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Onyx Boox has updated the book Darwin until the sixth generation, making it even better

The company’s product line was supplemented by Onyx Boox e-book Darwin 6, the sixth generation of one of the most in demand in the Russian market of e-readers. Having absorbed all that was best realized in the previous five incarnations, Darwin 6 got their chips and features, which we consider in this test.

Of the basic advantages of books, it is worth noting its compact size in the presence of a moderately large 6-inch display. It will be a big plus for those who like to read away from home or, for example, in public transport, where not so much space.

In Russia, Darwin 6 went to the black and white body colors, and we got to test the black version. The cost of the reader at the time of publication of the articles amounted to 12,300 rubles, according to “Yandex.Market”.

 

Packaging equipment

Darwin 6 comes in a small size box is very sturdy cardboard, painted in black and bright red colors. The top cover is attached with magnets, which is about what the manufacturer thinks about its users – a method of opening simultaneously and reliable, and very comfortable.

On top of the box has a short biography of Charles Darwin, after whom is named the unit itself, as well as his portrait. In addition, the depicted visual presentation of the developed by him theory of evolution.

The bottom face of the package contains a description of the main features of the book, plus here is a small render of the device and its characteristics are listed on the side of the box.

Inside the box along with the reader are all required to use accessories – charger with a plug that is suitable for Russian sockets, cable charging and PC connection, as well as a protective case which must be considered separately in the relevant section. Plus, there are a warranty card and a detailed manual.

 

Complete case-cover

Usually the covers that are supplied with devices as cheap as in appearance and to the touch. They are intended for use for the first time, until you bought a decent accessory. With Darwin 6 not in the box with him is a very high quality case and is Smart Cover – smart cover, able to interact with the device.

It happens this way – once you close the case built in to it magnets trigger a Hall sensor inside of the book, and she goes into a sleep mode to save power, and after some time completely disconnected. When you open the book case automatically wakes up, though doing it instantly. If desired, this mode can be disabled in settings.

In the manufacture of case Onyx Boox gave preference to high quality materials – the exterior part is covered with teksturirovanie in eco-leather with embossed in the form of the tree of evolution, and the inner surface finished materials of black color, feels like velvet.

The material is very soft, due to which there is no risk of scratching the body of the book and especially the display. Itself the reader is placed in the holders, the corners of hard plastic, which rests quite firmly. To give the case extra strength manufacturer flashed it around the perimeter.

Hardware specifications

The list of characteristics of Onyx Boox 6 Darwin presented on the official website of the manufacturer. It can also be found directly on the product carton and in the instructions supplied. All three sources provided identical data, differences between them.

display: 6 inch E Ink Carta Plus 16 shades of gray resolution 1072х1448 pixels, multi-touch, SNOW Field;

— screen backlight: Moon Light (warm and cool), the ability to adjust brightness;

processor: 4-core, 1.2 GHz;

— memory: 1 GB RAM, 8 GB ROM, microSD;

wired interfaces: microUSB 2.0, microSD;

— wireless interfaces: Wi-Fi 802.11 n;

— battery: Li-ion, integrated, 3000 mAh;

— operating system: Android 4.4 KitKat with its own interface;

— supported files: TXT, HTML, RTF, FB2, FB2.zip, FB3, MOBI, CHM, PDB, DOC, DOCX, PRC, EPUB, JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP, PDF, DjVu;

— dimensions: 170х117х9 mm;

— weight: 182 grams;

— case color: black, white;

— housing material: plastic;

— warranty: 1 year.

 

Darwin 6 can be attributed to the segment of e-books hi end due to the increased resolution of the display and the current generation of display e-ink. The advantages also include a revised firmware, a large number of supported files and Wi-Fi module. The latter, however, not useful to all surf the Internet on a monochrome display, still not quite comfortable.

The wifi here is a bit of a different application. With it, you can (and should) connect to a network library OPDS, which represent directories with tens of thousands of books, though completely free, and even conveniently sorted into various categories. There is another option of using Wi-Fi. The book is set the reader app (OReader), and Wi-Fi you can sync your eReader with your smartphone or tablet if they have the program AlReader. This will allow you to read the same book on multiple devices without having to search for the page.

We add that the book, for all its modernity, not enough actual USB connector-C – it is much easier in comparison with used here microUSB 2.0.

 

Design and comparison with Darwin 5

In Darwin 6 Onyx Boox did not change the design – all the books of the Darwin line was produced in the same enclosure. This is because it immediately came out very good – while others are constantly experimenting with the appearance of readers, Onyx originally worked with the concept, having thought over every detail, and eventually settled on this version. And if the design has not been subjected to revision, therefore, users were pleased with the results.

And, in fact, there is a lot to be happy – Darwin 6 looks very stylish with a slim design and subtle buttons that blend seamlessly with faces. The complete absence of unnecessary design elements also plays a role – are all minimized and at the same time very nice. In the picture, by the way, is seen as similar to the fifth and sixth generation models.

However, there is another difference in appearance – if not at the top end Darwin 6 there is only one power button, then Darwin 5 there is the recessed reset button. On the other hand, it is no longer required because modern books with the latest firmware no longer freezes, and in Darwin 5 she was abandoned, apparently without any reason.

Now elements of the case – they are not very much, but they are. the front panel is given over to display the broad framework under which the Home button like in Android. the lower end placed under the microSD and microUSB connectors, and on each side there is only the turning buttons. The back of the case books there is nothing but technical information.

 

Ergonomics

6 Darwin is obviously easier stated 182 grams, its weight is not felt in the hand, besides at the ends of its body is thinner than 9 mm. To keep the reader comfortable in two hands or one, and the wide screen frame completely eliminate the risk of accidental touches.


Side buttons are big, it is impossible to miss, and they are pressed, though gently, but with a noticeable tactile feedback. The power button is very hard to make sure the book was not included in a bag or briefcase from touch anything.

The case looks completely smooth, but features a slightly rough rubberized surface, resembling to the touch plastic Soft-Touch. Due to this, the book does not slip out of your hands, but this cover becomes very dirty – it collects fingerprints. They only rubbed with a damp cloth.

Display, on the contrary, pollution is not affected by the touch traces on it at all are not visible. But it has no impact protection, and because contact with him is very careful, and the book itself should always be worn in case with cover.

 

Screen

In Darwin 6 uses electrophoretic display, i.e. the screen on the so-called “electronic ink.” Unlike Darwin 5, here we use a panel with higher resolution, and if the fifth generation was very comfortable to read even the smallest font sizes, everything here is even better, plus you can view detailed images. However, in any case they will be black and white.

The sensor layer handles two simultaneous touches for quick zoom text and images on your smartphone. The touch layer fulfills the whole surface of the screen equally well, including the corners.

The angles of the screen Darwin 6 maximum – no wonder the panel of E Ink compared to normal sheets of paper. Anyway the book in my hands, no vizitoni on the display you will see is always very a contrast image, which is achieved due to the technology of the SNOW Field, making the maximum display white.

Another benefit of e-ink displays based on them do not spoil the vision, even if you read for hours on end. This will be achieved, including, due to the fact that the display is not updated constantly, as in computers or mobile devices. Due to this, by the way, and save battery.

 

The display backlight

In Darwin 6 uses dual backlight Moon Light+ – this means it has two shades of light, cold and warm. They can work individually, filling the screen, a milky-white (cold glow) and amber yellow (warm light) shades and together.

The book implements a very flexible system brightness settings in both colors – you can combine them as they please, plus you can save the three most commonly used option and switch between them in a second. Warm and cool colors are needed in different situations – cold, for example, will come in handy if you are reading under a relatively bright external lighting with poor colour temperature, warm and provide a comfortable reading before going to sleep in the twilight and reduce eye strain.

As for the brightness of the backlight, in Darwin 6. it is traditionally for books Onyx Boox, excessive, in the best sense of the word. Comfortable reading, in our case, was reached at 35% brightness, which has a positive impact on the operating time of your device’s battery life. And another important point – the screen on electronic ink, never fade in sunlight, unlike LCD displays, so if you like to read outdoors, then the backlight can not be included at all. Outdoors in bright light, meaning the lighting is not. It is only needed when lighting is poor.

 

Firmware and preloaded software

The owner is controlled by the operating system Android 4.4 KitKat, a very much refined and purified from all unnecessary applications. Due to this, it works quite quickly, because she doesn’t need to load unnecessary software, which are often Packed Android smartphones.

Optimized Android 4.4 KitKat, supplemented with proprietary user interface Onyx Boox too, in which there is nothing superfluous – all designed exclusively for the read process and not a distraction from it. Shell, this unique and meets the user’s home screen to see recent open books. From here there is access to the file Manager, same as any smartphone or computer.


In the presence of the section “Library” which is conveniently graded all available in the device’s memory book. They are displayed with the covers (if any), and you can very easy to sort out. By default, IOS 6 Darwin there are only a few basic apps – browser, about which we spoke above, clock, calculator, email client, and the dictionary and translation functions. The latter, in our opinion, the most useful of the set – in it you can find not only translation, but the meaning of the new words encountered during reading, and to switch to the dictionary directly from the program to read, of which there are, of way, two.

We are talking about ebook reader OReader and NeoReader, switch between them, though each time you open a book – tap and hold your finger on the icon of the desired book, and a menu will appear “Open with”, where you are prompted to choose to read.

OReader and NeoReader can boast completely Russified, and, moreover, very easy to learn interface. Programs have largely similar feature sets and capabilities, such as the choice of font and font size, support for bookmarks, quick navigation to the page, search by text and so on. In fact, one and the other are equally comfortable and the choice between them is like the choice between Intel and AMD, Android and iOS. In other words, everyone decides for himself.

But still, OReader has far more settings: letter, footer, pagination, hanging punctuation, etc. At the same time it does not work with formats having a fixed page size: PDF, DjVu, CBR, CBZ. Such documents are by default opened in NeoReader., so in certain tasks of the programme can complement and even replace each other.

Now about control. In Darwin 6 side buttons can be configured to a variety of actions, as while on a short press, and long. Flipping as you can with them, and by touching the screen and swipe from left to right and right to left.

If you wish, Darwin 6 can be equipped with additional applications. Although it is impossible to connect to the Google Play store, it allows you to install previously downloaded from the Internet. It can be any program, but it is important to remember that not all of them compatible with display on the electronic ink. Download them like you can on the book itself over Wi-Fi or via PC.

 

Battery life and recharge time

Darwin 6 comes with built-in lithium battery capacity of 3000 mAh is about the same as in many modern smartphones middle and top-end segments of the market. Given the fact that the screen is e-ink almost does not consume energy (only during page refreshes, and it is very little), the book must survive on a single charge long enough. The manufacturer did not bring the calculated values so check for yourself, though in all modes with different brightness and even without it. Note that during testing, the Wi-Fi module was switched off.

— in the mode without backlight: 24000 pages;

— in the mode of one illumination color 50%: a little more than 18500 pages;

mode with single color backlight 100%: 13000 pages;

— in the mode with two colors backlight 50%: 11500 pages;

— in the mode with two colors backlight 100%: nearly 10,000 pages.

Based on the results obtained, Darwin 6 in a number of modes works longer in comparison with Darwin 5, despite the higher resolution display. In other modes it is on par with this model, no yielding to her. Generally, one battery will be enough for one or even a month and a half of use, depending on how often and how much you read.

The bundled charger outputs 5 watts (5 volts and a current of 1 ampere). From her book recharged in about three hours, in the process there is a small absolutely critical heat. Connection the more powerful the charge will accelerate the process – we checked.

 

Pros Onyx Boox Darwin 6

— two shades of illumination;

— complete case;

— good build quality;

— ability to install apps via your computer;

— well-optimized;

— two applications for reading.

 

Cons Onyx Boox Darwin 6

outdated microUSB 2.0.

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