Boox, a sub-brand of the Chinese company Onyx, makes dozens of readers and it can be hard to keep up. But I like to check in now and then and see what they have on offer, especially since they like to experiment a bit now and then.
Speaking generally, I would say that the main strengths of these devices are their build quality and customizability. Their weak points are their crowded interfaces and limited app selection. But if you’re comfortable bringing your own books and tweaking settings, it’s nice to have a wide range of sizes and styles to choose from.
Not that these Boox devices are particularly loud in the design department: no, they’re quite featureless, something I appreciate. Device makers can get cute when what they’re making will be used lightly and occasionally for a minute or two, or for a purpose that rewards creativity. Look at the Playdate!
But e-readers, in my opinion, should disappear. The only thing I want to see is words on a page, and if I feel like it, a page number or some other metadata. Although I appreciate a bit of flair now and then, like the clever and bright folding Kobo stand-cases, I abhor unusual shapes or button placements on a device that may well be held and looked at for hours.
That’s why I’m so pleased with the Poke 5, which is slightly smaller than the previous pint-size champion, the Poke 3 — but not thinner.