The Boox Note Pro was just released, and it may be one of the most compelling alternatives we’ve seen in a while. Not only does it have an attractive design, but it also has access to an app store that increases its functionality many times over.
The design is pretty slick. It has a 10.3-inch screen on the front with a 1,872 x 1,404 pixel resolution, and it’s super sharp. It’s set underneath a flat piece of glass, which is flush to the body, making it look modern and stylish.
The back is covered with a grippy material, and the whole unit is extremely lightweight at 370 grams, and only 6.8mm thick too. You can easily hold it in one, and there’s only two physical controls, a home button under the screen and a sleep/wake key on the top.
New for this generation of Note Pro is a backlight, which can be adjusted between cool and warm light via a slider. It’s easy to use, and if you’re staring at the screen for long periods of time, this feature is quite useful. The control is found along the top of the screen, as part of a newly-designed interface.
The Boox Note Pro runs Android 6.0 with heavy customization over the top, and no access to Google Play or other Google services. Menus run down the side of the screen, and are responsive to the touch. The one marked Apps leads to Boox’s own application store, which contains many of the top writing and reading-related apps including Microsoft Word, Excel and Kindle.
While most ebooks come from Amazon, there are plenty of other eBook stores around the world, and it’s nice to have a choice. On the Note Pro you can read Kindle ebooks, PDFs, and a range of other file types. The touchscreen also supports styli from Wacom to make it more suitable for work and note-taking. Text looks fantastic, and the high resolution screen is great for graphics.
The battery has a 4,100mAh capacity and should be good for around 20 days use, or around five days if it’s used all day. This isn’t the best battery life, but considering everything that’s packed into the Note Pro — stylus support, a big screen and apps — it’s a fair tradeoff. An unnamed quad-core processor powers the ebook reader, along with 4GB of RAM, plus a massive 64GB of internal storage, and it’s performance is really fast.
Boox will release the new Note Pro around April, and has yet to confirm the price. The current model costs $500 when purchased through Amazon, and it’s expected that the new Note Pro will cost that or a little more.