At some point, we imagine e-paper displays will take the place of LCDs in tablets, phones, and other portable devices. They’re just way too good at extending a device’s battery life. However, that won’t be mainstream until e-paper becomes good enough to contend with LCD panels in frame rate and color reproduction. In the meantime, there are some outfits already doing that for those whose workflows mesh well with e-paper’s limited colors and slow refresh rate. If you’re one of those people, you might just be interested in the new Boox Tab Ultra C.
Like other e-paper devices, its primary function is an e-reader, as the low-power screen does its best work for reading books, documents, and similar digital materials. However, it also runs a full build of Android, complete with access to the platform’s wide selection of apps, allowing you to use it as a full-fledged tablet.
The Boox Tab Ultra C has a 10.3-inch EInk Kaleido 3 display, which boasts 2,480 x 1,860 resolution in grayscale mode and 1,240 x 930 resolution in color mode. That’s right, you can use it with colors, albeit in limited supply, as it only reproduces 4,096 colors, so you can’t quite rely on it when working with visual multimedia. It comes with four refresh modes that you can adjust based on what tasks you’re doing. HD Mode is the traditional e-paper refresh that maximizes power savings while being ideal for reading, while Balanced Mode makes it easy to both read and type on the device. There’s a Fast Mode that you can engage when scrolling through long documents, as well as an Ultrafast Mode that allows it to refresh as fast as an e-paper screen can go, which is ideal when you’re using apps with dynamic content and constantly changing screen visuals.
It’s a touchscreen display, by the way, so you can tap, swipe, and pinch to your heart’s content. They also include a stylus, which comes with 4,096 levels of pressure and an eraser, allowing you to highlight text, jot down notes, and even do sketches on compatible apps.
The Boox Tab Ultra C has adjustable front lighting, allowing you to illuminate the screen for reading in low-light environments, as well as a keyboard stand that you can use to give it a laptop-like form factor, making it ideal for typing. There’s also a 16MP camera in the rear that’s primarily meant to serve as a document scanner when paired with any of the available scanner apps on the platform, as well as a microSD card slot for loading content onto the device. Dual built-in speakers allow you to listen to audiobooks (and music, if you want to use it for that), while dual mics allow you to record voice notes and join voice chats. Other features include a 6,300mAh rechargeable battery, a magnetic three-fold protective case, power button with a fingerprint sensor, dual-band Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 5.0. It runs Android 11.
The Boox Tab Ultra C is now available for preorder, priced at $599.99.