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Kobo Clara Colour review: finally, an affordable color ereader
3:32 am | April 30, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers eReaders Gadgets Tablets | Comments: Off

Kobo Clara Colour: One-minute review

Kobo might play second fiddle to the popularity of Amazon’s Kindles, but the Japanese-Canadian brand has beaten the tech giant in being the first to deliver mainstream color ereaders that are also relatively affordable. Two were announced side by side, with the Kobo Clara Colour being the cheaper option.

It’s an entry-level model compared to its bigger 7-inch Libra Colour sibling but, despite its 6-inch display size and lack of stylus support, the Clara Colour is a great option for anyone looking for a dedicated reading device. With no other functionality on board, it’s distraction-free reading at its best and in color too.

In fact, Kobo makes full use of the E Ink Kaleido 3 display technology that’s adopted for the Clara Colour. Not only are the book covers displayed in color, but the selected tab on the bottom of the home screen changes to a reddish-brown when selected. Even the download status bar is that color.

There’s even a dark mode available here and, if you happen to have highlighted words and passages in an ebook, they will still be displayed in color – only the text and background colors get inverted.

Page turns are fast, the on-screen keyboard is responsive and the battery life is good too. It’s waterproof, lightweight and portable as well. It looks like the Amazon Kindle (2022) but its biggest selling point is that color screen, for which you will be paying a little more. All in all, Kobo has done really well with the Clara Colour.

A person holding the Kobo Clara Colour ereader

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Kobo Clara Colour review: price and availability

  • Announced April 2024
  • Launch price of $149.99 / £139.99 / AU$259.95
  • Available in one colorway with optional slipcovers

There aren’t many mainstream 6-inch ereaders with a color display, so it’s hard to compare the Kobo Clara Colour with others. Still, at $149.99 / £139.99 / AU$259.95, it’s arguably the cheapest big-brand color ereader on the market. If you don’t need the color display, then opting for the 2022 edition of the Amazon Kindle or even the 2024 Kobo Clara BW will save you some cash, with the former costing only $119.99 / £94.99 / AU$179 without ads and the latter setting you back $129.99 / £119.99 / AU$239.95.

If the color display is important to you, then you’re looking at going up one size at the very least, with the Kobo Libra Colour being one of the cheapest in the 7-inch size class at $219.99 / £219.99 / AU$359.95. All other color ereaders worth their salt are more expensive.

  • Value score: 4.5 / 5

A person holding the Kobo Clara Colour ereader

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Kobo Clara Colour review: Specs

Kobo Clara Colour review: Design and display

  • Body built with up to 85% recycled plastic
  • Sharp, responsive 6-inch display
  • Sunken screen, which reduces glare

Kobo has stuck with the same design formula it used for the Clara 2E, bringing an identical black plastic body and raised bezels over to the Clara Colour – while its monochrome sibling, the Clara BW, gets a two-tone chassis to shake things up a little. Available in just a black colorway, the rear panel is textured to provide a little grip, while the side bezels on the front are just broad enough to offer your thumbs a place to rest.

While the raised bezel design might look a little dated now, it’s better at preventing glare from overhead lighting (indoor or sunshine). Less glare also means you won’t be spotting smudged fingerprints as much either.

That’s not to say the screen is reflective – far from it. The 6-inch E Ink Kaleido 3 display is, like all other e-ink displays, glare-free but its smooth surface can have bright spots from overhead lights. That said, the built-in frontlight on the display can help reduce those bright spots.

The ComfortLight Pro on the Clara Colour is the same frontlight Kobo has been using on all its ereaders for a long while now. It lights up the screen evenly – I didn’t notice any areas of shadows or excessive lighting – which makes the reading experience a good one. Moreover, there are amber LEDs on the device, so you can adjust the light temperature to warmer tones for evening or nighttime reading to reduce eye fatigue.

Branding and power button on the rear of the Kobo Clara Colour ereader

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

As the name of the device suggests, the display can now handle some color – 4,096 hues to be precise. As I’ve mentioned in all my other reviews of color ereaders: don’t expect the colors to pop with saturation as they do on an LCD screen. They will appear a little muted in comparison and that’s a limitation of the e-ink screen technology, not an issue with Kobo’s implementation.

Anything displayed in black and white on this screen will have a resolution of 300ppi, while anything shown in color will be at 150ppi resolution. The lower resolution might sound like color images (like comics and book covers) won’t look good, but far from it. In fact, the higher pixel density actually renders colors well, making them appear a little more saturated than they would on a larger E Ink Kaleido 3 display as used in the 7-inch Kobo Libra Colour or the 7.8-inch Onyx Boox Tab Mini C.

Despite tipping the scales at 174g – just 4g more than the Clara 2E – the Clara Colour is light and compact, being the perfect size for traveling with. It’s also waterproof, with an IPX8 rating that will keep the device in working condition if immersed in 2 meters of water for up to an hour.

The black rear panel of the Kobo Clara Colour beside the blue rear panel of the Kobo Clara BW

The navy blue rear panel of the Kobo Clara BW (left) and the black of the Kobo Clara Colour (right) (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Like its predecessor, over 85% of the body is recycled plastic, which includes waste that would have ended up in our oceans (like plastic bottles and CDs). The packaging it comes in is made from 100% recycled materials and is recyclable in turn, and the ink used to print the text and images on the box is soy, so biodegradable.

Rounding out the design elements is a concave power button on the rear of the device, a USB-C port placed off-center of the bottom edge, and the Kobo branding on the lower bezel. It’s a simple design that reflects the device’s single-minded purpose of digital reading.

It’s also possibly one of the most repairable ereaders on the market, along with its 2024 siblings. Kobo has partnered with iFixit to provide spare parts and instructions on how to perform some repairs, although, at the time of writing, neither of these are available on the iFixit website. I'll update this review when there's more information from either Kobo or iFixit.

  • Design & display score: 4 / 5

Home screen on the Kobo Clara Colour

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Kobo Clara Colour review: User interface

  • Streamlined, easy-to-use UX
  • Good font and file support
  • Cloud transfer files not available

I have always been a fan of Kobo’s easy-to-use interface on its devices, with everything neatly laid out on the home screen. Up to four of your current reads are listed right up top of the home screen, followed by a My Books section and another that cycles through either new recommendations, access to Kobo Plus or one of your Collections within your library.

Above the book tiles is the quick menu for screen brightness, Wi-Fi, battery, cloud sync (for firmware updates) and search, while at the bottom of the home screen are the four tabs to navigate around the device and the Kobo Store.

It’s nice to see Kobo has taken full advantage of the E Ink Kaleido 3 screen by displaying the selected navigation tab in color. The same red-brown hue is also used for the download status of a title you’re either purchasing or accessing via Kobo Plus.

Kobo Clara Colour beside the Kobo Libra Colour showing the settings pane

The More pane on the Kobo Clara Colour (right) misses out on the Google Drive and Dropbox support seen on the Kobo Libra Colour (left) (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

OverDrive support to borrow from partnered public libraries is still a stalwart presence on Kobo ereaders, as is Pocket. The latter, which is essentially a browser plugin that allows you to save web articles for reading later, gives you access to those articles on the Clara Colour if you already have a Pocket account.

Unlike the more expensive Kobo ereaders, there’s no Google Drive or Dropbox support on the Clara Colour. The only way to sideload titles is by plugging the device into your laptop and PC via the USB-C port and dragging files over.

File support is good, although not as extensive as what you’ll get on an Onyx ereader. Despite that, all the essential file formats are supported, including EPUBs, the most common ebook file format. Two comic files are also supported, plus 4 image formats. The only audio format supported is Kobo Audiobooks, so you can’t sideload audiobooks you might have sourced from a third party – you have to either purchase it from the Kobo Store or listen via Kobo Plus.

Audiobooks, however, take up storage space on a device and the Clara Colour only has 16GB to offer, with no microSD slot to increase it. So you may need to keep an eye on the storage if you're more into audiobooks than ebooks. 

Kobo Clara Colour and Kobo Libra Colour displaying the same color image in regular mode and dark mode respectively

The Kobo Libra Colour (left) and the Clara Colour (right) have dark mode, with color content displayed as is. Only text is inverted. (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

A new addition to the Clara Colour’s settings is the option to “reduce rainbow effect” when viewing in color. I’ve never come across this option in color ereaders from other brands, and I haven’t been able to figure out what exactly a rainbow effect is, so I haven’t a clue how the setting works. I suppose, if color content starts to look a little strange, selecting this setting might help.

Dark Mode is available here and that only inverts text color while you’re reading an ebook. If your book has color images, you will see them displayed in color on a black background, which I think can make some pictures pop a little more.

One change I’ve been waiting for Kobo to make to its interface is the ability to create subfolders within the library. You can create what Kobo calls Collections, but you can’t set up nested sub collections within your main ones. Kindle allows for it, so I think it’s time Kobo adopted a similar option.

  • User interface score: 4.5 / 5

Home screen on the Kobo Clara Colour

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Kobo Clara Colour review: Performance

  • Responsive touchscreen
  • Good battery life
  • Less contrast in black-and-white compared to some other ereaders

It’s been hard for me to fault Kobo’s ereaders when it comes to performance and it’s the same with the Clara Colour too, especially with a 2GHz processor keeping things ticking along nicely. Reading on it is a pleasure, although I personally find a 6-inch screen too small due to needing to turn a page a touch too often for my liking – that can eat into the battery life of the device. The small size might also make reading comics and graphic novels less enjoyable as, depending on how the title has been formatted, some frames could get cut off.

Both black-and-white books and color content look good on the Clara Colour, but I found the former lacked little contrast in comparison to some other monochrome ereaders I’ve previously tested. That said, you'll only notice the difference if you compare two different models side by side and it doesn't affect the reading experience at all. If it does, though, Kobo allows you to make the text on the screen ‘heavier’ by making the font a little thicker. Colors, on the other hand, appear comparatively more saturated on the 6-inch screen when compared to larger color ereaders and that’s down to the pixel density. 

Opening an ebook on the Libra Colour during testing had a significant lag, but that’s not the case with the Clara Colour. It’s faster in that respect and, just like its bigger sibling, has a peppy screen performance. Page turns are quick and the on-screen keyboard has no major lag either, whether that’s to make annotations or type in your Wi-Fi password.

A person holding the Kobo Clara Colour ereader displaying an illustration

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

I had no issues pairing the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones to the Clara Colour to listen to audiobooks, although the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II took a few tries before they paired. I’m putting that down to the slightly temperamental nature of the earbuds as I’ve had this issue with the same set and other ereaders before.

As with other ereaders, the Clara Colour will give you weeks of reading pleasure on a single charge. It has a 1,500mAh battery pack – the same as the Kobo Clara 2E but smaller than the 2,050mAh in the Libra Colour – and you can easily eke out up to 5 weeks of use, depending on how you use it. In my case, a screen brightness of 15%, the refresh rate set to every chapter and the Wi-Fi always on, gave me 34 days of reading about an hour each day before the battery dropped to 21% from full. So you can definitely get more. In fact, the Clara Colour has better battery life than the Libra Colour despite a smaller capacity, but then it doesn’t need to handle as many tasks as its bigger sibling needs to.

A recharge can take up to two hours, but that’s only because trickle charging kicks in at about the 95% mark – as happens with other Kobo ereaders. While it might seem frustrating to have to wait for an hour to see just a 5% top up, trickle charging preserves the battery for longer, thus ensuring a longer lifespan for your device.

  • Performance score: 5 / 5

Rear panel of the Kobo Clara Colour

Marginally bigger and heavier than the Amazon Kindle (2022), the Kobo Clara Colour is still light and portable. (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Should I buy the Kobo Clara Colour?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

How I tested the Kobo Clara Colour

  • Used for three weeks alongside the Kobo Libra Colour and the Onyx Boox Palma
  • Used it for both reading ebooks and listening to audiobooks
  • Compared it with other 6-inch and 7-inch ereaders

A person holding the Kobo Clara Colour ereader displaying an illustration

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

I was lucky to have been sent the Kobo Clara Colour ahead of the official announcement, so I'd been using it for a few weeks before publishing this review. I used it alongside the Kobo Libra Colour as well as the rather different-looking Onyx Boox Palma. I also had the brief pleasure of comparing it to the Kobo Clara BW as well.

I used to the Clara Colour to both read and listen – I have a Kobo account, so signing into it via the device gave me access to my existing library. It also gave me access to my Kobo Plus subscription, which is where I found some audiobooks to listen to.

While using the Clara Colour, I had the opportunity to compare it to other ereaders, both black and white as well as color. These include the Libra Colour, the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C, the Onyx Boox Poke 5 and the PocketBook InkPad 4.

Read more about how we test.

[First reviewed April 2024]

Onyx Boox Palma review: a tiny ereader like no other
3:39 am | April 19, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers eReaders Gadgets Tablets | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Onyx Boox Palma: One-minute review

There are plenty of 6-inch ereaders, but there’s nothing quite like the Onyx Boox Palma. It mimics a smartphone’s design, right down to a rear camera, side buttons and a speaker on the top bezel. 

With an aspect ratio of 2:1 on its 6.3-inch display as opposed to the roughly 4:3 (technically 8.9:6.7) of other 6-inch ereaders like the Amazon Kindle (2022) or the Kobo Clara 2E, the Palma doesn’t offer as much width while reading. It will, however, allow you to read in both landscape and portrait orientation, a feature that no other 6-inch ereader that I’ve tested offers. 

If you’re someone who regularly reads on your phone only to suffer from eye fatigue, then the Palma is an easy switch to make. For others, the screen might feel too small and narrow. Still, its size is perfectly suited for reading on the go, and it’s remarkably lightweight too. To give it a little more grip, Onyx also has cases that resemble the ones you’d buy for your own phone. 

Compared to a smartphone, the one thing the Palma really can’t do is make calls.

What it can do is get you access to the Google Play Store thanks to running on a lean version of Android 11. So you can download apps, including mobile games, news aggregators for RSS feeds, social media and even messaging apps. It’s got a speedy enough processor and a good amount of memory that allows those apps to run smoothly – although seeing them all displayed like black-and-white print takes a little getting used to.

There really is a case to be made for a device like this, but I think it’s a missed opportunity to not have added stylus support. That truly would have made the Palma unbeatable as a portable note-taking and digital reading device. I think there’s enough room for a stylus like Samsung’s S Pen to be added to the Palma; it would also make its price tag a little more palatable.

A page of a book on the Onyx Boox Palma

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Onyx Boox Palma review: Price and availability

  • Released August 2023; available to buy now
  • List price of $279.99 / AU$499 (around £259)
  • Cases available as part of bundles

At $279.99 / AU$499 (around £259) with a case in the box, the Onyx Boox Palma is an expensive device compared to other 6-inch ereaders, but to be fair, there really is nothing on the market quite like the Palma to compare. Its novelty alone might be justification enough for some users to splurge, but it would have been easier to recommend if it came with stylus support.

Even though access to the Play Store makes this a more versatile ereader than 6-inch alternatives from Amazon and Kobo, and it comes with more storage and a bigger battery than what the aforementioned brands offer, it’s still hard to justify the price. 

To compare, you can pick up the 2022 Kindle with 16GB of storage for $119.99 / £94.99 / AU$179 without ads at full price and the Kobo Clara BW for $129.99 / £119.99 / AU$239.95, with the latter getting you superior screen tech.

• Value score: 3.5 / 5

Rear of the Onyx Boox Palma with camera and flash

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Onyx Boox Palma review: Specs

Onyx Boox Palma review: Design and display

  • Smartphone-like looks with built-in speaker and flash
  • Very lightweight and comfortable to use
  • Rear 16MP camera not best for scanning

Available in both black and white colorways, the Onyx Boox Palma instantly gives up its ereader status thanks to its black-and-white screen. Out of the box you can tell it’s an e-paper display and it feels lighter than an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy handset of similar size.

The 6.13-inch E Ink Carta 1200 display is encased within a plastic body that features two buttons on the right edge (one for power and another for volume/page turns) as well as a customizable function button on the left. Above the function button is a microSD card tray that can add more storage to the 128GB already available on board, although Onyx doesn’t specify how much additional storage is supported. Considering the 6-inch Onyx Boox Poke 5 can support an additional 1TB microSD, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Palma can too.

The buttons and the card tray are silver on the white Palma colorway, adding a touch of color, but no such embellishments are on the black device. For this review, I was sent the white option.

The bottom edge has a USB-C port with OTG support, so you can plug a USB-C storage device directly into the Palma to access files. On either side of the charging port are what appear to be speaker grilles, although only one of them is for audio output, while the other is a mic. The latter might be handy for voice notes, but this device isn't really intended for more common mic needs, like video or audio calls.

USB-C port, mic and speaker grille on the Onyx Boox Palma

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Another speaker is on the top bezel, just where you’d expect to see one on a smartphone, alongside a light sensor. The latter, however, doesn’t seem to be associated with the screen’s auto-brightness, but to enable the LED flash located on the rear. The flash can also act as a torch, which can be switched on via the Onyx Control Center accessible by swiping down from the top right corner of the screen.

Above the flash is a 16MP rear camera that can be used to scan documents and, unlike most phones, isn’t housed in a bump. So the device can lie flat on a table, which is nice. The rear plastic panel is also textured to add some grip, but Onyx has cases (the devices ships with one in the box as a bundle) that add to the heft if you’re after a little more security.

If you’ve been using a grayscale ereader already, you’re probably familiar with ones like the E Ink Carta 1200 used here, which is both responsive and sharp. What's novel here is the screen's 2:1 aspect ratio – there's nothing like it among ereaders, and it'll likely best suit those who like reading on their phone, but it will help reduce the eye fatigue that can occur when staring at an LCD or OLED display for long. I personally find my phone’s screen too small for reading, and I largely felt the same with the Palma, but I have to admit that this little tablet (can you really call it that?) is pocketable and perfect for reading on the go. 

It’s also really light, tipping the scales at 170g without a microSD card, and comfortable to hold. That makes it the perfect travel companion, especially since its 128GB storage can store hundreds of books and audio files. Thanks to its all-plastic build, it might survive an accidental drop better than your phone, but there’s no waterproofing here, much like most other Onyx devices, which is another factor that makes the price point hard to justify.

• Design & display score: 4 / 5

Power and volume buttons on the side of the Onyx Boox Palma

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Onyx Boox Palma review: User experience

  • Simpler interface than other Onyx devices but still complicated
  • Runs Android 11 with access to the Google Play Store
  • Built-in browser and music player

As with other Onyx Boox devices that were released in 2023, the Palma runs a very slimmed-down version of Android 11. Yes, that version’s a little outdated, but Onyx only moved up to Android 12 with the 2024 release of the Onyx Boox Note Air 3 and, in any case, you won’t be using an ereader for anything too financially or personally sensitive – well, I wouldn’t – so there’s probably no need to worry about security issues.

The operating system gives you access to the Google Play Store, available directly on the home screen via its icon. You can download almost any Android app, including the Kobo and Kindle apps so you can log into an existing account and purchase ebooks and other content. There’s also a native browser that will allow you to do the same via other stores. 

You can even download a music streaming service like Spotify and listen without headphones – the Palma can get quite loud! Heck, you could even use a message app that works over Wi-Fi, but note that the device disconnects the moment it’s in Sleep mode, so it may not be the most ideal way to stay in touch with people.

A camera sample on the Onyx Boox Palma

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

You can set the volume button to turn pages back and forth, and the function button on the other side can fulfil three different actions from a list of 15 via either a short press, double click or a long press.

The floating toolbar in the native library app on other Onyx devices isn’t offered here, but that’s arguably a good call, as it takes up precious screen space that the Palma can’t spare. A lot of the other customizations I’ve found to be overkill on the other Onyx ereaders have also been trimmed down, and yet there’s still quite a lot going on here. You can customize the home screen widgets, just like on a phone, add a wallpaper, change the power-off image and add a screensaver. I would recommend not bothering with the wallpaper however, as it can affect the way the home screen widgets appear.

The display renders text well and reading on the Palma is a pleasure… provided you like reading on a small screen. Pinch-to-zoom is available, which means you can change font size in the native library app easily.

The Control Center on the Onyx Boox Palma

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

You can watch videos on this screen too and also adjust the refresh rate to be faster for specific apps, but don’t expect the refresh rate to match what you’d get from your phone. YouTube videos are, for the most part, fine to watch on the Palma, but it’s all obviously in black and white. It's a similar situation with playing mobile games on the Palma – while it's quite responsive and its processor handles graphics remarkably well, something that really impressed me, we can't imagine wanting to use this for anything other than simple games (like puzzle, word or card games) without much animation.

What didn’t impress, however, was the uneven screen lighting. There are random bits throughout the screen that aren't as bright as rest, which largely isn't an issue while reading, but can make a difference if you're, say, playing a game on the Palma. The Palma has the same Moon Light 2 tech used in other Onyx ereaders, and I’ve not had an issue with the smaller devices like the 6-inch Poke 5 and the Onyx Boox Page, so it’s a little surprising that the LEDs on the Palma aren’t as effective.

I would have also really liked to see stylus support here for writing and note-taking.

• User interface score: 4 / 5

Onyx Boox Palma review: Performance

  • Fast and responsive 
  • Good refresh rates for most tasks
  • Handles graphics well

The Palma has a decent processor in the form of a 2GHz 8-core Qualcomm CPU with integrated graphics. That’s a phone-grade chip that's plenty for most ereaders and, paired with 6GB of RAM, is enough to handle mobile games with some heavy graphics requirements. For example, I downloaded Sky: Children of the Light, which is a resonably graphics-intensive game and, despite the lack of colors, it was easy to play on the Palma. The device did get a little warm, but no more than what my iPhone 13 Max gets when playing the same game.

On-screen controls while playing were smooth, which is the same case when doing anything else that needs fast response times. Whether typing via the on-screen keyboard or navigating using gestures and taps, the display is responsive and peppy. I experienced no lag at any time during my weeks-long testing. 

Onyx Boox Palma display versus the Kobo Clara Colour

The Kobo Clara Colour alongside the Onyx Boox Palma (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Onyx has an array of refresh rates it offers on most of its devices, which I’ve previously said don’t do much to reduce ghosting. That thankfully wasn't an issue on the Palma, as I experienced no ghosting while reading or when navigating between apps and screens.

As I’ve already mentioned, the speaker can get loud and doesn’t sound too bad – the sound quality and volume are similar to a lot of budget phones out there. I’d still pair a set of Bluetooth headphones with it though, as I personally like bass, which the Palma doesn’t offer much of. For listening to audiobooks and podcasts, however, that speaker is great.

Overall, the performance here is better than the brand’s own 6-inch Onyx Boox Poke 5 ereader, and a touch better than the 2022 Kindle or the Kobo Clara 2E. I’ve been testing the new Kobo Clara Colour alongside the Palma and, while I can’t compare the two devices as the screens are different, both devices are on par in speed and responsiveness.

The rear camera is intended to be used to scan documents; it isn't meant for taking actual photos like a phone can, and there's no native camera app. Unfortunately, it isn't great at scanning. The included DocScan app lets you take photos, which you can edit and export as PDFs. There is also OCR (optical character recognition) available within DocScan to convert words within the image into text, but the final results were quite garbled and nonsensical in my testing. I think I'd stick with my iPhone for quick document scans instead.

OCR on the scan app of the Onyx Boox Palma

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Battery life is where most Onyx Boox tablets shine, and that’s the case here as well. If you’re just reading on the Palma for say, 30 minutes a day, you can easily eke out two months of reading, if not more, on a single charge – even with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on all the time. In my case, I used it to read, listen to music, play mobile games and browse the web, and I still got about 6 weeks of use, with the battery dropping to 20% from full – so I still had a ways to go before it ran dry.

Topping it up can take a while, depending on how low you let the battery level drop. It took over two hours to go from 30% to full when plugged into a 65W wall adapter and using a good quality USB cable, but then it is a larger battery than most such devices typically use. A progress notification is visible on the display when in Sleep mode as soon as you plug the Palma in for a charge.

A graphics-heavy game on the Onyx Boox Palma

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Should I buy the Onyx Boox Palma?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

It’s a little hard to compare the Onyx Boox Palma to other devices because it has no real counterparts. However, because it’s an ereader at heart, I’ve listed a few alternatives to consider if you’re not sold on the Palma.

How I tested the Onyx Boox Palma

Onyx Boox Palma wallpaper and apps

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)
  • Used every day for three weeks, intermittently for a more extended period
  • Used it to read, listen to music and play mobile games
  • Downloaded other apps from the Play Store to use

I’ve had the Onyx Boox Palma for a couple of months now and have used it on and off since it arrived. However, for the purposes of this review, I used it every single day for about three weeks to read, listen to music and audiobooks, and download apps from the Play Store.

These included the Kindle and Kobo apps so I could access my existing libraries on both platforms, but I also sideloaded some ebook titles to read via the native library application. The other apps I used were Dropbox and a notes application.

To test the device’s performance, I also downloaded a graphics-intensive mobile game and played it for about 20 minutes. The other content I had on the Palma included music files so I could test the native player, as well as the speaker performance.

To test the rear camera’s performance, I used it to scan a printout and a page from an appliance manual. I also tried the OCR feature on both and tested how easy it is to export or share these documents.

Read more about how we test

[First reviewed April 2024]

Kobo Libra Colour review: twice improved for better reading and writing
8:43 am | April 10, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers eReaders Gadgets Tablets | Tags: | Comments: Off

Kobo Libra Colour: Two-minute review

In April 2023, I wrote an article about how I wanted a small-screen ereader with a color display and writing features. It seems like Japanese-Canadian ereader maker Kobo heard me, releasing what I wanted – well, almost – in the Kobo Libra Colour. I would have loved an 8-inch device, but then I’ve been a fan of Kobo’s Libra line of 7-inch ereaders since the first one was launched in 2019. They’ve been TechRadar’s pick of the best ereaders since then, including the Kobo Libra 2 from 2021.

The trend continues with the Kobo Libra Colour, which is a double-whammy upgrade over its predecessor. 

The Libra Colour looks identical to the Libra 2, which I think is great – why fix something that isn’t broken? The page-turn buttons and the slightly curved thicker bezel make the ereader really comfortable to hold and use in one hand. What’s new, though, is its display.

As the name indicates, the Kobo Libra Colour gets the E Ink Kaleido 3 screen that supports 4,096 hues, and is currently the best color e-paper display being used on consumer devices.

I compared the Libra Colour with what I would consider its biggest rival, the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C, and thanks to the smaller size of the screen (7 inches vs 7.8 inches), text and images on the Libra Colour are sharper and the colors slightly more saturated even though they both use the same screen technology. While I admit I prefer the slightly larger screen for note-taking, the 7-inch Libra Colour is the sweet spot when it comes to portability. It's also a lot lighter than its competition.

While the color display alone would make it a worthy update, Kobo didn’t seem to be satisfied with just one new feature – the company also gave the Libra Colour writing capabilities. It inherits all the notebook features from the Kobo Sage and Kobo Elipsa 2E, but now lets you add some color to your notes. You can choose the ink and highlight colors, plus the type of pen, the thickness of the nib and more. And the handwriting recognition is something I’ve not been able to fault for a long time, but that, of course, depends on how badly you tend to scribble.

Writing on the Libra Colour is different to how it feels like on the Kobo Sage or the Elipsa 2E – it’s a lot smoother, not at all like writing on actual paper. It’s not quite as good as writing on the Amazon Kindle Scribe either – it feels like you're gliding over excessively smooth plastic and is my only complaint with this device.

Reading and writing in color takes a little extra power, so Kobo has updated the processor too, now using a 2GHz CPU compared to the 1GHz we saw in the Libra 2. And, of course, the same features can drain the battery, so the capacity here is larger as well, going from a 1,500mAh pack to 2,050mAh.

You still get 32GB of (non-expandable) storage, Bluetooth support so you can listen to audiobooks, and USB-C charging that debuted with the Libra 2 in 2021. 

And you get all this for not a lot more than what the Libra 2 retails for at the time of writing, which is something I have to give Kobo credit for. This is arguably one of the more affordable color note-taking tablets on the market now and offers excellent value, just like its predecessor.

Neal Sephenson's Zodiac book cover displayed in color on the Kobo Libra Colour ereader

While not as saturated as you'd see on an LCD screen, the Kobo Libra Colour displays colors well on its e-paper screen (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Kobo Libra Colour review: Price and availability

  • Launch price of $219.99 / £219.99 / AU$359.95
  • Available to purchase off shelves from April 30, 2024
  • Kobo Stylus 2 and sleepcover sold separately

Available in two colors – black and white – the Kobo Libra Colour is quite competitively priced at $219.99 / £219.99 / AU$359.95. That, as I’ve just mentioned, makes it a lot more affordable than some of its competition. However, it doesn’t ship with a stylus, so if you want to take full advantage of the Libra Colour’s new features, you’ll need to invest an additional $69.99 / £69.95 / AU$119.95 for the Kobo Stylus 2. The good thing about this pen is that it charges via USB-C, so there’s no ongoing battery costs to worry about.

Even with the price of the stylus piled on, it’s still cheaper than the likes of the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C, which is currently my pick for the best color ereader and retails for $450 / £450 / AU$765. That said, it’s hard comparing the two as the Onyx ships with a capacitive stylus, has a bigger 7.8-inch screen, has 64GB of storage (compared to 32GB in the Libra Colour) and a 5,000mAh battery that’s double of what Kobo offers in its biggest ereader.

Another point of comparison would be the 7.8-inch PocketBook InkPad Color 3 that will set you back $329 / £345 / AU$595 and not offer you any writing features.

Long story short, the Kobo Libra Colour, just like its predecessor, is pretty good value. To add a little more comparison, the Kobo Libra 2 currently retails for $189.99 / £169.99 / AU$319.95 at full price, so it really isn't a huge leap in price.

The My Books tab on the Kobo Libra Colour ereader

You can choose to view your library as a list or as a gallery in the My Books tab (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Kobo Libra Colour review: Specs

Kobo Libra Colour review: Design and display

  • Identical body to the Kobo Libra 2
  • 7-inch E Ink Kaleido 3 touchscreen
  • Magnetic edge to hold the (optional) stylus

For someone who’s used the previous two Kobo Libra ereaders, I will admit to initially being a little disappointed that the design hasn’t changed over the Libra 2. That’s only because I’ve been seeing it since 2019, but I’ll also be the first to admit that it’s one of the most ergonomic designs I've used in an ereader. 

Built for single-hand use, the edge of the thicker bezel is still slightly curved upward, with the two page-turn buttons perfectly placed to provide a comfortable grip. The back panel is textured, which adds to the secure grip, and the power switch on the rear is still the same round, concave. Also inherited from the Libra 2 is the round, white indicator light that glows when you pop a USB-C cable into the charging port. The entire thing is still encased in plastic, which is made from 80% recycled materials, including ocean-bound plastics.

It’s quite impressive that Kobo has managed to keep the weight of the device down despite using a larger capacity battery in the Libra Colour. It weighs just 199.5g without a case, which is lighter than the Libra 2 that tips the scales at 215g.

The slightly curved edge on the thicker bezel of the Kobo Libra Colour ereader

Subtle design elements make the Kobo Libra Colour quite ergonomic (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

For anyone who’s planning on using the new Libra Colour for note-taking and scribbling, Kobo has ensured the stylus stays magnetically secure on the edge of the slim bezel. I’ve complained previously that this magnetic edge on some ereaders isn’t always very secure, but it seems quite strong here.

Speaking of the pen: it’s recommended that you use the Kobo Stylus 2 with the Libra Colour, which is the only one of Kobo’s pens that will stick to the side of the device. That said, the older Kobo Stylus will also work on the Libra Colour, but can’t be secured magnetically and requires a single AAAA battery. The Stylus 2, on the other hand, charges via USB-C and is, thus, lighter.

What stands out from a design perspective is the screen – it can display colors! It still retains the 7-inch screen size of the other Libra devices, but utilizes the E Ink Kaleido 3 display that I’ve seen in other color ereaders like the Onyx Boox Tab Ultra C and the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C. While this screen tech can display 4,096 colors, they don’t appear as saturated as they look on a phone, laptop or tablet – they’re a little muted in comparison, but that’s the limitation of the e-paper screen technology.

The 7-inch screen on the Libra Colour, however, makes the colors look a touch truer as compared to what you’d see on a 7.8-inch or larger e-apaper screen, even when the bigger devices share the same screen tech and resolution. This is because on the smaller screen the pixels are packed more tightly together, providing more contrast. You get 150ppi resolution when reading in color (as with all other color ereaders using this screen), but it’s 300ppi when you’re viewing something in black and white, which is standard for monochrome ebook readers.

Textured rear panel on the Kobo Libra Colour ereader

A textured rear panel adds to the Kobo Libra Colour's grip (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

While Onyx uses a glass sheet as the top layer of its display, Kobo seems to have adopted plastic – one way to keep costs low. This top layer is very smooth, which you can feel when writing on the device and the experience of scribbling on the Libra Colour is likely going to take some getting used to. It feels like you’re writing over a sheet of very smooth plastic, with no friction at all and I can't say I'm a fan.

As with all the more premium Kobo ereaders, the Libra Colour screen is also lit up with ComfortLight Pro which, when set to, automatically changes the light hue from cool to warmer tones as the day progresses. This reduces the amount of blue light hitting your eye closer to bedtime.

One issue I’ve had previously with some ereaders, particularly with a black chassis, are oily fingerprint smudges. I was sent the white colorway of the Libra Colour for this review which, like the Libra 2, shows no such thing. I haven’t seen the black version of this device so can’t tell for sure whether this will be an issue or not, but I didn’t have this problem with the Libra H2O, so I’m going to hope not.

USB-C port on the side of the Kobo Libra Colour ereader

The USB-C port can be used to charge the device or transfer files (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Kobo Libra Colour review: User interface

  • Easy-to-use, streamlined interface
  • Full suite of Kobo’s writing features
  • Notes easily exported to Google Drive and Dropbox

I’ve always been a fan of Kobo’s user interface – it’s streamlined, very easy to navigate and wrap your head around. It only takes minutes to figure your way around if you’ve never used a Kobo device before. That hasn’t changed but, for the Libra line, there is one major difference to the interface.

There is now the My Notebooks tab smack bang in the center of the bottom navigation bar. This gives you the full suite of Kobo’s writing features, including the Advanced Notebooks that I said made the Kobo Elipsa 2E a better note-taker than the Amazon Kindle Scribe. I will admit that writing on a 7-inch screen, particularly if there’s a lot to jot down, can feel a little constricted, but then I have been using the 10-inch Kobo Elipsa 2E as my everyday ereader and note-taker for the last few months, so dropping down to a smaller notebook size is my bias and may not bother other users.

The other change to the interface is the addition of color… and I don’t mean the book covers displayed on the home screen. Every time you select a tab from the bottom navigation bar, it changes color from black to brown. In fact, if you’re downloading books – whether from Dropbox, Google Drive or the Kobo Store – the status bar is also the same color. That’s a nice touch that I haven’t seen in other color ereaders I’ve tested.

Everything else about the Libra Colour is quintessential Kobo – good file format support, including EPUBs that Amazon requires you to jump through hoops to read on a Kindle. There are a total of 10 document file types that Kobo supports by default, and this includes text and comic formats. There are also four image files supported. The only audio file support, though, is for Kobo’s own audiobooks that you can download from the Kobo Store or via a subscription to Kobo Plus. Note that Kobo Plus isn’t available in all markets that Kobo operates in, but it is in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and select European countries.

A person making brightness adjustments on the Kobo Libra Colour ereader

Kobo's user interface is very easy to wrap your head around (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

As I’ve mentioned earlier in this review, you can sign into either Dropbox or Google Drive to help transfer books. The partnership with Google is relatively new, so Kobo has a single-page instruction sheet (in PDF) already in the device’s library. It’s very seamless to use either cloud service, and that also holds true for transferring any notes or notebooks. The latter can also be accessed via the Kobo app on your phone if you need any of them in a pinch.

Unlike the newer monochrome Kobo devices like the Sage and Elipsa 2E, there is no dark mode on the Libra Colour because the E Ink screen used doesn’t support it and, if you want to see colors, you aren’t going to need it. However, there are amber LEDs that allow you to change the white light hue to warmer tones if you want to cut down on blue light. And you can easily adjust this by tapping on top of the screen to bring up the quick controls. Like the previous Libra 2 and the newer models, you can set the light temperature to change automatically at a specific time in the evening or night. You can also slide up and down the left edge of the screen to change brightness.

OverDrive, as with all Kobo ereaders, is still baked in and despite it being replaced by Libby on mobile, it is still supported on the e-ink tablets. This means, if your local public library also has OverDrive support, you can borrow digital books and magazines directly from your device without having to leave home – you just need a library card.

A drawing in color on the Kobo Libra Colour ereader

Writing and drawing on the Kobo Libra Colour feels like the stylus is gliding (or slipping) over very smooth plastic (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Pocket support is also integrated into the Libra Colour. This is a browser plugin that allows you to save online articles to read later – you just sign into your Pocket account on the Kobo and you’ll have access to anything you’ve previously saved.

Auto-rotation is also available, so you can read in either portrait or landscape mode. This can get a little annoying, though, as a small change in angle when holding the device can change the orientation of the page you’re on. So you can lock the orientation to one or the other to prevent this from happening.

Admittedly Onyx Boox devices give you plenty more options when it comes to customization and functionality within the user interface, but I think they’re overkill and it takes a steep learning curve to get the hang of it all.

Highlights and handwritten annotations on the Kobo Libra Colour ereader

You can highlight passages in color and add handwritten annotations to books on the Kobo Libra Colour (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Kobo Libra Colour review: Performance

  • Sharp display, with good colors due to screen size
  • Excellent handwriting recognition
  • Very responsive, but a couple of functions have a significant lag

Adding features to a tech product means it’s going to need some extra power to make sure things run smoothly and Kobo has done that by upgrading the processor for the Libra Colour. Instead of the previous 1GHz CPU, it’s now 2GHz and that seems to do the trick. After two weeks with the Libra Colour, I’ve had nothing to complain about, although there are two very specific functions that suffer from a significant lag.

Opening an ebook from either the home screen or the My Books page keeps you waiting about 7-10 seconds before something happens. Similarly, the Back To Home button on the top left corner of a page also takes a few seconds to initiate. I’m putting this down to teething problems for now and it’s a software issue, so I think it’s likely fixable via a firmware update.

Everything else, though, runs smoothly. There’s no lag when writing and drawing, neither are there any when triggering a page turn either via the buttons or tapping on the screen. Using the onscreen keyboard is also quite good.

Kobo Libra Colour and the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C displaying the same book cover

The Kobo Libra Colour's smaller size makes colors appear a touch more saturated than on a larger screen like the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

I’ve tested color ereaders before in the 7.8-inch size category as well as 10-inch, and I’ve come to expect a lack of saturation when viewing in color. The Libra Colour exceeded my expectations, not because Kobo is doing anything differently, but because the smaller screen packs the pixels more tightly, adding more contrast which, in turn, gives some images depth and better saturation. 7 inches isn’t ideal for reading comics and graphic novels, but just to see better color saturation I would recommend it. Even highlight colors available when reading a title – which are the same across all color-screen ereaders – look a touch more saturated in comparison to larger-screen devices.

One thing that Kobo has always done well is handwriting recognition and that’s been brought over to the Libra Colour. This feature only works in the Advanced Notebooks when you want to digitize your scribbles, but it can even recognize sub- and superscripts. I had two other colleagues try this feature and Kobo almost aced it each time – it misspelt only one word that no human was able to decipher anyway.

Kobo Libra Colour ereader handwriting recognition test

Handwriting recognition on the Kobo Libra Colour is spot on most of the time (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

During my limited time with the Libra Colour, I experienced no ghosting – something that bothers me no end with Onyx ereaders. Two weeks with the device, however, may not be enough to say for sure that ghosting won’t be a problem, and I would expect some along the way. Still, I am impressed.

Additional functionality with a better CPU needs to be matched with enough battery life to keep an ereader going for weeks as opposed to days. So Kobo has upped the battery capacity in the Libra Colour to 2,050mAh compared to 1,500mAh in the Libra 2. This got me about 14 hours of use in total. 

My testing was a little sporadic, averaging about 45 minutes of use over each day over two weeks (sometimes a little more, sometimes less). I started using the device straight out of the box at 82% battery life and didn’t top up till it hit 19% after two weeks. I’d say that’s pretty good, considering I was writing, reading and listening to audiobooks via Bluetooth. I had Wi-Fi on all the time, the screen was set at 20% brightness, and a refresh set to every 5 pages. It’s also important to note that a page refresh occurs more frequently when writing, and every erase triggers another refresh too. So the bigger battery capacity is definitely working in Kobo’s favor here.

Topping up via the USB-C port is quick, but like the previous Kobos, trickle charging kicks in at about 96%. It took the Libra Colour about 55 minutes to go from 19% to 96%, then another 45 minutes to top up completely. While it might seem annoying to have to wait that long for just a tiny bit more charge, trickle charging can preserve the battery, adding to its overall lifespan.

Should I buy the Kobo Libra Colour?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

I think the Kobo Libra Colour is the Japanese-Canadian brand’s best device yet, but if you’re not convinced and need alternatives, take a look at the two options below, including a specs comparison with this ereader.

How I tested the Kobo Libra Colour

A hand holding the Kobo Libra Colour ereader to read

The Kobo Stylus 2 can stay magnetically secure to the slim edge of the Kobo Libra Colour (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)
  • Used as main reading and writing device for two weeks
  • Listened to audiobooks via a Kobo Plus subscription
  • Used Google Drive to transfer files, including notes written on the device

My regular e-ink device is the Kobo Elipsa 2E, but switching to the Libra Colour was just a matter of signing into my Kobo account to sync all my ebooks, notes and also access my Kobo Plus subscription. 

I also have an existing library of ebooks in the EPUB format saved in Google Drive, so signing into that via the Libra Colour’s More tab gave me instant access to those, from where I saved a handful of titles to read on the device. 

While I can’t draw to save my life, I did some random scribbling on the device – both while reading a book as well as in notebooks. I even got some colleagues to try the handwriting recognition feature.

I have an existing Kobo Plus subscription which gave me access to audiobooks on the Libra Colour, and I spent about 20 minutes listening to one title during my testing of the device.

All new notes and annotations that I made on the Libra Colour automatically updated to my Kobo Elipsa 2E as soon as it connected to Wi-Fi, giving me access across multiple devices.

Read more about how we test

[First reviewed April 2024]

Onyx Boox Poke 5 review: a versatile and cute 6-inch ereader with one too many flaws
9:07 am | January 3, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers eReaders Gadgets Tablets | Tags: | Comments: Off

Onyx Boox Poke 5: One-minute review

The first word that struck me as soon as I powered on the Onyx Boox Poke 5 after receiving it for this review was “cute”. While its little plastic body isn’t anything to write home about, the device's wallpaper and the boot-up screen's animations always make me smile.

Throw in the 6-inch screen size and the Onyx Boox Poke 5 is quite an adorable entry-level ereader that’s competing against the current Amazon Kindle (2022), as well as the Kobo Nia and Kobo Clara 2E. What sets it apart from the other 6-inch ereaders is its 32GB of onboard storage, the expandable microSD storage of up to 1TB, and access to the Google Play Store thanks to its Android 11-based user interface.

So, while Onyx doesn’t have a good bookstore to purchase content from, you can download the Kindle and Kobo apps to source your next read or audiobook. There's also a native web browser from where you can make purchases too. And with apps like Libby, you can borrow ebooks from a public library that supports this platform.

However, this headline feature – i.e. getting access to the Play Store – isn’t enabled by default as it is on other Onyx Boox models I’ve tested. You’ll see the app on the Poke 5 but users are required to register the device for access first and these steps are hidden away. In my opinion, an entry-level ereader that promises access to the Play Store should have it enabled by default.

If you don’t want to bother with the Play Store, then the best use case for the Onyx Poke 5 would be if you already have an existing library you can sideload onto the device. This is easy enough via either signing into Dropbox or Google Drive on the Poke 5, or you can use Onyx’s own BooxDrop application. 

As with all Onyx ereaders, the user interface isn’t very intuitive and, again, as an entry-level model, this makes it a little harder to recommend compared to its competition from Amazon and Kobo.

Boot-up animation on the Onyx Boox Poke 5 ereader

(Image credit: Future)

Onyx Boox Poke 5 review: price and availability

  • Retail price of $169.99 / £169.99 / AU$289
  • Available to buy now in most markets

Onyx ereaders don't come cheap and the same is the case with the Poke 5 as well. At $169.99 / £169.99 / AU$289 apiece, it’s a high price to pay for a 6-inch entry-level ereader without any waterproofing, although you get a lot of storage here.

In comparison, the 2022 edition of the Amazon Kindle with 16GB of storage and no waterproofing will set you back $119.99 / £94.99 / AU$179 at full price for the no-ads version, but it’s often available at a discounted price that makes it remarkable value. The 6-inch Kobo Nia, which is also a no-frills ereader is cheaper than the Poke 5 at $109.99 / £94.99 / AU$179.95, and that’s after the Japanese-Canadian company upped the Aussie RRP a couple times since it launched in 2020.

Even the Kobo Clara 2E, with a retail price of $139.99 / £129.99 / AU$249.95 is better value with a 6-inch E Ink Carta 1200 screen, waterproofing and the ability to borrow books via OverDrive, although it comes with just 16GB of internal storage.

• Value score: 2.5 / 5

The apps on the Onyx Boox Poke 5 ereader, including Kindle and Kobo

(Image credit: Future)

Onyx Boox Poke 5 specifications

Onyx Boox Poke 5 review: design and display

  • 6-inch E Ink Carta Plus screen is good, but lacks the Kindle’s contrast
  • Brightness and light hue can be controlled independently
  • Microphone and microSD expansion of up to 1TB

When it comes to entry-level ereaders, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of room for design innovation, as the Onyx Boox Poke 5 is very similar to the base Kindle or the Kobo Nia and Clara 2E, with minor differences here and there.

Where the rear panels of the Kindle and Kobo alternatives are textured that offer some grip, the Poke 5 has a smooth plastic rear that’s a magnet for fingerprints. The front has a Boox branding on the lower bezel for embellishment, but the top edge houses the power button that’s easy to find and press, while the lower edge is home to the USB-C port, a mic and a microSD tray.

Tipping the scales at just 160g without a case, the Poke 5 is one of the lightest ereaders I’ve tested. To put that number into perspective, it’s just 2g more than the 2022 Amazon Kindle (which weighs 158g), while the two 6-inch Kobos weigh in at 172g for the Nia and 171g for the Clara 2E.

The USB-C port on the lower edge of the Onyx Boox Poke 5 ereader

(Image credit: Future)

The compact and lightweight body encapsulates a 6-inch E Ink Carta Plus screen, which is an older technology then the current Carta 1200 displays that the Kindle and Kobo Clara 2E use, and that means the contrast here isn’t as good as what I saw on the 2022 Kindle. In fact, a side-by-side comparison between the Onyx and the Kindle makes the latter more appealing.

However, the Poke 5 allows you to not only change the frontlight’s brightness, but also its light temperature, giving you the flexibility between cool and warm hues, the latter being better for evening and night reading. This is something you’ll get with the Kobo Clara 2E as well, where you can automatically have the light hue change at a set time, but the Kindle and the Nia miss out on this feature.

Another thing the Poke 5 misses out on is waterproofing, which isn’t available on the Kobo Nia either, but considering the price you’re paying for the Onyx, I think it’s a major omission.

• Design and display score: 3.5 / 5

Onyx Boox Poke 5 review: User experience

  • 6-inch screen could be small for some users
  • Complicated UI
  • Google Play Store access not available by default

I love how portable a 6-inch ereader can be – without a case, they can easily slip into a jacket pocket if you’re going for a stroll and decide to sit down for a read somewhere nice. The small size of the screen, however, isn’t for me as the amount of text displayed is less and, although page turns are mostly responsive, 6 inches of screen real estate feels too cramped. My colleague and I had a similar experience when we tested the 2022 Kindle, and I suspect this might be the case for other users too, so make sure you’ll be comfortable with a small screen before you drop money on an entry-level ereader.

As with other Onyx ereaders, the Poke 5’s user interface isn’t as simple as it is on a Kindle or a Kobo. Despite being a basic model, there’s actually quite a lot of menu options to go through here so it’s set up just right for you, including a floating toolbar in the native library application, different refresh rates that can be set for each application, and further enhancements for text of a book within the library.

Text enhancements on the Onyx Boox Poke 5 ereader

(Image credit: Future)

This is where all your sideloaded books go and adding to the library is easy – you can use cloud services like Dropbox or Google Drive, plus you can use BooxDrop, which is accessible without an Onyx account if you don’t want to create one.

My biggest issue with the Poke 5’s user experience was needing to go through hoops to activate Google Play Store access on the ereader. While this is available by default on other Onyx that I’ve tested, it’s strange that an entry-level model requires a user to go through some steps that are buried in the settings. Onyx provides online tutorials on how to go about doing this, and it’s easy enough once you wrap your head around it, but I think it’s far from ideal on a device like this.

Once you’ve managed to activate Play Store access, though, you’ve got a plethora of Android apps at your disposal that you can use. For me, it was downloading the Kindle and Kobo apps so I could access my existing library on both platforms, but note that when using the apps, you don’t have access to the font and page customizations available in the native library app. If that doesn’t bother you, the Poke 5 could be worth it just by giving you access to a multitude of bookstores to purchase content from, even online via the native web browser.

Don’t want to purchase books? You can also download the Libby app that helps you borrow ebooks from a public library, but you will need to check with your local one if this option is supported.

• User experience score: 3 / 5

Control Center on the Onyx Boox Poke 5 ereader

(Image credit: Future)

Onyx Boox Poke 5 review: Performance

  • Good processor but sluggish performance
  • Decent battery life
  • Responsive page turns in native library application, but not on downloaded reading apps

I’m not sure why Onyx chose to use an E Ink Carta Plus screen for the Poke 5 when the Carta 1200 is a better option in terms of both responsiveness and contrast, but the display here isn’t bad at all. Text is still sharp and clear, and given you can adjust both brightness and light temperature, it’s readable in any kind of ambient light. The only way you can tell there’s something better out there is if you do a side-by-side comparison with the 2022 Kindle... or if you take my word for it.

However, the Poke 5’s overall performance is a little sluggish compared to the Kindle and the Kobo Clara 2E, but on par with the Kobo Nia, which is a much older model. That’s despite the Poke 5 having a better processor and more RAM – it comes with a 2GHz quad-core Qualcomm CPU and 2GB of RAM compared to the Kindle and Clara 2E’s 1GHz CPU and 512GB of system memory.

This is reflected in the occasional sluggishness of the onscreen keyboard – I found that I sometimes had to select a letter twice or three times for it to register when typing. While tapping to turn a page when using the native library app is mostly fine, I found that to be a bit hit and miss on the Kindle app where I sometimes needed to tap twice for the function to take place and, when it did, it was a little delayed.

The Kobo app opening on the Onyx Boox Poke 5 ereader

(Image credit: Future)

Ghosting, however, was quite rare when I was testing the Poke 5. This was something I was expecting to happen a lot given my previous experience with other Onyx e-ink tablets, so it was a pleasant reading experience to not have to deal with overlays of a previous application or page. 

As expected from an Onyx ereader, battery life is quite good. There’s a 1,500mAh battery that lasted a little over four weeks for me (about 34 days), dropping to 12% before I plugged in for a charge. This is with brightness set to mid level and light temperature at warmer hues, plus Wi-Fi and Bluetooth always on, and refresh rate set to every 1 tap. 

Topping up the battery didn’t take long for me either – about 55 minutes from 12% to full – as I had it plugged into a 65W GAN wall charger via a good quality USB-C to C cable. If you use a laptop or one of the best power banks to charge the Poke 5, note that it will take longer than plugging it directly into a wall adaptor.

• Performance score: 3.5 / 5

Should I buy the Onyx Boox Poke 5?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

If you’re looking for other options to the Onyx Boox Poke 5, your best bets are the Amazon Kindle (2022 release) and the Kobo Clara 2E. You can take a look at some direct specs comparisons below.

How I tested the Onyx Boox Poke 5

  • Used every day for about 5 weeks but intermittently for longer
  • Sideloaded some of my own previously purchased content, plus used the Kindle and Kobo apps
  • Browsed the web via the native web browser

A page of a book displayed on the Onyx Boox Poke 5 ereader

(Image credit: Future)

I’ve had the Onyx Boox Poke 5 for a while now, but while I was working on the Onyx Boox Page review, I used it only intermittently. However, once that was complete, the Poke 5 became my everyday ereader.

When it became my main reading device, I used the Poke 5 for about 2-3 hours a day (I am a voracious reader) and tried some different apps and played around with the custom settings too.

While I used Google Drive and BooxDrop to add some content to the device, I also downloaded the Kindle and Kobo apps to access my existing libraries on those platforms as well and read on those apps. This, however, required me to first enable Google Play Store access on the device, which took some doing. I was expecting to be able to sign in on setup, but after some research realized that it needed me to dig into some hidden menus to enable.

I like the idea of having a web browser on an entry-level ereader as it allows me to immediately do any research while reading a particular title.

Read more about how we test

[First reviewed Jan 2024]

Onyx Boox Page review: the Android ereader that can shop both Kindle and Kobo stores
3:25 am | December 19, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers eReaders Gadgets Tablets | Tags: | Comments: Off

Onyx Boox Page: Two-minute review

The Onyx Boox Page is very much like the Kindle Oasis, especially since its plastic body looks far more premium than the Kobo Libra 2. Sharing the same 7-inch screen size as both the older models from Amazon and Kobo, the Onyx Page is just a touch faster thanks to a better processor. 

Like the other two, there are physical page-turn buttons here that also double up as the volume controls. Yes, there’s a speaker built-in, but don’t expect the sound quality to wow you. It sounds a little tinny but it suffices if you’re only using it for audiobooks. However, a better listening experience would be via Bluetooth-connected headphones or speaker of your choice.

There’s a very generous 32GB of storage here, just like the Kobo Libra 2, but the Page also features a microSD slot in case you want to expand storage – after all, audiobooks take up more space than ebooks. Moreover, the battery life here is excellent, thanks to a 2,300mAh pack under the hood.

My main complaint is the afterimage issue caused by bringing up the E Ink Center to access shortcuts or control sliders. I’ve seen this before on other Onyx ereaders, but where that’s usually been a ghosting issue, here it’s a dark overlay of the control panel remaining on the page. This doesn’t happen every time, but often enough that it gets annoying.

Another complaint I have is the lack of waterproofing for the Page, so avoid the bath, the pool and the kitchen sink when using this ereader.

Access to content on an Onyx Boox ereader is also still disappointing. While there are two bookstores on the Page, one is Chinese, the other only has ebooks that are already in the public domain.

That said, the Page runs on a simplified version of Android 11 and gives you access to the Google Play Store. From here, you can download the Kindle or the Kobo app (or both) and find your next read there. The flip side to this is your purchased content from the apps won’t get added to the Page’s default library, taking away the plethora of customizations you can apply to ebooks within that default folder. 

So if you don’t mind being restricted within the Android apps for Kindle or Kobo, the Onyx Boox Page can be considered to be two ereaders in one. And it's certainly priced competitively in some markets, costing as much as the Kobo Libra 2 in the US, which is still our #1 pick of the best ereader overall.

A hand holding the Onyx Boox Page with the thumb on the page-turn buttons

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Onyx Boox Page review: price and availability

  • Retails for $249 / €279 / AU$419
  • Available now directly from Onyx or select retailers

Announced in the first half of 2023, the Onyx Boox Page is available to purchase directly from the manufacturer or from selected retailers like B&H in the US. Onyx has an European warehouse from where UK customers can order the Page, and potential Aussie customers can grab one from third-party retailers like Big W

It will set you back $249 / €279 / AU$419 at full price (around £240 in the UK), matching the Kindle Oasis in the US and UK, but costing more in Australia where the Amazon alternative is AU$399. It’s more expensive than the Kobo Libra 2 in all markets, however, which now retails for $189.99 / £169 / AU$319.95.

While it might cost more in some regions, it's worth considering if you want one ereader to access both the Kindle and Kobo Stores, although it’s important to keep in mind that you will be restricted to reading on those apps if you purchase content from there.

• Value score: 4 / 5

A hand holding the Onyx Boox Page within its magnetic sleepcover

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Onyx Boox Page specifications

Onyx Boox Page review: Design and display

  • 7-inch E Ink Carta 1200 screen with glass anti-glare layer
  • Premium looks despite plastic body
  • No water resistance

When it comes to ereaders with physical page-turn buttons on a side bezel, the popular models like the Kindle Oasis and the Kobo Libra 2 are slightly thicker on that side to allow for a comfortable grip. The Onyx Page, on the other hand, has uniform thickness throughout, which gives it a sleek aesthetic. The page-turn buttons are comfortably located, although I think a little bit of space between them would make switching between the two a bit more ergonomic (but that’s me just nitpicking, really).

The 7-inch E Ink screen – which has a glass anti-glare layer on top and sits flush with the bezels – is encased within a plastic body that looks much better than what we saw on the Kobo Libra 2. At first glance, I thought the Page had a metal chassis like the Kindle Oasis. There’s a strip of subtle artwork on the rear panel where you would expect a grip and it seems to be silk-screened on. However, there really is no grip here and I think the magnetic case that Onyx has made for the Page might be a good (additional) investment in case of butter fingers.

Another reason I think the sleepcover would come in handy is to avoid smudges on the device. As nice as the chassis looks, it’s a magnet for fingerprints – both front and rear.

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The USB-C port, speaker and microSD card tray on the Onyx Boox Page

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)
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Onyx Boox Page ereader within its magnetic case

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)
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The apps interface on the Onyx Boox Page

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

On one corner of the device’s edge is a power button, so subtle that it’s easy to miss. Another long edge has the rest of the physical goodies, including a USB-C port for charging and data transfer, dual speaker grilles and a microSD card tray. In the box, Onyx has thoughtfully included a pin so you can open the card slot in case you want to expand the 32GB built-in storage.

The screen itself is lovely and very responsive. Most ereaders I’ve tested that use the E Ink Carta 1200 screen tech offer good contrast, so text stands out nice and sharp on the display, and that’s the case here. It’s a capacitive multitouch screen with no writing capabilities.

You can adjust the screen’s frontlight to either cold or warm hues but there’s no way to set automatic light temperature changes from cold to warm as the day progresses – both the Kindle Oasis and the Kobo Libra 2, however, do offer this feature. That said, none of the Onyx Boox tablets I’ve tested allow you to set automatic light hue changes for reading in the evenings and nights, so I’ve always just set it to a slightly warmer setting that I find comfortable at any time.

• Design & display score: 4 / 5

Within the Kobo app on the Onyx Boox Page

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Onyx Boox Page review: User experience

  • Overwhelming device settings options
  • Auto-rotates orientations, which can be locked if needed
  • Onyx’s Control Center is handy but often leaves overlay

As with most Onyx ereaders, the user interface takes a little getting used to – it’s not as intuitive as, say, Kindle or Kobo, but you do get a lot of control on how you want your e-paper tablet set up.

For example, you can set the page-turn buttons to scroll instead of turn a page, and they also double up as the volume controls when you’re listening to an audiobook or music (which you can sideload, and there’s a dedicated player too).

By default, the screen is set to refresh after every five taps, but this can also be changed as you see fit. I had mine set to refreshing after every tap, however, as I found ghosting can be an issue, and it also meant any overlay from the Control Center dropdown would disappear immediately too. This, though, can affect battery life and, if you don’t need the Control Center too often, leaving screen refresh rate at five or 10 taps will help push the charge for longer.

Button settings on the Onyx Boox Page

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

You can choose what you see as soon as you wake or power on the Onyx Page (default library, the apps page, store, etc) and set up on-screen gesture controls as well. I personally think that Onyx’s customization options are overkill for basic ereaders like the Page, but it’s also nice to know they’re there.

Speaking of the Control Center: this is where you get shortcut access to a lot of controls, including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, plus volume and frontlight adjustments. To access the Control Center you just swipe down from the top right corner of the screen. This is also where you get other options, like setting the device to airplane mode, auto-rotation controls and a screen recorder. There’s also a Kids’ Mode option that allows you to set a screen password, but keep in mind that you cannot reset this password once set.

Within the default library application – where all ebooks are automatically stored when you sideload – is a floating toolbar that gives you easy access to font and page controls. This, too, can be customized to include the shortcuts you will actually use within this application. The floating toolbar isn’t available outside of the default library application however.

The floating toolbar in the default library app on the Onyx Boox Page

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

As I’ve already mentioned, this Android tablet gives you access to the Google Play Store, from where you can download handy apps. In my case, it was the Kobo and Kindle apps so I could access not only the respective bookstores but also my existing library on each, as well as the ebook subscription services I pay for (Prime Reading and Kobo Plus in my case). While you can’t move your purchased content to the default library application, you can read within the app, but without the advantages of the floating toolbar.

The Onyx Boox Page allows you to sign into select cloud services, which is handy if you have an existing library you want to sideload onto the device. This includes Dropbox and Google Drive, but if your files aren’t on any cloud storage service, I found using BooxDrop was the best option to transfer content. You don’t need to create an Onyx account – you can use your mobile number to receive a verification code, then drag and drop what you want transferred onto the web version of the application.

Like I said, there’s a lot here to wrap your head around and it takes some experimentation, but once you’ve found the best setup for you, the Page can be quite enjoyable to use.

• User experience score: 4 / 5

The navigation options on the Onyx Boox Page with the Library selected

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Onyx Boox Page review: Performance

  • Remarkable battery life
  • Quick page turns and responsive screen
  • Ghosting occurs intermittently; occasionally significant when using the Control Center

When it comes to overall performance, it’s hard to fault the Onyx Boox Page. Reading is a good experience, with page turns working well via both screen taps and the buttons. Text appears nice and sharp, although if what you’re reading has low-resolution images, they can appear a little fuzzy.

I found sideloading files (ebooks and music) via Google Drive and BooxDrop was very easy; while I didn’t try signing into my Dropbox account, I reckon it’s just as simple and quick.

The speakers, though, aren’t anything to write home about. They’re fine for listening to audiobooks, although they don’t get too loud, but music doesn’t sound great. Pairing a set of Bluetooth headphones with the Page was easy when I tried it and I found that using headphones or a paired speaker to be the better listening experience for both audiobooks and music.

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The highlight function on the Onyx Boox Page

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)
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The Kobo Android app on the Onyx Boox Page

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Ghosting can occur occasionally if the ebook you're reading has images in it, but the most significant problem is the dark overlay of the Onyx Control Center as I've mentioned before. While it doesn't occur all the time, it happened often enough that I changed the refresh rate to be after every 1 tap from the default 5 taps. This is my only complaint when it comes to performance and it's not isolated – a lot of the Onyx ereaders I've tested do have issues with ghosting.

Where the Page really excels is battery life. It houses a 2,300mAh pack and that can last you about six weeks with an hour of reading each day. I had my review sample of the Page set to 40% brightness and approximately 25% yellow light, refresh rate set at 1 tap and Wi-Fi always on to access my Kindle and Kobo accounts. I also used the device for an average of two hours and got about 4.5 weeks of reading till it dropped to 10% battery. My battery life test also included a few minutes of web browsing using the built-in browser app, as well as listening to audiobooks on the Kobo app.

Topping up for me was just as good – I had it plugged into a 65W GAN wall charger via good quality USB-C to C cable and it took about an hour and 20 minutes to go from 9% to full.

Performance score: 4.5 / 5

The navigation options on the Onyx Boox Page

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Should I buy the Onyx Boox Page?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

The closest competitors to the Onyx Book Page are the Kindle Oasis and the Kobo Libra. While both these options are now aging, they're still excellent alternatives and we've listed direct specs comparisons below.

How I tested the Onyx Boox Page

  • Used as main ereader for about eight weeks
  • Read for about two hours a day, with some ad hoc listening sessions
  • Use the device to browse the web and download Android apps

Onyx Boox Page standing upright on a table

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

I am a voracious reader, so reading every single day for at least an hour or two is normal for me. So I just switched out my usual ereader for the Onyx Boox Page for a period of about eight weeks.

During this time, I averaged about two hours of reading each day, although every once in a while I listened to an audiobook for about 20-30 minutes on the Kobo app, which I downloaded via the Google Play Store that is already available on the Page.

I also downloaded the Kindle app to access my purchased content there.

I signed into Google Drive to sync some ebooks I already own, plus used BooxDrop to sideload other content, including music files, which I also listened to intermittently without headphones. Most of my listening sessions, however, were via a set of paired Bluetooth true wireless earbuds.

I used the default browser occasionally as well and kept tabs on battery drain as I performed different tasks on the Onyx Boox Page.

Read more about how we test

[First reviewed December 2023]

Onyx Boox Tab Mini C review: an ereader that’s colorful and compact, but expensive
7:06 am | September 27, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers eReaders Gadgets Tablets | Tags: | Comments: Off

Onyx Boox Tab Mini C: Two-minute review

The Onyx Boox Tab Mini C joins the ranks of the many color ereaders that Chinese manufacturer Onyx already has. In fact, it’s also a note-taking tablet – a smaller version of the Onyx Boox Tab Ultra C, but without a rear camera for scanning documents.

Going small from a 10.3-inch color E Ink screen to one that’s 7.8 inches is a good call in my opinion. You get everything that’s on the Tab Ultra C, with the sole exception of the rear camera to scan documents, making this a more compact, portable and more affordable alternative. And considering I found that camera superfluous on the larger tablet, I don’t miss it here at all.

Onyx has stuck with the latest E Ink Kaleido 3 screen tech for the Tab Mini C, so don’t expect all color hues to pop. Some will look good, others will be muted. I’m still waiting for someone to perfect the Gallery 3 screen and use it on a color ereader – it promises good saturation, but there’s no word on when it will be available on mainstream devices.

Reading and writing on the Tab Mini C is good, even in color. Despite the color screen resolution being just 150ppi – half that of its grayscale resolution – it’s a lot easier to read in any lighting condition than some other color ereaders, like the PocketBook InkPad Color 2, thanks to better contrast.

As with all of Onyx’s newer tablets, the Tab Mini C also runs Android 11, which means you get access to the Google Play Store and can download quite a few apps that you think you might use. This includes the Kindle or the Kobo apps, so you get access to bookstores. This is handy as Onyx doesn’t have its own to purchase content from. And given it’s got a web browser pre-installed, you can even buy content from other online stores as well.

There are other pre-installed apps that will be sufficient for most users, including a reading application. If you don’t like any of them, you can always get the Android version of your favorite apps off the Play Store. The note-taking app is a little complicated for most people, so if you use EverNote or any other app, you can have that on the Tab Mini C easily enough.

As good as it is, the Tab Mini C is not perfect. Despite being a smaller size, it’s a relatively heavy ereader by virtue of its big battery and metal chassis. Its weight and thin side bezels make it a little difficult to hold while reading, but I like its sleek, metal body.

Despite having four different refresh rates to choose from for different applications, I still found ghosting can be a problem, particularly in the default notes app. It’s a niggle that may not bother too many users, but I found it a distraction if I didn’t force a screen refresh.

Like most other note-taking ereaders that ship with a stylus, one side of the Tab Mini C allows the pen to stick on magnetically. As strong as the magnet is, it’s not the most secure way to stow the pen. Instead, a magnetic flap to close the optional sleepcover holds the pen in its spot on the side bezel. This additional expense can pinch as the Tab Mini C isn’t cheap – it carries a premium price tag to match its premium build.

The library setup on the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C ereader

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Onyx Boox Tab Mini C review: price and availability

  • Retails for $450 / £450 / AU$765
  • Available to buy now directly from Onyx and resellers
  • Ships with a stylus but sleepcover sold separately

At $450 / £450 / AU$765 for the tablet and the accompanying stylus, the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C is an expensive investment, but it could be worthwhile if you use all its features. That includes taking full advantage of its color screen – as washed out as the colors might appear – and use its writing capabilities to the fullest. And considering you can use a plethora of Android apps as well, its price begins to make a little sense.

However, if you don’t need any writing features but would still like a color ereader, you can save money by opting for something like the PocketBook InkPad Color 2 (although I wasn’t too sold on its low-contrast screen) for about $329 / £345 / AU$595.

If note-taking capabilities are important but you don’t need a color screen, then perhaps the 8-inch Kobo Sage for $269 / £259 / AU$459 would be a good option. And if you do feel like splurging, you can go bigger and snap up the Amazon Kindle Scribe or the Kobo Elipsa 2E for their writing abilities and great (grayscale) screens for $339 / £339 / AU$549 and $399 / £349 / AU$629 respectively. They’re still cheaper than the Tab Mini C, but you aren’t getting a color screen with any of the other note-taking ereaders. 

Keep in mind that you’ll want to consider the magnetic sleepcover for the Tab Mini C if you want to keep your stylus safe, and that will set you back an additional $43.99 / AU$79.99 (about £36).

• Value score: 3 / 5

The Onyx Boox Tab Mini C's stylus lying across the display showing grayscale text

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Onyx Boox Tab Mini C key specs

Onyx Boox Tab Mini C review: Design and display

  • 7.8-inch flush glass screen with great contrast
  • Metallic body with solid build
  • Stereo speakers

Onyx really knows how to make some good-looking e-paper writing tablets. I’ve had high praise for most of them, as they all feature metallic bodies that look pretty sleek. The Tab Mini C is no different, featuring a black chassis with a screen that sits flush with the bezels. 

A layer of glass on the top gives it a smooth finish, but has no detrimental effect on the touch functionality, readability or the anti-glare nature of the display. While this gives a slightly glossy look to the top, the rear panel has a matte finish. Along with slightly rounded rear edges, the Tab Mini C gets a decent grip compared to its bigger brethren.

The sides of the device are clean, with just a small, slightly raised power button on the top left corner, and the USB-C port and two speaker grilles on the bottom.

USB-C port and speakers on the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

As I’ve already mentioned, the screen measures 7.8-inches, which is a good size for most users. It makes the tablet more portable than other writing ereaders, most of which are 10.3 inches. And the glass layer on the top makes writing on it a pleasure – it’s not as smooth as it feels on the Amazon Kindle Scribe, but it comes close. 

Importantly, getting a full color display means you can enjoy comics and graphics novels as they were meant to, or just ogle at some book covers in color before you start reading. You can sketch and draw, with a few colors at your disposal when choosing your pen or brush type. 

However, because of the limitations of the technology, the colors appear a little washed out. Some hues do look good, though, and the screen has excellent contrast to make reading a pleasure. This became evident to me when I was comparing it to the PocketBook InkPad Color 2 – another 7.8-inch color ereader, but with an older screen technology and no writing capabilities.

The Onyx Boox Tab Mini C stylus lying across the tablet

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Speaking of writing, the stylus that ships with the Tab Mini C is a basic option compared to what comes with the Onyx Boox Tab Ultra and Tab Ultra C – what you miss out on here is the eraser on the top of the pen. The stylus has a grippy, textured surface, with a flat side that attaches magnetically to one edge of the tablet. Strangely, the strongest way to attach the stylus is nib pointing down – if you attach it the other way, the magnet isn’t as strong. Either way, the pen can get dislodged when taking it in and out of a bag, for example, making the magnetic sleepcover an additional purchase to consider.

For an ereader in this size category, though, the Tab Mini C is heavy (as are most other Onyx tablets) by virtue of its large battery and metal body. While it’s not uncomfortable to hold, it can start to feel heavy after about 20-30 minutes, particularly if you’re using it with its sleepcover.

• Design & display score: 4.5 / 5

Onyx Boox Tab Mini C review: software and user interface

  • Runs modified version of Android 11 with access to the Google Play Store
  • Four refresh rates to choose from for individual apps
  • Plenty of ways to sync/transfer books and notes

Like all other Onyx ereaders, the Tab Mini C runs a modified version of Android 11. While I’ve previously said that Android 11 does feel dated now, and I still stand by the statement, Onyx isn’t alone in using it for its devices. Amazon’s latest version of its Fire OS is also a modified version of Android 11.

The default notes application on the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Running Google’s operating system means you get easy access to the Play Store and the good thing about that is you can download and use a huge number of Android apps on the Tab Mini C. This includes YouTube for watching videos. Yes, the video won’t look its best because of the E Ink screen and its limitations, but it’s just about watchable.

Where it comes in handy is being able to purchase content directly from the device via the Kindle or Kobo apps, as well as using third-party note-taking apps. In fact, you can link a number of accounts to gain access to your work – Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, OneNote, Everdrive and more. In my case, I had a bunch of ebooks stored in Google Drive, and linking it made it easy to transfer files to read on my Tab Mini C.

For most users, though, the default apps would suffice. You can use BooxDrop to transfer files (ebooks, audiobooks, PDFs, photos, music and more) and you just need your mobile number to set it up, you don’t necessarily have to open a Boox account if you don’t want to.

Color options for highlighting text on the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Within each app you use, there are four refresh rates available, each meant for different types of media – from HD for general reading to Ultrafast for watching videos – and these are accessible via the E Ink Center that appears when you swipe down from the top right corner of the screen to open up the device's Control Center. This is also where you can adjust volume and the frontlight, and take a screenshot, record your screen or get into split-screen mode. The setup is great, but there are a lot of features to wrap your head around and the settings can be far from intuitive if you’ve never used an Onyx tablet before.

There are several customizable gestures and functions that take time to delve into in the settings but, once you’ve gotten used to them all, they do make using the ereader easier. For example, swiping up from the bottom bezel takes you back to the home screen, while swiping down from the top opens up your notification center. The user interface isn't as streamlined as a Kobo or a Kindle ereader, but neither of the bigger brands have as many features as the Onyx tablets do, so kudos for the brand for trying to fit it all in. And I definitely prefer the Onyx interface to what PocketBook offers on its ereaders.

• Software & user interface score: 4 / 5

A crude color drawing of a boat on water on the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C ereader

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Onyx Boox Tab Mini C review: Performance

  • Excellent reading and writing experience
  • Sluggish refresh rates, with significant ghosting
  • Remarkable battery life

The Tab Mini C is a great ereader and writing tablet. Despite its color screen resolution topping out at 150ppi, there’s very good contrast that makes it a much easier display to read on in any kind of lighting condition than the PocketBook InkPad Color 2. Admittedly some colors aren’t as good as they would appear on, say, an LCD display, but it’s important to remember that the Tab Mini C is not meant to be a multimedia tablet like an iPad. All the colors will be recognizable, though.

Onyx uses a powerful 2GHz processor and 4GB of RAM for the Tab Mini C, and it shows in how quickly the device responds to touch and stylus functionality. Page turns are rapid, pen input is excellent and apps open quite quickly too.

What doesn’t really work on the Tab Mini C is the significant ghosting visible in several applications. Despite four options to choose from for different purposes, having an imprint of the previous page or application is very distracting. Forcing a refresh each time is not ideal. Ghosting can occur when reading in color or black and white, but it’s most prevalent in the former. I noticed it in the default notes app when changing pen types and colors while drawing. I seen it on the home screen after I’ve used the Control Center to adjust volume or frontlight brightness. This is an issue I saw with the bigger Tab Ultra C and Onyx clearly hasn’t figured out how to minimize ghosting or optimize the refresh rates better.

Ghosting visible on a drawing on the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C

A significant amount of ghosting occurs on the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C despite four different refresh rates to choose from (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Speaking of volume… I have to say I am amazed at how loud the stereo speakers can get on this little tablet. While the sound quality isn’t comparable to some of the best headphones or best earbuds, it’s not bad for listening to audiobooks. And the volume far exceeds what the PocketBook Era or the InkPad Color 2 can hit.

Another good thing about investing in the Tab Mini C is the battery life. With a 5,000mAh pack inside, it feels like the tablet can go on forever. Battery management here is definitely better than what I experienced with the Tab Ultra C. Depending on how you use the Tab Mini C, you’ll likely get up to eight weeks of use between charges. Topping up will take a little while, but if you have a good USB-C to C cable plugged into a wall socket via a high wattage adaptor, the Tab Mini C could top up in about 2.5 hours from 35% battery.

• Performance score: 4 / 5

The sleepcover of the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C holding the stylus

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Should I buy the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

It’s not too hard to imagine the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C competing for your attention amongst the best ereaders you can get today, but it’s a very expensive investment. You can get better performers from more popular brands that will cost you less – you just need to be willing to forgo the color display.

How I tested the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C

  • Used as main ereader for a few weeks
  • Wrote notes on it, and used it to draw as best I could, plus listened to music and audiobooks
  • Compared with other ereaders in the same size class and with note-taking features

The Onyx branding on the boot-up page of the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C color ereader

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

As with all my ereader testing, I used the Tab Mini C for a few weeks before I started noting down my thoughts… on the device itself, by the way. I used it for an average of two hours a day most days, but occasionally that would be a lot longer (on weekends) or for less (on weeknights).

I used the BooxDrop feature to transfer some ebooks I own, but I also linked my Google Drive account – via the Settings pane – to download a bunch more. While I did a lot of my reading using the default reader app on the device, I also downloaded the Kindle and the Kobo apps to access my library on each of those platforms.

I absolutely cannot draw to save my life, but I gave it a go to see how the colors looked and how changing the pen type and size can help with sketching. I also made my own notes – this included editing existing notes I’d already made on other Onyx tablets that got synced to my account. 

I used the Tab Mini C to browse the internet using the default browser, and downloaded a couple mobile games to see how they performed on an E Ink screen.

I compared the Tab Mini C with other ereaders, including the Kobo Sage and the PocketBook InkPad Color 2 that are in the same size class, as well as to the Onyx Boox Tab Ultra C for a direct performance comparison. During my testing, I also had the Kobo Elipsa 2E and the Amazon Kindle Scribe for more comparisons.

Read more about how we test

[First reviewed September 2023]

Amazon Kindle (2022)
12:59 am | November 11, 2022

Author: admin | Category: Computers eReaders Gadgets Tablets | Comments: Off

Editor's Note

• Original review date: November 2022
Add supported pricing tiers available
• Launch price: $119 / £94 / AU$179
• Official price now with ads: $99 / £84 / N/A

Updated: January 2024. The standard 2022 Kindle is an ereader that'll basically suit everyone. It's small, light, has a good battery life and represents an overall evolution over the models that came before it. It can now be had for a cheaper starting price in the US and UK if you're willing to put up with adverts. But paying a little more still gets you a very fine Kindle, hassle-free. Do bear in mind you can get a great price on the standard Kindle when seasonal sales are in full swing, but it's still great at full price. The rest of this review remains as previously published.

Amazon Kindle (2022): One-minute review

Over 15 years after Amazon launched its first Kindle ereader, the retail giant has launched the latest Kindle (2022) model. Because Amazon is so huge these days, from turning into a shop where you can buy almost anything, while also making its own smart home Alexa-powered devices and even creating its own high-budget TV shows (such as the recent Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power), it can be easy to forget that it started out life as an online bookstore.

Still, with the Kindle range, it shows that books can still be a passion for the company, and with the launch of the Kindle (2022), you’d be forgiven for expecting an extremely accomplished ereader, considering the expertise and budget behind it.

The good news is that with the latest Kindle you get just that. While it lacks some of the bells and whistles offered by other ereaders – and even the more expensive Kindle models in Amazon’s growing range – if you want a simple and dependable device for reading ebooks on, the Kindle (2022) could be an excellent choice.

A higher resolution screen makes ebooks look fantastic, and as the most compact Amazon ereader, the Kindle (2022) slips easily into bags and some pockets, making it a good choice for travellers. However, the small screen size can be uncomfortable to read on for some people, as well as difficult to grip onto.

For people looking for a main ebook reader for home, the Kindle (2022) probably won't be the best ereader for your needs. However, starting at $99.99 / £84.99 / AU$179, it's one of the better value ereaders out there. It also comes with double the storage space (now 16GB), extended battery life, and its integration with Amazon's store and services remains excellent – as long as you don't mind buying from Amazon. If you do mind getting locked into Amazon's ecosystem, then look elsewhere. You'd be missing out on a decent and affordable compact ereader however.

Amazon Kindle 2022 inside its sleepcover

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Kindle (2022) review: Price and availability

  • Costs $99.99 / £84.99 for ad-supported model
  • No ad-supported version for Australia (RRP of AU$179)
  • More expensive than last model

The new Kindle (2022) is Amazon’s most affordable ereader, and costs $99.99 / £84.99 for the model with adverts on the lockscreen – there's no ad-supported version of the Kindle in Australia. For the non-advert version, you’ll need to pay $119.99 / £94.99 / AU$179. 

While this makes the Kindle (2022) the cheapest current model, it does represent a price increase over the previous model, which sold for £69.99 / $89.99 / AU$139.

It remains more affordable than its chief competitor, the Kobo Clara 2E, although the rival offers a few more features that the 2022 Kindle misses out on. If you’re a regular user of Amazon's different services, though, then the Kindle’s integration with the huge retailer will likely appeal.

  • Price and availability score: 4/5

The USB-C charging port under the Amazon Kindle 2022

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Kindle (2022) review: Design and display

  • Smallest Kindle yet
  • Ideal for travelling
  • May be too small for some

The Kindle (2022) comes with a new design, and some changes are very welcome… and some less so. It’s now smaller and lighter than ever before, and weighs just 158g, with measurements of 6.2-inches x 4.3-inches x 0.32-inches (157.8 x 108.6 x 8.0 mm).

This makes it an excellent choice for travellers who want to take something to read while they globetrot. The Kindle (2022) can easily slip into a bag, or even a pocket, and you’d hardly notice it’s there. For short-haul flights where you’re limited to the amount of luggage you can bring on board, this could again be a great feature, as it takes up less space than even a rather slim book.

However, some people may not enjoy holding and reading on such a small device. It doesn’t feel as secure to hold as some of the larger, and more expensive, ebook readers out there, and the lack of a textured rear panel can make it feel a little hard to grip onto. There are Kindle cases on sale that can mitigate this, but without one, the Kindle (2022) can feel a little too slight for some people.

That’s not to say the build quality is lacking, however. Quite the opposite, in fact, as despite its budget price, the Kindle (2022) feels like a well-put-together device.

Kindle branding on bottom bezel of theAmazon Kindle 2022

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The design is minimalist, with a single power button and a USB-C port for charging. Most of the controls for the Kindle are done via the 6-inch E Ink Carta 1200 touchscreen.  The USB-C is a new addition, and means you can quickly charge the Kindle (2022) – and you can use any USB charger to do so.

The new blue color is a nice change from the standard black or white designs of other ereaders and, thanks to an update that happened in April 2021, you can set the cover of book you're currently reading to display on the sleep screen instead of cycling through a few wallpapers that were available on Kindles by default.

The screen itself has had a lot of attention lavished on it. It’s now got a 300ppi (pixels per inch) high resolution screen that is crisp and sharp on the 6-inch display. As an e-ink screen, it feels comfortable to read on, though we ended up making the text smaller to fit more of a page onto the 6-inch screen.

The screen has an adjustable front light for reading in the dark, and the Dark Mode  option makes it more comfortable to read in low-light conditions. However, the front light cannot be adjusted for temperature, meaning you're stuck with white/blue light at all times, so people sensitive to blue light may find the Kindle (2022) less appealing for bedtime reading.

Unlike more expensive Kindles, the standard Kindle (2022) isn’t waterproof, but it does have a handy sensor that lets you know if there’s moisture in the USB-C port, so you can unplug it and wait for it to dry. We tried it out during the review, and it does indeed work.

In some markets the Kindle (2022) also comes with a ‘Kid’ version that features a rugged cover, one year subscription to Amazon Kids+ and an extended two-year guarantee (the standard model has one year).

  • Design and display score: 4/5

Amazon Kindle 2022 in dark mode

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Kindle (2022) review: Specs and performance

  • Good looking (yet small) screen
  • 16GB capacity should be more than enough

As well as the improved screen, the Kindle (2022) also features twice the storage space of its predecessor. While the new 16GB capacity may seem a little low when compared to a phone or tablet, ebooks don’t take up much digital space, with an average ebook file size of 2.6MB. That means there’s room for well over 7,000 books – so even the most ardent bookworm won’t have to worry about space. There’s no microSD card slot, so you can't expand the storage space, but we can’t see many people needing to.

You can also download and listen to audiobooks using Amazon’s Audible service, and these obviously take up a lot more space than an ebook – though 16GB will still be able to handle a ridiculous amount. There are no built-in speakers, so you’ll need to pair a Bluetooth device, which can be done through the interface. We did find this to be a bit difficult to set up, with the Kindle becoming unresponsive at one point, but once paired, it works well.

Of course, the main reason you’d want to use the Kindle for is reading ebooks, and the good news is that it does this very well. The e-ink screen is comfortable to read on and, while the dark mode makes things comfortable at night, we didn’t find it was bright enough to read on without a light on. However, in both dark rooms and out in sunlight, the non-reflective screen performed well. 

However, at 6 inches, we felt it was too small to read at the default text size, as it meant we had to keep flipping pages (done via tapping the side of the screen you want to turn the page to). Making the text smaller fitted more of the text on the screen, which reduced the number of times we had to turn the page – but some people may find the text size too small to read comfortably. As an ereader for travellers, this is great, but people reading at home may wish they’d gone for something bigger.

Amazon Kindle 2022 control panel on top of screen

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The interface has been refreshed, and it takes a bit of getting used to. The minimalist design means there’s no buttons apart from the power button, and so if you haven’t used a Kindle before, you may be confused about how to get to your library. A nice touch is that when the Kindle (2022) goes into sleep mode, you can set the sleep screen to show the cover of the book you’re currently reading – though if you buy the ad supported version you’ll see adverts instead.

As you’d expect from an Amazon device, the Kindle is heavily integrated with the retail giant’s services. Once you’ve connected it to your Amazon account, you can buy Kindle ebooks and audiobooks through the Amazon website on other devices, and they will appear on the Kindle almost immediately, as long as it has an internet connection. This makes setting up the Kindle and filling it with books very straightforward, especially if you already have a Kindle library. You can also buy books directly through the Kindle’s interface. However, we prefer doing it on another device with a larger screen, such as a laptop.

While this means the Kindle is an easy and convenient gadget to use if you’re already invested in Amazon’s ecosystem – and many people are – but if you don’t use them or like Amazon as a company, then you may find the Kindle’s heavy reliance on Amazon frustrating. You can load non-Amazon ebooks onto it, but it’s not as easy and organizing them into collections aren't possible, leaving your library looking a tad dishevelled. So this really is only worth considering if you’re an Amazon customer. 

When you purchase a Kindle (2022), you get three months of Kindle Unlimited free, essentially a Netflix-like subscription service for ebooks, which at least gives you a chance to check out the service and get access to a huge range of books before you spend any extra money. That said, you won't find a lot of big names (authors or publishers) on Kindle Unlimited but there is plenty to discover if you aren't too fussy about what you like to read.

  • Specs and performance score: 3/5

The settings pane on the Amazon Kindle 2022

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Kindle (2022) review: Battery life

  • Better battery life than before
  • Drains slightly faster in dark mode

Amazon has not only upped the internal storage on the 2022 edition of the Kindle, but has also improved the battery life. Whether that’s due to improved efficiency of the same old battery or if it’s a bigger capacity is unclear as Amazon doesn’t ever reveal its battery secrets, but our guess is the latter.

The older 10th generation Kindle from 2019 offered up to four weeks of reading (according to Amazon’s own estimates), but we got about two weeks of reading for an hour each day on a single charge. Now, however, we’re getting a full 30 hours of reading – basically, four weeks of reading an hour each day.

In fact, we think you could get more. Our tests showed that there’s marginally more drain when using the Kindle in dark mode, and we measured battery life with the screen set to the usual view and dark mode. Not just that, we also set the front light to 7%, both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth always on, a mix of browsing Kindle Unlimited, the Kindle Store and using VoiceView (we were really curious how it sounded). If you aren’t going to be doing so much on your Kindle, you could push that battery a little more, and that’s pretty impressive.

Amazon has updated the charging port to USB-C in keeping with the 2021 Kindle Paperwhite (and other ereader) models and this makes the battery top up quicker. In our tests, the Kindle went from 9% to full in 1 hour 25 minutes. This, however, includes a little bit of trickle charging, which is actually better than what any of the latest Kobo ereaders manage. Where trickle charging on the Kobo Libra 2, for example, is super slow (an hour to go from 92% to full), the Kindle went from 9% to 93% in 1 hour 10 minutes, then another 15 minutes to finish the remaining 7%.

  • Battery score: 4/5

Should I buy the Amazon Kindle (2022)?

The rear panel with the Amazon smile logo on the 2022 Kindle

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Buy it if…

 Don’t buy it if…

Amazon Kindle (2022) report card

Also consider...

If our Amazon Kindle (2022) review has you considering other options, here are three more ereaders that are great alternatives.

First reviewed November 2022

How we test

We pride ourselves on our independence and rigorous review-testing process, offering long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

Scribd with Everand review: the popular ebook and audiobook subscription service gets a revamp
9:20 am | February 25, 2022

Author: admin | Category: Computers eReaders Gadgets Tablets | Comments: Off

Editor's Note

• Original Scribd review date: February 2022
• Rebranded in November 2023
• Launch subscription price: $9.99 / £7.99 / AU$14.99
• Current price: $11.99 / £10.99 / AU$14.99

Updated: February 2024. Scribd, when it originally launched, was a subscription hub for ebooks, audiobooks, podcasts, magazines, sheet music, various documents, slides and even the odd recipe. The platform has undergone a full overhaul, however, and has been broken into three different services. Everand is now the app for ebooks, audiobooks, podcasts, magazines and sheet music. Scribd is exclusively for documents – so whitepapers, court filings, some scientific research, recipes, etc. All the presentations have been moved to SlideShare. The three platforms are still owned and run by Scribd Inc and you need only one subscription to access all three. The monthly subscription has gone up in the US and UK, but remains unchanged for Australia, and the extensive Everand library makes it worthwhile. In lieu of this overhaul, we’ve redone our original review, concentrating on Everand, but also touching upon Scribd and SlideShare too.

Scribd with Everand: One-minute review

Scribd began life as a document-sharing platform in 2007, but it grew from there to become an ebook and audiobook subscription service to rival Kindle Unlimited and Kobo Plus. In November 2023, however, the platform underwent a full overhaul, and parent company Scribd Inc separated the mainstream offerings like ebook and audiobooks from the documents and presentations that littered the service. The original Scribd has now been divided into three new platforms – Everand housing all the ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, podcasts and sheet music, Scribd is now the home for documents only (think whitepapers, court filings, etc), and all the presentations have moved to SlideShare.

The good news is that the one subscription gets you access to all three, and the price in some regions is still the same as before. For this review, I’ve concentrated on the mainstream Everand service, but it all works exactly as it did previously.

As before, there’s quite a decent library of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, podcasts and sheet music on Everand, with the app looking pretty much the same as the original Scribd. The only difference is some minor changes to the color schemes to differentiate between the three divisions of the old Scribd platform.

Compared to Kindle Unlimited and Kobo Plus, Everand has a more extensive selection of titles in its library but only if you take both ebooks and audiobooks into consideration. However, as with Scribd previously, there’s still more audiobooks than ebooks on the platform, although the number of titles has increased significantly compared to what I saw when I first reviewed it in 2022. 

The headline here is the addition of Originals on Everand – titles written exclusively for Scribd Inc by some well-known authors like Magaret Atwood and Stephen King.

While Kindle Unlimited offers magazines to its US subscribers, other markets aren’t able to access those, and Everand can fill the void. However, the number of magazines is limited compared to what you’ll find on Readly. And while podcasts are a great addition to Everand (something you won’t find on Kindle Unlimited or Kobo Plus), several are available for free on other platforms. Still, they add value to the subscription.

There’s no native ereader integration with the Everand app, but you can use it on a desktop or a handheld device like your phone or tablet – apps are available for Apple and Android users. Owners of Onyx Boox ereaders – which run on Android and give you access to the Google Play Store – can download it for use on e-ink slates like the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C or Onyx Boox Page.

The Everand ebook and audiobook subscription service homepage

(Image credit: Scribd Inc)

Scribd with Everand review: price and availability

  • More expensive than Kindle Unlimited in some markets
  • Monthly subscription of $11.99 / £10.99 / AU$14.99
  • 30-day free trial

A monthly subscription to any of Scribd Inc’s apps – Everand, Scribd or SlideShare – will cost you $11.99 / £10.99 / AU$14.99. That’s a touch more expensive than Kindle Unlimited in the US and UK, but costs the same in Australia. 

Signing up for only Everand gets you access to the other two, or vice versa, adding value to the subscription if you’re a student or researcher, but the variety in the Everand library alone makes it better value than either Kindle Unlimited or Kobo Plus, but this is only if you take full advantage of both ebooks and audiobooks.

That said, if you already use an Amazon Kindle or Kobo ereader, you might be better off with the ebook subscription service associated with your chosen brand if you want to read on the device.

You can subscribe to Everand from anywhere in the world – you’ll just have to pay the equivalent of the US pricing if your country doesn’t have an official version of the site or application. Plus there’s a 30-day free trial available to test the waters before you commit to paying for the service when you sign up via either Everand or Scribd. Strangely, SlideShare offers a 60-day free trial, which might be the better option to test the waters for longer.

Scribd with Everand review: Content library

  • Lots of audiobooks
  • Limited ebooks compared to audiobppls
  • Decent collection of magazines and podcasts

Like I mentioned at the start of this review, there’s a lot on Everand. As versatile as it looks on paper, the individual libraries of each type of content is limited, although I found far more titles I’d like to read and listen to on Everand than I did on Kindle Unlimited and Kobo Plus.

An Everand save list with ebooks and audiobooks

(Image credit: Scribd Inc)

Let’s start with ebooks. While there’s a lot here to keep you occupied for a very long time, you could be disappointed if you’re looking for something specific. A couple of missing examples I found were David Graeber’s The Dawn of Everything and Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy. Fans of Brandon Sanderson, though, will be glad to know that several of his other titles are available on Everand, including his “secret project” books from his Kickstarter campaign.

What’s interesting about Everand, though, are the original titles. Started in 2019, the Scribd Originals program (called so they came into being before Everand was launched as a separate platform) was a way for authors to reach new audiences, but these are written exclusively by some well known writers like Magaret Atwood, Stephen King, Paul Theroux and Simon Winchester. Most of these are short stories or essays, and several are in audiobook format, but there are some very interesting titles amongst the Scribd Originals, none of which you’ll find anywhere else.

An ebook open on the Everand web browser application

(Image credit: Scribd Inc)

The number of audiobooks on Everand is much more impressive than its ebook collection, just as it was when it was still called Scribd. Some titles that don’t have the ebook versions on Scribd can be found in audiobook format instead. For example, Neil Price’s Children of Ash and Elm and Mary Beard’s SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome are only available as audiobooks. Another example of the deficit of ebook titles is Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen series – all 10 are available as audiobooks but none as an ebook. It's the same with Martha Wells' Murderbot Diaries too – the first seven are available in audiobook format only. 

Some of these missing ebook titles used to be available as user-uploaded documents in PDF format – likely from questionable sources – on the original platform, but those are no longer on Everand, having moved to the new Scribd.

When it comes to magazines and newspapers, you’re not going to get as extensive a collection as on Readly, but there are some very good options on Everand, like Time, Marie Claire and National Geographic. There are some obvious big names missing too, like Reader’s Digest and Cosmopolitan, although you can find a few individual articles from the missing mags. Despite the missing titles, the magazine stand does cover several genres including news and current affairs, tech, and lifestyle, with the News Rack including access to The Guardian, NPR, The Independent and Futurity. Some of TechRadar’s sister magazines can be found on Everand, including Kiplinger, Digital Camera World, Classic Rock, T3 and APC.

One of Future Publishing's Australian magazines on Everand

(Image credit: Scribd Inc)

There’s a pretty decent collection of podcasts across several genres as well, like Grounded with Louis Theroux, Day X, Revisionist History and Criminal. Practically every one I searched for, I found on Everand, however they’re also available for free on Apple and Google Podcast services.

I’m not certain what sheet music is doing on Everand – I think it should be on Scribd with other documents – but if you’re a keen musician, you could strike gold and that alone might be worth the subscription cost for you. There’s a lot of sheet music, from Disney songs to Broadway, Mozart to Frank Sinatra, even Beyonce, Adele and Taylor Swift.

An Everand save list with ebooks and audiobooks

(Image credit: Scribd Inc)

Scribd content library

With all the mainstream items now on Everand, Scribd has gone back to being what it started out as – a repository of user-uploaded content, specifically documents like whitepapers, some research papers, court filings and the like. 

The documents are categorized into several genres, including wellness, technology, business, religion and politics, and their usefulness will depend on what precisely you’re after. Each document can be rated by the user with a thumbs up or a thumbs down, and this becomes important when you’re looking for authenticity on a platform that can have some dodgy content from questionable sources.

The Scribd homepage with documents

(Image credit: Scribd Inc)

Most of the content on the new Scribd document platform, however, is good and could be useful depending on the subject. I found books on metabolism that were interesting, plus something on modern sewer designs that I never thought would hold me attention for longer than a minute. There are textbooks and test papers, even court filings against Donald Trump.

And, as I’ve already mentioned, you don’t pay extra to access Scribd – it’s included in the Everand subscription. Any document you save via Scribd is added to a common saved list that’s accessible via any of the three apps, but if you select a document via the Everand app, you will be redirected to the Scribd app. So if you do use all the Scribd Inc apps, you will need to download them all on your preferred device. If you only use the web browser option, then they open in a new tab.

SlideShare content library

As with Scribd, SlideShare is also niche, now home to the presentations that were previously uploaded to the original Scribd platform. There are a wide range of slide shows and decks to choose from, including business templates, guides to social media platforms, case studies in education and a heck of a lot more.

You can download an entire presentation if you need it offline, or you can choose specific slides from a deck to download. The uploader’s username is displayed against each presentation, plus the number of slides in each, how many views they’ve had and how long they’ve been available on SlideShare.

The SlideShare homepage, part of the Scribd-Everand revamp

(Image credit: Scribd Inc)

The presentations aren’t editable, although it might be possible to find the odd template that might allow you to do so after downloading for offline access.

Interestingly, when viewing SlideShare on a web browser, it gives you the option of signing up to all three apps to get a 60-day free trail, which doesn’t seem to be available via the other two. So if you really are keen to try Everand, it might be a good option to sign up via SlideShare.

Scribd with Everand review: user experience

  • Mobile apps are easy to use
  • Clunky browser interface
  • Formatting issues on some ebooks

Everand, Scribd and SlideShare can be used on a desktop browser, on a phone or a tablet, with apps available for both Apple and Android operating systems. Signing up is easy and there’s a 30-day free trial for you to road test the service before you need to cough up the monthly fee (60 days if you sign up via SlideShare).

Apps for all three on any platform are identical, so I’ll stick to Everand for the sake of this review. Using the app on mobile or tablet is quite easy and intuitive, with browsing the library made easy thanks to sections for different genres and categories. The different content types are neatly arranged on the top of the app and there’s even curated lists for anyone keen to find a new story to get lost in. 

When you find something you want to read or listen to, you just have to save it by tapping on the bookmark icon. You can even download items for offline reading or listening and, in theory, there’s no limit to how many you can download at a time. I didn’t go beyond downloading five items at a time, but I have seen some users complain that Scribd Inc throttles how much you can download in one go.

An audiobook playing on the Everand desktop application

(Image credit: Scribd Inc)

Audiobook quality – based on the titles I listened to – is great, but if your device goes to sleep due to inactivity, the narration will stop unless you use the app’s sleep timer functionality (the crescent moon icon). Audiobooks require the screen to be on at all times for it to work nonstop.

Ebook quality, for the most part, is great but I did find some that had formatting issues – not the kind you’d expect from a page trying to automatically adjust to screen sizes. I found a number of them with just one word on a line or large chunks of empty space after a paragraph (with the next one starting on the subsequent page).

Note that the Everand app itself doesn’t have a dark mode option, but if your device settings is selected for dark mode, then all content will appear on a black background with white text.

Everand mobile app screenshots with podcasts and ebooks

(Image credit: Scribd Inc)

Reading magazines is a mixed-bag experience – none of the covers can be viewed full-screen and you can only read one article at a time, no scrolling through the whole issue here. That said, each article is nicely formatted, with any accompanying imagery placed very well to avoid weird line and page breaks, no matter what screen size you’re viewing it on.

The browser experience, however, isn’t as great as on mobile or tablet. The interface is easy to navigate, yes, but it’s just too clunky to be a smooth experience. That said, we reckon most users would prefer to read (or listen) on a handheld device, so the online interface shouldn’t really be too much of an issue.

Scribd magazine interface on iPad

(Image credit: Scribd)

The one drawback that could be a deal breaker for some potential subscribers is the lack of ereader support. If you already own a Kindle, then Amazon’s ebook/audiobook subscription service will be a lot more convenient for you. It’s a similar case with Kobo users – where Kobo Plus is available, that would seem like a better option. 

However, as I’ve mentioned earlier, Onyx Boox ereaders with access to the Google Play Store will be able to open the Android version of the Everand app so you can read (or listen) on an ereader. Scribd Inc will probably have to go through licensing red tape to partner with some of the best ereader brands out there, but if that can be wrangled, then Everand might have a fighting chance to compete with Kindle Unlimited in terms of popularity.

Should I subscribe to Scribd with Everand?

The Everand ebook and audiobook subscription service sign-up page

(Image credit: Scribd Inc)

Whether you should subscribe to Everand (or Scribd and SlideShare) is not an easy question to answer. If you’re an avid reader and don’t already subscribe to an ebook/audiobook subscription service, then Everand might be worth considering, particularly if you primarily do your digital reading on a phone or tablet. Considering you get access to a very diverse range of content types could just make that subscription price worth it.

In fact, it’s great for audiobook lovers who don’t already have an Audible subscription (which is cheaper in some markets but more expensive in others), considering there’s more audio titles than ebooks. 

Having access to magazines and podcasts on the same platform is great too, but Readly has a better magazine collection (if that is your area of interest), and the podcasts can be found on other platforms for free, so it’s up to you to decide if they add value to your subscription cost.

If ebooks and audiobooks are your main goals, then at the time of writing, Kindle Unlimited has an extensive library of ebooks and offers you the convenience of reading on a Kindle device or on the Kindle app. You’ll also need to remember Everand won’t get new releases on its platform on day one.

Unlike any other subscription service of this kind, however, your Everand membership gets you some exclusive content in the form of the Scribd Originals, but there aren’t too many of these, but it’s possible this might grow. And if you take into account both ebooks and audiobooks, then the Everand library is arguably the best, but only if you enjoy both reading and listening to stories.

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[First reviewed February 2022]

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2021) review
2:38 pm | February 1, 2022

Author: admin | Category: Computers eReaders Gadgets Tablets | Comments: Off

Editor's Note

• Original review date: February 2022
Newer 16GB version available as of 2022
• Launch price: $129 / £129 / AU$199
• Official price for 2022 model: $149 / £149
/ AU$269

Updated: January 2024. Despite being somewhat aged in Kindle terms, the 2021 Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is still a fine ereader. It has got a great display, has USB-C connectivity and makes for a very good digital reading experience. There's now a 16GB version, introduced in 2022, which offers a sweet spot of price vs space. And while you can score good deals on Kindles during sales events like Black Friday and Amazon Prime Day, even at full price the Kindle Paperwhite is well worth your consideration. The rest of this review remains as previously published.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: Two-minute review

The Kindle Paperwhite remains the best ereader for those who are looking for a simple gadget that lets you read for hours on end. It isn’t the top of Amazon’s range and the new Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition means some features aren’t included here.

Instead, the Kindle Paperwhite is built for those who want a comfortable reading experience with top-end tech but don’t need the extra features of an all-metal design or wireless charging.

The design of the Kindle Paperwhite is largely unchanged from what we’ve seen before. There’s still a clear 6.8-inch E Ink display with 300 pixels per inch resolution at the core of the device that makes for enjoyable reading.

Its plastic rear isn’t a premium touch, but it’s easy to grip and the lightweight design means you can read this device without cramping your wrist. 

Battery life remains strong on the Kindle Paperwhite with it lasting for around five weeks from a single charge. It’s not as long-lasting if you’re reading for long periods, but it’s still enough for most people’s library habits.

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2021

(Image credit: TechRadar)

A big upgrade is the introduction of a USB-C port for the first time. Amazon stubbornly stuck to the micro USB method for recharging its readers in recent years, but now you can use the more modern charging standard on this device.

That isn’t a reason to upgrade your recent Kindle, but it is a useful quality of life improvement that makes for a more well-rounded product.

If you own a Kindle Paperwhite from 2018 onward, you’re unlikely to see a big improvement on this device. If you’ve never owned an ereader, you want to upgrade from the standard Kindle, or you have an aging Paperwhite, this is the ereader to get right now.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite review: Price and release date

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2021

(Image credit: TechRadar)

This edition of the Kindle Paperwhite was launched in September 2021, and it went on sale soon after. It was unveiled alongside two new editions: the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition and the Kindle Paperwhite for Kids.

This standard Paperwhite version is available directly from Amazon and a variety of other retailers. Its launch price was $129.99 / £129.99 / AU$199.99 (around £100 / AU$190) with ads included or $139.99 / £139.99 (about AU$260) without ads. 

That’s the price for an 8GB model, which should be enough storage for hundreds of ebooks and some audiobooks too.

That Signature Edition comes with some premium features, including 32GB of storage, an auto-adjusting front light and support for wireless charging. This is a new addition to this series of Kindles, and it costs far more at $189.99 / £179.99 / AU$289.

(Update – September 20, 2022: Amazon quietly added a 16GB configuration of the standard Paperwhite, priced at $149.99 / £149.99 / AU$259)

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite review: Design and display

The form factor and design of previous Kindles is relatively unchanged on this new model, but it’s a look that didn’t need changing.

The defining feature is its 6.8-inch display which means the device has a footprint similar to the average paperback book. It’s easy to hold as it only weighs 205 grams, which is just a touch more than the average smartphone.

That’s particularly helpful if you’re reading a hefty tome as it makes for a more comfortable reading experience.

Its overall dimensions are 174.2 x 124.6 x 8.1 mm. The rear of the device is a plastic material that doesn’t feel particularly premium but after some use you’ll find it allows for a stronger grip than the metal rear of the Kindle Oasis.

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The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2021

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The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2021

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The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2021

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The Amazon “smile” logo is emblazoned on the rear of the device, but otherwise it’s particularly limited in its design. This is only available in black, so you’ll have to buy a new case for your Kindle Paperwhite if you want a more vibrant look.

The left, top and right edges are all clear from buttons with the power button, LED light and USB-C port all sitting at the bottom edge of the device. That means you won’t accidentally hit any buttons during long reading sessions.

And this device is built for long reading sessions with bezels along the edges of the screen where you can rest your thumbs so you can grip the device without pressing on the screen to turn the page.

The screen is the most premium we’ve seen on a Kindle Paperwhite yet, with a 300 pixels per inch resolution and strong brightness levels. These are easily changed in the software, but you won’t get an auto-adjusting display.

That’s one of the biggest draws of the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition, which makes that process much smoother. For example, if you’re reading outside but then you next open up your book when reading in bed the Signature Edition will realize you’re in a darker location and dim the screen.

The borders around the side of the display sit flush with the screen, which is something the company’s standard Kindle model doesn’t have. If you’re looking to upgrade from that device, you’ll notice this as a big difference.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite review: Reading

The Kindle Paperwhite offers a very comfortable reading experience with a clear display that is easy to look at for hours at a time. 

The E Ink technology means the screen is easier on the eyes for long periods than the one on your smartphone or TV.

You can easily edit the display options to find your optimum reading experience. For example, you can change the font style, the font size, the brightness of the screen, the dark mode setting, and much more.

Other features include a dictionary, so you can quickly look up words that you haven’t come across before, and Whispersync, which means it’ll sync pages across your ereader and any other Kindle apps you have (such as on your smartphone).

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2021

(Image credit: TechRadar)

To navigate through the pages, you swipe on either side of the screen to go through to other parts of the book. This is useful, but some may miss the buttons that other ereaders provide if you prefer something more tactile.

You’re unlikely to fill the Kindle Paperwhite with ease. It comes with 8GB of space, but ebooks generally take up around 1MB of space each. Amazon claims this device will hold 1000s of books, and it’s right about that.

You can upload audiobooks (through Audible) onto the Kindle Paperwhite so you can listen to them through Bluetooth headphones. That will start to take up a lot more space though. If you’re worried about that you’ll want to opt for the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition as it comes with 32GB of space as standard.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite review: Battery life

Amazon claims the Kindle Paperwhite will last for 10 weeks from a single charge, and we got similar results in our testing. If you’re reading every day, you may find the battery will run out quicker but it still lasts a long time.

Extra battery is a helpful element with an ereader as it allows you to have this in your bag without worrying about whether it has enough charge. It’s much more pick-up-and-go than your phone or a traditional tablet.

It’s charged with a USB-C cable (which is provided in the box) and this is the first time we’ve seen a Kindle move away from micro USB. That’s a big deal as it means most people can use their modern smartphone charger to recharge the ereader.

If you own an iPhone, it’ll mean you have to have a different charge for your Kindle but it’s still a much more common standard than micro USB that we’ve seen on previous ereaders.

The Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition has wireless charging built-in, which is unlikely to be a must-have for your Kindle but you may want to spend more on your ereader if you want that.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite review: Software

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The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2021

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The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2021

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The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2021

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Amazon’s Kindle platform has become more mature in recent years, and it’s some of the best software you’ll find in an ereader. In addition, you’ll find a huge selection of books on the brand’s bustling estore to download directly to your Kindle.

If you buy books directly from the store they’ll appear on your ereader within a matter of seconds (if you’re on a solid internet connection).

Navigating around the Kindle Paperwhite is smooth for an ereader, and it’s always easy to find the different options you’re looking for.

Simply press on books in your library to download them, and then press on the right-hand side of the screen to cycle through the pages. If you want to go back, you’ll press on the right.

As with most ereaders, this can be slow but Amazon claims it’s 20% faster than previous editions. It isn’t noticeably faster on this edition, but it does feel smooth and it’s unlikely to be something you find frustrating.

Should I buy the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2021?

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2021

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Buy it if… 

Don’t buy it if… 

First published: February 2022

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition (2021) review
10:30 pm | November 19, 2021

Author: admin | Category: Computers eReaders Gadgets Tablets | Comments: Off

Editor's Note

• Original review date: November 2021
No refresh on the horizon
• Launch price: $189 / £179 / AU$289
• Official price now: $189 / £179
/ AU$299

Updated: January 2024. The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition still fills the gab between the standard Paperwhite and the ageing Kindle Oasis. And it remains one of the ereaders to get if your an audiobook fan thanks to its 32GB of onboard storage as standard. If you can do without the extra space then you can save a bit by going for the standard Kindle Paperwhite. Overall the prices have remains broadly the same as they were at launch outside of sales events like Black Friday, only the price appears to have increased a bit in Australia.  For 2024, the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition is still an ereader worth considering, but do think about whether you really need its few extra features over cheaper Kindle models. The rest of this review remains as previously published.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition 2021: Two-minute review

Among Amazon’s current ereaders, the new Kindle Paperwhite (2021) is a middle-of-the-road model that has everything you need to read – but the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition has just a little bit more. 

The Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition is essentially a rebranded version of the previous Paperwhite’s higher-storage configuration, with those aforementioned extras (wireless charging and an auto-sensing screen dimmer). We don’t feel the bonus perks justify the Signature Edition’s significantly higher price, but if someone did want to pay for more features, this is the model to choose.

The Signature Edition has the same design as the standard Kindle Paperwhite 2021, which is the first upgrade on the ereader since 2018. Both versions have some obvious improvements from the 2018 ereader, like smaller bezels around the screen and a bigger 6.8-inch display (up from six inches on their predecessor).  

While the 2021 ereader doesn’t have a drastically different visual design than its predecessor, keeping the E Ink front display and plastic back, Amazon claims the screen is 10% brighter at maximum brightness than the 2018 model, though it keeps the same 300 pixels per inch density.

Kindle fans will cheer the addition of some long overdue Paperwhite upgrades including the swap out of the micro-USB for a USB-C charging port. The battery life has also increased to 10 weeks, per Amazon’s claims, which is significantly longer than the six weeks we got with the 2018 Paperwhite.

The Kindle Paperwhite 2021 still starts at 8GB of storage, which is enough space for plenty of books and some additional media. If you want the larger 32GB option, go with the Signature Edition.

The Signature Edition is an improvement for an ereader slightly more affordable than the luxe Kindle Oasis, especially with the wireless charging – a feature even the pricier model lacks.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition 2021 review: Price and release date

Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition

(Image credit: Future)

The Kindle Paperwhite 2021 remains Amazon’s mid-entry ereader, between the basic Kindle and the Kindle Oasis, and the Signature Edition is a pricier version that costs $189 (around £139 / AU$250). For that price, you get a higher internal storage (32GB) and some premium features like wireless charging and auto-adjusting brightness.

Given the extra features, it makes sense that the new Signature Edition got a price bump from the 32GB version of the 2018 Kindle Paperwhite, which retailed for $159 / £149 / AU$249. It still costs more than the standard Kindle Paperwhite 2021 with 8GB of storage, which has a price tag of $139 (around £100 / AU$190), but if you want more space for books and a bigger display for reading them, the Signature Edition is right for you.

Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition

(Image credit: Future)

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition 2021 review: Design and display

The new Kindle Paperwhite 2021 hasn’t changed much from its predecessor in terms of looks, as it’s still an E Ink front screen and plastic black. It’s still a flat slate with no buttons, so you’ll have to swipe and tap to navigate around the display. This is fine for those with the patience to withstand the slow transitions when turning a page, but it can be annoying for faster readers trying to get through a real page-turner.

If you want buttons, you’ll want to opt for the Kindle Oasis, a more expensive model than the Signature Edition. But you should know that the Oasis hasn’t been updated since 2019, so the new Signature Edition has upgrades that its more expensive sibling lacks (the aforementioned wireless charging and an auto-dimmer).

New in the 2021 Paperwhites is a USB-C port at the bottom, which replaced the aging micro USB. Next to the port is the power button, which really only gets in the way if you’re standing the ereader up (say, for some product photos), so you’re unlikely to accidentally bump it and power off your device.

Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition

(Image credit: Future)

As previously mentioned, the new Kindle Paperwhite 2021 has a 6.8-inch E Ink display, which is noticeably larger than the 6-inch screen on the 2018 Paperwhite. But don’t expect the 2021 display to be any sharper since it still has the same 300 pixels per inch density.

Still, text is displayed clearly on the ereader. The Paperwhite’s  front light allows users to read in the dark without harsh blue light. The ereader also features an adjustable warm light and a white-on-black dark mode to ease eye strain for those reading in dim surroundings.

The Paperwhite has an IPX8 waterproof rating (but no dust resistance), which means it can be submerged up to two meters for an hour – enough to save it from accidental spills or dips into the pool, but don’t leave it in water for too long. 

Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition

(Image credit: Future)

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition 2021 review: Reading

Like most ereaders, the Kindle Paperwhite 2021 has a non-glossy E Ink display that looks like paper. This means reading on a Kindle is easier on the eyes than reading books or viewing media on the LCD or OLED displays on tablets. The Paperwhite is also easy to hold, and pretty light at 205g (the Signature Edition is only slightly heavier at 208g). These Paperwhites are only a bit heavier than most smartphones.

The Paperwhite 2021 has Amazon’s Kindle operating system and interface, with simplified swipe navigation and an animation when turning pages. Unlike other ereaders that have buttons for getting around, you’ll only be able to swipe when navigating the Paperwhite. 

Being restricted to swiping can be annoying if you’re used to different ereader interfaces. Even the smartphone Kindle app has different touch controls: tap on the center of the screen and you’ll bring up menu and navigation bars when reading on a phone. With the Signature Edition, you’ll need to tap the top of the display.

Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition

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The Paperwhite also features Amazon’s assortment of reading tools: you can look up word definitions, sync pages between Kindle devices and apps via the Whispersync feature, and keep track of characters and terms with X-Ray. Note that these features are only available for ereader formats, though there are limited format, sizing, and font choices for other file formats like PDFs.

The Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition packs 32GB of storage, but with the OS and other core data taking up space, you’ll have about 27GB for storing media. Still, books usually only take up around 1MB apiece, so you can conceivably store tens of thousands of works without any issues. We downloaded our entire Kindle library and didn’t even use up a single gigabyte (full disclosure,  we don’t have a lot of large-file formats like audiobooks or graphic novels).

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition 2021 review: Battery life

Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition

(Image credit: Future)

Amazon claims that the Kindle Paperwhite lasts up to 10 weeks on a full charge. Whether that holds true for you will depend on various factors. In our experience, we were able to drain 4% in a 24-hour period by keeping the display at maximum brightness while we casually read. Under those conditions, the battery wouldn’t last longer than about 3.5 weeks without a charge. The battery range can also fluctuate depending on other factors, including the length of reading sessions.

Suffice it to say that it’s tough to fully verify Amazon’s claims, but using energy-saving methods like keeping brightness down and keeping the Power Saver mode switched on (on by default) will definitely help the battery to last longer.

The ereader includes a USB-C cable in the box, but not a wall charger – you’ll have to supply that yourself. The maximum charge speed of 9W isn’t that fast compared to other devices, but it might not be necessary to have a faster one since you can fully charge the device in about 2.5 hours, according to Amazon estimates.

Exclusive to the Signature Edition is wireless charging, which is compatible with any Qi charger, but it can be finicky to get working. We were able to charge our device on a pad sometimes, but at other times we couldn’t get it in the right position to allow the wireless charger to do it’s thing.

Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition

(Image credit: Future)

Should you buy the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition?

Buy it if…

You want a sleeker ereader with less bezel

The Paperwhite 2021 design is a step up from the 2018 model, with thinner bezels and a larger 6.8-inch display. The new model looks a bit sharper, too.

You want more storage space on your ereader

While you could surely store a ton of books in the 8GB standard Kindle Paperwhite 2021, the Signature Edition’s 32GB storage ensures enough space for plenty of audiobooks and graphic novels, too.

You want more premium ereader perks at a (relatively) lower price

The Signature Edition has several perks like USB-C, wireless charging, and an auto-adjusting display that not even the more expensive Kindle Oasis has, making this a more enticing option (if you don’t need button navigation).

Don’t buy it if…

You want to read comics (or anything in color) on your ereader

E-Ink screens like on the Signature Edition are monochrome, which is great for battery life but not for media that deserves to be seen in color, like comic books. If you like colorful graphic novels and vivid comic books, opt for a traditional tablet like the Amazon Fire HD 8 or even a cheap iPad.

You want a more premium-feeling ereader

The Signature Edition has smaller bezels, but still the same plastic case and back. If you want a more premium ereader, pick up the pricier Kindle Oasis (which has a more refined metal frame). 

You want an ereader that’s easier to hold in one hand

The Signature Edition has a symmetric design that looks nice, but can be tough to use one-handed. If you like reading on the go or while you cook, opt for the Kindle Oasis or the Kobo Libra H20, both of which have asymmetric layouts conducive to holding with one hand.

First reviewed: November 2021

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