Onyx Boox Palma Review: Making E-Ink More Portable

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The Onyx Boox Palma is simply a smartphone-sized eReader that costs a beautiful penny, but who is it for?

Onyx Boox Palma FI

Key Takeaways

  • The Onyx Boox Palma is simply a smartphone-sized eReader pinch a high-quality 300ppi screen, moving connected Android and allowing you to instal various apps from nan Play Store.
  • With 128GB of retention and nan expertise to adhd a microSD paper pinch up to 1TB of space, nan Palma offers ample retention for books and different files.
  • While nan Palma is much costly than nan 2022 Kindle, it does connection further features and functionality beyond a accepted eReader. Ultimately, nan determination to acquisition depends connected your circumstantial needs and preferences.

It's shaped for illustration a smartphone, runs connected Android, but it's not really a phone. Instead, nan Onyx Boox Palma is simply a cool and compact eReader pinch other features and a spot of an personality crisis. The Palma isn't nan first eReader to person this peculiar size aliases software, but it's surely a activity of caller air. It besides makes reference connected nan spell a spot easier.

The Boox Palma is $280 aliases €300, which intends it's a batch much costly to get successful Europe. The acquisition covers nan device, a charging cablegram (but nary adapter), documentation, and a protective case. You'll besides get entree to 10GB of unreality retention abstraction truthful you tin easy push books and different contented to your device.


Onyx Boox Palma

The Boox Palma is simply a smartphone-sized eReader pinch a awesome 300ppi screen. The Palma runs connected Android truthful you tin usage this instrumentality for much than conscionable reference your favourite novels, allowing you to instal a wide scope of apps from nan Play Store. It features 128GB of storage, but you tin adhd a microSD pinch up to 1TB of abstraction for each those other files if needed. 

Resolution E Ink Carta 1200 (824 x 1648) 300ppi

Storage 128GB

Brand Boox

Screen Size 6.13"

Processor Qualcomm Octa-core CPU



Battery 3,950mAh

OS Android 11

Size 6.3 x 3.1 x 0.31 (159 x 80 x 8.0mm)

Weight 170g

Connectivity Wi-Fi (2.4GHz & 5GHz), Bluetooth 5.0

Front light Yes, Warm and Cold

Camera 16MP

Color Black aliases White

Ports USB-C

Buttons Power, Volume Up/Down, Customizable


  • Features beingness buttons
  • It's nan size of a smartphone
  • Multiple refresh modes
  • Runs connected Android, entree to Google Play Store
  • Large soul storage


  • Even connected precocious refresh rate, surface won't activity good pinch video
  • Loading apps tin beryllium slow
  • Expensive

The Tech Side of Boox Palma

Most eReaders travel successful book size, which intends they're not excessively ample and they fresh into your container conscionable fine. They're besides not precisely dense either. The Boox Palma, however, fits correct into your pouch since it's only 6.13-inch—about nan aforesaid size arsenic nan Apple iPhone 15 aliases nan Samsung Galaxy S23. The instrumentality measures 6.3" x 3.1" x 0.31" and weighs astir 170g.

Instead of a surface pinch a cardinal colors, however, nan Palma features an E-ink HD Carta 1200 show pinch 300ppi solution suitable for accelerated page turning, but not truthful overmuch for playing video aliases games (something Boox claims you tin do).

The surface is flush pinch nan bezel, truthful you could usage a lawsuit to spell pinch it for other protection. Thankfully I received 1 pinch nan reappraisal unit, truthful erstwhile my puppy sewage tangled successful a hanging cablegram from my table and swiped everything disconnected it, nan Palma survived without issue.

Boox Palma buttonsSergio Rodriguez / MakeUseOf

On nan correct broadside of nan unit, location are buttons for powerfulness on/off and measurement up/down. The near broadside besides features a button, which is useful to person if you determine that swiping nan surface isn't nan measurement you want to spell astir turning pages. In fact, each buttons tin beryllium programmed for various tasks, including scrolling articles. The near broadside besides hosts nan microSD paper slot.

At nan bottommost of nan eReader there's a USB-C larboard truthful you tin complaint it up and a speaker. There's besides a microphone located there, pinch a akin grill for symmetry's sake. There's a secondary speaker located astatine nan apical of nan screen.

On nan backmost of nan Boox Palma, you'll find a 16MP camera, which you tin usage to toggle shape documents into integer format. There's an integrated flash truthful you tin heighten nan clarity of nan archive scans. It tin besides double arsenic a flashlight erstwhile you person to look for your slippers without turning connected nan ray aft you've vanished that "one much chapter" earlier bed. That "chapter" took hours to finish, didn't it?

Boox Palma cameraSergio Rodriguez / MakeUseOf

Under nan hood, nan Onyx Boox Palma features a Qualcomm Octa-core processor, 6GB of RAM, and a coagulated 128GB of retention space. You tin adhd a microSD of up to 1TB if you request much retention space.

There's besides a 3,950mAh artillery which should beryllium bully for a mates of weeks, depending connected really overmuch you publication and what different apps you use.

An Android-Powered eReader

The Boox Palma runs connected Android 11 and afloat supports Google Play Store. This intends you tin download beautiful overmuch immoderate of your favourite apps, from games to Google Books, Spotify, aliases Maps. Of course, you tin besides download nan preferred ebook reference devices for illustration Kindle, Kobo, Nook, aliases Hoopla, which gives you entree to your regular library—or moreover Goodreads truthful you tin support way of what you're reference and what other is connected your list.

The instrumentality features Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, truthful you tin link to your location web and your wireless headphones to perceive to audiobooks aliases your favourite music. You tin besides grounds your surface aliases screencast immoderate you're watching. A prize intent for nan Palma is to usage it arsenic a sound recorder device.

Since this is an Android device, you tin resistance nan apical barroom to entree nan Control Center, wherever you tin make various adjustments. For instance, you tin move car brightness connected and off, alteration nan colour temperature, power nan volume, move connected Airplane Mode, aliases make nan surface automatically rotate erstwhile you move your Palma sideways.

Boox Palma location screenSergio Rodriguez / MakeUseOf

One point you'll announcement among nan pre-installed apps is nan beingness of BOOXDrop. This is nan default instrumentality you tin usage to nonstop files to your device. This process is ace easy arsenic you request to group up an account, motion in, and brace up your device. Once that's done, you tin nonstop disconnected ebooks, group up RSS feeds, prevention webpages to easy load them to nan Palma, and truthful on. This aforesaid app allows you to negociate immoderate of nan files connected nan instrumentality successful lawsuit you want to region thing (through Library), aliases negociate notes.

When you're successful nan location surface view, you'll announcement nan action barroom astatine nan bottommost features a fewer much options than your regular Android device. This is wherever you tin easy refresh nan page successful lawsuit immoderate images aliases matter is glitched. Also, it's wherever you tin entree further surface configurations. Besides adjusting nan opposition levels, you tin take 1 of nan disposable surface Refresh modes. There are 5 different options, gradually expanding nan screen's capacity based connected what you want to do. If you only want to publication books, HD will activity conscionable fine, but if you want to play immoderate videos, spell for Ultrafast aliases Royal.

The Onyx Boox Palma besides allows you to automatically group nan refresh mode based connected what app you're using. So, you tin prime 1 velocity for Audible, different for Kindle, different for nan browser aliases nan clock, and truthful on. So you tin optimize your artillery depletion arsenic good arsenic really good your handheld eReader's surface reacts.

Boox Palma reference comic bookSergio Rodriguez / MakeUseOf

For those who person kids, there's besides a Kids Mode you tin activate if you want to walk disconnected nan Palma to your children. The mode allows you to power erstwhile and for really agelong they tin usage nan device, arsenic good arsenic which apps and contented they tin access. One of nan first things you do erstwhile enabling this mode (aside from mounting up a password) is to take which apps you authorize them to use. The Kids Mode interface is cleaner, grouping nan contented into 2 categories - Library and Apps.

Reading connected nan Boox Palma and More

If it walks for illustration a duck and quacks for illustration a duck, it's a duck. Right? Well, not this time. The Palma is shaped for illustration a smartphone, runs connected Android, but it's not really a phone. In fact, this is an unapologetic mini Reader, and that's beautiful awesome successful itself.

The surface is connected par pinch almost immoderate Kindle and is well-lit. The brightness adjustability is slick too, and unless you person circumstantial preferences, you're usually bully to let nan Palma to group its ain values.

The precocious refresh complaint intends there's small to nary ghosting erstwhile reference books. Kindles, for instance, automatically refresh nan surface each fewer pages, but that's not thing I've noticed connected this Palma. No matter if nan surface was group connected HD aliases Ultrafast Refresh Mode, nan transitions were smooth, and I didn't announcement immoderate lingering matter aliases immoderate existent page refreshes.

Boox Palma readingSergio Rodriguez / MakeUseOf

The Onyx Boox Palma scholar app is easy to usage and there's nary request for immoderate other apps unless you request entree to different inaccessible libraries. At nan bottommost of nan screen, you'll announcement your progress, and if you pat astatine nan apical of nan page you'll get entree to other features. For instance, you tin move connected Text-to-Speech and perceive to nan book alternatively of reference it. The sound is rather robotic, however, arsenic is emblematic pinch immoderate non-AI text-to-speech tool, truthful it takes immoderate getting utilized to it.

The app besides allows you to alteration car page-turning, alteration font size and bold level, move fonts, set spacing betwixt words aliases lines, and truthful on. If your book has loads of pictures, you tin besides make judge they're sharpened aliases that watermarks are bleached out. Everything you'd expect to find successful an e-reader app is here, acknowledgment to Boox's galore years of improvement and experience.

When reading, you tin easy get mislaid successful nan words. Even though you could get a akin experience—that is, reference connected a smaller screen— pinch your smartphone and an eReading app, nan Boox Palma is superior because of nan value of nan screen. E-ink screens are truthful overmuch easier connected nan eyes than immoderate smartphone display. The portability of nan Palma is decidedly an advantage for those who want to beryllium capable to shove their eReader into their pouch and go. While eReaders aren't mostly massive, there's thing to beryllium said astir having 1 that's nan aforesaid size of your astir utilized gadget.

Boox Palma vs smartphoneSergio Rodriguez / MakeUseOf

Another point to statement is that you tin group up surface gestures to run nan device. For instance, you tin alteration up and down swipe gestures connected nan near area of nan surface to set nan measurement and connected nan correct area of nan surface for brightness levels. Also, you tin alteration moving guardant and backward by swiping near and correct from nan edges of nan screen. If it's much convenient for you, retrieve that you tin besides programme nan buttons to do your bidding, truthful you person much options.

Beyond Reading

When it comes to different apps you want to tally connected nan Palma, you'll person to see nan limitations of nan screen. Can you tally YouTube connected this Android device? Sure you can, technically. But would you want to? Not really. The framerate isn't perfect for this, moreover connected nan Regal setting. Reading articles online useful perfectly fine, however, and truthful does reference emails, for instance. You person to retrieve that E-ink screens person a very circumstantial purpose, and trying to push beyond that will time off you disappointed.

Ultimately, it's each astir being realistic. You will not beryllium capable to usage nan Palma for everything you usage your smartphone for, moreover though they whitethorn stock nan aforesaid operating system. Read your emails, publication your news articles, cheque your calendar, browse Reddit, and perceive to aliases publication books, but don't expect to play thing beyond Sudoku aliases connection games. Even pinch these beautiful basal crippled formats, you'll apt get irritated by really nan surface reacts.

Ultimately, this is perfectly fine. If you wanted to publication books connected your smartphone, you could do conscionable that. But if you want a surface that won't tyre retired your eyes, you'll request a due eReader.

Should You Get nan Onyx Boox Palma?

If you want an eReader successful a smaller format, past nan Palma is simply a coagulated action pinch immoderate awesome features. On nan different hand, this is simply a beautiful costly device. At $280, this is simply a batch much costly than nan 2022 Kindle, for instance. This Amazon instrumentality is somewhat wider successful size than nan Palma, but it's a spot lighter. With comparable sizes, nan 2022 Kindle is $100 without immoderate discounts, but it's been disposable for arsenic small arsenic $75.

Ultimately, it depends connected what you're looking for and if you really request aliases want nan other features of Android.


Onyx Boox Palma

The Boox Palma is simply a smartphone-sized eReader pinch a awesome 300ppi screen. The Palma runs connected Android truthful you tin usage this instrumentality for much than conscionable reference your favourite novels, allowing you to instal a wide scope of apps from nan Play Store. It features 128GB of storage, but you tin adhd a microSD pinch up to 1TB of abstraction for each those other files if needed. 

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