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Boox tablet review #2960293 03/25/20 12:38 PM
Joined: Feb 2020
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Slowroll Offline OP
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Since there has been periodic comments about various tablet's functionality and convenience in reading sheet music, I thought I'd weigh in with  my opinion of the Android Onyx Boox ereader. I bought 0ne about 3 weeks ago, so have had some time to  form some observations.  My main reason for getting it was because I'm developing  cataracts and find that usual sheet music at the piano desk sight range is a bit fuzzy, even with my piano\computer\shooting  glasses.  I figured that the higher contrast of a display would compensate.   I chose the Boox simply because it's the biggest one available, and one of the few that has the same aspect ratio as a sheet of paper, rather than a video viewing ratio.  The 17 inch Samsung is too big, and awkwardly designed for use on a music desk. 

The good news is it helps quit a bit visibility--wise, but not perfect.  Since the E-ink dislay is not an active LED display,  the contrast is not as great as I woud have liked, and does need good room lighting.  It is is better than paper sheet music, and of course all my music is in one place rather than in notebooks all over.  The MObilesheets Pro reader software has a Boox optimized version, and it is great.  The cropping feature lets me  stretch pages right to the the end of the display.   The stylus notation function is great for notes and fingerings, and erasable.  I particularly like the Mobilesheets half page turn function, so one can turn the page anytime you've played past halfway, and the top half of the net page is visible.  ...do have to remember  to turn again once you've started playing the next page.  pretty damn oten I've forgotten and found myself playing thru the bottom of the prior page.  So I've marked all the sheets 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, etc.  I find  it's better when learning a new piece to use the full page mode, since you're staying on one page longer anyway, but YMMV of course.   i did find the Mobilesheets stylus annotation function a bit wonky, it often stores the notations distorted.  Mobilsheets is working on that issue however.  If I want perfect notations, i use the native reader app  on the Boox . 
 
I bought a pageflip butterfly bluetooth page turner,  it works great.  THe mobilesheets lets you    configure the pedals to do different things, so I often program the left pedal to go back to repeats, when they're not on the first page, rather the usual turn to prior page mode.   The software lets you set the forward pedal to go back to the beginning when the end of piece is reached, so not having a prior page turn function is not a big issue.  Of course, you can use multiple pedals and program to do all sorts of things, but for me that's overkill. 

As far as the fundemental functions of the Boox go. I love it.  I read a lot of kindle books, and Pdf files; I love the full size page and soft background.  Battery life is great.  I get 10 days between charging, and I often use it about 5 hours a day or more.   There is no provision for an internal SD card. You have to get a USB-C to USB-A adapter and to use USB-A flash cards, they don't provde one. If you want use an external USB stick while using it, you need to rotate the screen 180 degrees so the USBstick is on top.   The Boox has somewhere around 64 gig of internal memory, so it's not much inconvnience. YOu probably won't be storing photos and videos on it since it's monochrome, so memory shouldn't be a problem.   I have hundreds of KIndle books and hundreds of Pdf magazines stored and still have 55gig free.  The user's manual leaves a lot out, so you'll be poking around a lot to figure out how things work.  Typical manual written by the designers instead of tech writers. 

All in all, it does what it's supposed to do, and apart from preferring a brighter display, it's great.


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Re: Boox tablet review [Re: Slowroll] #2960298 03/25/20 12:59 PM
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WeakLeftHand Offline
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Cool review, thanks!

I have recently been looking to upgrade my e-reader (because I can't find my old one lol) and in my research, I came across the e-ink note pads that also support ebooks. I didn't put 2 and 2 together to figure that such e-ink note pads would also be a good sheet music reader. So thanks for that info!


Last edited by WeakLeftHand; 03/25/20 01:01 PM.

Kawai K-500
Casio PX-735 (in retirement)
Re: Boox tablet review [Re: Slowroll] #2960315 03/25/20 01:44 PM
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Beemer Offline
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MAX3 the only model worth using for piano use is $859. At this price I would have expected a memory card slot. 64GB storage is not large enough.
Ian


I'm all keyed up
2016 Blüthner Model A
Re: Boox tablet review [Re: Slowroll] #2960331 03/25/20 02:36 PM
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FrankCox Offline
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8.5x11 seems like an obvious size for a tablet to be (in North America) and I never cease to be surprised at how few of them seem to exist.

My Galaxy Tab S2 9.7" is (just barely) big enough for my music, though bigger would be a lot better.

The pdf reader app that I use has a "crop margins" setting that removes the white space around the edge of pages, but it doesn't work with every pdf file for reasons that I don't understand (it crops too much and some of the content is lost).


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We got both kinds of music: Country and Western!
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Re: Boox tablet review [Re: Slowroll] #2960336 03/25/20 02:49 PM
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Thanks for the detailed observations SlowRoll.

If you have vision issues, you might find that traditional incandescent light bulbs are best for reading. They may produce light with broader natural wavelength and less flicker. Daylight is best so open those shades and curtains.

Other types of "bulbs" will vary in light quality with cheap options often being terrible. Mass-market LEDs are not great for flicker and colour rendering; and they typically dim and change colour a lot after a few weeks. There are some high quality flourscent reading lamps also.


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