Onyx BOOX Robinson Crusoe 2: the updated waterproof reader


Many book lovers prefer to carry a book in a hot bath, but the reality is that paper books are more expensive, although gold and precious stones they contain no. The e-book in the bathroom too, not to read: the device afraid of the water, which is quite logical. However, not all: there is a reader Onyx BOOX Robinson Crusoe with protection from moisture, compact and quite successful in many ways.

Recently released the second generation model, called the Onyx BOOX Robinson Crusoe 2, and it is, as stated by the manufacturer, was even better. The first version we had on test and has left a good impression, although some shortcomings she was still. Onyx says that in the second version these bugs are fixed, but is it really?

Looking ahead, note that yeah – fixed the main drawback of the first generation, which will be discussed in the section “Ergonomics”, but for now let’s start learning reader from its packaging.



Sold by Onyx BOOX Robinson Crusoe 2 in a relatively small box made of cardboard. There are only two colors – white for background and black for the color, which probably represents a monochrome screen e-ink, but also promotes better assimilation of information.

On top of the box there is only the model name, the manufacturer’s brand and logo, and the bottom Onyx put all the technical details about the book: its hardware specifications, the main features and benefits and a list of supplied accessories.

To this kind of packaging Onyx recently, and it was 100% informative lacks only a large image of the reader on the top edge.



Onyx BOOX Robinson Crusoe 2 comes complete with data cable and charger and also with warranty card and manual. Cable has got a connector microUSB, the charger produces a current of 1 ampere, and the manual contains lots of useful information – I advise to pay special attention to the location of the control buttons.

An optional accessory is the cover: most of the other books he’s sold separately, but here it is already in the kit, so I will consider it in more detail in the relevant section.



From the point of view of the hardware the second generation of the e-reader is no different from the first, so that changes are not here. The book’s impressive compact size, rugged housing and a relatively low weight in the presence of a fairly capacious battery.

screen: 6 inch E Ink Carta Plus, 1448х1072 pixel, touchscreen, 16 shades of grey, the substrate Snow Field;

– backlight: Moon Light, brightness;

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

– processor: 2 cores, 1 GHz;

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

– body: metal, plastic;

– color: black;

– battery: built-in, Li-polymer, 3000 mAh;

– interfaces: microSD, microUSB 2.0;

– wireless interfaces: Wi-Fi 802.11 n;

– dimensions: 159х144х8 mm;

– weight: 205 grams;

– features: strengthened glass Asahi;

– support file formats: TXT, HTML, RTF, FB2, FB2.zip, MOBI, CHM, PDB, DOC, DOCX, PRC, EPUB, CBZ, PDF, DjVu, JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP.


Overall, we have a fairly compact device with a relatively small weight and enclosure, is protected from almost all sides. A very important point – technology Snow Field, which plays a very important role in the perception of text with the screen reader.



Design Onyx BOOX Robinson Crusoe 2 compared to the first generation of the model changed only fleeting, but notice the differences. The book is made in a solid feeling body, the front part of which completely covers the protective glass. It almost does not collect fingerprints and is very easily cleaned with a dry or damp cloth.

The back panel is made of aluminum-magnesium alloy and painted in black under a certain angle of turning into dark green. The material has a rough surface and covers the lateral and upper ends, but it is very quickly covered with fingerprints.

The above mentioned change is the new touch button turning on the right and left of the screen, replacing the awkward hardware buttons on both ends. Visually they are made minimalistic, but there is a third button, an analogue of Home devices based on Android – it is hidden under Boox on the bottom frame.

The exterior of the book looks nice and not cause rejection – all looks very harmonious. The microSD slot, reset button and switching on, and the microUSB port are brought to the lower face of the housing.


Ergonomics and build quality

The book has a relatively low weight in combination with compact case provide the use of Onyx BOOX Robinson Crusoe 2 with one hand and flipping pages with your thumb. From the hands through the rough metal panel it does not slip.

When controlling with two hands side buttons are your fingers instantly, but not to the touch, although they do have vibration feedback (can be disabled in settings). Home button disguised as the inscription BOOX, and it is not very convenient: without instructions you’d never know that she is there.

However, the decision to transition on such button is definitely true: the hardware key in the first “Robinson” was too small and uncomfortable. Although there is a more interesting performance side buttons: in the models of the previous series, for example, in Darwin 2 – they are big, hardware, flat, and level of amenities tends to infinity.

Build quality the reader has not caused: new from Onyx monolithic as modern smartphone from a top brand, and felt it in the hands of very expensive.



The screen in Onyx BOOX Robinson Crusoe 2 is based on electronic ink – the most modern at the moment, the panel with E Ink Carta Plus with a high resolution. As add-on technology is used Snow Field, through which the background of display becomes white the maximum to improve comfort for the eyes when reading. The E Ink technology, unlike LCD, does not fade in the sun – in bright daylight the image becomes even more contrasting. In artificial light, by itself, that works too, so that text information to consume on such a screen is quite nice.

Asahi glass covers the entire front part of the book, so that the edge of the screen, and he is slightly recessed, and damage now is not as easy as on the early models. The sensor layer responds with the minimum of delay in the corners of the display and detects two simultaneous touches, which makes it possible to increase and decrease the text scale as well as on smartphones and tablets.



Backlight Moon Light in the second “Robinson” very bright, only need 20-25% brightness to read in a dim light, and 50% for reading in the dark. More is also possible, and eyes, oddly enough, to get tired it will not.

Fill the screen with uniform light, combined with the Snow Field background becomes milky-white and the text is visually more black. Flashes and shadows from the LEDs in our copy of the book has not been noticed.

Adjusting the illumination is available in a very wide range and can be called both from the main menu, and from Oreader – reader books.



Screen Onyx BOOX Robinson Crusoe 2 have received protection in the form of a glass of Asahi, and the rest of the body will maintain a complete cover. It is made of several different materials are used inside a kind of a velvet black colour, and outer part is very similar to the eco-leather material with nice embossing. On the perimeter of the cover stitched with nylon thread to match the main colour.

The book cover holds special fasteners in the corners of the body, do not scratch metal or plastic. Velvet material interior trim very much attracts dust and pet hair, so be prepared.

The upper part of the cover is rigid and holds its shape. It not only provides additional protection for the screen, but also translates the book itself into sleep mode by activating the built-in hall sensor small books. When you open the case the dream stops automatically.



Installed on the second generation of “Robinson” Android OS updated to version 4.2 Jelly Bean and is devoid of 90% of software from Google to speed up the operation of the system as a whole. The goal, incidentally, was achieved: the book is loaded in 15 seconds and does not slow down during use.

Standard Google has calendar, clock, calculator, email client and regular browser, plus you have access to Google Play where you can download the appropriate SOFTWARE. From the Onyx in the book there’s an app for counting statistics reading and handy dictionary. The latter is needed to translate unknown words from English to Russian and explaining its value. You can translate words and phrases by entering them manually or by pasting it from directly from the open book.

Statistics reader is a software program responsible for collecting data on the number of pages read and time spent on this process. The application saves information for each day and when needed can build a graph of the volume of pages read from time to time.

The book interface is very easy to learn: last opened books are displayed right on the home screen, and all the stored files can be found in the virtual library where they will be sorted into folders and by name. There is also a standard file Manager as in Android tablets. No additional configuration interface is not necessary to carry out – everything works out of the box.

The main application in the Onyx BOOX Robinson Crusoe 2 is Oreader is directly reader that can work with nearly 20 formats of books and documents. Features an application weight, it can be customised endlessly, each time discovering new functions.

In Oreader have the ability to adjust the size and font type, the construction of a General scale display, paragraphs, headers and footers, margins and line spacing intervals. Available bookmarks, search and table of contents, quick transition to the desired page and display the number of pages read on the progress bar at the bottom of the interface.

Control of the reading process is carried out side buttons, the functionality of which is also configurable in the menu book. Also flipping pages is possible using the touch screen – touch the right side moves forward and the left backwards.

Oreader app combines the usability and simplicity of interface. In the Onyx BOOX Robinson Crusoe 2 have Google Play, from where you can download other reader, but with a probability of 99% you do not need.



This reader is designed to work with electronic books, but not with documents and papers that clearly indicates the size of its screen. The capabilities of the hardware, coupled with a lightweight IOS lead to the discovery of any books, even for 10 000 pages, for just a few seconds – usually 5-10, no more.

The speed of opening depends on the type of file: fastest Onyx BOOX Robinson Crusoe 2 cope with FB2, TXT and DOC, who, let us meet and use the most. With PDF and DJVU all a bit complicated, but not too critical, plus memory books, you can also put ZIP archives with text files inside.


Work offline

The second generation of the Robinson Crusoe is equipped with a built-in battery capacity of 3000 mAh. Charging uses port microUSB, and a full recovery of energy from the complete 1-amp charging takes slightly longer than 3 hours. Computer book charging twice as long, but it can also be connected to a 2-ampere AC charging adapter from the smartphone, and then the charge time will be reduced to 2 hours on average.

The autonomy of the reader, to put it mildly, is not bad: in our test, he spent a week on the shelf included and is drained by about 25 percent, so that in the standby mode, it is enough for a month assuming the backlight is off.

The process of reading books without backlight and vibration buttons the reader slowly drains the battery – enough for 25,000 pages (1 page equals one screen refresh). Lights and vibration motor greatly affect the rate of discharge, and that’s what happens when you activate them:

– brightness 25%: 21,000 pages;

– 50% brightness: 15000 pages;

– 75% brightness: 13000 pages;

– 100% brightness: 10000 pages.



The book Onyx BOOX Robinson Crusoe 2 will interest primarily those who love to read not only at the table or in bed, but also in the bath or on the beach – book is protected from moisture. Also the distinctive feature of the models have a new control buttons, and overall design has changed dramatically compared to the previous series readers Onyx. The model is relatively inexpensive, but the impression of a premium, as indicated by the high build quality and decent materials. In the Treasury of the merits should also record good battery life, and overall the book is very pleased with the testing process. Its advantages and disadvantages below.


Pros Onyx BOOX Robinson Crusoe 2

– compact body;

– capacitive control buttons;

– protective glass on the screen;

– good autonomy;

– case included;

– the screen backlight.


Cons Onyx BOOX Robinson Crusoe 2

outdated microUSB instead of USB.


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