Onyx Boox Tab Ultra C Color E Ink Tablet Review

Onyx Boox Tab Ultra C Color E Ink Tablet Review

The Boox Tab Ultra C: A Color E Ink Tablet That Transforms Reading and Productivity

Are you an E Ink enthusiast eagerly awaiting the arrival of a color E Ink tablet? Well, the wait is finally over! Introducing the Onyx Boox Tab Ultra C, a 10.3-inch color E Ink tablet that comes with an included stylus. While the $600 price tag may seem steep, this device is worth every penny for comic, manga, and graphic novel lovers, as well as anyone looking for a productive device that goes beyond games and videos.

The Boox Tab Ultra C features E Ink’s newest Kaleido 3 color screen, which uses an RGB filter array over a black-and-white paper film, resulting in over 4,000 different colors. Despite the addition of color, the tablet is primarily designed for reading, writing, and note-taking in a low-distraction environment. While it does offer the ability to play games, surf the web, and watch movies, that’s not its main focus.

What sets the Tab Ultra C apart from traditional tablets is its use of E Ink technology. Unlike backlit tablet screens, the Tab Ultra C utilizes adjustable warm and cool LED front lights, providing a reading experience that is easy on the eyes and perfect for nighttime reading. It’s important to note that this device is not intended to be used like a traditional tablet and should be approached with that in mind.

In terms of design and display, the Boox Tab Ultra C shares many similarities with its colorless sibling, the Boox Tab Ultra. Both versions feature a sleek metallic design, giving them a premium feel. Powered by a speedy Qualcomm octa-core processor, along with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, both models offer excellent performance. With battery life measured in weeks rather than days, you won’t have to worry about constantly recharging. Additionally, the Tab Ultra C comes with a 16-megapixel rear camera, a fingerprint sensor, and runs on the Android 11 operating system with full access to the Google Play store.

Now let’s talk about the star of the show: the color E Ink display. The Tab Ultra C offers color at 150 pixels per inch and black-and-white text at 300 ppi, pushing the boundaries of the entire E Ink tablet category. While the colors may not be as vibrant as those on a phone or traditional tablet, they have a muted, print-like quality, similar to color pictures in a newspaper. This unique display excels at bringing books, comics, and documents with still images to life. In fact, the Tab Ultra C may just be the best digital device for graphic novels and comics ever created.

As someone who finds it challenging to read comics on traditional screens, the Tab Ultra C was a revelation. I delved into Neil Gaiman’s Sandman graphic novels and was captivated by the colors that appeared as if they were printed directly onto the page. The 10.3-inch screen size perfectly showcased the entire page without the need for cropping, scanning, or zooming. However, it’s worth noting that I had to adjust the E Ink settings to manage screen flickering and ghosting, common issues with all E Ink devices. Boox makes it easy to access these settings, and after finding the optimal configuration, I experienced smooth page-turning with minimal ghosting.

While the Tab Ultra C allows you to watch videos, it’s not the device’s primary strength. On the Ultra-Fast E Ink setting, videos display with some ghosting and pixelation. However, having the option to watch quick YouTube videos while studying or referencing notes is undoubtedly useful, even if the video quality may not be on par with LCD screens.

When it comes to apps and software, the Boox Tab Ultra C truly shines. The built-in reading app offers a plethora of customization options, allowing you to fine-tune your reading experience. From adjusting font size to enhancing sharpness and even dark-color enhancements, the possibilities are extensive. Additionally, the Tab Ultra C’s software, based on Android 11, includes features that turn the device into a productivity powerhouse. You can view two different documents simultaneously, take handwritten notes on one document while reading another, and easily export your notes to popular cloud storage services like Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, or OneDrive. Boox’s own syncing service, which comes with 10GB of free storage, offers further convenience.

The native note-taking app on the Tab Ultra C is nothing short of impressive. With over 30 templates and a wide range of features, including adding shapes, layers, links, and even audio recording, it rivals the note-taking options found on the ReMarkable 2 E Ink tablet. The included pen, with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, charges wirelessly when magnetically attached to the tablet. While the screen doesn’t provide a pen-on-paper feel, the lack of lag between handwriting and ink on the page makes it a useful tool for detailed note-taking.

While third-party apps may not fully utilize the Tab Ultra C’s pen, having access to all your reading apps in one place is a significant advantage. You can enjoy your Kindle content through the Kindle app, read library books on Libby, and explore the latest comics on Marvel Unlimited. No other E Ink tablet offers such a wide range of reading options, especially with color.

In conclusion, the Boox Tab Ultra C represents the epitome of E Ink technology. It combines impressive features with a display that transforms the device into a versatile tablet. While there is room for improvement, especially in terms of integration with third-party software and the brightness/vividness of the color display, the Tab Ultra C stands as one of the most useful E Ink tablets available today. For those seeking a device that excels in PDFs, books, comics, and note-taking, the Tab Ultra C is an easy recommendation. Although it is on the pricier end, it delivers a reading and productivity experience that is unparalleled in the E Ink tablet market.