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Old 05-14-2016, 08:51 AM   #1
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Post Battle of the 13.3" Giants - Onyx vs. The World Comparison

I suppose it was one of those evenings when I felt too lazy to do anything and pondered how to burn time. Since I am a bit of an electronic ink addict (this line should've made it to Neuromancer!) I went for making this handy 13.3" readers comparison table and how Onyx fares against the rest of the world. The situation is becoming quite interesting at the moment, hence the idea.

Code:
                       Onyx Boox Max [a]        Icarus A4 [c]            Good e-Reader 13.3 [b]   Sony DPT-S1 [d]                 PocketBook CAD [e]

* based on           | Onyx 13.3              | Onyx 13.3              | Netronix [10]          | ---                           | ---                       | * based on
* ships from         | Germany                | Eindhoven, Netherlands | Vancouver, BC Canada   | various retailers             | ?                         | * ships from
* screen             | 1600x1200 E-ink Mobius | 1600x1200 E-ink Mobius | 1600x1200 E-ink Mobius | 1600x1200 E-ink Mobius        | 1600x1200 E-ink Fina [3]  | * screen
* input technology   | inductive, pen based   | inductive, pen based   | capacitive + EM [5][9] | capacitive                    | capacitive                | * input technology
* dimensions         | 23.7 x 32.5 x 0.75 cm  | 24 x 32.5 x 0.9 cm     | 23.3 x 31.0 x 0.66 cm  | 23.3 x 31.0 x 0.68 cm         | 24.1 x 30.9 x 0.96 cm     | * dimensions
* weight             | 490 g                  | 500 g                  | 350 g                  | 358 g                         | 700 g                     | * weight
* operating system   | Android 4.0.4 [1]      | Android ?              | Android 4.0.4 [2]      | Sony's own or Android 2.2 [6] | Android 4.0.4             | * operating system
* CPU processor      | iMX6 SoloLite 1GHz     | ?                      | iMX6 SoloLite [9]      | Freescale i.MX508             | Dual-core 1GHz            | * CPU processor
                     | Cortex A9              |                        |                        | at 800Mhz or 1Ghz             | Freescale iMX.6 Dual-Lite |
* RAM memory         | 1 GB LPDDR2            | 1 GB                   | 512 MB                 | 1 GB [7]                      | 2 GB                      | * RAM memory
* internal memory    | 16 GB                  | 16 GB                  | 4 GB                   | 4 GB                          | 16 GB                     | * internal memory
* battery            | 4100 mAh               | 4100 mAh               | 1270 mAh               | 1270 mAh                      | 8000 mAh                  | * battery
* Bluetooth          | yes                    | yes                    | no [4][c][8]           | no                            | ?                         | * Bluetooth
* audio              | yes                    | yes                    | no [4][c][8]           | no                            | yes                       | * audio
* Text-To-Speech TTS | yes                    | yes (Pico TTS)         | ---                    | ---                           | ?                         | * Text-To-Speech TTS
Specifications:
Notes:
  • [1] Upgrade to Android 4.4 possible. (source)
  • [2] Will be offering Android 5.0 as an optional firmware update soon after we release the product. (source)
  • [3] Pocketbook spoke about two similar devices, at first, about one with Fina and, later, about the other one with Mobius. (source)
  • [4] (source)
  • [5] (source)
  • [6] apparently hackable to Android 2.2. (source)
  • [7] (source)
  • [8] (source)
  • [9] (source)
  • [10] (source)

A few observation based on the given data:
  • Both Sony and Good e-Reader are considerably lighter, whereas PocketBook is considerably heavier.
  • If there was a way for a *free* upgrade of Sony to Android, I think that Sony could make an interesting option if cheap second hand units became available given the above. Or maybe not, too many ifs here and that extra hassle...
  • Pocketbook has a dual-core processor but can/will PDF page rendering be parallelised? If so that would be nice because for me personally quite often the bottleneck is not the screen refresh but the page rendering.
  • Pocketbook has 2 GB RAM thrown in to support big PDF (CAD) documents, I suppose, but this may not matter much for regular folk.
  • While Boox and Icarus are generous with the battery, PocketBook has double that.

Any mistakes gimme a shout!

Last edited by machinogodzilla; 05-14-2016 at 09:32 PM. Reason: Added extra info.
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Old 05-14-2016, 09:10 AM   #2
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Good thread. It is of use to add the line:

screen (capacitative / electromagnetic (stylus) /both )

This is determining factor for many people.

I wonder what is the difference between capacitative screen that the Goodearder (Netronix) is using and the Sony's. According to Booxtor: "For finger touch the screen must be equipped with additional hardware (capacitive layer). Those screens are not available at the moment. There was a batch , produced for Sony more than one year ago. At the moment PVI does not offer those screens to acceptable conditions."

Pocketbook spoke about two similar devices, at first, about one with Fina and, later, about the other one with e-mobius.

"USB host", "Work time", "Text Formats" or similar lines may be added.

Last edited by xtech; 05-14-2016 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 05-14-2016, 11:11 AM   #3
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Good points, thanks, I updated the table.

Regarding the extra lines.

"Work Time" I think is extremely variable depending on usage and normally extremely optimistically estimated by the makers so I'd rather refer people to the battery capacity figure.

"Text Formats", well if it runs Android then it can open virtually anything, just install the right app. Sony is the only exception here, I don't think it deserves an extra line in the table

"USB Host", I read that there are quite a few variables here and someone owning a device would have to provide that information (implying the device must actually exist) since it's unlikely we will learn that from the manufacturers/vendors. Also you may get a bastardised update that removes the support, or one that adds it, so this feature seems quite changeable, unlike, say, memory which they will not rip out of your PCB
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Old 05-14-2016, 12:29 PM   #4
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Hi Machinogodzilla,

Very good table, thanks to give this comparison. You give the screen's name, but not the resolution in DPI. It could be interesting to have them.

For me, using a finger to change a page it's not necessary. With my M92, I use the PAD or the buttons.

Thanks.
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Old 05-14-2016, 01:59 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by machinogodzilla View Post
Any mistakes gimme a shout!
Nice chart. However, you list the Good e-Reader device as being "inductive, pen based". I was under the impression that it was capacitive and supported both finger and pen use. I think that is one of the features which makes it tempting to many people.
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Old 05-14-2016, 03:36 PM   #6
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Good thread.
You can't be serious. PocketBook CAD and Icarus are not happening. Vaporware.
Sony supports PDF only.
Onyx and Netronix were compared in many threads before.
And main difference between Onyx and Netronix missed...
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Old 05-14-2016, 04:03 PM   #7
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I wonder what is the difference between capacitative screen that the Goodearder (Netronix) is using and the Sony's.
Netronix "developed" their own dual touch:

https://youtu.be/b-SnpwAsIYc
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Old 05-14-2016, 09:23 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Randy11 View Post
Hi Machinogodzilla,

Very good table, thanks to give this comparison. You give the screen's name, but not the resolution in DPI. It could be interesting to have them.

For me, using a finger to change a page it's not necessary.
Hi Randy, thanks. If my maths is correct they all are 150 dpi. Yes, I also don't care much about the touch for a large screen like this but having choice is good, some people may still want to easily zoom in and out, which admittedly is a pain using a pen.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Question Mark View Post
Nice chart. However, you list the Good e-Reader device as being "inductive, pen based". I was under the impression that it was capacitive and supported both finger and pen use. I think that is one of the features which makes it tempting to many people.
Thanks and yeah, true-true, I corrected that entry. Good e-Reader doesn't emphasise it an awful lot on their campaign pages.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fgdas View Post
PocketBook CAD and Icarus are not happening. Vaporware.
Yep, I saw that being said by *people* about Good e-Reader and Boox Max too. Yet, the first managed to get 305% of its $42,000 target so far, which I think is quite impressive, and Boox Max is already shipping. I prefer to remain optimistic especially that I find PocketBook CAD increasingly attractive, despite not being impressed with their 902 model I had back in the day. I especially didn't like the lack of communication which policy they seem to carry on with so I can understand the sentiment.

Even Good e-Reader, who while making a good progress haven't completed their campaign yet, made statement like this. I find that quite funny, looks like the war of words is truly on Other players get nervous too. Hopefully there will be some survivors!


Quote:
Originally Posted by fgdas View Post
Netronix "developed" their own dual touch:
Is this sarcasm. Can you elaborate more?


Quote:
Originally Posted by xtech View Post
"USB host" ... line may be added.
So far I've read that Good e-Reader doesn't have it. Neither does Boox Max it appears.

Last edited by machinogodzilla; 05-14-2016 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 05-15-2016, 09:22 AM   #9
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You can't be serious. PocketBook CAD and Icarus are not happening. Vaporware.
Icarus just completes the picture. As far Pocketbook it was useful for me to see it in comparison, and so I then checked up the spec and saw its battery characteristics. Good ones. I have also learned from the spec that it is supposed to have 3G. And this is a very useful stuff, much more useful for me than wi-fi, since I would not wish to use wi-fi everywhere. Now the battery may suppose that Pocketbook may have some good software running, though I do not needs its function of CAD. So, I basically need it for reading, and annotations and other text work. I was able to learn that it has mini HDMI (turning the ereader easy into a second monitor, if I am not mistaken), and also not only mini USB, but also USB port (which supposed makes it good for any usb keyboard). It also has g-sensor. So, if it is manufactured quite soon, I'll have to do some choosing between ONYX and Pocketbook. Taking into account that Pocketbook is supposed to have Capacitive multi-sensor (which Onyx does not have) and Wacom support.

Quote:
Sony supports PDF only.
Sony seems to support both finger support and stylus, which is good. It has low capacity battery, but here is what wiki says: "Maximum Battery Wi-Fi Off: 3 weeks Wi-Fi On: 2 weeks". The PDF is ultimately not a huge problem, if the Sony processes the documents, let's say, quicker the ONYX. Because it is not a problem for me to use Calibre, though it is time taking. However, the benefits are that it supports finger touch and stylus. And if the stylus work (according to the latest stylus firmware update) is better than in Onyx, and the general build and software of the famous Sony company is better than that of Onyx, well I will have to think carefully before I make my puchase. Sony also has the support for the external cards.

So, I am looking forward to see what the Onyx can finally come up with, to see if it is really more advance than the Sony's quality (I would wish to read some comparison), and whether the final price of Pocketbook (if it appears in the nearest time) will be reasonable. In the past Pocketbook positioned the Pocketbook Flex at around $700, and later there were some figures around $1000 euro, which would make it cost higher than the price at which I would wish it to buy.

Last edited by xtech; 05-15-2016 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 05-15-2016, 12:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by machinogodzilla View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by randy11
Hi Machinogodzilla,

Very good table, thanks to give this comparison. You give the screen's name, but not the resolution in DPI. It could be interesting to have them.

For me, using a finger to change a page it's not necessary.
Hi Randy, thanks. If my maths is correct they all are 150 dpi. Yes, I also don't care much about the touch for a large screen like this but having choice is good, some people may still want to easily zoom in and out, which admittedly is a pain using a pen.
Hi Machinogozilla,
I haven't think to this usage, to use the fingers for zooming. Yes, it's a possibility. I'm using the stylus when I begin a new PDF book, to crop the page, after, I use the buttons or the pad to change the page, but I can understand the interest.

Thanks for the reply about the resolution.
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Old 05-15-2016, 03:25 PM   #11
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Hi, Machinogodzilla,

Thanks for that neat table with 13.3" devices!

I just wanted to clear a popular mistake. Icarus is going to sell Onyx Boox products with just another label on the housing. That's it. In the hardware and the 99% of the software (except of probably some standby pictures and opening screens) there couldn't be any difference between Max and by Icarus announced 13.3". Additionally, as far as I know they even weren't allowed by Onyx to start this Indiegogo campaign and to offer this device as re-branded one. Onyx wanted to promote their own brand now. I don't think it will be allowed in the future.


. Just curious. Is it legal to collect money by Indiegogo or Kickstarter for already existing product in mass production? It would be possible for everyone to take some promo commercials, pictures and to write some tempting texts, present this product by Indiegogo/Kickstarter as new one and afterwards just to buy goods with wholesaler conditions. I don't think it is the goal of those crowdfunding projects.



There is actually no battle yet. GoodEreader must collect funds for at least 500 devices to move the factory to start production. Smaller quantities are just uneconomical. E.g. Onyx has already produced 1000 devices for the first batch (which was immediately sold out). Now the second bigger batch is in preparation. It will be hard for Netronix to accept to produce smaller quantities. Pocketbook is still in prototype phase and I don't think their CAD reader will make it beyond this..

Last edited by Booxtor; 05-15-2016 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 05-15-2016, 05:06 PM   #12
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Hi Booxtor,

I've asked already on the other thread... sorry for the double post.

Do we have a word from Onyx about this second batch of Max?
Any idea of when you'd have them in your hands?

Thanks.
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Old 05-16-2016, 04:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy11 View Post
I haven't think to this usage, to use the fingers for zooming. Yes, it's a possibility. I'm using the stylus when I begin a new PDF book, to crop the page, after, I use the buttons or the pad to change the page, but I can understand the interest.
Hey Randy, that's exactly how I use it most of the time I've never used very large magnification levels, so I just went ahead and tried that on my M96. Selecting the area for magnification could've been done better (now you have to hunt for 4 dots that you can drag to make a rectangle, why not just let the user draw it?). Once you've zoomed in panning with the stylus works very well but you cannot adjust the magnification without going through the menus. They could map this to the volume rocker switch or add [ - ][ + } icons to the status bar, so there are ways to make it more CAD friendly so to speak. Onyx just needs to have either will or time to polish their Neo Reader. Unless they've already done it, I use old firmware, my version is "dev 14-09-24" (I guess 14 stands for the year...):

Code:
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Originally Posted by Booxtor View Post
I just wanted to clear a popular mistake.
Hi Booxtor, good to see you around again. Thanks for the clarifications. I cannot offer any legal advice but don't get involved in any lawsuits! Just keep the readers coming and it will all be alright

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Originally Posted by Booxtor View Post
There is actually no battle yet.
At least there is something going on which sadly is not usual in the e-reader circles. I know you're very busy with the Max at the moment but do you know if Onyx has any plans for the post Max future yet? Gossip welcome! Why not take Pocketbook's place and actually make it happen
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Old 05-16-2016, 05:08 AM   #14
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I just wanted to clear a popular mistake. Icarus is going to sell Onyx Boox products with just another label on the housing. That's it.
If this is true, then why are the dimensions different?

Booxtor, can you verify the dimensions given in the specs?

Also, your website has conflicting depths on the device, the spec says:
Dimensions 325 x 237 x 7.5 mm

whereas More Info says:
8.4mm thin
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Old 05-16-2016, 06:29 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Booxtor View Post
There is actually no battle yet. GoodEreader must collect funds for at least 500 devices to move the factory to start production. Smaller quantities are just uneconomical. E.g. Onyx has already produced 1000 devices for the first batch (which was immediately sold out). Now the second bigger batch is in preparation. It will be hard for Netronix to accept to produce smaller quantities. Pocketbook is still in prototype phase and I don't think their CAD reader will make it beyond this..
It seems that max is in good demand. I hope that it can motivate Onyx to invest into the upgrades, taking into account that the Goodearder may prove to be successful, it may draw some potential buyers from Onyx. It is strange that Pocketbook is hesitant to enter the market. Their Cad prototype is too specific, too narrow a niche, but their Flex model is pretty general,and if the Pocketbook dares release their device with the promised 3G capability and also capacitative screen, at a reasonable competitive price, it may as well totally blow all the rivals out of the water.

Last edited by xtech; 05-16-2016 at 07:31 AM.
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