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Boox Note Air 2 Plus

Published June 2, 2022

    Let’s discuss the reading and writing journey that has led me to purchasing a Boox Note Air 2 Plus and what I like and don’t like about the device.

    # My Use Case

    I was looking for a reading, writing and thinking device that I can use at my desk to take notes and to read late at night in the bed (plus take notes).

    • I should be able to run Kindle, Reader and my notebooks
    • Should be distraction free
      • I’m not tempted to watch YouTube.
      • I’m also not likely to get sucked into Black Hole Distractions where I start researching something in the browser and realize an hour has passed.
    • Should be able to be carried easily
    • Writing
      • An enhanced alternative to paper
      • Similar speed to paper
      • Great writing feel
      • A thinking/reading device that allows switching between those things seamlessly
      • Lets me capture tasks and move on
      • Can be used in the bed without a light

    # Pros

    • A bigger space to read than the Kindle
    • A great writing experience
      • Very good. Has that analog scratch, it’s not quite as viceral as my Baron Fig Confidant with the Ohto Flash Dry, but it definitely gives that sensation
      • More importantly, I can write notes on it from the bed without getting up.
    • Size and weight it great. It’s very very thin and I can hold it in one hand with no problems. I find it much easier to hold in one hand than my iPad Pro 11in.
    • Can run most Android apps
    • Backlight is good and supports warm light. It works really well also if you have overhead lighting in your office and the light on your desk isn’t perfect. The sensation of backlit paper is pretty cool I must say. (By default it doesn’t come back on when you wake the device from sleep which seems like a weird default, but it’s easily fixed in the preferences.)
    • Great support for Left-handed people
    • Turned off all notifications and it has been distraction free.
    • Notes can be fullscreen and UI free if you have a pen with an eraser button, without an eraser button I found myself needing to go into the UI for that all of the time.
    • Feels faster than the Kindle Oasis, especially when typing
    • The built into handwriting to type is surprisingly good. I very rarely use the onscreen keyboard
    • If you export your notes they are vector and are nice and sharp no concerns there.

    # Cons

    • Expensive at $509 USD
    • App Optimizations out of the box are hit or miss
      • Initially when I got the device I didn’t think it was going to work because the legibility in the Kindle app was very bad. It looked like when you send a low PPI image to a typesetter with anti-aliasing turned off. Later I learned I can turn the optimization off and it looks close to the same quality as my Kindle Oasis, but significantly bigger
    • I wish it came out of the box in a more opinionated fashion. You can get it to be exactly what you want, but you might have to flip a few setting switches. It just seems silly because they took the time to give you all the right options, just didn’t turn them on by default.
    • The Kindle app is not quite as sharp as my Kindle Oasis, but it’s close enough
    • They should have made the side of the device that the pen sits on flat so that the pen stays put. Both the Boox Pen and the S-Pen don’t stay put.
    • Page turning in the notes app could be faster.
    • The UI takes some getting used to, but after a week of use I feel like I can get around really well.
    • I wish I could double tap to undo like I did in GoodNotes. Instead I use the eraser.

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