mode, 1% of the charge or even less is usually consumed in 24 hours, so it is not necessary to turn off the book completely. It will take exactly 4 hours to fully charge the device (22% in 30 minutes and 46% in an hour), and since the maximum charging power does not exceed 7.55 W (5.23 V, 1.44 A), it will be enough to use a power adapter that delivers a current of 1.5 amperes.
The ONYX BOOX Lomonosov is a large and easy-to-read e-reader that can last surprisingly long on a full charge, provided you don’t use Wi-Fi too much. Similar in size tablets, such excellent autonomy is not available, as the hero of the review does not have worthy competitors among other manufacturers, especially if you need a reader for Android OS.
Other benefits of the book:
- excellent build quality and practical case materials;
- eye-friendly large screen with adjustable backlight without flicker;
- protective glass ASAHI covering the display;
- high-quality case included, working with the Hall sensor in the reader;
- functional operating system and the ability to work with a huge number of files / software;
- modern hardware by the standards of electronic books and 3/32 GB of memory;
- loud stereo speakers and a microphone;
- the ability to connect wired headphones and support for aptX HD and LDAC codecs for wireless Bluetooth connection;
- USB OTG for using removable media and various peripherals.
There are much fewer disadvantages — the reader does not have auto-rotate the screen (there is a manual rotation setting), there is no support for memory cards, and while there is a need to perform additional actions to use the Google Play app store and Google services. At the time of writing the review, the ONYX BOOX Lomonosov model cost $320, which is largely due to the large E-Ink screen, the production of which costs a lot of money, and the uniqueness of the reader in general.
Find out the current cost of ONYX BOOX Lomonosov