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Onyx Boox vs Kindle (2022): Which E-Reader Should You Buy?

Over the years, Kindle has established itself as the go-to brand for e-readers. While its lineup is modest, the latest iterations have proven to be successful upgrades. The Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition, for instance, is ad-free and supports wireless charging.

Onyx Boox has been around since 2006 and is best known for its expansive e-reader catalog. One of its best-sellers is the Onyx Boox Leaf, a 6-inch tablet that runs on Android and supports an impressive 23 file formats.

Between the Onyx Boox Leaf and the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition, which is the better e-reader? Keep reading to find out.

Onyx Boox vs Kindle Comparison Chart

ModelOnyx Boox LeafKindle Paperwhite (Signature Edition)
 
Price
Screen7-inch E Ink Carta display6.8-inch Paperwhite display
Resolution300 ppi300 ppi
Storage32 GB32 GB
ConnectivityWi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C with OTG supportDual-band Wi-Fi
DurabilityASAHI protective glassIPX8
Adjustable Front LightYesYes
Ergonomic DesignYesNo
Page Turn ButtonsNoNo
Audiobook SupportYesYes
Supported FilesPDF(reflowable), PPT,EPUB, TXT, DJVU, HTML, RTF, FB2, DOC, MOBI, CHM, PNG, JPG, TIFF, BMP, WAV, MP3Kindle Format 8 (AZW3), Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC, HTML DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, PMP through conversion; Audible audio format (AAX)
Dimensions165.6 ร— 130.8 ร— 5.95 mm174 x 125 x 8.1 mm

Design

The Onyx Boox Leaf is sleeker and lighter, while the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition is waterproof.

Onyx Boox vs Kindle Design
Onyx Boox’s Leaf (left) has a thinner profile than the Kindle Paperwhite (right).

The Onyx Boox Leaf and Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition are both mid-sized e-readers. For the Leaf, Onyx Books uses a thin and compact case. The result is a sleek-looking tablet that, from afar, even resembles an iPad. To help users hold the tablet, the Leaf comes with a wide side bezel for a comfortable one-hand grip.

In contrast, the Kindle Paperwhite is a thicker e-reader. While it doesn’t have an ergonomic design like the Kindle Oasis, its bottom bezel offers enough room to grasp the device. Its flushed-front design also means its screen merges seamlessly with the bezels. As such, you’re less like to worry about dirt and debris accumulating.

Speaking of displays, the Onyx Boox Leaf uses an E Ink Carta Plus screen with a 300 ppi, 1264 x 1680p resolution. You get the same specs on the Kindle Paperwhite, although it uses E Ink Carta 1200 instead. The screen technology delivers a 20% increase in response time and a 15% improvement in contrast ratio.

Onyx Boox shares that the Leaf’s display is protected by ASAHI protective glass. The tempered material should keep the e-reader safe from everyday wear and tear. Kindle’s Paperwhite, on the other hand, is IPX8 certified. This means the table is waterproof up to 2 meters of fresh water for 60 minutes.

Storage and Features

While the Kindle Paperwhite is less multi-purpose, it offers a more user-friendly e-reading experience than the Onyx Boox Leaf.

Onyx Boox vs Kindle Storage and Features
Store thousands of books with the Onyx Boox Leaf (left); enjoy reading even in bright conditions with the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition (right).

As the more premium option of Kindle’s Paperwhite, the Signature Edition offers an upgraded 32GB of storage over the 8GB on the regular model. That’s more than enough to store thousands of titles. Moreover, Kindle includes free cloud storage for Amazon content.

Meanwhile, 32GB of storage is standard on the Onyx Boox Leaf. While it supports several formats (more on that later), where to buy ebooks can be overwhelming. The Boox Store isn’t as intuitive as Amazon’s Kindle Store is for Kindle. Onyx Boox e-readers, however, run on Android-based software. This allows users to install third-party apps like Dropbox and Google Drive.

When it comes to the reading experience, you get several customizations available on the two e-readers. Both the Onyx Boox Leaf and Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition have adjustable front lights. Aside from brightness, you can also change the color temperature. On the Kindle, the lights even automatically adjust based on lighting conditions.

Readers can also adjust the layout, margins, and fonts on these e-readers. However, only Onyx Boox’s Leaf supports landscape orientation. The Leaf also allows users to customize refresh rates, app performance, and note layouts.

File Formats and Connectivity

The Onyx Boox Leaf supports more file formats than the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition.

Onyx Boox vs Kindle File Formats
Readers can download a range of content on these e-readers.

One of the main draws of Onyx Boox e-readers is their support for a range of file formats. In this area, its closest competition is Kobo. The Leaf supports 17 files, including PDF, EPUB, TXT, MOBI, PNG, and MP3. It loads HTML, RTF, and JPG files as well. You can also listen to music or audiobooks with the Leaf, thanks to its built-in speakers.

Meanwhile, the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition can read 13 file formats. However, it still works best with content purchased from the Kindle Store. While EPUB files can still be loaded, you’ll need to convert them, which often leads to formatting losses. Kindle’s Paperwhite also works with Audible but will require Bluetooth headphones or speakers.

Speaking of Bluetooth, you get Bluetooth 5.0 on the Onyx Boox Leaf as well. Plus, the e-reader has Wi-Fi connectivity and a USB-C interface with OTG support. The latter option makes it easier to share and transfer content. On the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition, you have dual-band Wi-Fi and USB-C.

Battery Life and Accessories

You get solid battery life from Onyx Boox and Kindle, as well as modest choices for accessories.

Onyx Boox vs Kindle Accessories
Here’s a look at cases for the Onyx Boox Leaf (left) and Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition (right).

Onyx Boox doesn’t say too much about the Leaf’s battery life. What we do know is that the tablet comes with a 2000mAh Polymer Li-On battery. Based on user reviews, it’s supposed to last weeks. Nonetheless, actual performance will depend on usage and device settings.

A key feature of the Signature Edition is that it finally supports wireless charging. Using a 10W Qi wireless charging pad, you should get the Kindle fully charged in 3.5 hours. Kindle is a bit more upfront about the Paperwhite’s battery life. Looking at its specs, a single charge of the e-reader is advertised to last 10 weeks. However, this comes with a disclaimer you’re using the Kindle for 30 minutes of reading per day.

Accessories are also part and parcel of today’s e-readers. Kindle options are limited to fabric or leather covers, wireless charging docks, or third-party screen protectors. For the Onyx Boox Leaf, you can get your hands on protective covers, desktop stands, and Onyx-branded speakers.

Click here to read more Onyx Boox reviews.

Verdict

The Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition is still a more reliable e-reader. However, if you want something more multi-purpose, opt for the Onyx Boox Leaf.

Onyx Boox and Kindle approach their e-readers differently. The Onyx Boox Leaf, for instance, is designed to be more than just a portable library. Running on Android-based software, the Leaf also supports third-party apps, including Google Play. Moreover, the device supports several customizations โ€” from book layout to screen refresh rate.

The Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition, on the other hand, is more straightforward as an e-reader. It benefits most from solid integration to the Amazon Kindle Store. In terms of hardware, it doesn’t offer too many features. However, performance is solid. Here, you’re getting a device that does what it’s marketed to do. Plus, it’s much more affordable.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ How long is the warranty on the Onyx Boox Leaf?

The Onyx Boox Leaf comes with a one-year limited warranty.

๐Ÿ“Œ How long does it take for Onyx Boox to ship?

If you’re ordering from the US warehouse, Onyx Boox ships within 1 to 2 business days.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the wireless charging dock for the Kindle Paperwhite included?

No. The Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition’s wireless charging dock is sold separately.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition compatible with Amazon Kids+?

Yes, Kindle’s Paperwhite Signature Edition supports Amazon Kids+. However, the subscription is sold separately for $2.99/month.

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.