An e-reader rated E for everybody

If you consider an e-reader, a sure picture greater than doubtless involves thoughts: a grey or black plastic pill between six and eight inches in measurement, boxy and rectangular — in essence, a regular pill. This method, whereas appropriate for almost all of readers, is formulaic and predictable.

Among the many few fashions to shake up the e-reader’s aesthetic cycle, there’s the Boox Palma. Boox has already rewritten the foundations of the e-reader recreation with E Ink tablets that run Android. The Palma breaks even additional out of the bell curve by rejecting not solely the normal clique-ish closed methods of different e-readers but in addition their tablet-inspired type issue. The end result? An e-reader that appears like a telephone however walks and quacks like an e-reader.

Onyx Boox Palma

With the side ratio of a smartphone and Android OS underneath the hood, the Boox Palma is an eye-opener into how hobbled older e-reader designs are. Set up (most of) your favourite apps for purchasing and social media, plus your most well-liked e-book apps, to simply change between e-reader and smartphone features, minus the attention pressure of an precise telephone.


  • Small type issue means super-portable and straightforward to carry
  • Suitable with Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Libby, and extra

  • A SIM tray/knowledge connection would’ve made sense
  • Why is there no headphone jack?

Value, availability, and what’s within the field

Get it from most e-reader retailers

The Boox Palma has been obtainable since September 2023 and retails for about $280. You could find one immediately via the Boox Store or via Amazon, Greatest Purchase, and B&H Picture Video.


1648 x 824 (300dpi)


Display Dimension

Snapdragon 662


Stereo audio system

Supported codecs

3950 mAh

Android 11

6.3-inch tall

WiFi, Bluetooth

Entrance mild
Sure, with heat lighting

Digital camera
16.1 MP f/1.8 (rear)



Energy, quantity, shortcut button (3 complete)

Design and {hardware}

E Ink show, stylish and compact type issue

Boox Palma held against black background

Should you seemed on the Palma sideways, you’d mistake it for a telephone, due to the rear digital camera island, traditional Android house display screen, and really smartphone-esque side ratio. This makes the Palma remarkably holdable, even for hours at a time; it’s lighter than every other e-reader I’ve used, with the closest contender being the Kobo Nia. The Nia, although, doesn’t sit fairly as proper in a single hand because the Palma does.

The Boox Palma encompasses a 6.13-inch Carta 1200 E Ink display screen outfitted with a flicker-free entrance mild. The temperature and brightness of this lighting, which Boox calls Moon Mild 2, will be adjusted both mechanically or manually. The Palma does get fairly brilliant in comparison with different e-readers, however I observed fairly a bit of sunshine bleeding across the edges on the highest ranges. On the again of the e-reader, there’s a tough, textured plastic materials for simpler gripping. (From a sensory perspective, I feel customers are both going to like or hate this, no in-between.)

For the reason that display screen consumes practically all of the Palma’s face, the bezels on any facet are fairly slender, and there are not any tactile page-turning buttons. It’s an anticipated sacrifice to make for a reader at this measurement, however relying readily available measurement and grip, chances are you’ll end up by chance touching the show and inadvertently turning a web page.

There’s a USB-C charging port on the underside, plus a speaker. On the left is a microSD tray and a customizable operate key, whereas on the fitting, you’ll discover the facility/sleep button and quantity management. On the again, there’s the 16MP digital camera and LED flash within the upper-left nook (sorry, no selfie digital camera… but).

Software program and efficiency

E Ink should have limitations, however the Palma at the moment leads the pack

Home screen of Boox Palma

The Palma runs Android 11, so Android telephone customers will discover its navigation similar to their very own day by day driver. From a person interface standpoint, the Palma is as clear and refined as a median Android telephone, as your expertise studying apps is definitely dictated by the design of the app itself.

Utilizing the Google Play Retailer, you possibly can obtain nearly any e-reading service you need: Kindle, Audible, Nook, Libby, Kobo, and Google Play Books. The Palma gathered all my studying apps in a single handy place.

However this e-reader doesn’t cease at book-oriented functions. From social media to video games to purchasing and extra, any app you will discover via the Google Play Retailer is simply as obtainable on the Palma. The limitation comes not from the software program, which in different extra conventional E Ink tablets could be very one-tracked and closed off to features exterior of studying, however from the E Ink show and refresh charge.

Palma’s E Ink refresh velocity will be breathtakingly quick. You get a number of liberty in adjusting the refresh charges, with choices starting from balanced to ultra-fast. This may even be modified system-wide or for particular person apps. However at its highest ranges, there’s sufficient distinction and element misplaced that I wouldn’t use this machine for senseless video scrolling or watching streamed films. It really works for brief movies and easy gaming, although, due to an octa-core processor that packs a ton of punch into this little machine.


With such all kinds of makes use of, battery life is the Palma’s wild card

Close up of person standing outside holding Boox Palma

The Palma hides a critical brute of a battery underneath its hood. At 3,950 mAh, the Palma’s battery measurement surpasses just about each single E Ink competitor. That features the Kindle Scribe, the complete Kobo household, together with Kobo Sage (the Palma battery truly triples the Sage battery, which is Kobo’s premium reader proper now), and the Nook Glowlight 4 Plus, which is Barnes & Noble’s latest e-reader.

After over two months of testing, the Palma’s battery life simply wouldn’t give up. I principally had solely learn on the machine as much as that time, and I’d solely used about 75% of the battery. After charging it to a full battery, some extra rigorous testing was so as. This testing included no less than two hours of day by day studying, some mild gaming day by day, tons of scrolling, and even streaming as I watched a few reveals. Two weeks later, the battery stage had barely handed the halfway-depleted threshold. What sorcery is that this?


Proper now, the Palma doesn’t actually have any predators

Aerial view person reading Boox Palma

It’s inconceivable to call one other machine that adopts the on-the-go type issue of a cell phone, makes use of an industry-leading E Ink show with a processor sturdy sufficient to refresh that show quick sufficient for legible video, offers a platform to competing e-book suppliers, and eliminates the stress of side-loading. All of the whereas, it guarantees weeks or months of use with a battery that’s borderline overkill.

That stated, the Palma is actually premium-priced, setting itself aside from the remainder of Boox’s catalog. Trying on the similar worth vary throughout competing manufacturers, we land on vastly totally different merchandise. The Kindle Scribe is the one Amazon E Ink machine at the moment in the identical $250-plus class because the Palma, however its viewers could be very totally different. It’s a 10-inch pill with stylus help for taking notes.


Amazon Kindle Scribe evaluate: Nice for studying manga, not drawing it

We lastly get a Kindle DX successor, however taking notes and drawing feels tacked on

Kobo, then again, gives the Nia and Clara 2E in the identical measurement vary because the Palma, however they’ve the anticipated blockier type issue that’s not as nice for slipping into pockets or holding with one hand. We see the identical in Barnes & Noble’s Nook household.


Kobo Clara 2E evaluate: Reasonably priced and purposeful e-reader with just a few quirks

The primary Kobo e-reader made completely from recycled and ocean-bound supplies is light-weight, moveable, and has a crisp show

Plus, all of the manufacturers talked about thus far function on the expectation that you simply’re solely a buyer of their very own e-book market. Books from exterior sources will be side-loaded onto some gadgets, however this usually requires file conversion and plugging the machine into a pc, and it will probably take away a few of the pill’s features meant for an e-book, like highlighting and annotation.

Must you purchase the Boox Palma?

It’s troublesome to NOT advocate the Palma

Boox Palma in jean pocket

There are just a few potential enhancements that may nudge the Palma over the road from nice to excellent — or as near excellent as an e-reader can get. It helps wi-fi headphones by way of Bluetooth, and I like the onboard speaker (a uncommon e-reader function), however hopefully, there’s consideration for a headphone jack in future fashions. A SIM tray/mobile connection choice would make a number of sense, too, in a tool like this that emphasizes portability and app use. And lastly, whereas it’s unclear how far Boox desires to push the Palma into “virtually a telephone” territory, a front-facing digital camera would definitely make progress in that regard.

All in all, the Palma is as moveable because it comes, welcoming to your whole favourite apps, outlasts every other e-reader’s battery, and gives a freshly distinctive look. It’s not the expansive 8+ inch display screen that some media customers might want, however virtually each reader will admire all that the Palma has to supply.

Boox Palma white background angled

Onyx Boox Palma

The Onyx Boox Palma is a phone-sized e-reader that runs Android, one thing between a pill and telephone that works for e-reading and basic net shopping. Plus, because it runs Android, you should use your whole Android apps, together with e-reading apps like Google Play Books that appears phenomenal on the machine due to respecting the machine’s refresh charges.

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