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Old 11-10-2018, 07:01 AM   #1
holger.nestmann
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Onyx Boox Setups

Hi all,

I am a little curious how you guys and gals use your Onyx devices. They are in an interesting niche of being very, very good at specific tasks, such as note taking and reading, but their software allows them to become so much more.
I am sure there are so many great uses people discovered, that we can all learn from each other some thing. So let me start.



Device:
Onyx Boox Note (10.3)
After getting myself a cheapish 6 inch ereader, I remembered how great eink screens are.
But since I rather read the news on websites vs. books I also saw how bad eink screens are at scrolling and displaying ads. So I went ahead and looked for something bigger which requires less scrolling and runs an open android which can install browsers that make browsing experience bearable.
Now that I got it I enjoy note taking at work too. It is just so much easier to find your notes compared to my paper notebooks I used before. On the various calls I have throughout the day people might think I have a good memory

Accessories:
Case: Ipad Pro 10.5 Leather sleeve. While costly it is a beatiful case, which protects the screen in my backpack and allows storing the out of the box stylus.

Stylus: Wacom PL-900 with some extra nibs. Currently I am using the felt nibs.
Works perfectly fine feature wise, erasing wors both with button and flipping it around. However it doesn't fit the ipad sleeve and sometimes the calibration gets off. Not sure if this is due to my lacking calibration skills or it requires recalibation at some point.
A slimmer version or a wacom stylus with a shirt clip would be awesome.

Keyboard: GIM Bluetooth wireless. I was never a big fan of touchscreen keyboards (I use a blackberry), but I wanted to get also a bit of writing done on my Note as it works great outside - So I got a bluetooth keyboard, which isn't too bulky and can act as a stand for the Onyx. This is the first longer text I write on this and the layout is a bit awkward as you might see on the typos I do not catch. I would love to use the microsoft universal keyboard, but finding a unit which can be used on battery seems to be impossible these days. They are all broken. I am open for suggestions.

Software:
Launcher: Nova Launcher - for my uses the stock launcher isn't the most efficient one as I want to put Website Shortcuts on it and other apps and stuff The stock launcher has too much focus on the reading app and lack customizability. However if you guys have suggestions for a simple launcher that doesnt have animations and a great contrast but works like a normal android launcher I am all ears.

Browser:
Brave / Lightning - Good browsers with ad blockers which have reasonable screen update when scrolling. Woudld love to use firefox as the address bar is so much better in finding pages you visited long ago, but it doesn't work on eink.

Utilities:
Rotation Control (Screen Rotator) - Onyx - come on replace that +- button on the note with a screen rotator. Requirring a third party tool which doesn't survive a restart is uselessly cumbersome.
Soft Keys Home Back Button (On Screen Contro)- Since some apps run in full screen and the multi purpose button is not great on getting back home to switch an app I use this app. Surprisingly it survises a restart on the onyx, but can be in the way sometimes.
Null Keyboard: To hide the onscreen keyboard when using bluetooth keyboard. Should also be build in, but hey we have androids openess to help out

What am I missing?
A good keyboard
Better bluetooth keyboard support (like hiding softkeyboard, or switch to A2 like scrolling)
Simple screen rotation
Easier way to get home
Better speakers

How do you use your Onyx? I'd love to hear about your tips and tricks.

Last edited by holger.nestmann; 11-10-2018 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 11-11-2018, 08:07 PM   #2
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Good post, always good to pick up what apps work on e-Ink and what don't.
I use...
Built in apps, NeoReader, Notepad etc.
A bluetooth keyboard not dissimilar to yours, the ThinkPad tablet keyboard.
Motorola S-9HD bluetooth headset (ocasionally)
Holux 1000 GPS... for outdoor navigation along with Bluetooth GPS provider software.
For mapping I use HERE WeGo as you can work offline with it easily. (you would invariably not want to lug the Boox around town just to navigate, but if you have it on you...and you're walking outdoors it is a handy moving map)
AccuBattery - to extend battery life. Recharge to 93% to double your battery lifespan compared with a full charge
Reading apps: Kindle, Challenger viewer (comics),Kiwix (w Portable wikipedia)
Library apps: Overdrive, CloudLibrary (rubbish but one library I belong to uses it), RBdigital (magazines),
News apps: BBC News, BBC Weather
Utilities: Open Hidden Settings, Orientation control
File management: RelaunchX, X-plore, Google drive.
Games: Yukon Gold Solitaire, Wordament, Minesweeper
Browser: SRWare Iron, Need to turn on A2 mode with this, otherwise works better than any other browser I've tried on the Note.
Office: WPS Office and WriterP
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Old 11-12-2018, 01:24 PM   #3
holger.nestmann
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Thanks James, very interesting to read how you use it.

External GPS seems like a good idea indeed. Are you using it in a car for turn by turn or just for outdoor activities?

Are you happy with the thinkpad keyboard? Does the nub work and if so does can you follow the cursor on the screen? It seems a bit expensive but having a thinkpad keyboard sounds very tempting
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Old 11-12-2018, 06:08 PM   #4
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I really like the Bluetooth keyboard. They are an old design so easy to pick up cheap. Mine cost me 30 GBP on the Bay for a new one, you should be able to pick one up for similar money. The only downside is that they need to be 100% charged before pairing for the first time. Since then I have had no issues. The nub on the keyboard is not a normal thinkpad nub, more a touch pad device shrunk to nub size. But it does allow you to move the cursor around the screen. It is not that precise to be honest! But you can mix touch and pen and keyboard for cursor positioning. Although that's not perfect.
You could use the Note for turn by turn Nav but I was only using as a moving tourist map. I have a bit of history with GPS and eInk. I made hardware mods to wire in a GPS module into the Kobo and ran Top Hat Soaring software on it. See
https://vimeo.com/67223752
The Note could do this as well, but it isn't a handy size for mounting on your flight deck. eInk is perfect for flight instruments as you need something that is daylight readable and has good battery life.
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Old 11-12-2018, 06:14 PM   #5
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(removed duplicate post)

Last edited by james_; 11-13-2018 at 01:29 PM. Reason: Accidentally posted twice
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Old 11-13-2018, 02:35 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by james_ View Post
AccuBattery - to extend battery life. Recharge to 93% to double your battery lifespan compared with a full charge
You can use battery charge limit root for that, and instead of getting an alert, the charge will stop completely.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...rgelimit&hl=en

Last edited by whopper; 11-13-2018 at 02:53 AM.
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Old 11-13-2018, 12:48 PM   #7
rafail
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I use the Anker7721 keyboard which works very well. It connects as soon as I turn it on, if the Onyx Note's bluetooth is turned on, it's quite solid and portable and cost only 32 euro including transport.
I also use the awesome External Keyboard Helper that allows me to realloc some keys or to enter special characters with key combination and eliminates the trouble with the appearance of the virtual keyboard that I heard some people complain).
For Typeing, I use iA Writer, which generates a .txt or markdown file that I convert in .docx on a computer with Typora. IA Writer allows me to insert footnotes in a document and is extremely simple, focusing only on the text. (about on the same level is Epsilon Notes )

Some applications I use on Onyx Notes:
- Swapps to access applications when the status bar is not available - it moves unexpectedly well and it takes me out of any mess;
- Rotation Control for typing in landscape mode;
- FX as Explorer (moves better than File Manager) - has the ability to transfer files via Share - bluetooth;
- For text editing I used WPS Office, OfficeSuite and AndrOpen Office but are more cumbersome than iA Writer. (WPS Office does not have the ability to enter footnotes);
- For reading I sometimes use Librera, Moon Reader, eReader Prestigio, although I generally use the built-in NeoReader application wich covers all document types;
- As a dictionary GoldenDict is by far the best;
- For virtual keyboard G-Board, ai-type or SwiftKey;
- For handwriting we wait for 2.0 firmware...It would be great to be able to use the Lecture Notes or Squid application, but I dare not hope too much...

This is my 4-month experience with Onyx Notes ...
Thank you for this tread.
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Last edited by rafail; 11-13-2018 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 11-13-2018, 04:21 PM   #8
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External GPS seems like a good idea indeed
Been there.
https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sh...&highlight=gps
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Old 11-13-2018, 06:28 PM   #9
holger.nestmann
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This is my 4-month experience with Onyx Notes ...
Thank you for this tread.
Thank you for sharing. What case / stand is that?
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Old 11-14-2018, 03:58 AM   #10
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Nice to read that someone else is using the Thinkpad Tablet 2 bluetooth keyboard, I think it's the best topping experience you can get in the 10 inch form factor. Would have been even nicer to get a proper Trackpoint, but it's handleable as is.

Haven't actually used the Onyx for typing outside that much yet though, partly due to two little issues.
1) I've been getting a weird effect recently where on hitting enter on the keyboard (to get a new line), the Note also registers that as a mouse click wherever the cursor happens to be. As a result, the virtual keyboard pops up, and the cursor is now moved too wherever the mouse click was registered, so I continue writing elsewhere. In not sure, but I had the feeling that this didn't happen previously, although I hadn't changed any settings. Wondering if the latest firmware introduced the issue?
2) This is just an issue of comfort, I like being able to write with the keyboard and device on my lap (especially useful when sitting on a sofa or a deck chair for example). This is where a normal laptop provides a more secure experience. it's doable with the Thinkpad keyboard thanks to the inbuilt stand, but it is still a potentially shaky construction, and you cannot lean it too far in any direction. Had anyone found a clever solution for a secure but removable attachment? (thought about magnets, elastic string, something along those lines)
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Old 11-14-2018, 07:58 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by holger.nestmann View Post
Thank you for sharing. What case / stand is that?
It is its own protective case that I distanced it with a cardboard prism (my own manufacture) according to the inclination of the board I'm writing.
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Old 11-14-2018, 08:16 AM   #12
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and the cursor is now moved too wherever the mouse click was registered, so I continue writing elsewhere.
This happened to me trying to use the laptop's keyboard and pad to type on Onyx Notes (with Across application). However, the mouse pointer on the Onyx Note screen moves so slowly that I dropped the idea of a keyboard with pad and resigned with a simple keyboard.
Try External Keyboard Helper maybe will solve the problem ...
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Old 11-14-2018, 08:17 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franzli View Post
Nice to read that someone else is using the Thinkpad Tablet 2 bluetooth keyboard, I think it's the best topping experience you can get in the 10 inch form factor. Would have been even nicer to get a proper Trackpoint, but it's handleable as is.

Haven't actually used the Onyx for typing outside that much yet though, partly due to two little issues.
1) I've been getting a weird effect recently where on hitting enter on the keyboard (to get a new line), the Note also registers that as a mouse click wherever the cursor happens to be. As a result, the virtual keyboard pops up, and the cursor is now moved too wherever the mouse click was registered, so I continue writing elsewhere. In not sure, but I had the feeling that this didn't happen previously, although I hadn't changed any settings. Wondering if the latest firmware introduced the issue?
2) This is just an issue of comfort, I like being able to write with the keyboard and device on my lap (especially useful when sitting on a sofa or a deck chair for example). This is where a normal laptop provides a more secure experience. it's doable with the Thinkpad keyboard thanks to the inbuilt stand, but it is still a potentially shaky construction, and you cannot lean it too far in any direction. Had anyone found a clever solution for a secure but removable attachment? (thought about magnets, elastic string, something along those lines)
Here is an idea; what about using a breakfast/bed tray and position the reader and keyboard on top of it?
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Old 11-14-2018, 06:39 PM   #14
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2) This is just an issue of comfort, I like being able to write with the keyboard and device on my lap (especially useful when sitting on a sofa or a deck chair for example). This is where a normal laptop provides a more secure experience. it's doable with the Thinkpad keyboard thanks to the inbuilt stand, but it is still a potentially shaky construction, and you cannot lean it too far in any direction. Had anyone found a clever solution for a secure but removable attachment? (thought about magnets, elastic string, something along those lines)
The "RL021" I mentioned at the Any recommendation for BT keyboard and stand for Max2? thread has an oblique groove that hosts a Max2 perfectly ( = even landscape). In case it needs to be secured further, there will be little problem in fitting the tablet tightly in the groove using some thick filler.
For height adjustment, Sacco-Teodoro-Paolini style pillows for shape filling in the lower layer and more rigid material on top can make an adequate provisional desk.

Anyway, just to be sure, I would screw a stand like the "official Onyx" one to an adequately sized wooden table to make a portable desk for occasional seats, especially useful to put a keyboard on it and to put your support below it.

Last edited by mdp; 11-14-2018 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 11-15-2018, 05:10 AM   #15
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Anyway, just to be sure, I would screw a stand like the "official Onyx" one to an adequately sized wooden table to make a portable desk for occasional seats, especially useful to put a keyboard on it and to put your support below it.
Also: if you have an available and reliable professional (I am not joking, there are a few) dealing with - selling and cutting - poliurethane, you may be set: draw your project and have it cut. I have made many. One of them is a stand for the tablet (i86), roughly typewriter shaped, fitting the equipment on top and the body at the bottom, with a slot to host my former bluetooth keyboard (which had a ridge to keep it slanted and worked well as a hook).
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