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Old 09-08-2019, 11:43 AM   #1
Pajamaman
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Onyx vs Likebook

I'm a long-term user of Onyx e-readers. I have an old T68 and a Poke Pro. I also have a Boyue T62. Now I'm thinking of getting a 7.8" device, and I'm looking at the Onyx Nova and the Likebook Mars.

The two Onyx have their issues (mainly screen sensitivity issues), but both have been very solid and and stable. I can install all sorts of apps on them, and they never crash. Also the battery life is acceptable. The Boyue T62 was far less stable. It was unstable with some apps (crashed) and the battery died at 50% like clockwork. It seemed a nice unit apart from that. But the Onyx's I've owned were far more solid.

So now I'm looking at the Likebook Mars.
How do you find its stability? Does it ever crash? Can it run all apps stably?
What is the light like? I like a dark red comfort light. I also like it to go very dim. I have sensitive eyes.
How is the screen sensitivity? I like to write and type on these devices.
How does it handle pdfs? Onyx excells at this with their software.

What issues do you have with the Mars, if any? Has anybody also had an Onyx as well, and can compare?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-08-2019, 01:59 PM   #2
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I have had an Onyx T68, C67 and now the Nova (non-Pro); I have also had the Boyue T62, T63 and now the Likebook Mars. My experiences have been similar to yours. Let me share some comments and some comparisons.

The Likebook Mars is the most stable Boyue device I have had thus far. That said, it still gives me trouble when I want to use the Nook app on it. The Nook app usually crashes; it will work on occasion. The light is a pale orange and is adjustable, and can be turned down to very low levels. On one thread, some other users report that their Mars has a darker orange light. The Mars' main advantage vs. the Nova is that it has an SD card slot. With Android 6, you can format the SD card as internal storage. I have a 128 GB card in mine, with no issues. Battery life is very good with WiFi off; so-so with WiFi on. Contrast is quite good. The native reader app handles pdfs reasonably well, but not great. I wouldn't use the native app for reading anything, really. It's acceptable, but not that great overall. Performance is good, compared to older Boyue devices. But once I bought my Nova, I honestly don't use my Mars very much.

The Onyx Nova is a little better than the Likebook Mars in almost every way. The Nova does NOT have an SD card slot, though; but it does have more internal storage (32 gb, compared to 16 gb for the Mars). The Nova also has a pale orange light that can be turned down low. It's also easier with the Nova to adjust the mix of warm and cold light to your liking. Performance is better on the Nova; apps load faster, pages turn more smoothly. NeoReader 3.0 is excellent with pdfs, and better than the Boyue reader app with ePubs and other formats. Contrast is very good with the Nova. The Nova will refresh itself on scrolling third-party apps as well as apps that turn pages; the Mars only refreshes automatically with the latter. Battery life is similar to the Mars. The Nova has an optimize menu that you access by long pressing an app icon. This allows you to adjust third party apps to look better and run better on e-Ink, as needed. You will need to use this to run Kindle smoothly on the Nova.

Screen sensitivity seems good on both devices. I haven't tried writing on either device, so I can't tell you anything about that.

Please let me know if you have any other questions.
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Old 09-08-2019, 02:49 PM   #3
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The comparison should be between nova pro and the muses, the likebook mars does not have wacom compatibility.
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Old 09-08-2019, 03:00 PM   #4
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I don't have a Nova Pro. I have the basic Nova. No Wacom capability!
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Old 09-08-2019, 04:25 PM   #5
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Sorry, when he said he want to write I immediately though about writing with a pen. And I still think he wanted to said that because he put aside writing and typing.
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Old 09-08-2019, 05:36 PM   #6
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Good point. The Likebook Mars isn't compatible with a stylus, either. The Muses and the Nova pro would be the better comparison.
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:09 PM   #7
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downeaster, many thanks. I am talking about typing with the onscreen keyboard, not a stylus, which I have no interest in. Your experiences reflect mine. Onyx is more solid.

I have a question. A bug exists on the poke pro. When reading a book, when I press and hold a word to look up a word in the dictionary, the poke does not respond to the long-press. When I do a long-press a second time, it responds. If I do a page turn, then do a long-press, it responds. It seems to need to "wake up." The problem does not exist with a short press. Have you experienced this on the Nova? I have communicated with Onyx about this bug, and I am resigned to them never fixing it.

Incidentally, have you tried installing Onyx Neoreader on the Mars?

Anyway, its looks like the Nova is superior to the Mars, which I suspected. But then it should be, because it costs more.

Last edited by Pajamaman; 09-10-2019 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:39 PM   #8
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The onscreen keyboard works well with both devices.

I have tried a long press on a word in a book on my Nova, to see if I can replicate the bug on your Poke Pro. I have done it several times, and each time, the Nova responds to the long press. As soon as I end the long press, the dictionary pops up. The dictionary does not pop up until I end the long press. So, that bug does not seem to be on the Nova.

No, I have not tried installing NeoReader on my Mars.
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:51 AM   #9
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Thanks for the test. I am dissapointed with Onyx about this. I very much doubt they will fix this most fundamental features. C'est la vie.

I'll hold off for now. I'll probably get a 6.8" device as it is more convenient for reading, with an orange light. The market does not seem to have want I want at the moment.

Last edited by Pajamaman; 09-10-2019 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:10 AM   #10
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I haven't seen an Android eInk device with a 6.8 inch display and an orange light yet. I hope someone comes up with one as that size seems to be a better fit for you.

As for me, I started out on 6 inch devices. I then tried the Onyx Note, but at 10.3 inches, it was too big for comfortable reading. Now that I use the Nova, I have grown to really like the 7.8 inch size and find a 6 inch display too cramped.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:20 PM   #11
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The ONYX BOOX T76ML is 6.8" with an orange light, but the reviews on this board are dismal. Part of the problem of getting these devices is that they come from Asia, and if you get a lemon, it's a pain getting it fixed. It feels a bit like a lottery, or a high-wire act without a net.

How do you find holding a 7.8" device? It seems very large. I'm so lazy I want to get a remote page turner so I don't need to move, never mind hold the device.
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:37 PM   #12
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I've never used the T76, but I believe it was an upgrade of the T68 - and apparently no more successful than the T68. I ended up returning TWO of those devices before I got one that actually worked. I didn't do too well in that lottery.

When I use my Nova, I usually hold it in my left hand and use my right hand to select the book or app, turn pages, and so on. The Nova does not feel heavy - it's a little lighter than the Likebook Mars - and it fits well in my hand. (It's about the largest device that would fit well in my hand.) It's not uncomfortable for extended reading. It's a bit easier to hold when it's not in its case - but there isn't that much difference. It's slightly less comfortable than a 6 inch device would be for me, but not so much as to be a deal-breaker.
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Old 09-11-2019, 05:40 PM   #13
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Nova storage

There's something that nobody's mentioned that puzzles me. Everyone states that the Likebook Mars has an SD card slot and the Onyx Nova does not. However, the Nova has Android and a USB-C port so a USB-C SD card reader can be attached to it to add storage. At least, that seems to be the case from what I've read. So even though the SD is not built-in, it's addable.
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Old 09-12-2019, 01:37 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by KethanTX View Post
There's something that nobody's mentioned that puzzles me. Everyone states that the Likebook Mars has an SD card slot and the Onyx Nova does not. However, the Nova has Android and a USB-C port so a USB-C SD card reader can be attached to it to add storage. At least, that seems to be the case from what I've read. So even though the SD is not built-in, it's addable.
Oh yes!
You can also connect it with the USB C cable to a computer with x terabytes.
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Old 09-12-2019, 04:29 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by KethanTX View Post
There's something that nobody's mentioned that puzzles me. Everyone states that the Likebook Mars has an SD card slot and the Onyx Nova does not. However, the Nova has Android and a USB-C port so a USB-C SD card reader can be attached to it to add storage. At least, that seems to be the case from what I've read. So even though the SD is not built-in, it's addable.
Assuming USB host functionality is available you could do that but that's rather clumsy compared to an SD card.
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