Onyx Boox Note vs Sony DPT-CP1 Comparison Review (Video)

Onyx Boox Note vs Sony CP1

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 Review

Sony DPT-CP1 Review

Sony DPT-RP1 Review

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
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • Speaker, microphone
  • USB-C
  • 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)
  • NFC
  • 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

Sony DPT-CP1 vs Boox Note Video Review

23 Responses to “Onyx Boox Note vs Sony DPT-CP1 Comparison Review (Video)”

  1. please can you tell us who’s contrast is better

  2. you must be out of your mind to pay $600 for a 10″ reader with the most minimal software imaginable

  3. This product is meant for the business market, not consumers. That is why it is priced the way it is, and has the feature set that it has. There is a niche business market segment that is easily willing to pay this price for this feature set.

    And yes — I agree it does not make sense for consumers, at least not now.

    One can only hope the price will go down for consumers.

    • Good point. Some people get so offended by the price but there are only a handful of ereaders like this that are priced over $500. It’s not like every single device on the planet has to be cheap and affordable. $600 really isn’t that much for someone who needs a PDF reader to use for work or school everyday. A single textbook can cost over $200 alone.

      • I can understand that feature set is aimed for special audience. But, is this enough to sustain production and upgrade of such models? Also, security aside, why there are no basic readers features (TOC, go back, dictionary…)? My impression is that, in such cases, targeted audience is just excuse for not doing job well. And in eink readers case, good screen and decent hardware is only the beginning. Without software support just hardware is not enough.

  4. I want to choose between onyx boox note and dpt rp1. My main usage is scientist papers containing graphs, formulas. Which one shall I go for? Does 10 inch display make a huge difference with 13 inch screen when reading such pdf papers?

    • It depends on how big the margins are, as with any PDF. With a proper margin-crop feature like on the Onyx Note I think a 10.3-inch screen is perfectly fine, but without that you might prefer the larger screen size, especially if you’re going to use the side-note or two-page mode in landscape orientation.

    • The Onyx allows you to easily rotate the screen 90 degrees. Since the Note is slightly taller than the RP1 is wide, the font size is comparable.

    • BTW, the Onyx will apparently only rotate the reader screen, and you must do it manually. The home screen, browser, notes, etc. cannot rotate. Overall, Onyx’s software has always been janky (and its hardware problemmatic); but the Note is OK as a pure, no-backlight reader. Neither the Onyx nor Sony is very good for reading-writing.

  5. Is there a way to add note pages in between pdf documents that we are reading, in DPT CP1?
    Like adding a note page between 2 pages of a book

    • No, there’s nothing like that.

    • The Sony devices seem meant for PDF review and markup, not so much document creation. So, you’d make major changes to a PDF (e.g., insert page, typed text) on a phone or computer and then share the updated PDF to the Sony.

    • This goes for cropping and screen orientation as well. Everything has to be formatted and edited off-device for practical use.

    • Yes, you can easily insert a page anywhere into any PDF/document on the RP1. Seems you cannot, however, rotate a document though the manual says you can. Also, menu options and page turning unavailable when cropped (zoom) and does not preserve crop/zoom as a default, let alone per document. So, when you uncrop/zoom out to change pages or documents (because cannot change documents while cropped/zoomed), you have to zoom in again after changing pages or documents.

  6. Can you give some info about how long stylus tips in RP1 and CP1 last? It is a ridiculous amount of cost again if one has to change tip every 2 weeks.

    • It’s impossible to say. There are too many variables. It’s going to vary for everyone based on how often it’s used and the amount of pressure applied. I do a lot more reading than writing and highlighting so a tip lasts quite awhile, but if you use it all the time it might only last a few weeks.

  7. Does the DPT CP1 can be used to read on one-page landscape mode?
    I’ve seen that it has a function that you can use it to read on two-page landscape mode, but what I really want is to know that if the cp1 works with only 1 page pdf because I could take advantage from that… (And I haven’t seen that feature in any review or video review…) I know that you can do it with the boox note, but I don’t like that a lot of people are saying that the screen scratches within a week of use..(even though you buy a screen protector for the screen) I would prefer to pay for a device that even though it doesn’t have as many options as the boox note but at least I can use the device for more years and the quality would be the same

    • No, there’s no rotation option with Sony’s software. For what it’s worth I think the screen issue on Onyx’s devices is bit overblown. My Note’s screen is still perfect and I didn’t use a screen protector for the first month. Even when pressing hard to test the pressure sensitivity didn’t leave a single mark. From my experience you have to press down really hard to leave marks. That being said Sony’s hardware and design is much nicer.

  8. Can the Sony crop out the margins?

  9. Would you say the 13.3 RP1 is comparable in readability of PDF’s/graphs to the 10.3 Note when margins/cropping/zooming is considered?

    And the 10.3 Note would still retain a portability/size convenience advantage, plus better software for easier readability of PDFs, ie contrast, zoom, bookmarks, etc?

  10. I bought the ONYX and it was a lemon- it stopped displaying text correctly within a few months. The company sent me a second one since it was still under warranty but it took them several weeks. The second one too stopped working after a few months and this time it was out of warranty. The cost of repair was unknown. I had to ship the thing to China at my own expense only to hear that it was not worth fixing it (cheaper to buy a new one). In sum, do not buy an ONYX. Customer service is slow and hard to reach and the artifact is of poor quality and stops working before you know it.