The 1st generation Boox Note Air is currently on sale for $419.99 at Amazon with free shipping, but the estimated delivery date is several weeks out for some reason, even though it’s being shipped by Amazon.
The Note Air originally sold for $479.99 so it’s a pretty decent discount, and it’s $90 less than Onyx is currently selling the Note Air 2 for on Amazon, and it only has a few minor upgrades.
The Note Air is a fairly significant step up from the somewhat similar Kobo Elipsa that has also been on sale for the past few weeks for $349.99. Both have 10.3-inch E Ink screens with 227ppi, and both double as ereaders and electronic notebooks.
But the Note Air adds a warm frontlight, it has more RAM and an octa-core processor, it adds a mic, a speaker and a rotation sensor, Onyx has better PDF software, the notetaking capability is more advanced, and the Android OS opens up a lot more possibilities.
Check out my Onyx Note Air Review for more details, including a video review and a list of pros and cons.
The newer Note Air 2 comes with double the storage space (64GB), more RAM (4GB), and it has stronger magnets along the sides to hold the stylus in place. It also comes with a new type of pre-installed screen protector to help improve the feel of the writing experience. If those things aren’t worth an extra $90 to you then the original Note Air might be worth considering, especially since Onyx is still updating the software.
Sadly, Note Airs have glass in their screen’s substrate and so are prone to break by a drop.
Yeah, but is it really worth spending an extra $150 on the Note5 with a Mobius screen? Even when the front layer is made of glass either way? Devices with Mobius screens are becoming less common each year. I still don’t understand why it costs more for plastic than glass. E Ink came out with a solution to a problem, and then nobody cared. It’s weird. I’d prefer to have plastic-based screens too, but I guess it just isn’t going to happen.
Update: I just noticed they have the Onyx Note3 for $449 at Amazon too. It has a Mobius screen and some other upgrades over the Note Air so that’s probably the better deal actually.
So here is the $64,000 question Nathan. If you didn’t already have dozens of ereaders, and were in the market for a larger format one, which would you get? Kobo Elipsa at $350, Onyx Air 1 at $420, Onyx Note3 at $450, or the Air 2 at $510? I know there are other choices, but I think for me at least, the ~$500 is the top end of what I’m willing to spend on an ereader.
That’s a tough one, James. It’s nice being able to read Kindle ebooks on Onyx’s devices and having more options with apps, but it would be really hard to pass up the Kobo Elipsa at that price. I wouldn’t consider the Note Air 2 because the upgrades don’t mean anything to me (like most of Onyx’s “upgrades”). I did choose the Note2 over the Note Air 1 so it would be hard not to go with the Note3 in that scenario, but to me I’m not sure it’s worth $100 more than the Elipsa. But then again Onyx’s PDF software is much better than Kobo’s, and that’s what I’d use it most for so I’d probably talk myself into it. Kobo has a better dedicated reading app, though, so it’s not an easy choice either way.