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Boox Note Air3 review: a reliable e-ink book reader, but a small niche

Boox Note Air3

Boox Note Air3

3.5/5 Buy Amazon

The Boox Note Air3 is a great entry into the e-reader market, but its weight and larger screen compared to some of the company's smaller models can make it a little awkward to carry.

We love e-ink tablets – not only are they easier on our eyes, but the improved battery life means we can just toss one in our bag and know it's always there when we need it.

Boox's new Note Air3 is an iPad Air-sized e-ink tablet that bridges the gap between an e-reader and a full-featured tablet.

Boox Note Air3 Review – Under the hood

The Boox Note Air3 features a 10.3-inch HD Carta 1200 glass screen, about the same size as the iPad Air. It boasts a resolution of 1404×1872 (227 pixels per inch).

As with the iPad, it can be controlled with your finger or stylus. When using the stylus, the tablet has 4,096 levels of pressure, making it a pretty decent drawing tool.

One of the standout features of Boox products is backlight color temperature control. You can adjust the warmth or coolness of the light to suit your surroundings and reading preferences.

It is equipped with an octa-core processor clocked at 4.2 GHz, 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal memory. Since this is an e-ink tablet, we think 64GB of storage isn't too bad. After all, you won't be hosting many large applications here. If you need a little more storage, there is a microSD card slot, which is very convenient.

Boox Note Air3 review: the included microSD slot allows you to expand the internal memory

The 3,700 mAh battery is not bad for a device of this size. If you don't turn the screen brightness all the way up, you may be able to use it for a few days, depending on what you're doing.

When we used the Note Air3 for several hours a day, and before that we had been using it for a full week, we felt like we needed to charge it again. If you're the kind of person who charges your devices every night, your battery will probably never run out.

Boox Note Air3 review: Read text websites on Note Air3

Note Air3 supports 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, allowing you to download new books, browse the web, and sync your reading progress. Additionally, it has Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity for wireless headphones, speakers or keyboards.

As an e-ink reader, it is designed to work with a wide range of text and e-books, for example:

Supported formats

  • PDF
  • DJVU
  • CBR
  • CBZ
  • EPUB
  • AZW3
  • MOBI
  • TXT
  • DOC
  • DOCX
  • FB2
  • CHM
  • RTF
  • HTML
  • ZIP
  • PRC
  • PPT
  • PPTX

It also supports image formats such as PNG, JPG, BPM and TIFF, as well as audio formats such as WAV and MP3.

Boox Note Air3 review – performance

Like other Boox devices we've tested, the Note Air3 is reliable. It was very easy to set up. Once we customized it to our liking, we found ourselves returning to it regularly when we wanted to read or browse text-heavy websites.

If you've used e-ink devices before, you know how much better they feel to your eyes. We actually enjoyed connecting the keyboard to the Note Air3 and typing part of this review on it.

Boox Note Air3 review: Taking notes on the Note Air3 is a pleasure

With ample space for notes, the Note Air3 stands out from other models in the line. Like the iPad Air, the Note Air3 is the perfect size for writing and drawing. And, of course, we wouldn't replace the iPad Air or iPad Pro when creating digital art, but this tablet is still a surprisingly pleasant drawing experience.

Since it runs Android 12, users can access the Google Play Store, and while it may not support the latest games, it can still run some of your favorite apps. For example, we could import our Kindle library using the Amazon Kindle app and install productivity apps like Evernote and Google Productivity Suite.

Although the device may not be as fast as your iPhone or iPad, this is not a big problem since it is primarily designed for reading. Even when browsing text-heavy websites in reading mode, we found the speeds to be more than adequate.

If there's one area where the Note Air3 falls short, it's speaker and microphone quality. The speakers don't have fantastic sound quality or great volume.

Of course, we also don't think this is a deal breaker— most people will probably just connect it to their Bluetooth headphones.

Boox Note Air3 review: size matters

The Note Air3 is a significant size, especially compared to other e-ink readers, such as many of Amazon's Kindle line or Boox's Boox Tab Mini line. In fact, it weighs just under a pound, so holding it while reading for long periods of time is a little tiring.

The extra weight and screen size make it seem like its target audience has narrowed a bit. If you're an avid romance reader, you'll probably find them too big to keep on your nightstand or in your bag during your morning commute.

Boox Note Air3 Review: It Can Be A Little Hard to Hold During Long Reading Sessions

While it may not be ideal for every occasion, there's definitely one niche for Note Air3 tablet with electronic ink. Of course, the large screen size may not seem like it was made for your favorite novel. However, as one AppleInsider noted, it would be ideal for housing a digital library of board game books.

And it doesn't have to be a book about games. Many textbooks also translate well to the screen.

And of course, the large screen size makes it ideal for taking notes or browsing the web.

Boox Note Air3 review – pros

  • Long battery life.
  • Various screen backlight settings.
  • Easy to write.
  • Great for browsing text-heavy websites.
  • Great for reading textbooks, TTRPG rulebooks, etc.

Boox Note Air3 Review – Cons

  • Weight can become tiresome after a while.
  • Large size may be inconvenient for reading small works.
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  • May be slow when using certain applications.
  • High price.
  • Poor speaker and microphone quality.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Rate each product on a scale from one to five is not easy. , especially when a lot depends on the user's preferences.

While we still think the Boox Tab Mini C is still the model we recommend for most users, there's no denying that the Note Air3 may better suit some users' needs. This is especially true for those who plan to take a lot of handwritten notes or read long books.

Boox Note Air3 – Where to buy

Boox Note Air3 – Where to buy

Boox Note Air3 – where to buy

Note Air3 can be purchased from Boox for $399 directly from the Onyx Boox website, as well as from Amazon for the same price.

There is also a color model of the Boox Note Air3 C. We reviewed Boox's color offerings and found them to be good, although for most uses this feature is not clearly necessary.

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