Home News The Boox Poke 3 is my new favourite e-reader – TechCrunch

The Boox Poke 3 is my new favourite e-reader – TechCrunch


There are many e-readers to select from on the market, however by no means sufficient for me. I’m all the time questing for the one that can make me overlook that there are others obtainable, and within the Onyx Boox Poke 3, I feel I’ve discovered it — a minimum of for now. The Chinese language e-paper system maker has nailed the scale, the display, and added a sprinkle of versatility that I didn’t know I used to be missing.

The Poke 3 matches in the identical “authentic taste e-reader” class because the Kindle Paperwhite and Kobo Clara HD: 6 inches, 300 PPI or so (which makes for very clear textual content), and someplace between $100 and $200.

These readers match simply in a pocket, in contrast to the bigger Oasis and even bigger Forma; they have an inclination to lack something however an influence button and are very centered on books and saved articles.

However the Kindle and Clara each have main flaws. The Kindle is tied to Amazon in all of the methods I can’t stand, together with on-device advertisements by default, and the Clara… effectively, beside the display, the {hardware} is truthfully simply unhealthy. Kobo made my earlier favourite e-reading system, the compact and flush-front Aura, and I’ve lastly discovered a worthy successor to that beloved gadget.

The Poke 3 is the most recent system to come back from Boox, the e-reader line from dad or mum firm Onyx. The corporate has principally been a presence in Southeast Asia, significantly its dwelling nation of China, so don’t be shocked when you’ve by no means heard of it. Boox makes all kinds of e-paper gadgets (which I’ll consider in a separate article), and the Poke 3 is the only and smallest of them.

A Boox Poke 3 e-reader in a hand.

Picture Credit: Devin Coldewey / TechCrunch

I’ll spotlight the system’s strengths first. Most significantly, it’s a beautiful piece of {hardware}. The flush entrance is a pleasure to learn on, as there isn’t a raised bezel to shade the textual content or accumulate grime. The ability button is effectively situated and clicky. There’s simply sufficient border to carry onto with out worrying about smudging or activating the display, and a bit of additional house on the backside permits loads of comfy grips.

It’s thinner than the competitors and the construct high quality is great. The entrance is hardened glass from accomplice Asahi, which is able to hopefully stop it from needing a canopy.

A Boox Poke 3 e-reader side-on.

Picture Credit: Devin Coldewey / TechCrunch

The end is, to be trustworthy, one thing of a fingerprint and oil magnet, and might be grippier. The Paperwhite has it beat on texture however I favor the graceful again to the bizarre perforated one of many Clara.

At 150 grams it’s 16 lighter than the Clara and 32 lighter than the Paperwhite. That doesn’t sound like quite a bit, however if you’re holding a tool for hours straight each little bit counts, and at this dimension it additionally helps with stability.

Its 6-inch display is just not meaningfully totally different from the Kindle or Kobo gadgets on the market by way of decision or font rendering. I scrutinized the Poke 3 subsequent to the Clara HD and Forma and located no variations that anybody would discover studying from 10-20 inches away.

Screen of a Boox Poke 3 e-reader

Picture Credit: Devin Coldewey / TechCrunch

It does differ in its strategy to illumination, although whether or not meaningfully so is a matter of opinion. As a substitute of getting a brightness slider and a temperature slider, it has a heat and funky slider, and rising or reducing both one adjustments each the brightness and temperature. You too can flip both one off completely or hyperlink them collectively so they’re adjusted as one.

If it sounds extra sophisticated… it’s. I don’t see that it provides any actual new capabilities, however when you get the texture for it, it isn’t that a lot tougher to make use of, both. I do want that if you linked the 2 sliders, they stored their positions relative to 1 one other. The entire system appears somewhat baroque and I hope Boox streamlines it. That mentioned, the standard of the sunshine is equally good and when you dial it in, it appears nice.

Sort formatting is sweet, and has loads of choices for tweaking how any of the numerous (too many…) included fonts look, even weight and distinction changes to essentially superb tune them. Including customized fonts is as simple as dragging and dropping them, similar to paperwork.

The working system of the Boox supplies way more choices than both Kobo or Kindle. Amazon retains tight management over its ecosystem and outdoors of a handful of related companies the gadgets can’t do a lot. Kobo a minimum of permits for extra file codecs to be loaded instantly on, and now has glorious Pocket integration for saving articles from the net. Boox takes issues two steps additional with a customized Android launcher which you can obtain full apps onto.

A Boox Poke 3 e-reader

Picture Credit: Devin Coldewey / TechCrunch

Now, there are actually solely so many apps that you simply really would possibly need on an e-reader like this one. And never every part works in addition to I’d like. However for the primary time I can really get Simplenote on my e-reader.

It’s not so simple as it will be on an atypical Android system, although. As a result of the Poke 3 comes from China, it doesn’t have entry to Google companies proper off the bat. You possibly can add it via settings, which isn’t onerous, however there’s additionally a sideloading retailer inbuilt with current (if not fairly model new) set up packages of standard, vetted apps for the system.

Let’s simply admit proper now that in comparison with the simplicity of Kindle and Kobo, that is already a bit on the market. And whether or not you’re feeling comfy logging right into a model of Evernote which you can’t (with out a bit of labor) confirm the contents of… effectively, it’s not for everybody. However to be clear on this, Boox isn’t some fly-by-night operation — they might not be well-known over right here, but it surely’s onerous to argue with the standard of the gadgets. The issue is solely that localizing an OS constructed for customers in China has some elementary challenges.

Picture Credit: Devin Coldewey / TechCrunch

Thankfully for everybody, the fundamental functionality to load books on there and skim them is strong and it’s what you’d be doing more often than not. There could also be a busy interface if you’re doing different stuff, however you possibly can simply disguise all indicators like progress and title whilst you’re studying, dedicating each sq. inch of the display to precise studying.

It has 32 gigs of inside reminiscence, making storage of audiobooks (it has Bluetooth for sound) and ponderous paperwork simple, and connects shortly as a drive if you plug in its USB-C twine.

The Poke 3 will cost $189 when it ships subsequent week, which is on the excessive finish for this kind of system. That’s $30 greater than a Kindle Paperwhite and $70 greater than a Clara HD. However I truthfully suppose it’s well worth the premium. It is a higher e-reader, interval; regardless of the generally fussy interface, I get pleasure from utilizing it, and respect that it supplies capabilities that its competitors doesn’t. In case you want easy and don’t thoughts an inexpensive construct, the Clara is a superb cheaper choice, however for a step up think about the Poke 3.