First look at the Onyx Boox Nova Air 2 Plus


The Onyx Boox Note Air 2 Plus is an incremental upgrade to the previous generation model released last year. It has the same hardware and software, the only big difference is a bigger battery and has a small magnet, which provides support for the stylus attaching to the electronic note and also magnetic sleep cover cases. It is also available in a new body color, forest green. You can buy it from the Good e-Reader store for $499 and it comes with a free case and stylus.

The Onyx Boox Note Air 2 Plus features a 10.3-inch E INK Carta HD display with a flat lens. The resolution is 1872×1404 with 227 PPI and can easily read A5 documents. It has 32 white and amber LED lights that are positioned along the bezel and cast light evenly across the screen. This gives users the option of just using the front-lit display or mixing it with the color temperature system. The original Note Air 2 was blue and black, this one has a different color scheme; green and black, which really stands out in the crowd. The Air 2 Plus is made of durable aluminum and the sides of the bezel are black. There is a thoughtful industrial design to this model, the band of green makes it look like the spine of a book, this is similar to the visual aesthetic of the Remarkable 2.

What exactly is A5 and how does it apply to the 10.3 inch screen? A sheet of A5 paper measures 148 × 210 mm or 5.8 × 8.3 inches. Cutting it in half will create two sheets of A6 paper. A sheet of A5 paper fits in a C5 envelope. When folded in half, it fits in a C6 envelope. A5 is part of the A series and is defined by the ISO 216 international paper size standard. This size is ideal for books, brochures, magazines, calendars, photo books or letters.

Under the hood is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 octa-core processor and 4GB of DDR4X RAM and 64GB of internal storage. It has speakers, which is great for listening to audiobooks, podcasts, or music. There’s no 3.5mm headphone jack or SD card. However, you can use a pair of wireless headphones or an external speaker to listen to audio content, thanks to Bluetooth 5.0. Charging and data transfer are done via the USB-C port. It also has a g-sensor, so it will reverse the orientation 360 degrees, but just title the screen. It’s ideal for people who like to work in landscape mode and Onyx offers a series of software improvements, such as viewing documents side by side or running 2 applications at the same time.

On the software side, it runs Google Android 11 and has full access to the Google Play Store. The Play Store is not installed by default, but you have to go through a process, and sometimes it takes a few days for everything to work. Onyx runs a custom kernel called Boox OS, which offers a ton of benefits and software improvements. They recently improved the Neoreader e-book reading software. The document layout engine now better supports faster page turns for uploaded EPUB/TXT/DOC/DOCX files. They have also introduced a new feature called Boox Drop, which makes it easy to transfer ebooks and notes from the device to your PC and from your PC to your Boox device.

Drawing is really where the Note Air 2 Plus shines and it all starts with the note-taking app. It has two main UI bars, one on the side and one on the top. The top bar is where you’ll make adjustments to the type of writing utensil you want to use. Options include: brush, pencil, pen, ballpoint pen and highlighter. Each has 16 different shades, including very dark and very light. Although this is not a color e-note, it does contain red, green, and blue, which are only visible in color when the note is exported to PNG or PDF. You can create multiple pen patterns on the UI and quickly switch between them. For example, you can have a pen, with black lines and create a pencil with light lines, and just click between them, you can create 5 in total. Whichever writing tool you’re going to select, the Boox Pen Plus has a pressure sensitivity of 4,096 degrees, which is pretty standard. The harder you press, the thicker the lines become. It’s a great tool not only for the average user, but also for graphic designers, character or environmental artists.

I think this device makes a lot of sense to buy if you’re looking to upgrade to a really good e-note with full access to Google Play and world-class support. If you’re running from another brand that’s a few years old, Onyx is one of the best in the business. If you are an older Onyx product, such as the Max 3 or similar, you will notice improvement day and night.


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