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Old 04-10-2015, 10:04 AM   #1
alain_desilets
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DO NOT BUY ONYX BOOX! Terrible device, terrible customer service!

Just wanted to share my horrible experience with the Onyx Boox. I know some folks rave about it, but it has not been my experience at all.

SHORT STORY

I bought this device because I wanted an e-ink reader with Text-to-Speech (TTS), that could double up as an easy-on-the-eyes Android tablet for browsing the web and reading email.

The device was sort of OK as a vanilla book reader but it failed miserably at all other tasks I had bought it for. Even worse, it stopped working after 3 days, and Onyx refused to refund me in spite of much negotiations and their supposedly “no-questions-asked” refund policy.

LONG STORY

The Onyx Boox Universe was sort of OK as a vanilla book reader but failed miserably at everything else (which makes it kind of pointless to buy this instead of say, a Kobo or Kindle, which are better optimized for book reading).

The TTS feature didn’t work. It only read the first sentence of each page, then stopped.

The web browser took forever to display most pages (like… 30 seconds per new page), and very often, it would not properly refresh pages when paging up or down. For example, I was unable to use it to post to the MobileRead forum, because I would be typing a forum post in a text box, then scroll down the page, and when I came back to the top of the page, the submit button had disappeared (and all form buttons for that matter) . This meant that I could not submit my post. Pressing the refresh button didn’t help. I literally had to leave the page, come back to it, and restart the process, this time, making sure I didn’t scroll down or up before posting. This kind of major annoyances happened regularly, I’d say about once every 30 mins at least.

Also, in order to use this device to answer email, I had to get a Bluetooth keyboard, because otherwise, you have to type with a “single finger” (the screen only works with the stylus) and that’s way too slow for my taste. I didn’t mind buying the keyboard but the problem was that every time I put down the tablet for say, 30 mins, it would loose the bluetooth connection. I would then have to go into settings and reconnect the tablet to my keyboard, which took about 1-2 mins each time. This is a real pain if you are using the tablet for short burst interspersed with long pauses as I do.

At that point, I was starting to think that I would ask for a refund, as per their “no questions asked” refund policy which is described at the bottom of this page:

https://onyx-boox.com/support/shipment-and-returns/

The final straw happened when the device stopped working altogether after I installed an app to change the orientation to landscape. This is a standard feature of all android devices, but I was surprised to find that it’s not standard on the Onyx Boox. So I downloaded and installed an app called Set Orientation. It worked fine for 2 days, until I ran the Onyx pen calibration routine. At that point, the device became completely unusable, because there is a bug in Onyx’s calibration routine (it does not take current orientation into account). This bug caused it to learn a screen mapping that is completely warped. As a result, most of the icons that I see on the screen, including the very important Apps and Settings icons, have become “unclickable”. Clicking on those icons does nothing, or ends up clicking on a different icon, and there are no locations anywhere on the screen that end up clicking on those two icons. I can’t even reset the device to factory settings, because you can’t do that using only physical buttons on the device.

At that point, I asked for a refund and after much back and forth with the company, they ultimately refused, claiming that they do not support landscape mode. I tried to argue that if it’s the case that changing orientation renders the device unusable, then it’s THEIR RESPONSABILITY to make sure that no application can ever do that. Or at the very least it’s THEIR RESPONSIBILITY to make sure that you can reset the device to factory settings using physical buttons only, so that if an app does mess up the screen mapping, you can still get back on your feet. But they still refused to refund me.

I conclusion, I would strongly advise anyone against buying this device, nor any device manufactured by Onyx.
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Old 04-10-2015, 10:42 AM   #2
CoronarJunkee
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You can reset the device to factory settings by only using the physical buttons.

1) you can browse the settings with the buttons only and navigate to factory reset
2) you can turn the device off (long press on the power button), then restart with power button and menu button until you see the device booting up without the graphic interface. You should see the option to reset the device right there.

Cheers.
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Old 04-10-2015, 10:43 AM   #3
Dr. Drib
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The Refund Policy states within 14 days of receiving it.

Your first post here - when you actually had the Onyx on hand - was on 3/14/2015.

Your claim of dissatisfaction is certainly legitimate, but I seriously doubt that you created a ticket before those 14 days were up.

You should try to negotiate for a repair or some kind of exchange for a working unit.

Other members here will chime in and offer their opinions. Most are happy and some (such as yourself) are unhappy.

The 'actual' truth is probably somewhere within a middle area.
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Old 04-10-2015, 12:53 PM   #4
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I bought my Boox T68 for the same reasons you did. I've been very satisfied.
Quote:
Originally Posted by alain_desilets View Post
Also, in order to use this device to answer email, I had to get a Bluetooth keyboard, because otherwise, you have to type with a “single finger” (the screen only works with the stylus) and that’s way too slow for my taste. I didn’t mind buying the keyboard but the problem was that every time I put down the tablet for say, 30 mins, it would loose the bluetooth connection.
I don't know that I'd call the need for a BT keyboard a deficiency. As far as dropping the connection, are you sure it's the tablet and not the KB? Also, I'd try the Google keyboard. It has a swipe mode which works very well on my Boox T68.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alain_desilets View Post
The web browser took forever to display most pages (like… 30 seconds per new page), and very often, it would not properly refresh pages when paging up or down.
...
This kind of major annoyances happened regularly, I’d say about once every 30 mins at least.
This is certainly something I would complain about and probably return it. I can't see Onyx not taking it back for that reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alain_desilets View Post
I downloaded and installed an app called Set Orientation. It worked fine for 2 days, until I ran the Onyx pen calibration routine. At that point, the device became completely unusable, because there is a bug in Onyx’s calibration routine (it does not take current orientation into account).
...
I can’t even reset the device to factory settings, because you can’t do that using only physical buttons on the device.
I'd try a factory reset like CoronarJunkee advises. And I wouldn't calibrate the pen in landscape mode again
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Old 04-10-2015, 12:57 PM   #5
Ivan Grozny
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimMcLaren View Post
And I wouldn't calibrate the pen in landscape mode again
I agree with everything stated above, but why on earth should this be a problem ?

If I want to scribble while reading a pdf in landscape it is only logical to calibrate it in landscape.

Last edited by Ivan Grozny; 04-10-2015 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 04-10-2015, 02:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Grozny View Post
I agree with everything stated above, but why on earth should this be a problem ?

If I want to scribble while reading a pdf in landscape it is only logical to calibrate it in landscape.
Try to enter calibration mode in portrait mode. Then hold the Boox in landscape mode when hitting the calibration marks. That should pretty much do the trick. It probably only registers the position of the pen relative to the (physical) screen. Given that this is the case, if you force the screen to display the calibration marks in screen corners not corresponding to the correct physical corners of the screen (e.g. the device thinks you're hitting the upper right corner while you're actually hitting the lower right one), having the calibration thrown off would be a logical result of what you did.

Cheers
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Old 04-10-2015, 03:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoronarJunkee View Post
Try to enter calibration mode in portrait mode. Then hold the Boox in landscape mode when hitting the calibration marks.

It probably only registers the position of the pen relative to the (physical) screen. Given that this is the case, if you force the screen to display the calibration marks in screen corners not corresponding to the correct physical corners of the screen (e.g. the device thinks you're hitting the upper right corner while you're actually hitting the lower right one), having the calibration thrown off would be a logical result of what you did.

Cheers
I might be wrong but AFAIK, M96 lacks IMU/Gyro or other similar devices to recognize its current position and angle.

Calibration doesn't have a landscape/portrait mode in its code, it's a function which can not recognize the devices position and works independently of it.

It is the user who can turn the device to landscape and then enter the calibration process or enter the calibration process and then turn the device - the result is the same because there are no different calibrations (Horizontal/Portrait) but just one.
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Old 04-11-2015, 07:13 PM   #8
CoronarJunkee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Grozny View Post
I might be wrong but AFAIK, M96 lacks IMU/Gyro or other similar devices to recognize its current position and angle.

Calibration doesn't have a landscape/portrait mode in its code, it's a function which can not recognize the devices position and works independently of it.

It is the user who can turn the device to landscape and then enter the calibration process or enter the calibration process and then turn the device - the result is the same because there are no different calibrations (Horizontal/Portrait) but just one.
That's not what I meant to say.

I'm saying this:

If the device calibrates your absolute stylus position in relation to the physical screen, then you can choose to do the calibration process holding the device in whatever position (portrait, landscape, diagonal, upside down) you want. You are right: there is only one mode of calibration which you enter in portrait mode. But even if the device doesn't recognise the way you hold it while calibrating, the results still wouldn't be identical since your stylus is positioned in a different angle. Thus you can use the same calibration mode to calibrate the stylus for a portrait or landscape mode angle.

That means: If you calibrate your stylus holding the device vertically, there will be an offset in scribbling between stylus tip and pencil line when you hold it horizontally and vice versa. That is unless you always hold your stylus perfectly perpendicular to the screen, in which case it should not make any difference in calibration.

I hope that was clearer.

Also, I want to disagree on your last paragraph: The results of both processes you're describing would in fact be very different.

The calibration mode has been programmed in portrait mode. So the upper right calibration point corresponds to the upper right corner of the screen etc. If you only turn the device, the calibration points still correspond to the respective corners of the screen. But if you force your device into landscape mode, the calibration points would not anymore be in the corners the calibration tool thinks they are. Let's say you force 90° clockwise rotation. Then you'd be clicking on a calibration point that's rotated one screen side to the right of what the calibration tool thinks you are actually clicking on. I think the result of your calibration would then be highly confusing for the software to interpret (as in: software tells you to click in the upper left corner but you click in the upper right corner which gets calibrated as upper left).

Last edited by CoronarJunkee; 04-11-2015 at 07:27 PM.
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Old 04-12-2015, 06:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Grozny View Post
I agree with everything stated above, but why on earth should this be a problem ?

If I want to scribble while reading a pdf in landscape it is only logical to calibrate it in landscape.
Most of the reader software has a feature to rotate the display to landscape. I could very well be wrong but my assumption is that it's not actually putting the device into landscape mode but is instead rotating the reader display. The reason I say this is that if you rotate the reader software but then return to the home screen (either via the exit button or home screen icon) you return to portrait mode. If you rotate before you launch the reader software you'll return to whatever mode you started in. To my mind, this implies that the calibration you did in portrait mode is still valid, even if the reader software rotates.
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Old 04-17-2015, 09:52 AM   #10
alain_desilets
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoronarJunkee View Post
You can reset the device to factory settings by only using the physical buttons.

1) you can browse the settings with the buttons only and navigate to factory reset

2) you can turn the device off (long press on the power button), then restart with power button and menu button until you see the device booting up without the graphic interface. You should see the option to reset the device right there.
Thx for the reply CoronarJunkee, it's been helpful. I was able to reset the device to factory by navigating using the physical buttons.

But... the screen still doesn't respond properly to pen clicks. So, the whole screen orientation may have been a red herring altogether.

I will try to see to what extent the device is usable with just the physical buttons. Onyx customer support made it very clear that even if I was able to restore the device to its factory state, I would still have to pay for the shipping costs myself. This amounts to 194 Euros, which is more than half what I paid for the device! I'll report on how that goes later on.
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Old 04-17-2015, 10:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Drib View Post
The Refund Policy states within 14 days of receiving it.

Your first post here - when you actually had the Onyx on hand - was on 3/14/2015.

Your claim of dissatisfaction is certainly legitimate, but I seriously doubt that you created a ticket before those 14 days were up.
I asked for a refund on March 17th, i.e. 3 days after my fist post here. I don't know exactly when I received the device, but I ordered it on March 10th (i.e. 7 days before I asked for the refund). I can post the content of the order slip and of the ticket if you don't believe me. BTW... the company is not disputing my claim that I asked for the refund in time.


Quote:
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You should try to negotiate for a repair or some kind of exchange for a working unit.

Other members here will chime in and offer their opinions. Most are happy and some (such as yourself) are unhappy.

The 'actual' truth is probably somewhere within a middle area.
I hope you are not disputing the truth of my own personal experience. I certainly don't dispute the truth that other people may have had good experience with them.

Believe me, I spent over a week trying to negociate a refund. Their final word was that they woud, if I:

A) Reset the device to factory settings
B) Paid for shipment of the device back

Point A) is now resolved, thanks to CoronarJunkie's help (btw... Onyx customer support provided no help in how to reset to factory setting with physical buttons only).

But point B) is still an issue. Shipping the device back would cost me 194 Euros. That's about 66% of what I paid for the thing in the first place. Given how they seem to be looking for any excuses not to refund, I am not sure I am willing to invest 194 Euros into that venture. I'm afraid they'll ultimately just find some other excuse not to refund.
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Old 04-24-2015, 12:51 PM   #12
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194 euros? From where to where? I can send such a package from Austria to almost anywhere in the world for 15 EUR. 194 is a ripoff, try to find a cheaper alternative.
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Old 05-01-2015, 07:39 AM   #13
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194 euros? From where to where? I can send such a package from Austria to almost anywhere in the world for 15 EUR. 194 is a ripoff, try to find a cheaper alternative.
I'm trying to send it from Canada. I tried UPS and Fedex, and they were about the same price. What service are you using?
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Old 05-01-2015, 02:55 PM   #14
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I used Austria Post several times when I sold some used e-readers. That's not available in Canada of course, but I cannot imagine why shipping from Canada to anywhere would cost more than 10 times the price.
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Old 05-03-2015, 09:24 PM   #15
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So far I have had no problems with the battery loop with the T68 that people been having. Its been great so far. I love that's it built on Android where I can have different reader apps or listen to Pandora radio, it makes Kindle so plain.
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