Digital note taking devices with E INK screens are all of the rage these days. It provides businesses and schools the ability to replace paper and transition to a product that is more ecologically friendly. Artists will find the drawing apps chalk full of options for character and environments. Each of the devices on our list are easy on the eyes, have long battery life and have a myriad of options that set them apart from the competition.
10) Boyue Likebook P10W – The Likebook P10W features a 10 inch capacitive touchscreen display with E INK Carta HD e-paper technology. It has a resolution of 1200×1600 and 200 PPI. It has 28 LED lights, they offer a combination of white and amber, this is used for the front-lit display and color temperature system. The screen is completely flush with the bezel and has a layer of glass. The great thing about this device is the inclusion of a WACOM screen, which supports 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and has palm rejection technology. The P10W is available from the Good e-Reader Store for $319.99 and comes with a free case and stylus.
9) Kobo Sage – The Kobo Sage is a new premium e-reader with a large eight inch screen. It is a dedicated ebook reader that has new audiobook functionality, the Kobo Store has a new audiobook section, which customers can buy and listen to it right on the device. This is accomplished via Bluetooth technology, so it is quite easy to use wireless headphones or an external speaker. The Sage is also compatible with the Kobo Stylus, so you can take notes inside ebooks, manga and PDF files, there is also a dedicated note taking app to freehand draw or solve complex math equations. It retails for $299.99 CAD.
8) Onyx Boox Note Air 2 – The Onyx Boox Note Air 2 has many benefits over the original model. It is using a new writing film that helps provide better stylus interactions, so it doesn’t feel like you are writing on a glass panel. The processor, RAM and internal storage have been increased and it comes with a new stylus that has better quality and design. It can magnetically attach itself to the side of the Air with magnets. Android 11 and Google Play are also tremendous. It has a 10 inch screen and retails for $499.99.
7) Reinkstone R1 – The Reinkstone is a very innovative product and the company is making some very compelling reasons to open up your pocketbook and support them on Kickstarter. The R1 is employing a new type of color e-paper, a technology never seen before. It is running Android 11 and users can sideload their own apps. Most importantly, it is a 10.1 inch digital note taking device, that allows you to freehand draw, take notes and edit PDF files.
6) Topjoy Butterfly 7.8 – The Topjoy Butterfly features a 7.8 inch screen that is using DES Slurry color e-paper technology. It has a black and white resolution of 1872×1404 and 300 PPI, color will be displayed at 150 PPI. It has an EMR layer, which is compatible with a number of stylus, but Topjoy provides their own and it has 4096 degrees of pressure sensitivity. There is a robust note taking app, where you can select from dozens of colors, brushes, pens, pencils or highlighters. This will give users the ability to freehand draw, sketch or handwrite on the screen. There is a front-lit display with a series of LED lights on the bottom of the bezel, that project light, evenly across the screen. You can control the brightness with the dropdown menu via a slider bar. This device is using DES Slurry color e-paper, instead of E INK. This device is currently being crowdfunded.
5) Pinenote 64– Pine64, a Hong Kong-based electronics manufacturer, has introduced one of the most powerful e-paper devices to date. Priced at $399, the E Ink tablet is called the PineNote and it runs a custom version of Linux OS. It will support first-party EMR pens (sold separately) and third-party Wacom EMR pens upon release. The PineNote boasts a 10.3-inch 1404×1872 (227 DPI) E-ink panel with a 3:4 aspect ratio and is capable of showing 16 levels of grayscale. There’s an adjustable front light that can display cool to warm tones of light. This device is currently being crowdfunded.
4) Kobo Elipsa – Kobo is doing something that is so out of character for them, with the advent of the Elipsa. This is part e-note and part e-Reader. It comes with a capacitive stylus that is designed to edit ebooks, PDF files and freehand draw. Complex math equations can be solved automatically and they also have an advanced handwriting to text engine. Of course, the Elipsa taps into the entire Kobo ecosystem of digital content, you can read all of your favorite books, comics or graphic novels. Overdrive integration ensures that you can login to your local library branch and borrow ebooks. This is also Pocket, to read your favorite blog articles and Dropbox to save your edited PDF files and drawings. It has a 10.3 inch screen and retails anywhere between $350 and $500.
3) Fujitsu Quaderno A4 – 2nd Generation – The second generation Fujitsu Quaderno is the best 13.3 inch digital note taking device on the market. This product is designed to view and edit PDF files, freehand draw and take notes. It is simply the most responsive e-note that has ever been released and this is primarily attributed to the exposed e-paper display. The device is also employing brand new E INK technology, which makes it fast, responsive and an utter pleasure to use. This product is only available in Japan, but does have an English language option. The Fujitsu Quaderno A4 second generation is using a brand new E INK Carta 1250 e-paper display. It is the first product in the world to utilize this new screen technology. It was originally developed both black and white displays, but also color e-notes. This version has a thinner film and faster ink, enabling faster page turns. This is really evident on large PDF files, whether they are textbooks, RPG manuals, graphic novels or manga, they are all lighting quick, faster than any e-note we have ever reviewed. When employing the stylus, 1250 also has less latency, you can expect less than 30 milliseconds. You can buy it internationally from Good e-Reader for $779.99.
2) Remarkable 2 – Remarkable is one of the most popular brands in the world. Many people turn to this device because the UI and menu system is in English, so millions of people can use it. The hardware on the second gen model has been enhanced, with a better processor, more storage and additional RAM. The stylus has been redesigned and they also have a new premium one. One of the great things about Remarkable in general is that they continue to introduce new features and enhancements. The OS is based on Linux, so it is really stable. Only having two products in their portfolio can accelerate software development. Companies like Onyx, Boyue and a myriad of others all run varying degrees of Android, which makes supporting older models unfeasible and they always tend to issue updates for whatever they are currently selling. Remarkable came under fire recently for their subscription based program. This 10.3 inch model retails anywhere from $350 to $699, depending on what case or stylus you want.
1) Onyx Boox Max Lumi 2 – The Onyx Boox Max Lumi 2 is a 13.3 inch digital note taking device that was designed to read A4 documents, so it is ideal for PDF files, comics, magazines, manga and newspapers. There are some key features that really make this the best e-note that money can buy. It is utilizing one of the latest generation Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 6GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage, so you can sideload in tons of content. It is running Google Android 11 and has full access to the Play Store, so millions of free and paid apps are available. The Lumi 2 really shines when used to draw and edit PDF files and ebooks. Onyx has one of the best drawing apps in the business, that is more advanced than Remarkable. It retails for $879 and is available form the Good e-Reader Store.
This is the official Good e-Reader top 10 list! Peter, over on our YouTube channel, also did his own top 10 list, which is quite different. If you want a different prospective, you can watch it below.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.