Onyx Boox Poke 2 Color: 6-inch color screen e-reader!

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After the announcement of the Boox Poke 2 (now available), Onyx Boox announces a color version of its e-reader, the Poke 2 Color, which should be released soon and takes the world of eInk reading to new territories: color!

A powerful e-reader; an interesting screen.

We find on this e-reader the « black and white » Boox Poke 2 main hardware capabilities: Qualcomm Octa core CPU, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and Wi-Fi capabilities, Bluetooth and microphone. But it differs from this one as from most of the e-readers on the market by the introduction of a color eInk screen! This screen has 4,096 colors, and if that doesn’t change anything for novel readers, comic book enthusiasts or those who are looking for an eInk tablet with a color screen, it changes the game.

This e-reader is not easy to find, the first models in presale having left during the day; we can on the other hand have an idea by watching the video of manufacturer’s presentation below, and by reading the official announcement (in English).

Colors are a bit bland, incomparable with what you can have on a good IPS panel (like an Apple retinal screen), but the color in eInk is a real plus. The e-reader is equipped with a double screen (one for black, one for color) the contrast is poor, and tiny little dots are visible on the text. For those who want to read comics or manga in color the device can be interesting, but for reading mainly books, a 6-inch black and white e-reader seems preferable, for now.

With a lower resolution than the Onyx Boox Poke 2 in black and white, the Poke 2 color offers an 800×600 resolution, which limits it to 212ppi! This is fine for reading a book (the Kindle Basic, with its 167ppi is quite nice to use for reading eBooks) but it may seem low for viewing images or PDF documents.

A 6-inch color e-reader… for what purpose?

The cost of such an e-reader in France remains to be discovered, but in my opinion in a 6-inch format such a e-reader is of little interest. If in 10 or 13 inches a color e-reader could highlight PDF documents of different colors or read comics in a format close to the original, in 6 inches it can only read color books. However, in this format, reading comic books is anything but comfortable, and manga, which are more suitable for 6-inch format are… often in black and white!

It is interesting to note the arrival of eInk models with a color screen (PocketBook also announced a color e-reader) but for the moment it seems to me that the technology is not mature enough and that the price/benefit ratio brought to the user does not lean in favor of its e-readers. In 6 inches, the Kobo Clara HD or the PocketBook Touch HD seem more relevant to me, because this device will never have the versatility of a tablet: watching a video on an eInk screen will remain a disappointing experience, whether it allows to perceive colors or not. The interest of an e-reader is precisely that it is not a tablet: the user can concentrate on the text, without being saturated with notifications or trying to go to YouTube, don’t you think?

If you have any interesting ideas about how to use a 6″ color e-reader, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!

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