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The Onyx Boox Tab Ultra carries many unique design cues of the Note Air 2 but refines them by adding more heft and bulk to the body to make it stronger and more resistant to daily wear and tear. You get a thicker body with a matte yet reflective silver finish. The rear panel gets a nice textured border to mark where the handhold attachment is located, while the front half of it is kept plain and simple.
The display is a 10.3-inch E-Ink Carta HD panel, also featured in the Note Air. Thanks to Asahi protective glass, it gets an added layer of protection, which is then further reinforced with an extra stylus layer that adds the signature touch of friction that makes this tablet screen feel like real paper to read and write on.
They have even added hidden LEDs on the edge of the display to create a special low-light ambient back-lighting effect called the Moon Light 2. This system is set to deliver a warm, yellow light by default, making it easier to read in dim and darkness without straining your eyes too much.
Like the design, many of the specs are a carryover from the previous model. The Onyx Boox Tab Ultra features a Snapdragon 662 processor and Adreno GPU, paired with up to 3GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. You can also add extra storage through a MicroSD card. Even though the display is meant for low-power use, the company has worked on developing a special algorithm that speeds up the refresh rate to make it seem more responsive.
Of course, you get support for a stylus, with the brand defaulting to a Wacom-style EMR technology, which is featured in lots of cheap third-party stylus available on the market. It can be used with the help of a built-in BooxDrop app, which turns your display into a doodle screen where you can write, type, or even drag-and-drop files and notes from other devices and apps. This way, you can create comprehensive writing files, which contain all sorts of reference materials to access later.
You can even turn these scribbled notes into proper text files in PNG or PDF format and then seamlessly export them to other users and devices. The system's only limitation seems to be the native Android software itself, which is still based on Android 11. So, even with future updates, you will always keep playing catch-up to your other smart devices.
One of the key additions to this setup is the new 16MP camera that has been placed on the rear of the tablet. While it is a pretty capable unit, the functionality has been strictly limited to document and photo scanning so that you have a fully-functional scanner with you wherever you go. The system takes advantage of the latest OCR technologies to recognize the text and symbols, and these easy convert them to editable text and exportable PDF files. We would have preferred at least the ability to take simple photographs, but then again, that is not what the system is meant to be.
Price & Availability
The added hardware and software features, a completely new design and exceptional build quality have certainly pushed this offering into the top-tier of the ebook segment. However, this is as much of a hindrance as it is a benefit, as the price of the Onyx Boox Tab Ultra is also quite premium, starting at $599.99. This puts it in direct competition with the latest offerings from Samsung and Apple, which can do a whole lot more than this model. Still, if you want it, the system will go on sale today and can be bought through the Boox online store.