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Budget reader Onyx Boox Caesar has been updated to the fourth generation

In the Russian market there was an updated e-book Onyx Boox Caesar IV is the fourth generation model, which received its name in honor of the great Roman Emperor. First released the Onyx Boox Caesar in 2016, and in four years this model has become one of the most popular in its segment.

Caesar IV belongs to the category of low-end models, and at the time of testing, its cost is 9,000 rubles. With the current exchange rate and the situation of the Russian economy this cost can be considered as low. This book is suitable for those who have never used e-readers and not ready to purchase a more expensive model.

If you compare Caesar IV Caesar original reader of the first generation, then you can easily track the evolution of the book. Changes a lot, and they both software and hardware. Of course, the most important innovation concerns the display – the centerpiece of any modern reader.

 

Packaging equipment

Caesar IV is sold in a box of white color from a very durable layered cardboard top cap which has a convenient magnetic mount. It is decorated with various ornaments, the image of Julius Caesar and his short biography – all this emanating from the top.

Below you can see a lot of text information – here there is a detailed description of the main advantages of the reader, and a detailed list of its characteristics. Also there is a render showing the design of the device, but its size (approximately 3×2 cm) does not allow to see all the details.

Package Caesar IV, given the low cost of the book, rather ascetic – of the additional accessories in the box there is only the cable charging and PC synchronization, and case and charger must be purchased separately. However, the fit and the charging from a smartphone or tablet, and the company store Onyx Boox have a wide selection of covers. The kit also includes a warranty card and a very detailed instruction for use.

 

Hardware specifications

Onyx Boox led the list of the features of Caesar IV on the box and in the complete instruction. It can also be found online on the official website of the company.

screen: 6 inch, no touch, E Ink Carta Plus 16 shades of gray, 1072х1448 pixels, contrast ratio of 14:1, SNOW Field, pixel density of 300 ppi;

— CPU: 4 cores, 1.2 GHz;

— screen backlight: MOON Light 2, two color (warm and cold), the ability to adjust brightness;

— memory: 512 MB of RAM, 8 GB ROM, microSD up to 32GB;

— working with files: 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;

— interfaces: microSD, microUSB 2.0;

— OS Google Android 4.4;

— dimensions: 170х117х9 millimeters;

— weight: 182 grams;

— colour: black.

 

In comparison with the first generation Caesar IV got a 4-core CPU is 2-core, significantly more modern lighting and, most importantly, a completely new panel of E Ink, which has higher resolution and contrast better, and by itself it whiter due to the technology of SNOW Field.

It remains unclear just why the Onyx Boox does not want to translate his books on the modern connector charging USB 2.0 MicroUSB C. frankly outdated, as data transmission speed, and morally.

 

Exterior

Case design Caesar IV borrowed from many modern readers of the company Onyx Boox is a classic case, appearance which can immediately understand what brand this book. This is a logical explanation – the shape and proportions of the body turned out so successful that you upgrade them is simply senseless.

The body has a slightly rough surface for easy operation. It is very thin, especially in the region of lateral end faces, and he has no superfluous design elements – all sharpened to the maximum readability, so that the scattering of the buttons do not distract the user.

The main element of the front panel of the book is the screen, framed by a broad framework through which there was space for two full-size buttons for flipping pages. They can be hung, and other functions in the settings is the appropriate option.

Under the screen you can see the manufacturer’s logo and is well known by many for Nokia smartphones five-way navigation switch. The Central button is painted in black and the rest in silver, and it is needed here to navigate the menu of the reader because the screen is not touch.

The interfaces of the reader is brought to the lower end of the body – there is a charging port and a slot for the microSD card. The upper face of the housing are given under the power button. The back cover of the book with only technical information.

 

Ergonomics

The above mentioned elaboration of the case positively affects the ergonomics. In particular, Caesar IV, you can hold with one hand – the proportions of the body is quite allow.

The side buttons have a barely noticeable swing, and very easily triggered, so to put pressure on them with full force is not necessary. In addition, they are large enough not to miss them, but their operation is absolutely not required to click on the their center. The power button is, on the contrary, pressed very tight, which eliminates accidental turn on or off the device. She also has a corrugated surface, so that it can be found on the touch.

The five-way button seems convenient, not all – due to the small size of the owners of the hands with large fingers to handle it will not be easy. At the same time, men with hands of medium size, as well as all representatives of the female sex and the more the children will not feel any discomfort when interacting with her. We will add that button, this moderately elastic, and each press is accompanied by a well-noticeable tactile feedback.

By coating the book does not slip out of your hands regardless of strength grip. Overall build quality is very high – no squeaks, no backlash, no dangling elements of design gives the impression of a monolithic and reliable. On the body can be fingerprints, but the brand is not one of them, besides all the touch traces very quickly cleaned with any damp cloth.

 


Display

As in other books Onyx Boox, in Caesar IV use electrophoretic display, or display on electronic ink. This is a special kind of screen-oriented display of textual information and with no impact on vision. In other words, you can read for hours, like a normal paper book.

Displays E Ink are arranged so that they are not afraid of sunlight – the brighter it is, the better visible the text. Screen in this model, supplemented by technology SNOW Field that is responsible for the white color background combined with black text gives the maximum contrast.

Despite the low cost, screen Caesar IV got a very high resolution, taking into account the diagonal. Our test showed that it is possible to set a minimum font size, and any blur will be. The viewing angles are, of course, the maximum is at 179 degrees vertically and horizontally the text is perfectly readable. Speed updates too, no issues have arisen – modern matrix E Ink in this plan work very quickly.

The only thing we did not like the screen is the fact that it is non-touch. In 2020, already a bit hard to return to the operation using the navigation buttons, when around touch smartphones and tablets. On the other hand, it’s just a matter of habit, and in this case, the non-touch display – not a disadvantage, but a characteristic feature of the model.

 

Backlight

All versions of the book of Caesar, beginning with the first, came with a backlit display, but if in the first generation was only cool shade in Caesar IV appeared and warm. You can adjust the brightness of each one individually, achieving the desired final shade. For example, for certain values of brightness you can achieve a lunar glow, but you can “milk”.

Twist one shade on high if you disable the other we would not recommend – if you fill the screen with warm light, it turns yellow, and if cold, on the contrary, blue, and eyes will quickly start to hurt.

Flicker the lighting no glare on the edges of the screen, we, too, have not found that may indicate a significant number of used LEDs. The brightness of the backlight, as in the other books of the Onyx, the excess – in this case, when the brightness of both hues more than 70% read becomes uncomfortable.

Optimal, in our view, the brightness level while reading in the room with the included external lighting in the range of 40-45%. In complete darkness there will still be enough 35%. Brightness adjustment is very smooth, it is possible to fully turn off the backlight, for example, when reading outside where the sun shines.

 

Software

Caesar IV runs on Android OS with a proprietary interface. Its main screen is a library available in the memory of the reader of books providing quick access to last opened book, and sort by authors and titles.

The second screen is a classic file Manager, as on any computer or Android smartphone, allows you to manage any existing folders or documents, including files with books. The “Applications” tab provides access to the calculator, the clock, and dictionary, but, in our opinion, to use them the majority of the owners of the Caesar IV will be very rare, since this is primarily a reader.

The dictionary can be useful for finding definitions of new unfamiliar words found in the book, but due to the lack of a touchscreen to dial it in with the onscreen keyboard and buttons under the display it would be a long faster take smartphone and see the word on the Internet.

In the settings you can change almost all parameters of the reader including and choose an action for a short or a long press on a particular button. This allows very fine tuning of the interaction with the book, but the standard version we liked most.

With regard to applications for direct read, it is all very interesting. In Caesar IV, there are two programs – NeoReader and OReader, each with its own characteristics, and each sharpened for specific tasks. In any of these programs button under the display reveals its full potential – if you press up or down on the fly to change the font size, and pressing left or right allows you to scroll pages without using the buttons on the sides of the display. In short, as we have said, to do without the touchscreen can specialists Onyx Boox well optimized the interface for non-touch displays.

Built-in programs for reading are different in that, for example, OReader has more options and NeoReader allows you to launch the dictionary in windowed mode. In addition, it is designed to work with PDF, DjVu and comic files. Anyway, both programs are very decent and functional, and they both support all the modern formats of books and documents, including Packed into the archive. In both programs the user has available a wide range of features, including: support for bookmarks, text search, font, quick zoom the text, the transition to the desired page, and more.

Now a little about the firmware. Due to the minimum number of pre-installed apps and optimizing the OS book works very fast and loads in about 10 seconds. The opening of any book, if it’s not a collection of complex formulas, it takes a couple of moments. No freezes during testing was observed.

 

Battery life

The optimization had a positive effect on the Autonomous operation of the book and using the screen on e-ink, which consumes minimum amount of energy. In Caesar IV uses a non-removable battery capacity of 3000 mAh, but the manufacturer has not indicated how long it usually enough. Will figure it out on their own.

— without backlight: 25000 pages;

— one color of the backlight by 50%: a little more than 19000 pages;

mode with single color backlight 100%: nearly 16,000 pages;

— in the mode with two colors backlight 50%: 12,500 pages;

— in the mode with two colors backlight 100%: almost 9000 pages.

Unit dimensions – 1 page or 1 screen refresh. Do not confuse it with the pages of the book. Time fill charge from the charger to measure were not due to the lack of it in the package.

 

The advantages of Caesar IV

— modern bar Carta Plus;

— capacious battery;

— well-optimized;

— high-quality illumination of the screen;

— ergonomic design.

 

Cons ONYX BOOX Caesar

— outdated interface microUSB 2.0.

 

© 2020, paradox. All rights reserved.

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