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Onyx Boox Monte Cristo 3: e-book new generation

Company Onyx Boox constantly improving its e-books, and regularly update the model range, offering new and interesting readers. One of its novelties 2017 bears the name of Monte Cristo 3 is the result of the evolution of the original model, the Monte Cristo, which takes into account not only the latest trends of the market, but also the wishes of many readers and users of the product Onyx Boox.

The third generation of “Monte Cristo” is a kind of demonstration of what direction will develop the book Onyx Boox in the foreseeable future. It’s right direction or not, we learn at the end of the test, and the answer is not so obvious as it might seem, because the differences of this model from, say, Darwin 2 are striking, and they are not in the hardware.

In this reader Onyx Boox used some very interesting solutions that have not used none of the other manufacturers, and those curious to have a look at this book and get to know her, so to speak, closer. Proceed to test.



Opting for minimalism, the designers of packaging Onyx Boox Monte Cristo 3 has reached the perfect balance between style, informative content and ease of execution. Box with a book made of very hard and durable cardboard painted white, and complemented with magnetic holders top cover – already the conclusion on the soundness of small parts.

On top of the white background is only the name of the reader and his sketchy logo, and the most interesting at the bottom: here is a very detailed list of characteristics of books, a list of its main advantages and a small reader, allowing them to present it the look. The picture, in our view, greatly reduced, but otherwise the packaging is thought out and worked very, very well.



Reader Onyx Boox Monte Cristo 3 has enhanced by today’s standards of equipment, as in addition to the traditional accessories it also has a very good brand and high quality case. Apart from him, found in the box data cable microUSВ 2.0 for charging and PC synchronization, wall charger with a current of 1 ampere, manual and warranty card.

According to tradition, the complete manual from the Onyx contains much information, presented in condensed form – in the case and set out in clear language, and to read her highly recommended, as not all applied in the book the solutions are obvious. But more on that later.



Onyx Boox Monte Cristo 3 is not just a reader, it’s literally a full-fledged tablet computer based on Android OS from Google, because his specs you should pay attention to each parameter. The reader was very balanced in terms of their hardware capabilities, and to make sure this can be directly on the manufacturer’s website or by examining the list of characteristics on the back side of the package. Or, you can see from the list below.

screen: 6 inch E-Ink Carta Plus, 1448х1072 pixel, 16 grayscale touch;

– backlight: Moon Light, brightness;

– processor: 2-core, 1 GHz;

– memory: 512 MB RAM storage 8 GB, microSD up to 32 GB;

interfaces: microUSB 2.0, microSD, Bluetooth 4.0;

– firmware: Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, a native interface;

– battery: Li-polymer, 3000 mAh, non-removable;

– dimensions: 159х114х8 mm;

– weight: 205 grams;

– work with the formats: TXT, HTML, RTF, FB2,, MOBI, CHM, PDB, DOC, DOCX, PRC, EPUB, CBZ, PDF, DjVu, JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP;

– case: black metal;

– features: protective glass Asahi.


The main feature of the book is given in the last item of the list: its screen is protected by Japanese Asahi glass reinforced. Made this because the display in the reader is very fragile, but many models come without its protection, which often leads to the replacement of the panel or does the purchase of new books. In the case of Monte Cristo 3 many unpleasant situations of this kind can be avoided.

Also note the presence of firmware on the basis of the most popular mobile OS in the world – Google Android. This gives you the ability to install native applications, for example, a habitual reader of books.



As mentioned above, in the third generation Onyx Boox Monte Cristo 3 considered a number of requests from buyers. In particular, it was their suggestion of turning buttons moved from the side ends directly at the front panel, located on the sides of the screen become touch-sensitive. Now it is a full capacitive sensors, but the touch buttons are, actually, three times and it just mentioned an obvious solution.

The third button is hidden under BOOX under the display and does not issue, however, responds to touch and replaces the traditional Home button in the Android gadgets. This, incidentally, is very convenient: there’s a button, and the appearance of additional detail is not distorted.

In General, Onyx Boox Monte Cristo 3 is noticeably more compact than previous generations of readers of the brand, which is a consequence of the reduction of part of the screen, especially the bottom. All controls are now placed on the front panel, and side edges along with the top face and the rear panel no longer bear the functional load. The latter is an all-metal panel in black with dark green tint, which is not only a element of the strength, but also a radiator to dissipate heat from internal components.

The lower end of the book is littered with interesting things: there’s a power button with integrated led, slot microSD under memory cards, a microUSB 2.0 input and the recessed reset button to avoid the temptation to press her for no reason. The power button is, on the contrary, convex and well perceptible to the touch.



Onyx Boox Monte Cristo 3 has become smaller than their predecessors, and because it is now much easier lies in one hand: you can turn pages with the thumb and the other arm would be free. The weight of the gadget in the hand is almost not felt, the book does not slip, and the protective glass is very well protected not only from external factors but also from dirt – fingerprints are almost gone and erased in a jiffy.

The back panel pleased with a well palpable coolness of the metal and pleasant surface finish. The quality of fit of all body parts books is commendable, but there are questions to the power button: in this instance it is slightly loose in its seat, although that’s nitpicking.

The third Monte Cristo is very comfortable to hold with two hands, and every touch the side and bottom buttons clearly felt by vibrometric trigger (function can be disabled in settings). The absence of convex elements on the body and perfectly smooth front panel is also a positive impact on ergonomics: the device seems solid and more reliable than it actually is.



Book display based on electrophoretic panel E-Ink Carta Plus generation as of 2017 the newest. The matrix is improved technology Snow Field, due to which the screen is totally white, which improves the contrast and readability of text.

Snow Field appears as a backlight, and without her, before activation thereof, did display a slightly bluish, but here it is there is no effect. Touch layer is very responsive to touch, and the matrix is updated in just a couple of moments, almost unnoticed.

No backlight to read the screen Onyx Boox Monte Cristo 3 very well in the sun or in bright sunlight. Asahi glass does not glare and does not interfere with the reading, while the screen itself is not prone to fading, and he had the widest viewing angles thanks to the electronic ink, at least in the profile keep the book, still the text will remain visible.

Backlight Moon Light has a very smooth brightness control – you can choose the best for any external lighting. Comfortable reading subjectively to be provided for from 20 to 60%, and if you put a higher time, there is increased strain on the eyes.

In the process of testing questions to the technology of realization of illumination: visible shadow from the LEDs, and not only from below but also on the left side of the visible display area. Perhaps it is a feature of our concrete instance.



Perfect protection in this world, as we know, no, and even with the reinforced glass Asahi book Onyx Boox Monte Cristo 3 is still not worth it to expose the negative impact of external factors. With the aim of saving the reader from bumps, drops, scratches and other misfortunes in the package, the manufacturer put the case.

To be precise, it is the cover that protects the device from all sides. Inside it the book is held by means of fastening parts, are quite stiff to avoid accidental loss. Material interior trim reminiscent of black velvet: it protects the body and screen from scratches and does it quite well, but he very well attract dust and dander.

Exterior finish of case is a kind of embossed leatherette with a specific texture pattern. The material is extremely resistant to damage and able to withstand many months of continuous stay in the hands. The upper part of the case rests on the screen using the built-in magnets acts on the Hall sensor, turning the eReader into sleep mode to conserve battery. When you open the case the dream stops.



Monte Cristo 3 runs on Android OS version 4.2 Jelly Bean with an interface of its own design Onyx Boox. The shell is devoid of 90% of applications built with the usual Android, which allows to save hardware resources books.

The interface has a library for easy access to all stored in memory books, file Manager (similar to Explorer in Android), as well as pre-installed app dictionary and statistics reading. Dictionary need to quickly find the meaning or translation of new words taken directly from the text book or can be entered in the search bar of any desired word manually. Available languages – English and Russian. Statistics read allows you to track the number of minutes and hours spent reading and number of pages read during the given period of time.

Of the standard Android apps in the reader has an email client, gallery, calendar, calculator, clock and browser. To use the Internet which is very nice page with lots of graphics are drawn very slowly.

Also Onyx Boox Monte Cristo 3 has access to Google Play, from where you can download a new reader, although here there is a preset excellent decision – Oreader. The program offers maximum functionality for work with books and documents, and it’s not confined to the discovery of many popular formats.

The possibilities Oreader apply text scaling on the fly, adjust margins, line spacing intervals, red lines and more. You can even choose any font from the built-in set or leave the bookmark on the desired page and then go to another, using search by word, phrase or page number. Available and navigate through the table of contents, if there is one in the book file.

Oreader also offers two interface – full screen, where you see only the text of the book, and the window in which, for example, at the bottom of the progress bar is displayed, demonstrating the number of read and unread pages. The same information is presented in the form of numbers. Oreader today is deservedly one of the best apps for reading that happy simplicity and intuitiveness of its interface and powerful functionality: in fact, precisely because it maximizes the customization of the book itself.



The electronic book is downloaded in an average of 19-20 seconds after pressing the power button until you are ready to work. Microlab the firmware has not been noticed, and 512 MB of RAM to her default missing due to the absence of third-party software. The only regular browser is quite slow to abandon the idea of web surfing with screen books.

Onyx Boox Monte Cristo 3 copes with the opening of regular books for a couple of seconds, it downloads a file of 1000 pages or more. A little harder he is given to work with PDF documents: the heavier it is, the slower the download. At the opening of a 200-megabyte file took about a minute, and in the process, some pages are additionally loaded.

But working with PDF and DJVU for readers of this class is a function of the side: the main task of the device does quite well, regardless of the format of the book – DOC, FB2, ZIР and other eReader opens approximately equally fast.


Work offline

Onyx Boox Monte Cristo 3 is powered by built-in rechargeable Li-polymer battery capacity of 3000 mAh. The battery is thin and light, and from the complete memory with a current of 1A it’s charging on average for a half hour, which is quite a bit. The heating of the battery during the charging process there is a very weak, barely perceptible. During the reading of the battery and does not get hot. The shortcomings of the book include the microUSB interface 2.0: in the end of 2017 it is no longer relevant, and it should be replaced by more modern and versatile, the USB-C.

In the standby mode when the backlight is off charge, the book spends very reluctantly and in a week she consumed no more than 30%. When reading without backlight and disabled the vibration device also demonstrates improved efficiency – 24000 pages with an initial 100% charge.

25% the brightness of the backlight reduces the battery life to an average of 20,000 pages, 50% brightness gives you the opportunity to read about 15,000 pages. When 75 – and 100-percent brightness indicators of autonomy are almost identical: within 12,000 pages of text.



The direction of the development of their e-books Onyx Boox chose definitely true: Monte Cristo 3 is very balanced and a good model. All implemented technical solutions not present in previous generations, went model use, improving not only its appearance, but also ergonomics and the overall impression of her. Compact forms allow wearing of Monte Cristo 3 with me and read wherever I want, and increased autonomy will provide the opportunity to leave the house without a charger in my pocket. Again, 8 GB of internal memory is enough for hundreds and even thousands of e-books, so your personal library is always with you, protected by a metal casing, glass reinforced Asahi and additional branded case.


Pros Onyx Boox Monte Cristo 3

– metal housing;

– reinforced safety glass;

– case included;

– compact size;

– screen backlight;

– high autonomy;

– touch button control.


Cons Onyx Boox Monte Cristo 3

interface microUSB 2.0.

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