The Note Air 2 Plus is an e-ink Android tablet that appeals to artists | Tech Reddy

The Note Air 2 Plus is an e-ink Android tablet that appeals to artists

 | Tech Reddy


Onyx Boox Nova Air II tablet

Rebecca Isaacs/ZDNET

My quest for the perfect writing tablet brought me here Onyx Boox Note Air 2 Plus e-ink tablet. Unlike people’s favorites, outstanding 2 and new Kindle Scribe, the Onyx promises an e-ink Android experience — an unusual combination for such a device. After trying it for about a month, I was both amazed and confused.

Design and first impressions

The Note Air 2 Plus features a lightweight, durable 10.3-inch e-ink screen with the adjustable Moon Light 2 that I use every day. The color temperature changing light is essential to the e-ink tablet experience, as it makes the device much easier and more comfortable to read, especially on my red-eye flight when I need to get work done. While traveling, I found myself reaching for the Note Air II Plus over my current daily driver outstanding 2, only for the ability to work using a warm backlight. I used the tablet for four hours on my last flight and drained about 25% of the battery, which I was generally satisfied with.

However, two minor annoyances immediately caught my attention: firstly, the pen, while light and comfortable to hold, did not come with an eraser. Originally, Onyx Boox offered the Pen 2 Pro, an improved version of the pen that offered an eraser for an additional $79. However, in recent days the pen has been virtually impossible to find online except through second-hand sellers, effectively putting an end to the tool I paid extra for. With the accompanying pen, I could use the eraser function just by tapping a special software switch in the notepad app.

Second, the pen nibs also require replacement when sharpened, but none of them are supplied with the original box. Remember this is a tablet It costs 499 dollarsand such as expensive devices outstanding 2 The writing tablet offers optional nib replacement.

More: Kindle Scribe vs. reMarkable 2 tablet

Onyx Boox Nova Air II tablet

All my apps run on Android 11 and are neatly organized alphabetically.

Rebecca Isaacs/ZDNET

The roof of two worlds

The Note Air 2 Plus is powered by Android, so I was able to load most of my common apps like Gmail, Duolingo, and even Kindle. The all-in-one system is generally very useful, especially during my commute; instead of switching devices like mine Kindle the and reMarkable 2 tabletsI could just take the Onyx Boox with me and work on the go.

Accessing apps is one thing. Whether the apps work adequately is another matter. For example, when connected to the built-in Wi-Fi network, I can pull up the Duolingo app and learn Danish, but the app runs much slower than it does on my phone. Google Pixel 6 Pro.

More: Best Writing Tablets

I also don’t recommend using it to compose emails. The processor, an 8-core, 2GHz, and 4GB of RAM, couldn’t handle my text input as quickly, and the manual texting feature had even longer latency. However, having the ability to use these apps with an e-ink tablet outweighs the short-hand functionality for me, especially since the competition offers so few app types.

Onyx Boox Nova Air II tablet

The tablet is powered by a USB-C port on the left side of the tablet — to the right of the power button.

Rebecca Isaacs/ZDNET

Made for artists

The Note Air 2 Plus’ real claim to fame is its technical and artistic performance. I’ll admit, I wish I had better artistic talents to take advantage of the tablet’s capabilities. For example, a notepad app lets you choose from many templates and build layers to keep your work going. Its sidebar has the ability to draw shapes, lines, and more, as well as brush strokes, pens, and a highly customizable thickness and color scheme. If I were a designer or, say, an architect, I could see the deeply rooted experience of the Note Air 2 Plus fully realized.

From $499It’s an expensive tablet, but for designers and artists, it would be worth the investment. Students may want to look elsewhere, including reMarkable 2 tabletthe Rocketbook notebookand upcoming Kindle Scribe. Other options can be found in our top picks for digital notebooks.


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