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Onyx’s new Boox Palma is the smallest e-reader we’ve ever seen

Onyx’s new Boox Palma is the smallest e-reader we’ve ever seen

E-reader brand Onyx is back with an unusual mobile device – an e-reader the size of an average smartphone.

It’s called the Boox Palma and has a screen measuring just 6.13 inches (about 156 mm) across, making it a bit bigger than the Samsung Galaxy S23. Onyx has dabbled with compact tablets before, like the Boox Poke5. However, the company chose a lengthier screen this time over a stout one. The display sports an E-Ink Carta 1200 display, a popular choice found on other e-readers. And for good reason as the Carta 1200 allows for crisp, high-definition visuals. This can be seen in the display’s resolution of 824 x 1648 pixels. To ensure optimal performance, Onyx is also throwing in its proprietary Boox Super Refresh Technology for smooth scrolling. 

Features and specs

The Palma blurs the line between mobile devices and e-readers due to its smartphone-esque design. The power and volume buttons are on the right side, while on the left, you have a microSD card slot alongside a spare button that you can use for a hotkey function. There’s even a camera on the back, but don’t expect it to be on the same level as an iPhone 14. The lens is only 16MP.  Plus, all the photographs are in greyscale. It lacks the Boox Tab Ultra C’s color support.

Regarding software, Onyx makes some interesting choices. Like other devices in its class, the Palma lets you read content from subscribed RSS feeds or use the calendar app to have it double as a clock. It also offers access to various social media platforms so you can post, send messages, and even make voice calls as you would on a regular phone. Of course, everything looks rather drab without color.

Onyx Boox Palma on stand

(Image credit: Onyx/Palma)

Under the hood is an eight-core CPU from Qualcomm. The official product listing doesn’t reveal exactly what it is. There’s only a single model for the Palma featuring 6GB of RAM with 128GB of storage. And powering everything is a 3,950 mAh battery. 9To5Google estimates in their report the Palma should last about a week before needing a recharge. 


Despite all the similarities to a smartphone, it’s not one. Onyx made sure to clarify this by stating in the FAQ section that Palma does not support SIM cards nor has an eSIM chip inside. 

Regardless of its capabilities as a mobile device, we can see this gadget becoming quite popular among people looking for a slim e-reader that they easily slip into their pocket or purse. You don’t have to lug around anything bulky just to read an ebook.

Proof of the gadget’s popularity is already evident. At the time of this writing, the Early Adopter Edition of the e-reader is completely sold out on the Boox website with no word on when it’ll come back. 9To5Google states pre-orders launched at $250, but the final price could jump to $280. We asked the company when the Palma will come back. This story will be updated at a later time.

Until then, check out TechRadar’s list of the best e-readers for 2023.  

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