Onyx Boox Nova Pro Review and Video Walkthrough


Onyx Boox Nova Pro Review

Review Date: April 2019 – Review unit purchased from Amazon

Overview

The Onyx Boox Nova Pro is a follow-up to the regular Onyx Boox Nova that was released a few months earlier (except they only released it in limited markets for some reason, and they still don’t sell it from their Amazon store). The only difference with the Pro version is it adds a Wacom touchscreen and comes with a stylus for notes and drawings but everything else is the same.

The Nova is basically a smaller version of the 10.3-inch Onyx Boox Note that was first released last year.

Aside from the screen difference the specs are largely the same.

With a smaller 7.8-inch screen the Nova is a more portable and less expensive version of the Note, and it has all the same capabilities as its larger sibling.

Onyx has also recently released a newer version of the 10.3-inch Note called the Onyx Boox Note Pro. It adds a frontlight like the Nova and it has double the storage space and RAM. I’ll post a review of it soon, along with a comparison with the Nova Pro.

Hardware

The Onyx Boox Nova Pro has a 7.8-inch E Ink Carta screen with 300 ppi. It also has a frontlight with cool and warm color temperatures.

It has a flush glass screen that looks nice and gives it a solid, sturdy feel. The only downside with glass screens is they degrade contrast somewhat. It’s not a big difference but the text on the Likebook Muses has a slightly clearer and darker quality to it without the glass layer.

On the plus the frontlight looks really nice and it has a wide range of brightness settings with very low levels for reading at night. Previous Onyx ereaders were too bright for me at the lowest setting but that’s not an issue on the Nova Pro, and I like being able to mix the two light colors to get a softer look without it being too orange.

The Nova Pro has a USB-C port on the bottom edge and a power button on the top right corner. There’s a back button below the screen, and if you hold it down you can turn the frontlight on and off.

The material on the back of the Nova is plastic, and it makes light creaking noises when handled. Onyx’s devices always seem to do that where the plastic rubs on something; it’s their signature. It’s not a big deal but I never notice a Kindle or Kobo creaking when I pick it up.

The battery seems to drain faster than I’m used to with the Onyx Boox Note, but it’s the original version without a frontlight. Battery life never seems quite as good with Android ereaders in general, and the Nova Pro is no exception. You can easily drain 50% of the battery with two days of heavy usage.

The Nova Pro supports audio files and text-to-speech but you have to use Bluetooth speakers or headphones because there aren’t any external speakers.

Initially I had problems with the touchscreen not always responding to touches, as noted in the Likebook Muses vs Onyx Nova Pro comparison review, but after updating to the newer 2.1 software that problem has virtually disappeared.

Software

The Nova Pro runs Android 6.0.1 and is open to install apps. It comes with a few apps pre-installed, including a basic appstore with a few reading apps and some other apps for easy access. You can also enable the Google Play store from settings, which requires a couple of extra steps to setup.

Here’s an article with a video that shows how to Activate Google Play on Onyx’s ereaders.

Just keep in mind that 99% of Android apps aren’t designed to work with E Ink screens so it’s common to encounter problems with the screen not refreshing properly and some things being hard to read.

I tried the Kindle app and it works well enough to be usable but if you primarily want to read Kindle ebooks you’re better off just getting a Kindle.

Note App

The Note app on the Nova Pro is the same app as it is on the larger Note and Max models. Onyx’s Note app works quite well and they’ve added some new features to it, like the ability to convert handwritten notes to typed text.

The conversion feature is pretty cool but it still needs some work. It doesn’t recognize line breaks so everything gets jumbled together in one big block of text, and sometimes word spacing isn’t correct.

The Wacom touchscreen works well—writing is fast and accurate. With the glass it has a slicker feel than writing on paper but you get used to it after awhile and you don’t have to worry about the glass scratching. Having used the 10.3-inch Note for the past year it does feel a bit cramped writing on the smaller 7.8-inch screen, but it has the advantage of being more easily portable.

Again, 3rd party note apps like OneNote are unlikely to work very well because they aren’t designed to work with E Ink screens and have too much lag when writing.

Note App Features List

  • Two pen types: one with pressure sensitivity, one without.
  • Five line color options: black, white, red, blue, green (the latter three only appear that color when exported).
  • 20 line thickness settings.
  • Insert straight lines, circles, triangles and squares.
  • 5 eraser sizes; you can hold a button on the stylus to erase with the tip or turn it around and use the end to erase like a pencil.
  • 3 eraser options: moving eraser, stroke erase, and erase all.
  • You can circle an area to move and resize the selection.
  • Enter typed text.
  • Convert handwritten notes to typed text.
  • Search notes (it can recognize handwritten text).
  • 16 note templates are included and you can add your own custom templates.
  • You can add multiple pages to a note and view thumbnails of all note pages.
  • Undo/redo.
  • Go fullscreen to remove menus.
  • Disable capacitive touch.
  • Export as PNG or PDF.
  • You can sync notes to Dropbox, Evernote, OneNote, and Youdao.

eBook App

Onyx’s built-in Neo Reader app is actually quite good, much better than the default app on other Android ereaders. It supports a number of formats and offers a wide range of features. They just updated it to version 3.0, which has a new look and some new features, including the option to view two pages at once in landscape mode.

Onyx’s software is especially good with PDFs and you can write directly on PDFs using the Wacom stylus. See this separate Nova Pro PDF review for more details.

The only thing I don’t like about the Neo Reader app is the font choices are poor. Most of the fonts look exactly the same despite having different names, and it’s like they just threw a bunch of random fonts together with no regard for E Ink optimization. Some are labeled serif that are clearly sans-serif and vice-versa. But at least you can easy sideload additional fonts by placing a “fonts” folder on the root directory.

One interesting observation, Onyx seems to have dropped Adobe DRM support. They used to have the option to add your Adobe ID in settings but that option no longer exists.

eBook App Features List

  • You can have up to 4 documents open at once and switch between them with tabs at the top of the screen.
  • You can set custom tap zones for paging and accessing the menu.
  • Text-to-speech is supported.
  • Set page refresh frequency and switch between normal refresh mode and fast refresh.
  • The 2.1 software adds the option to adjust the frontlight from within the ebook app.
  • Bookmarks.
  • Adjust font size, type, encoding
  • Adjust line spacing and margins; adjust contrast for text and images.
  • Landscape mode, with the option to use two page landscape mode.
  • Sidenote feature to add a note page to write with the stylus.
  • Jump chapters, enter page numbers, with history for going back and forth.
  • View 4 or 9 pages at once.
  • Table of contents.
  • Add highlights, underlines and text notes—all are exportable.
  • Dictionary lookup using StarDict.
  • Search.
  • Online lookup (you can add different sources and set one as a default).

Onyx Boox Nova Pro Review

Pros

  • More advanced than a typical ereader with a solid PDF app, handy notepad features, a competent web browser, and the ability to install other reading apps if you choose.
  • Nice frontlight with adjustable color temperature.
  • Wacom touchscreen and stylus work well for taking notes.

Cons

  • Mediocre battery life.
  • Expensive.
  • Homescreen not customizable; interface confusing at times and no manual is included to explain things.

Verdict

Overall the Onyx Boox Nova Pro is a nice ereader and digital notepad. Onyx’s ebook app has a lot going for it and the note app works quite well, and being able to sync notes to Dropbox makes accessing them on other devices easy.

There are some software quirks and battery life isn’t great, but that’s just kind of the nature of Android ereaders. With the quad-core CPU and updated software performance is a lot smoother than it used to be, and the Android OS opens up more options than you get with a typical ebook reader, and I like Onyx’s new frontlight system with the adjustable color temperature.

I do wish the price was a little lower, though. The Kobo Aura One was the first 7.8-inch ereader and it sold for $229, and there’s also the Likebook Mars that sells for $239. It’s a lot like the Nova Pro minus the Wacom touchscreen, and it also adds a memory card slot. If you don’t need the Wacom stylus the $319 price for the Nova Pro is pretty steep, but it’s still a lot cheaper than Onyx’s larger models and you get the same note-taking and software features on a smaller scale.

Onyx Boox Nova Pro Specs

  • 7.8-inch E Ink Carta screen.
  • 1404 x 1872 pixel resolution (300 ppi).
  • Wacom touchscreen with stylus, supports 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity.
  • Capacitive touchscreen (2-point).
  • Frontlight with cool and warm color temperatures.
  • Android 6.0.1 operating system.
  • Cortex-A17 1.6GHz quad-core processor.
  • 32GB storage space (~25GB usable).
  • 2GB RAM.
  • Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n).
  • Bluetooth 4.1.
  • USB-C port.
  • 2800mAh Li-Polymer battery.
  • Supported formats: EPUB, PDF, MOBI, TXT, FB2, HTML, DJVU, RTF, DOC, CHM, plus more via apps.
  • Dimensions: 196.3 x 137 x 7.7mm.
  • Weight: 260 grams.
  • Sells from Amazon for $319.

Nova Pro PDF Review

Nova Pro vs Likebook Muses Comparison Review

Onyx Nova Pro Video Review

64 Responses to “Onyx Boox Nova Pro Review and Video Walkthrough”

  1. Thanks again for this review Nathan. Does the text look greyish/fuzzy on this ereader , compared to a Kobo or Kindle e-reader ? I consider buying this ereader or the Note Pro just for reading epubs. But to me, it is important that the letters are dark and sharp. I thought that the contrast is adjustable on this devices, does that help to make the letters look sharp and dark/crisp? Especially since the Note Pro is just 227 dpi, that is something that makes me wonder if the Note Pro is worth the 600 euro for someone who wants a big ereader for reading epubs. Maybe you can treat this subject when you make a review of the Note Pro?

    • It’s not any worse than other Kindles and Kobos with glass screens (expect the Voyage; it’s the only glass screen ereader ever with super clear text). I probably wouldn’t normally mention it but the fact that I had just reviewed the Likebook Muses with the same exact screen minus the glass layer and it had clearer text. It’s more of a personal dislike of glass screens on my part. It’s just that E Ink used to be noticeably clearer and sharper when they used infrared touchscreens before the glass fad came along. The contrast adjustment just makes the text look bolder and fuzzier; it doesn’t look sharper and clearer. I’m keeping my original Note around just so I can compare the screen with the glass one on the Note Pro. I bet there will be a noticeable difference with the frontlight off, but with the frontlight on the Note Pro will probably make the screen look better regardless.

      • Thanks for this feedback Nathan. I agree that the quality of the screens of recent ereaders is not an improvement. The best screens I have had, are the screens of the Kobo H2O first edition and the screen of the Kindle Voyage. Kobo and Kindle seem to invest more in the shape of their devices (squarish) than in the quality of their screens. That’s why I hoop that Onyx Boox will be a strong challenger, and that’s why I want to buy an ereader from another brand than Kindle/Kobo.

        • Thanks Mo for this precious detail. I am quite surprised that “clearer text” would not be something to highlight in a review. I guess the difference is small, but still, if you can see it, it’s there. These are reading devices after all, screen quality is the number one priority for me. I don’t think the issue is with the device shape but with the touch tech. To improve the touch experience, you need to sacrifice text clarity a little. I know what I would choose, but I don’t make these. Apparently the new Kobo Forma has eliminated glass not only from the front but also the back of the screen (Moebius sceen). Of course its pdf features can’t hold a candle to the device covered here and there are many other differences, so that’s not to say one device beats the other. Cheers

  2. I recently picked one of these up, and love it, but mine the edges of the backlight are dimmer than the center. The bottom edge is especially bad. Did your unit have this issue?

    • There are some subtle brighter spots and shadowy areas along the edge but that’s normal with frontlights. They are more visible when you have the brightness cranked up but the key is to keep it on the dim side. Overall the frontlight is quite good compared to other frontlights. Some have a noticeable gradient or obvious discolored spots that are more distracting to the eye.

  3. Has anybody tried an email app on one of these? That is the one thing other than read books I would like to do on my ereader. With the number of people in my home, I rarely get a chance to use a computer and end up using my phone. An eInk screen would be much better.

    • I’ve used gmail. It’s fine, but nothing to write home about. I’m not sure the eInk screen makes this better, perhaps because the scrolling function is not terrifically smooth.

  4. I may have missed this but how do you move content to the device? The store is one way, but what about other sources, like a pdf or epub on-line or on a laptop? How about an html page? Thanks

    • Good question. There are lots of options. You can do so by using a USB cable and a computer, you can use cloud apps like Dropbox, there’s an onboard app to transfer by WiFi, you can use the web browser to download files too.

  5. Just saw mention of the onyx box note. Seems like the note has disappeared their website under products menu. What’s going on at onyx? The onyx book pro that was previewed early this year looked awesome.

  6. Hey, there, you’d mentioned disabling the onboard ebook shop. How do I do that? Also, did you find this to be very balky in the beginning? Thanks.

    • Ulp … never mind. Found it. I’m sure you also mentioned this, but I don’t see a way to convert handwriting yet. IT’s really the only reason I decided to give this a try. Any idea when this is going to be truly enabled?

  7. One last time, with feeling: I have to admit, I’m completely underwhelmed with this device. The Kindle app is useless; constantly freezes and I can’t for the life of me figure out how to use the preloaded reader. I mean, if I download a book through the Kindle app or Kobo, shouldn’t it show up in the library or a file? (It doesn’t.). So while others have said the reader’s great…I can’t access or use it. About the only thing going for this that I can see is the light; it’s much nicer than the Muses. Otherwise it’s a pain.

    • Android ereaders take a lot more patience to learn the system and set things up than a typical ereader. The process isn’t for everyone. Onxy’s 2.0 software broke page turns on the Kindle app a long time ago, as I mentioned earlier, but it works again with the 2.1 software. This is why I didn’t review other reading apps because these things aren’t consistent and it gets frustratingly annoying.

      Books from 3rd party apps aren’t going to show up in the library because they have DRM so there’s no way to change that unless you remove the DRM and add the ebooks to the books folder on the root directory.

      I’d advise reading the manual found here: Onyx Nova manual.

      You can try the 2.1 software but there’s a reason they haven’t released the US version yet–there are some bugs. They’ve only released the China version but you can install it by switching the language to Chinese in settings and then switching it back to English after the update. Just make sure to note where these settings are so you remember how to switch it back when everything is in Chinese.

      • Thanks. Yes, I found the manual and that’s where I noticed the download but I was, like….mmmm. Given my unfamiliarity with Android systems, perhaps I’ll just take my chances and wait.

      • I also noticed that if I enable the speedy-turn option for Kindle, then the pages will turn relatively well. Let’s put it this way: the thing doesn’t freeze.

      • You can download the Onyx Boox Nova Pro manual (not the Onyx Boox Nova) here.

        • Cool, thanks. I don’t know why they don’t include it anymore. It came preloaded on the Note.

          • It turns out there is a manual included, but it’s not directly in the library. If you go to your settings and tap the little image of the tablet, it will download the manual. I don’t know why it was placed in an obscure way.

          • Nice tip! That’s a funny place to hide it but it works.

  8. Does it have an option to configure the image you want to use as Screensaver when in sleep mode or do you need to install an app or launcher to have this option?

  9. Hello Nathan,

    Do you recommend the Onyx Boox Nova series or the Likebook Muses for first time buyers? I am looking for a 7.8″ reader with good PDF support. I am not sure if I need good Kindle ebook support if the Kindle reader app works o.k. as you mentioned. I was going to get a Kindle Oasis but it was uncomfortable in my hand.

    • Both are about equally confusing to a beginner. The Nova does have a manual, as noted a couple comments up, so that should help with the learning curve. Likebooks don’t seem to have a manual available at all, at least not in English.

  10. So I bit the bullet and did the firmware update. The conversion tool works…only okay. It mostly generates an enormous run-on sentence even with periods. It does pretty well with converting either block or cursive, but it does not recognize paragraphs/separate lines at all. Has this been your experience? If it has…is there a workaround? I feel as if it’s ALMOST there. (And maybe I should’ve just waited for the U.S. release, but I’ve been on the fence because my return window for a Muses is rapidly closing.)

  11. Fingers crossed. I would presume I’ll just be able to download the English firmware without resetting the device. I actually heard back from them this morning about this and they said about a month. OTOH, they may have been saying that for months, too 😉

  12. Based on Nathan’s review, I bought a Nova Pro. I received the device yesterday. My initial impression was not favorable, but then I did the update. (I recommend taking a picture of the menus in English so you know how to get back to English once the update is completed in Chinese.) With the update, I am impressed. I tried some different apps then Nathan mentioned with success. For Kobo owners, the Kobo Android app works pretty well, especially after you set the page transition to “None”. There aren’t many fonts or formatting options (there is a “night mode”), but the app is very usable. Another app I found in the installed web store (I can’t get Play to work, even after following the instructions) was Hoopla. With this app and a Hoopla account, you can borrow ebooks and read them right on the device. I don’t know how extensive Hoopla’s collection is, but it is an option. The reader works passably and has a fair amount of formatting options.

    One negative thing I noticed (at least with my device) is that the WiFi antenna is very weak. I have to get at least 10 feet from any running computer to get a good enough connection to download the firmware update or any apps.

    • A couple of updates …
      I found the the Play store works today and it updated all of the apps I had installed from the installed app store. I discovered the installed app store appears to be getting its apps from https://apkpure.com/ and they are typically at least one revision behind for frequently updated apps.

      I also discovered that if I long press on an app icon a menu comes up with THREE choices.
      Delete (does what you would expect)
      Manage (brings up the standard Android App Info screen)
      OPTIMIZE (Brings up a menu of setting that would appear to attempt to help the app look better on an eInk screen. Choices are
      DPI Setting
      Contrast
      Bold Font
      Enhance Text Color
      Enhance Icon
      Decolor background
      Color Filter
      Use Regal Mode
      Force A2 Mode
      Animation Timeout
      Full Refresh Count
      Full Screen
      Use Page Key as Volume Key

  13. David, that sounds very useful, I’ll have a play.

    Thank you.

    I did the update too as without a working Kindle app the device isn’t going to be a keeper for me.

  14. What about the lockscreen features? Does it have a security pin code, or a way to encrypt the device?

  15. so fr so good…looks like theres another update.. 2.1.1

  16. looks like my first comment didnt come out

    if you do want to update the nova pro you can use google translate on your phone…just point it at the screen in the chinese to english mode…works great for me

    got the 2.1 update loaded…
    then checked again and it upgrading to 2.1.1

  17. Thanks a bunch for your thorough reviews. I ended up getting one myself. After getting over the learning curve, I find it to be a worthwhile device.

    There is one drawback that I’m unsure if it’s a bug or a feature to Onyx Boox e-readers. Every time I hit the power button to go to standby mode, the WiFi and Bluetooth immediately turn off too. I like to listen to audiobooks, but would like to be able to go into standby mode with it still playing in the background. I know you don’t do reviews on the audio aspect since these are foremost e-readers, but getting confirmation of what I’m experiencing is true would be helpful.

    • If you turn off the frontlight there really is no need to use standby mode to listen to audio because the E Ink screen isn’t using extra power to display a static image. It’s not like a tablet where the backlight is constantly drawing power when the screen is on.

      • Thanks for the quick response!

        I did notice the battery doesn’t drain as quickly as I would expect. Thanks for the tip on turning off the frontlight.

  18. Thankyou for the Nova review!!
    I had a question, sorry if it’s sounds dumb but this would be my first e ink device. (Searched the comments and elsewhere)

    Is there a way to easily take books from my google play/ kobo app library and use them on the device stock e-reader, without using a pc?

    • Afraid not. Onyx’s ereaders no longer support Adobe DRM natively.

      • Thanks for the prompt response!

      • Thanks Nathan for the review. I have a question about Adobe DRM. Does that mean I cannot use my PC with the Adobe DE software to transfer a book to the Onyx? I am currently using this setup to download library books through overdrive and get them on my Kobo.

        I understand that there should be an Overdrive app for the Onyx which sounds much more convenient, but I would expect a native reader app to be much better for reading than the Android Overdrive App that is surely not optimised for an e-ink reader?

        Thanks!

        • Their older software used to include an Adobe Reader app for DRM’d ebooks, but now they only have Neo Reader, which doesn’t support DRM. There are a few apps like OverDrive and Bluefire that do support Adobe DRM’d ebooks but of course they aren’t optimized for E Ink at all so the results are hit or miss. Personally I use the Kindle app to read library ebooks because they can be sent wirelessly and the Kindle app actually works pretty well when using Onyx’s optimize settings. The last time I tried the OverDrive app it didn’t work very well on E Ink but I didn’t try optimizing it at all.

          • Thanks for the fast reply, Nathan. It is a real bummer though. Reading ebooks from the library (overdrive) is my main use case. I think I might be better off with something like a Kobo even though the sheer flexibility of the Onyx is quite tempting.

  19. I installed the 2.1.1 ENGLISH update today. The version number is 2019-04-17_13-14-2.1.1_45b309a. I don’t notice any significant differences except perhaps a faster response time. I would be interested to see if anyone else thinks it is faster.

  20. Bom dia! Eu comprei um Nova Pro dia 25.03.19 pelo AliExpress Quando eu estava esperando chegar acompanhava os comentário. Chegou dia 15.04.19 Aqui em Goiânia- Goiás – Brasil.
    Hoje li a postagem sobre a nona atualização em Inglês, atualizei e gostei.A primeira observação que notei e que a cor dos aplicativos na tela ficou mais nítida. Estou gostando muito do Onyx Boox Nova Pro.
    Pois já tenho os Kindles Pleperwhite 3G e Voyage. Obrigado até a próxima 🤝

  21. Dear e ink community
    I am typing this on nova pro. Good experience so far. One thing I am unable to set correctly
    When I leave it for one hour or so, the device need to boot and takes forever. When I open up my kindle or iPad, its just there. Here with Nova Pro I wait for nearly a minute. How can I change behaviour back to normal?
    Greatful for any advice

    • In settings there’s the option to set how long it takes to shutdown. The first thing I always do is set it to never. It’s pointless to power off all the time if you’re using it regularly. The battery difference is miniscule.

  22. Thanks,now it works perfect in that aspect.
    There is a feedback option in the settings menu. My feedback is however never submitted, anyone has a clue how to make it work? Its just stuck the whole time at submitting feedback…..

  23. I really like my Boox Nova Pro. Only one update appeared for the Kindle application that came installed. I upgraded and now the touch screen for the page pass in the app no ​​longer works! What do I do? Thank you
    Mariano Costa

  24. Hi Nathan,
    I have slightly general question. For everyday home reading would you rather choose Nova Pro or Note Pro? Which one do you find more comfortable for novels and text pdfs?

    • If money is no object I’d choose the Note Pro every time. I really like the larger screen, but for nearly half the price the Nova Pro can do everything the Note Pro can do so it’s definitely the better value.

      • Hi Nathan,

        I’m also trying to figure out which one is the better choice. The Nova seems to be a little bit to small for comfortable web browsing and the Note seems to big for an ereader. I would like to regularly read articles on the web on it too, besides the ebooks.

        Care to share your thoughts on this?

        • Aside from looking up something on Wikipedia, I rarely use ebook readers for web browsing so I’m probably not the best person to ask. But I always prefer using 10″ tablets for web browsing over smaller ones. I hate web browsing with small screens.

  25. Hello,
    I’ve been using the nova pro for about 1 month now, I’m still learning the different functionalities, one thing I haven’t found that would really be useful to me is would be to be able and see the actual page number of the book, since I will need to quote.
    Many thanks for nay advice, if anyone has an idea about that!

    • With the reader status bar enabled in global settings page numbers appear in the lower right corner. They also appear on the progress indicator.

  26. I am thinking of buying the Nova 7.8” reader or perhaps the Likebook Mars. I already have Kindles, a Kobo and iPads. I was hoping that one reader could handle both Kobo and Kindle. Your review seems to discourage that. The Kindle app apparently works fine on the Likebook Mars 7.8 reader, which is basically the same as the Nova 7.8”? After upgrading the OS can this work as a general eReader? Finally, is the battery life as bad as you make it sound? Kindles last quite long, tablets do not. Are we talking a week or days having to recharge? Say using it 30 minutes a day with a WiFi on. Does it not keep its charge during standby?

  27. I am interested in using an external Bluetooth keyboard with the device. How is the recognition? Does it hide the onscreen keyboard? Do other writing apps like iA Writer work well with an external keyboard? Any trouble syncing to the Google Drive?

  28. I just purchased the Nova Pro 7.8 primarily for reading ePubs. The build quality is amazing as it has NO flex at all and does not creak. It feels more like my iPad mini only much lighter but just as sturdy. Since I only read with it, I have the wifi and blue-tooth disabled and the battery lasts weeks now with a reading time fo 2 hours a day. I have applied all the latest updates (2.1.2). Oddly, my reMarkable pen works with this device and vise-versa. The note-taking is highly responsive, almost as fast as my reMarkable but barely noticeable and I notice no lag. The screen is not quite as sharp as my Kindle Voyage but that is the gold standard for eInk. However, the text IS very sharp and the front lights go from completely off to very bright but very balanced (i.e. now dark spots or shadows). If you are looking for an eInk reader to use primarily for note-taking and book reading, this works extremely well for that. I bought this as I fly a lot and using an iPad Pro (10.5) or my reMarkable is less convenient to use. This size (7.8) is perfect for that. I am looking and the Note Pro (10.3) for reading when at the coffee shop and can use a bigger reading device in that situation.