Review of the ONYX BOOX Volta 2 e-book.
The ONYX BOOX Volta e-book was one of the manufacturer's most balanced models last year. A nice updated design of the case, convenient operation, high-quality lighting and much more. But there was one thing that made you think before buying this particular model – the lack of a cover in the kit. The manufacturer listened to the opinion of users and released an update. Meet-ONYX BOOX Volta 2. Technical Specifications
Display: 6 inches, 758 x 1024 pixels, 212 ppi, E-Ink Carta;
Supported technologies: SNOW Field, Flicker Free;
Illumination: MOON Light 2;
Processor: 4 cores, 1.2 GHz;
RAM: 512 MB;
Internal memory: 8 GB;
Memory expansion slot: microSD;
Wired interface: microUSB;
Wireless Interface: Wi-Fi;
Supported formats: TXT, HTML, RTF, FB2, FB2.zip, FB3, MOBI, CHM, PDB, DOC, DOCX, PRC, EPUB, PDF, DjVu, JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP, CBR, CBZ;
Battery: Li-ion, 3000 mAh;
Operating System: Android 4.4;
Dimensions: 156 x 112.5 x 8.8 mm;
Weight: 160 grams (260 grams in the case).
Package contents and case
In a small white box you will find the e-book itself, a microUSB-USB cable for charging and connecting to a PC, documentation and the same branded case, which is worth telling a little more about.The cover case is made of brown high-quality eco-leather with embossed on the front side. Inside, a soft cloth covers the screen, and the shape itself is made of thick plastic. The book is attached in the case very securely, there is no fear that it may accidentally fall out.In addition to the protective functions, the case can send the book to sleep when closed and wake up when opened. Another modern feature of this case is the SIDE Control function. It is intended for fans of mechanical control of the book and consists in transferring two flipping buttons from the book body to the right side of the cover. It is implemented perfectly, the buttons are conveniently located, and I used them when reading.Case design and controls
The compact case of the book is made of matte black plastic with a pleasant soft-touch coating. The plastic is non-slip, it fits perfectly in the hand. Traces of wet fingers remain, but they can be easily removed with any napkin. The dimensions of the case are optimal-156 by 113 mm, the thickness is slightly less than 9 mm. The book itself weighs 160 grams, the case adds about 100 grams. The dimensions and weight allow you to use the Volta 2 in almost any conditions, it is convenient to read both at home and in transport, it does not take up much space in a bag or backpack.The Volta 2 is controlled, like most modern e-readers, in two ways. You can flip through books and navigate through the menu using the touch screen, which, by the way, is very sensitive and correctly perceives most of the clicks, as well as mechanical buttons, of which there are three (if you take into account the two additional ones on the case).
The button under the screen takes you back a step to the menu when you press it briefly and controls the backlight when you press it long. It is pressed pleasantly, with a barely discernible click.The buttons on the case are made in a similar style. They are responsible for turning pages while reading. They are also pressed gently and almost silently.The power button was hidden on the upper end of the reader. Inside it there is an LED that notifies you about the operating mode of the device.There are only two connectors on the book case and both of them are located on the lower end – microUSB for charging and microSD for a memory card. But I note that for many years of using ONYX BOOX e-books, I have never inserted an additional memory card, the built-in 8 GB is enough to store a huge library.Display
For the ONYX BOOX Volta 2, the manufacturer selected a modern 6-inch E-Ink Carta screen with a resolution of 758 by 1024 pixels (density 212 ppi). Yes, the resolution is not a record and there are books in the arsenal of this manufacturer with a higher pixel density, but as practice shows, this screen is more than enough for comfortable reading. From a distance of 30-40 cm from the screen, the letters look great, and the interface of the book is also perceived well. Some small flaws in the form of "ladders" on the edges of the letters and icons can only be seen from a close distance.
The reading process is much more influenced by the technologies used in this screen. For example, SNOW Field, which reduces the number of artifacts when flipping pages and removes flickering when the screen is completely refreshed. And it is this nuance of the work of e-books that irritated many users in the recent past. The next technological breakthrough in the electronic reading industry was the backlight. Here it is the most modern and advanced. It is called the MOON Light 2 backlight and in addition to its main function – lighting the screen in the dark, it has several important features. For example, adjusting the color temperature. Now you can change not only the banal brightness of the backlight, but also its color from colder to as warm as possible. Also in MOON Light 2, Flicker-Free technology is implemented, which eliminates the flickering of the backlight LEDs due to the use of a constant voltage source. No flickering – the eyes do not get tired, and this is the most important thing when reading.Software and functionality
The entire software shell of the book is built on the Android operating system. Naturally, the interface has been significantly redesigned and adapted for use with e-readers. The menu is as simple and clear as possible. All the functionality is concentrated on the main screen. From here, you can open any book in the library, go to the file manager, the list of applications, and settings. The library allows you to conveniently filter books, so even if you store a large number of files, you can always sort them out.For fans of classic folders, there is a pre-installed file manager. Here books can be sorted, renamed, deleted, and so on. In general, a full-fledged manager for Android.The list of standard applications is small, but it is possible to install third-party programs. To do this, you need to download the file in the "APK" format and copy it to the book's memory.
From the pre-installed ones, you can select a built-in dictionary, a browser, and, of course, a recent innovation – file transfer without wires.In Volta 2, there are two ways to transfer files without a wire connection – via a home Wi-Fi network via an FTP server and via a special PUSH service. I liked the first method more, since no registration is required, just enter the corresponding address in the browser and copy the necessary books, when the reader is connected to Wi-Fi, these books appear in the folder. The second method requires registration by e-mail and its confirmation. In the future, copy books to the device's memory through this created account.And the last thing I would like to draw your attention to is the book settings. They are, of course, more modest than on smartphones with the Android system, but still include quite a lot of changeable parameters.
What I like about ONYX BOOX e-books is their "omnivorous" nature in terms of supported formats. Two pre-installed readers AlReaderX Pro and NeoReader 3.0 can work with a huge number of text formats, and even if you managed to find the format that they did not open, you can always find the right reader and install it on your device. This is what the Android system is good for.The default application is AlReaderX Pro, and I'll start with its features. In my opinion, it is an extremely convenient reader for reading the most popular formats-FB2 and MOBI. You can configure a huge number of parameters, change the font, hyphenation, indentation, and so on. You can customize the display of the text as precisely as possible.For language learners, it is possible to view the translation of a word or sentence directly from the text. Select the desired area and translate it with the built-in Russian-English dictionary.The second reader application is NeoReader 3.0. It is used for PDF and DjVu files. The main advantage is the convenient settings for zooming, rotating and cropping the page. It is with these settings that you can adjust the scanned books to a more or less "readable" view for a 6-inch screen.The transition to the dictionary in the readers also differs. In AlReaderX Pro, the translated word opens in a new window using the built-in translator, and in NeoReader 3.0, the translation is performed in one window and using the Google translator. This option is more convenient and functional, but requires an Internet connection via Wi-Fi.Autonomy
The book is powered by a 3000 mAh battery. Although it is built on the Android platform, you should not compare an e-reader with a smartphone. It has a much more energy-efficient screen and platform in general.
In my mode of use, the book worked for almost a month without recharging. When reading an FB2 file with a backlight at 40-50%, the charge consumption is about 2% per hour. The wireless network is disabled. If you turn it on to transfer a book or to read news through the browser, the battery consumption increases several times, so do not forget to turn off Wi-Fi.
The e-book is charged from a standard 5V/1A charger. The full charge time is about 3 hours. Result
In the first version of the Volta, I liked everything, except for the fact that there was no case. If you use the book not only at home, you will have to work hard to find the right cover model for a reasonable price. In Volta 2, all objections to the purchase are removed.
This is an excellent balanced e-book with a high-quality screen, which implements all the modern developments of the company, a pleasant design, good autonomy and wide functionality in terms of reading. If you are looking for these qualities in an e-book, then ONYX BOOX Volta 2 will not disappoint you.
Was there any other way to improve this book? Certainly by adding a modern USB Type-C connector instead of the legacy microUSB. But these are rather nuances that do not affect the main function of the device.