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Old 04-20-2018, 07:01 AM   #1
UncleZeno
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Question from N96 to Max2 - is it worth?

Hello everyone,

I am happy owner for almost 2 years of a Onyx N96ML.
I like it very much and I enjoyed the upgrades that came over the time.

As I love to study taking notes, underlining and writing my own plane notes, I was thinking if it is a good idea to upgrade to the Max2.

Do you think that for hand writing the upgrade will make a big difference?

Moreover as I am reading very often before going to sleep do you think that using the Max 2 will be comfortable and not so much of a problem for its weight and size? I am asking because I will eventually sell my loved N96ML

Thanks
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Old 04-22-2018, 05:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleZeno View Post
Hello everyone,

I am happy owner for almost 2 years of a Onyx N96ML.
I like it very much and I enjoyed the upgrades that came over the time.

As I love to study taking notes, underlining and writing my own plane notes, I was thinking if it is a good idea to upgrade to the Max2.

Do you think that for hand writing the upgrade will make a big difference?

Moreover as I am reading very often before going to sleep do you think that using the Max 2 will be comfortable and not so much of a problem for its weight and size? I am asking because I will eventually sell my loved N96ML

Thanks
The size won't change much in terms of note taking experience IMHO. I always hold Max in both hands. I'm not sure if 9,7" would be small enough to hold naturally in one hand only though. I never had N96 so cannot help more
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Old 04-23-2018, 05:22 AM   #3
UncleZeno
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plusz View Post
The size won't change much in terms of note taking experience IMHO. I always hold Max in both hands. I'm not sure if 9,7" would be small enough to hold naturally in one hand only though. I never had N96 so cannot help more
Hi,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

N96ml can be hold with 1 hand assuming you have a surface where to "hold" part of the weight. Otherwise is a bit tiring. Maybe on a bigger size the weight is even better distributed.

For the note taking I think the difference will be quite important... From 9.7 to 13.3 inches there is around 30%. I am also very interested in having 2 pages in a single screen lile a real book. This will be simply not possible on the n96.

I will be go most probably for the max2 but still I am unsure for the price that is very high compared to my salary.

Cheers!
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Old 04-24-2018, 03:53 AM   #4
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I would say that Max2 is probably worth it, but there are some key differences that aren't advantages.

1. Max2 does not have a frontlight like the N96ML (in fact, 9.7" N96ml is the largest current device with one).
2. The weight is almost similar (max2 may be ~50g heavier), but Max2 is a significantly bigger device overall - unwieldy for bedtime use. One hand use will be unstable and uncomfortable unless you have big hands (much above average).
3. No SD card expansion slot. While the device does come with 32GB storage, this is a -ve.

That said, Max2 has a higher resolution screen with greater ppi (207 vs 150 ppi for N96), better hardware specs and can double up as a monitor with some essential tweaks. Max2 also has android 6.0 which means most apps can run on the device. The better hardware makes it somewhat more usable for general apps too, but not as good as a normal tablet.

Quote:
From 9.7 to 13.3 inches there is around 30%
More like >85% increase in surface area actually.

Quote:
I am also very interested in having 2 pages in a single screen lile a real book. This will be simply not possible on the n96.
The native reading app of Max2 does not support split screen mode, although the pdf note taking mode supports a side note view where it shows a split screen with one side for note taking. There is an app called Librera which supports the two page mode - it works on both Max2 and N96, although the latter device is less usable in this mode for some documents.

Last edited by gimble; 04-24-2018 at 04:12 AM.
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Old 04-24-2018, 04:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleZeno View Post
From 9.7 to 13.3 inches there is around
13.3^2 / 9.7^2 ~= 1.88

88% more is a lot. It almost doubles your screen.

And: is not that 9.7'' a 1200 x 825?
(2200 x 1650) / (1200 x 825) ~= 3.67

The Max2 has almost 4 times as information (plus the eye pleasing density advantage etc.) than the other screen!

It is a "three times better" screen.
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Old 04-24-2018, 04:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdp View Post
13.3^2 / 9.7^2 ~= 1.88

88% more is a lot. It almost doubles your screen.

And: is not that 9.7'' a 1200 x 825?
(2200 x 1650) / (1200 x 825) ~= 3.67
Now that you mention it, since the N96 isn't a 4:3 screen, its area is actually smaller than a corresponding 4:3 screen by (825/900), which means Max2 has about ~2.05 times the area of N96, at a 38% higher ppi. The screen is a huge improvement indeed.
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Old 04-24-2018, 05:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gimble View Post
Now that you mention it, since the N96 isn't a 4:3 screen, its area is actually smaller than a corresponding 4:3 screen by (825/900), which means Max2 has about ~2.05 times the area of N96, at a 38% higher ppi. The screen is a huge improvement indeed.
Correct, I noticed the 9.7 is not a 4:3 but did not link it to having assumed the same proportion. The real calculation should have been:
(271 x 203) / (203 x 139) ~= 1.95
if I did not make mistakes, the Max2 has 95% more area than the N96, it's practically double in size and somehow quadruple in the number of dots.
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Old 04-24-2018, 06:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdp View Post
The real calculation should have been:
(271 x 203) / (203 x 139) ~= 1.95.
Agreed.

With a more precise calculation assuming the resolution translates to the actual dimensions, I am getting (10.64" x 7.98")/(7.99" x 5.49") ~=1.93.

Regardless, the screen advantage is huge. I am surprised that e-ink is still manufacturing 9.7" screens at that resolution while every other screen size (except budget 6" and smaller screens) comes with a better resolution.
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Old 04-24-2018, 07:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gimble View Post
assuming the resolution translates to the actual dimensions, I am getting (10.64" x 7.98")/(7.99" x 5.49") ~=1.93
I used the measures public at
https://www.eink.com/modules.html
I have them in millimeters ("Active area").

Quote:
Originally Posted by gimble View Post
I am surprised that e-ink is still manufacturing 9.7" screens at that resolution
The 9.7'' lo-res (ED097TC2) costs 250$, the much better 10.3'' hi-res (ES103TC1), ~2.67 times as rich, costs 350$. Yes, for current quality the 9.7'' has an exhorbitant cost, it could easily be valued as 150$ worth or less.
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Old 04-24-2018, 07:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdp View Post
I used the measures public at
https://www.eink.com/modules.html
Thanks for the link.

I didn't realize that they actually have color displays available for purchase. Very expensive, and I wonder if anyone has actually reviewed it.

Looks like the 9.7" screen is at least due for a resolution/dpi update when compared to their other screens.
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Old 04-24-2018, 07:37 AM   #11
UncleZeno
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Hi guys,

Thank you all.

Just yesterday evening I was reading a book before going to sleep and realized how important is the back light in that situation.

Anyway from your words I am even more convinced that for studying and taking notes, especially adding Librera, the upgrade will be quite noticeable.
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Old 05-06-2018, 05:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleZeno View Post
Do you think that for hand writing the upgrade will make a big difference?

Moreover as I am reading very often before going to sleep do you think that using the Max 2 will be comfortable
Thanks
They broke the handwriting in N96. This is the main reason I still keep my M96. The problem is that while they broke the handwriting, the rest of the software has improved. Anyway, neither of the two models have received any firmware updates for a year now. Booxtor fell silent, so who knows if things will improve.

Personally I find N96 too heavy for comfortable use and Max2 is similar weight. I'd love to try Sony or Remarkable each weighing at around 350g but I wouldn't pay for either. I don't think Sony is very committed to supporting their reader while Remarkable provides atrocious customer service, the device has numerous problems and they won't commit to give any information about the firmware future updates:

Quote:
At this point we do not have a publicly available overview of upcoming updates.
So your best bet is probably Max2 at the moment which will probably be supported for some time and may receive an update that improves the quality of the handwriting while being not too much heavier than N96.
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