Boox max 2

January 6, 2019, 12:27 PM · In this thread
I promised to share my impressions. I fumbled around with it for 48 hours now, so it's time for a "first impressions".

The reader itself is very lightweight, it looks good and feels good. It is definitely a device I like to touch. Waking up time is acceptable. Connecting it via WLAN and Bluetooth was as simple as expected. Display resolution is decent enough, notes and text are presented sharp and clear, and the display itself large enough to replace the usual sheet music format. So far so good.

Now for the cons...
- The display is more grey than white, a lot darker than even the yellowish paper G.Henle uses for it's Urtext editions. When I used to set my Mighty Bright stand light on level 1, I have to set it on maximum level to have the similar effect. So, yes, I really DO miss a backlight!
- Although not glass, the display is far from being non-reflecting. So tricky light situations remain tricky light situations, and I have to use the stand light even if I usually wouldn't while using paper.
- Delay and refreshing rate are not bothersome when reading. But it's a pain when writing. Moreover, writing on the display with the Stylus doesn't feel like pencil on paper. Although there is more friction than on a glass display, this doesn't compensate the delay. Writing cones difficult to me that way, and for annotations I usually rather insert text via the keyboard than to do handwriting. Not sure how to do a "frog" symbol yet... Maybe my handwriting skills would improve with time and training, but I'm not sure if I am willing to invest into these efforts.
- Although no other additional apps installed than Zubersoft's MobileSheetsPro, I experienced a complete freezing two times. And this will be the killer criteria for most of us...
- Download directly from online libraries is fast and simple. But using the browser is sometimes a pain. Letters on colored ground is like black on dark grey. Buttons often habe to be pushed by trial and error. On the other hand, one can connect it via the MobileSheets PC Companion to the computer which is much more comfortable anyway. But don't expect the Boox to be a convenient tool for browsing the internet!
- Since the device isn't supported by Google play nor the Amazone app, it's tricky to get your apps installed. Why the heck does it run on Android 6, then?!

All in all it doesn't feel like a keeper yet. I'll give it another week, but eventually I will send it back and get a refurbished iPad pro 12,9 (2017) instead.

Replies (6)

January 6, 2019, 8:53 PM · Does it freeze if you've got the wifi turned off on it? It could have been downloading an OS update or such.
January 6, 2019, 9:32 PM · Thank you Nuuska. I recently bought a normal Boox Reader, and it was also running on a limited Android. It seems to be Boox way. This one had a backlight, though, and was a very good e-reader.
What you said about the Max 2 's gray color reminds me some reviews that said that it felt like first generations e-ink. All in all, seems worse than any other alternative.
January 7, 2019, 3:28 PM · Paul, wifi was turned on. I did not think of turning it off.
Another issue which occurred in a reproduceable way was that with the MobileSheets app it usually worked fine, but when returning to the menu it cut off maybe 10% of the left side (where the titles are listed) and added the same amount of the last used sheet music page at the right side of the screen. While this can easily be a problem caused by the app, it never happened on my Lenovo tablet yet.

Carlos, there are several bugs which should be fixed until I'd say it's running smoothly. And unless the Boox max 3 isn't going to have a backlight, I will not even consider getting one.

Something else that should be fixed: The built in library only allows one level sublibraries, and no further subcategories. This isn't enough for organizing hundreds of pieces. Otherwise it would well be suitable to replace any other dedicated sheet music app.

It's not only about the money. No matter if it goes for 300 or 850, if it's not reliably usable in all rehards it isn't going to be the tool I was hoping for.

January 9, 2019, 4:30 PM · I wasn't totally right about the writing function, as my son proved today. As long as you use it as a sketchbook or use the proprietary reader app, everything ismoerfectoy fine, almost like pencil on paper - a really pleasing experience. But it doesn't work well at all with MobileSheets. And it still doesn't work with the pe-installed Google Play Store. If the proprietary reader wasn't that useless for organizing...!

Didn't suffer from a freezing today, with WLAN switched off. Maybe there's hope...

January 10, 2019, 2:06 PM ·

This is an informative article about the Google play problem.

For the problems with MobileSheets on the Boox max 2 I contacted Mike Zuber, the developer of MobileSheets. I won't go into details here, but Onyx hadn't been too cooperative in his attempts to fix these quirks. For someone interested I could fwd his mail via PM.

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