Boox Nova 3 7.8” E-Ink EMR Tablet—Color too!

Discussion in 'eReaders' started by dellaster, Jan 19, 2021.

  1. Bronsky

    Bronsky Wait and Hope. Senior Member

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    Yes. I want to use the PDF as a form. I guess I could copy it in dropbox, rename it and then download it daily. This is the stuff that drives me nuts about Android.

    In all, this device is very primitive. It reminds me of my old Tandy 102. But, it is probably the best note-taker I've owned. It works inside and outdoors, has a 3 or 4 day battery and a great writing experience. The screen size is ideal. Although it's no speedster, I can run most programs, including a mobile version of Lexis, which gives me legal research while stiing outside in the sun.
     
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  2. Bronsky

    Bronsky Wait and Hope. Senior Member

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  3. dellaster

    dellaster Non-Creative Plebe Senior Member

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    Perhaps I misunderstood your need? If you wish to use your own templates just drop the PDF or image into the Storage/noteTemplate folder and choose it in a note (it’s in Local templates). You can write on top of it, export it as a new PDF—the template is included, and the template itself is never affected. It’s always there for the next note. Erase All doesn’t erase templates, nor any of the lesser erasing options.

    This is one of my favorite Boox features. As camp host this year I’ll either photograph an existing campsite map or draw my own so that I can annotate it daily—and save each day as I go.
    C79A1B6E-E265-4364-BE30-1672A84F98AC.jpeg

    A77F8EB2-5F60-4DA1-B22F-56C9D487D310.jpeg
     
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  4. Bronsky

    Bronsky Wait and Hope. Senior Member

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    Thanks. Worked like a charm.
     
  5. jhoff80

    jhoff80 Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    I gave in to my curiosity and received this today from Amazon. Not sure if I'll be keeping it or not, but I will say they've made a ton of progress since the Nova Pro I tested way back when.

    For one, the USB-C port is actually compliant now. Also, they've done some amazing things with battery optimization since then. Back with the older device I tried out, battery was abysmal due to the Android OS. Even with the e-ink screen the Nova Pro felt more like an Android tablet, battery-wise. It would overheat and die quickly. But the 3 Color feels like an e-reader as you'd expect. And I had it in standby for 6 hours without any battery drain. It defaults to turning off the device earlier than that, but if this keeps up I feel like it would be fine to disable that.

    The main downside? The screen is DARK. Even in direct indoor lighting I need to turn the frontlight on or else it's barely visible. I'm sure it's still great outdoors in sunlight, but the color layer definitely detracts from the brightness / visibility. As for the colors, it's definitely nice to have. I wasn't expecting too much, but somehow it manages to still be even more muted than I expected (it's a bit better with the brightness on full and some of the display settings adjusted, but there's still very little vibrancy). And I feel like some colors definitely display better than others. In general, the lighter the color, the better I'm able to see it. I tried reading a PDF scan of House of Leaves (a book which I've bought 3 times now, so I don't feel so bad about having a PDF version) and there's mainly red and navy blue in parts of the text. The red definitely jumps off the page. The navy blue is visible, but it doesn't stand out very much from the black. Having color in any form though greatly helps with third-party app compatibility in my opinion.

    Play Books works well, but I don't know what Onyx is thinking with their default optimization settings. Honestly, for most apps I have a better experience turning all of that off (meaning disabling the bolding of fonts, which tends to give a white halo around them, and the whitening of the page, which tends to hide UI elements).

    Also, Onyx should do a better job of showing off what the device is capable of with their standby images. You can customize them, and I've found some good ones from Reddit. But they really should provide a handful of images that really pop, and set those to default. The built-in one for standby (and the one for shutdown) is really meh. And maybe giving the option to show a new image every hour or so.

    OneNote still sucks though.

    The OS still annoys me too. You can disable the built-in public domain 'store' but that doesn't remove the icon from the nav menu so far as I've been able to find. But at the same time, most launchers these days are really reliant on fluid motions, so they don't work well with the e-ink. Niagara is my favorite phone launcher but that's real awful on e-ink. Nova I spent a bit of time trying to customize, but I still couldn't get it to a point where I was happy with it.

    You can't disable any of the built-in junk apps (such as the AOSP Email app). The built-in ebook reader app is only okay. Moon Reader or Play Books (or I bet Kindle or Nook, though I don't personally use those platforms) are just better. Library navigation is bad. I'm basically only using the built-in app for PDFs because the 'bleach watermark' option is helpful there. But everything else I prefer alternate apps.

    I hate how even though you can enable navigation gestures, you can't remove the back/home/recent apps buttons from the status bar/quick buttons. And I can see why some people would like the navigation ball but I hate that sort of stuff (including the 'Bubble' feature on my Android phone which puts messages in a similar type of overlay button). At least that one I can turn off.

    Still will take some time to decide if I'm returning it or not though. Which again, is a huge difference from the Nova Pro which I had reboxed and had ready to return in less than a day.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2021
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  6. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    Amen! I've added the optimization settings to the navigation ball just so I can easily turn all that nonsense off..
     
  7. dellaster

    dellaster Non-Creative Plebe Senior Member

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    Unfortunately that’s the current state of e-ink technology. You want color, you pay for it with a darker background. It’s not quite worth the trade off for me, especially since you also lose the color light adjustment.

    On the bright side (heh), things can only improve from here. E-ink has come a long way!
     
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  8. jhoff80

    jhoff80 Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Another minor thing. I wish it would do a full screen refresh before going to the screensaver. The whole reason for a screensaver over just turning off is because it looks nice. So why not take advantage of that, instead of having a partially ghosted image there?
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2021
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  9. jhoff80

    jhoff80 Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    I think I'm leaning towards keeping this. The software stuff annoys me, and the dark screen is a bit of a bummer even though I know it's the best the technology can do right now. But it's a nice little device and all of my complaints from the older generation are gone.

    I've read four books on it now, and obviously it shines best when I'm able to go sit outside in a park or something and read outdoors in direct sunlight, but it's not bad with the light on inside either. I could use my phone, but this device is lighter than my phone, plus the e-ink display, and most importantly there are far fewer distractions on this compared to my phone (aka no work emails).

    Also this last part isn't directly about this device but ebooks in general... I know that many other people have been dealing with basically just the Kindle store and have had this feature forever. But I switched to Play Books a while ago, and having a library that syncs to all devices completely seamlessly with no hassle is so nice. Obviously Kindle does it with their proprietary store (which I avoided for a long time because prior to azw3 their formats weren't good), and other services do as well, but with Play Books I'm able to upload my epub no matter what service I got it from. (Seriously, I've bought from so many now-defunct services in the past that it's just ridiculous). And I've used MoonReader (and a million other Android apps) in the past, and sometimes even got them working sort of close to what I wanted, but it was a hassle and never worked 100% no matter if I used Dropbox, OneDrive, or Google Drive. Now it just works and I can stop thinking about it. And while there's no Windows app, the web app works fine. Better than the hundreds of Windows ebook readers I tried and hated nearly all of at least.

    Only downside is uploaded epubs can't be sorted by series. So just as an example if I buy the three Jason Bourne books (and only three, the others don't exist :D) in Google Play they show up as the same series. But if I upload the epubs I bought forever ago, even if I edit those in Calibre to say they're the same series, it doesn't recognize that in Play Books. So close though. :mad:
     
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  10. Kumabjorn

    Kumabjorn ***** is back Senior Member

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    Can confirm that the Google Play Books syncing is absolutely the best. The only problem is that you can’t sideload books to the apps, you have to go through the web interface. Also, there is an upper limit on how large a book you can upload to the system.
     
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