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Old 04-01-2014, 07:08 PM   #1
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Onyx Boox M96 vs M92

Hi,


With M96 apparently scheduled to be coming soon I'm considering an upgrade and I would like to ask those in the know what advantages will M96 provide over M92, especially when it comes to handling books/documents, the core function of the device.

Here are the differences that were mentioned on this forum:

Code:
 +-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
 |                                                                       |
 |      M96                               M92                            |
 | * rockchip A8 1GHz processor      * iMX 508 Processor (800Mhz Cortex) |
 | * DDR3 512MB                      * 256 MB DDR                        |
 | * Android 2.3                     * Linux                             |
 | * 85Hz refresh rate carta screen  * 50Hz refresh rate pearl screen    |
 | * resolution: ?                   * resolution: 1200px x 825px        |
 |                                                                       |
 +-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
I suppose, that running Android means that the killer "multitasking" feature will now come for free as it is implemented in the operating system. So opening several books at once will just work.

I assume, that we will also be able to run apk files as well as anything from the Google Play store, like for example, a decent web browser, a reader of your choice, perhaps the Kindle reader?

Will having more RAM enhance the user experience in any way?

Does a slightly faster processor of a different make make any noticeable difference when it comes to the time needed for opening books or page turns?

I was most puzzled about and interested in the next item in the table, though, the advantages of the "carta screen". I found some vague answers on eInk's website and also a comparison of pearl and carta screens.

I guess the 85Hz vs 50 Hz is what eInk describes as:

Quote:
the new Regal technology for page updates. Regal virtually eliminates the need for a full page refresh giving the reader smoother page transitions for more focused reading.
So smother page transitions but does it mean faster too?

Finally, will M96 offer a greater screen resolution than its predecessor?
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Old 04-02-2014, 01:24 AM   #2
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I know very little about the M96, but I certainly wouldn't take Google Play Store access for granted. AFAIK Google restricts access to devices that meet its hardware requirements, and I would be surprised if the M96 was qualified. However, you should be able to sideload apks from other sources.
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:53 AM   #3
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I've read somewhere that the resolution will be the same.

I think that for Android, you need more RAM and more speed, so I don't wait a big surprise for the user experience.
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Old 04-02-2014, 01:05 PM   #4
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Where is it mentioned that it will have carta screen tech?

Resolution will be the same as M92 : 1200 x 825
It was confirmed by Zeng in this post https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...1&postcount=88

According to this image, M96 will have pearl screen and 4.0 OS
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=1&theater

I am assuming that the reason for changing the processor has more to do with old processor's incompatibility with android etc.

Increased RAM should be a good thing but android system will also require more RAM to function optimally.

Bottleneck is again E-ink screen, which will take long time to refresh and load new information.

I am also looking forward to M96 for these reasons:
Android, Multitasking, Better Dictionary Support, More Reading Apps beside the usual three, Fast Refresh Mode implemented by Onyx (This mode should be very useful for web browsing), More Cloud Support, I am also assuming that Bluetooth support will let us connect keyboard.

It will most probably be a good ereader, but i was expecting much more after 2 and half years wait

Last edited by Feher; 04-02-2014 at 01:17 PM.
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:28 PM   #5
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The carta screen was also mentioned by Zeng here.

That's what I thought about the CPU and RAM, an upgrade forced by Android. It will be interesting to see what impact this will have on the battery life, which if to trust the specs sheet remains of the same capacity.

Hopefully, we won't have to jump through hoops in order to install an app of our choice. I have enough of rooting etc. It's a massive PITA and waste of life.

Yes, it's been a long time. Even though I'm excited that there are signs of progress I was expecting a bit more too. I would welcome if not a faster or whiter then at least higher resolution screen. The eInk's website lists three 9.7" pearl models: 1200 x 825, 1600 x 1200, and 2400 x 1650. I'm wondering what extra cost would employing the middle one incur.

I get the feeling that Onyx and others are influenced by the tablet crowd, who would not buy an ereader even if was half price of their slabs anyway, and balance the specs to make their devices priced not too far from the tablets.
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:42 AM   #6
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It will be great if M96 will have carta screen tech. I would like to have an HD version if extra cost isn't more than 100 USD.
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Old 04-04-2014, 05:50 AM   #7
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I don't know how this works but if plugging a different resolution screen to a reader is just like plugging a different screen to a regular PC then Onyx could release both the cheaper standard resolution and more expensive high resolution versions with little extra overhead on their side. That would give their customers some choice.
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:25 PM   #8
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I agree, two versions can be sold; yet if that does not happen, can we not install a high resolution screen on the product? Maybe Onyx/ Zeng can suggest compatible screens?

Also, that message says that the release date would be in March, there is a delay now I assume?
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Old 04-10-2014, 05:29 AM   #9
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I was thinking about the same. However, it's unlikely such component can be bought the same way as other accessories like a stylus or a cover, you probably need to make a wholesale order. In which case if Onyx do not release their new reader with different screen options then perhaps we could speak with Booxtor about the possibility of buying a different screen from his shop. All of that assuming that the screens are of a plug'n'play sort.

Regarding the release date, I've recently asked Booxtor about that and he said M96/T68 would be *delivered* in 2-3 weeks due to the engineers putting the finishing touches to the readers. This does not mean the devices will be available for sale right away. I suppose, Booxtor will want to play with them a little bit before offering them to the public to make sure everything is top notch.

I for one would appreciate some more official news from Onyx channels...

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Old 04-10-2014, 09:44 AM   #10
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Thank you very much for the info machino! Asking booxtor for different screens makes a lot of sense too...
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Old 04-10-2014, 02:29 PM   #11
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Wow! Is Booxtor around here still? I was under the impresion that he was long gone...
Totally agree that Onyx are really bad communicating. They need a better PR team. Their products have lots of potential but so-so software (at least in the m92 which is what I know) and bad marketing are making them lose lots of money. At least I think so.
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Old 06-13-2014, 11:36 AM   #12
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Now that the M96 has been released. Could anyone give a statement if one should get it or its predecessor? The neighbour thread already has some first impressions, but maybe the owner of both devices could share their assessment on both devices here.
I may be difficult to compare them at that early stage of the M96 but after reading the first impressions, the M96 doesn't seem to be that much better than the M92. Maybe we have to wait for the SW to get better.
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Old 07-10-2014, 04:42 PM   #13
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Hi derball,


I couldn't resist and took the plunge, M92 waits for a new home in an auction now :-)

It's been just a few days and I haven't had that much time to fully explore and unearth the bugs but I skimmed through the functionality of M96. I run it with the 2014-07-01 firmware.

I must say that even though I was excited I was also sceptical. Then the reader arrived in a very short time (great service from Booxtor). First blow - what have they done to the cover?! It looks and feels much nicer than the horrible faux leather of M92 cover but they moved the stylus holder from the inside of the spine to the top of the side where the reader sits. If you are a frequent stylus user you will feel the pain, I do. Then another blow. I was trying to update with OTA and it didn't find any updates, I had to do it manually. Not a good start.

But if you forget about these two initial problems, the reader itself feels much sleeker now. The outside, case, buttons etc., there is no difference from M92 but the inside... it feels soooo much more usable. First, the menus are nicer and the keyboard is nicer too. The pages turn very fast in the so called quality mode and almost instantaneously when you turn on the mysterious 'A2' refresh mode. Not only that, but this mode also removes flashing as you turn pages. Wow! If you are in that fast mode the quality degrades beyond the acceptable level occasionally but I haven't figured out when exactly. When it happens long press (about 1 second) of the home button does a full refresh and brings the quality back to normal.

Then there is the scribble function. It's very sleek. In M92 I had an impression that I was scribbling with a nail. The lines had rough edges, it was usable but far from pretty. Now the lines are very smooth, I think it makes my handwriting looks better than it actually is

You can use Google Play store to install apps. I haven't had any problems so far although I've only installed about a dozen of different PDF readers to try them out. All of them installed fine and none of them crashed during use.

Finally the web browser. It was barely usable before. Now it just works! I browsed this forum and I browsed the BBC pages without a glitch. Tabs work, bookmarks work, connection to wifi works.


My initial impressions are very positive and I'm happy I've upgraded. There are some problems (here is an example, watch this thread for specifics) but I remain optimistic that with Booxtor in charge they will get ironed out sooner rather than later.


I hope it helps a little. If you have any questions, shoot, and I will try to help. It's a bit like walking in the dark as there is no manual apart from the quick start booklet, same old story...
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Old 07-11-2014, 02:19 AM   #14
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Thanks for the useful insight. I am especially interested in scribbling - could you please check if the following is possible in the stock scribble app:
1. Insert page (between existing pages)
2. Delete (remove) page
3. Rename scribble file
4. Sort scribble files, specifically by file name descending
5. Search scribble files by a text string in the file name
6. Return to the list of search hits after opening and closing a scribble file that was found with search function.
7. Export/convert scribble files to pdf

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 07-11-2014, 10:49 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by machinogodzilla View Post
[...]But if you forget about these two initial problems, the reader itself feels much sleeker now. The outside, case, buttons etc., there is no difference from M92 but the inside... it feels soooo much more usable. First, the menus are nicer and the keyboard is nicer too. The pages turn very fast in the so called quality mode and almost instantaneously when you turn on the mysterious 'A2' refresh mode. Not only that, but this mode also removes flashing as you turn pages. Wow! If you are in that fast mode the quality degrades beyond the acceptable level occasionally but I haven't figured out when exactly. When it happens long press (about 1 second) of the home button does a full refresh and brings the quality back to normal.
[...]
Thanks for your response!
I am mainly interested in the reading feature of the device and that cited paragraph really makes me nervous about buying that device. I was worrying about the 'lag' and the flash between page turning, but the M96 seems to almost resolve this issue.
Do you mind taking a short video showing the reading functionality with the quality mode/ A2 refresh mode please?

Also, what would your personal recommendation be when it comes to reading only? Go for the M96 or does the M92 do the job aswell?
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