The Onyx Boox Note and Sony DPT-CP1 are two of the first devices to feature a 10.3-inch flexible E Ink screen, along with Remarkable (but it’s more of a notebook than an ereader).
On the surface the Boox Note and Sony CP1 appear quite similar. They both have the same screen, both have styluses for writing notes and sketches, both have quad-core processors and 2GB of RAM, and both are among the best PDF ereaders on the market.
But when it comes down to it they are very different devices.
The Sony only supports PDF format, its software is completely locked down, and its wireless features are only for transferring documents with the Sony app, which is required to use the device.
The Note on the other hand supports a wide range of formats, in addition to Android apps, and you can easily transfer documents via USB without an app, or directly through a cloud service like Dropbox.
In short, the Note’s open Android software is much more advanced than Sony’s closed Android software, and the Note can do about a hundred things the Sony CP1 cannot—from connecting Bluetooth devices, reading ebooks (including Kindle books), using text-to-speech, looking up words in the dictionary, word processing, the list goes on—but the Sony has its own unique set of advantages as well.
Sony’s design is on a different level. Both the CP1 and the larger RP1 have a high quality feel that no other devices can match. They are exceptionally lightweight and comfortable to hold, and even the stylus is much nicer than Onyx’s cheap plastic stylus.
At 334 grams the Boox Note is surprisingly light for its size, and it’s comfortable to hold one-handed, but the Sony CP1 takes another 100 grams off that weight. At just 234 grams it’s barely heavier than the 6-inch Kindle Paperwhite (the 3G model weighs 217 grams).
I also really like the matte finish on the Sony. It gives it a textured feel on the front and the back, and it helps make it feel more like writing on paper. The Onyx’s screen is a bit glossier and it has a slick feel when writing, but it has the advantage of having a pressure sensitive stylus, and the response is a bit faster.
Overall the Sony CP1 has a nicer design, tighter security, and it provides a more paper-like writing experience, but the Onyx Boox Note’s software is so much more advanced than Sony’s that it’s not a close competition, not even remotely. The Sony can only be used for two things, reading PDFs and writing notes, and it doesn’t even manage to do those things better than other devices. Sony is clearly only interested in offering a PDF replacement device for certain business professionals, whereas the Onyx Boox Note is more of an open, multipurpose device.
Is the superior design of the Sony CP1 enough to offset the fact that the software is so basic? I suppose that all depends on how you intend to use the device.
Check the main reviews for more details:
Onyx Boox Note Specs
- 10.3-inch E Ink Carta flexible display
- 1872 x 1404 resolution (227 ppi)
- Wacom touchscreen (stylus touch)
- Capacitive touchscreen (finger touch)
- 1.6GHz quad-core CPU
- 32GB internal storage
- 2GB RAM
- Bluetooth 4.1
- Speaker, microphone
- Supported files: PDF, TXT, HTML, EPUB, CHM, PDB, MOBI, FB2, DJVU, plus others
- Operating system: Android 6.0 with Google Play
- Battery: 4100 mAh
- Weight: 334 grams
- Dimensions: 249.5 mm x 177.8 mm x 6.8 mm
- Price: $549 USD at Amazon
Sony DPT-CP1 Specs
- 10.3-inch E Ink Carta display with flexible substrate
- 1404 x 1872 resolution
- Capacitive touchscreen
- Stylus pen included, with built-in rechargeable battery
- Marvell IAP140 quad-core 1.2GHz processor
- 16GB internal storage (11GB usable)
- 2GB RAM
- Dual-band Wi-Fi (for transferring files only)
- Bluetooth 4.2 (for transferring files only)
- Weight: 8.3 oz. (234 grams)
- Dimensions: 9 5/8″ x 6 7/8″ x 1/4″ (243.5 mm x 174.2 mm x 5.9 mm)
- Price: $599 at Amazon