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Onyx Boox Nova Air

Onyx Boox Nova Air 2021 | VickyTechy Honest Review

Reading Time: 6 minutes

What is the purpose of the 7.8-inch Onyx Boox Nova Air? Even the most expensive Kindles, such as the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, don’t accomplish much. You study them by reading books. The last chapter has concluded.

While Kindle and its competitor Kobo are clearly among the greatest readers, bookshops are the primary focus of both devices. That is not the case with the Onyx Boox Nova Air 7.8-inch. However, it provides access to a small number of public domain works in an online library.

For US$349.99 on Amazon, you can get the Onyx Boox Nova Air.

Aside from supporting many more ebook file types than the Kindle does (such as EPUB and PRC), it’s also a multimedia player. The Nova Air isn’t only a reading device.

An E Ink tablet with a focus on writing. The Onyx Boox Nova Air is a monochromatic gadget that focuses on improving and enhancing the E Ink experience rather than forging new ground, despite its resemblance to the enormous Nova 3 Color.

With a weight of only 235g and a dimension of 194 x 136.5 x 6.3mm, it is easier to handle in one hand and travels with than the Nova 3. A POGO pin in its spine is also compatible with a cover case with page flip buttons. When used naked, the Nova Air is entirely about the user’s motions, not simulated page-turns.

An on/off switch sits atop its patchy magnesium alloy chassis, the single hard button. It has a USB-C port to recharge its built-in 2,000 mAh battery, a microphone, and two tiny speakers on the underside.

A new WACOM stylus is Nova Air’s most significant hardware advancement. The Nova Air’s 1872 x 1404, 300 PPI E Ink Carta Plus screen is excellent for writing, thanks to its ridged design and protruding nib.

Nova Air’s front light system and protective glass layer create a slight gap between the ‘paper’ and the ink, but it’s still super-quick to receive characters and has lots of contrast and detail.

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Aside from some minor tweaks, the Nova Air looks and functions like a new sort of hybrid electronic-ink device, with access to Google Play Store applications like Dropbox and e-reader apps such as Kindle, Kobo, Nook and Libby, as well as an Android ten operating system.

When it comes to annotating PDFs and papers, the Nova Air isn’t quite big enough. Still, if you want to read ebooks, transfer them to a tablet without any hassle, and take beautiful digital notes, the Nova Air has just made an e-ink tablet selection a lot simpler.

Standard Sleeve ($39.99 / £29 / AU$53) and Magnetic Case ($59.99 / £43/ AU$80) are included in the package, as well as the WACOM magnetic stylus. Both may be purchased on their own.

The 194 x 136.5 x 6.3mm Nova Air weighs only 235g and is 6.3mm thick. Despite its unique spot-patterned back, this magnesium alloy product can be held in one hand with ease, thanks to a few innovative casings.

As a starting point, you may choose between the Standard Sleeve slip or the WACOM Stylus Slip. There is a magnet on the stylus that can be attached to the side of the Nova Air, but it’s not a super-strong magnet. It has a propensity to slip off throughout our evaluation.

The second option is a new Magnetic Case that has page-turn buttons built into it. The new POGO pin connection on the Nova Air’s spine is the reason it works. If you don’t like virtual page-turns on such gadgets, you’ll adore Nova Air’s touch gestures.

Besides the on/off switch on the top and the USB-C port on the bottom, it’s a device virtually devoid of physical buttons. There is also a built-in text-to-speech option for all ebooks in the latter category.


The Nova Air has a 7.8-inch E Ink Carta Plus display with a resolution of 1872 x 1404. In other words, the collection has a pixel density of 300 pixels per inch. We found it to be razor-sharp in our testing.

Our studies showed that the screen was very paper-like when it came to writing and reading. Anti-glare coating on Asahi protective glass is available for the latter, making it possible to see and write in direct sunshine without any negative consequences.

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If you’re a fan of writing on paper, you may be surprised to learn that writing on Nova Air’s “paper” raises the pen slightly above the surface, but it didn’t appear like it made any difference in our writing tests.

Even in low light, the MoonLight 2 front light system adjusts to illuminate the page as needed. At home on a cold winter day or in a dimly lit cabin on an aeroplane, that’s where it’s most likely to happen. With the brightness set low, it’s enjoyable to use, but the flicker-free nature of the device makes it much more so.

Because Moon Light 2 is activated by an ambient light sensor, it doesn’t adjust its brightness based on light levels.

Nova Air’s E Ink reading experience is pleasant and user-configurable at the same time. The margins, text, crop, rotation, contrast, and sharpness may all be customised. Even a watermark in the backdrop of an ebook or paper might be bleached off.

It’s always a matter of personal preference for E Ink screen reading experiences, and the Nova Air does not disappoint.

A2 Mode has a quick refresh but no ghosting, whereas Normal Mode has a mild refresh but no ghosting (refresh rates so fast that you can even watch ghosting-heavy videos on YouTube). A new function called ‘Snow Field’ has been added to the Nova Air, which does a partial page refresh to clear up the page without requiring a complete refresh.

The Notes app has a variety of writing and sketching tools and an excellent handwriting recognition capability.

Compared to prior Onyx goods, the somewhat chubbier WACOM stylus supplied in the package is a substantial physical upgrade. It’s ridged and 9.5mm broad, making it easier to grasp, and it has a tremendous pointed nib with 4,096 degrees of pressure recognition (but there are five more nibs included in the package that can be replaced out).

Digital note-taking has never been more precise, slick, and engaging than with the display’s palm-rejection technology.

Aside from the fact that the Nova Air is an open-source device that supports just about every file type you can think of, it runs on an Android ten operating system. This means that Nova Air can play all of your favourite music and podcasts. Do not anticipate a smartphone experience but rather a basic operating system that incorporates components of Android 10.

The caveat is that you must first activate Google Play (Settings > Applications > Enable Google Play) before you can use it. You may also log in to Evernote, Dropbox, and OneNote from a single account if you need to.

The native OS is divided into six areas: Library, Store, Notes, Storage, Apps, and Settings. Books and papers may be downloaded through the Onyx Store (a collection of public-domain classics), other ebook applications, or via a QR-code-powered simple file exchange from a smartphone or tablet to feed the Library’s collection books and documents.

It’s like Airdrop, and it’s convenient. The Boox App Store may be accessed through a link in the Notes section, which has a highly accurate scribbles-to-text OCR feature.

Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Nook, Libby, Hoopla and Google Play Books are just a few of the many reading-focused applications that can be found in the app store. In addition to Flipboard and Pocket, you’ll discover a few browser applications that allow you to store content for later (but not Instapaper).

Amazon’s Audible, Audiobooks.com, and LibriVox all provide audiobook applications. The Nova Air has no headphone jack, so you’ll need a USB-C converter to connect wired headphones through Bluetooth.

Google Chrome and the built-in NeoBrowser browser are two of the most crucial apps since they allow you to view any website through Wi-Fi, including the likes of BBC News, Guardian, New York Times, and The Economist.

However, there are a few caveats: using the stylus is considerably more fluid inside the built-in Notes app than it is in any of the other note-taking apps (such as Evernote, One Note, Microsoft Word, Google Drive, and Write Plus). Our assessment of the Nova Air through the Writer app found that utilising a wireless keyboard worked rather well.

If you’re willing to put up with some minor issues with a straightforward operating system and the Nova Air’s eight cores and 3GB of RAM, it is a fantastic gadget.

The lengthy battery life of readers is one of their greatest virtues, and the Nova Air is no exception. On the underside of the Nova Air, there’s a USB-C port for charging the 2,000mAh lithium-polymer battery. Included in the package is a 100cm USB-C to USB-A cable.

The battery lasts around two weeks, although the actual time depends on the refresh rate you select and how frequently you turn on Wi-Fi. In most cases, you won’t need to recharge if you intend to pack a few books and go on a vacation with them.

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