The Onyx Boox Mira is a premium E-Ink monitor that’s designed to be easy on your eyes during long hours of work or browsing. It uses a unique panel that creates images with the help of “ink” cells instead of the usual pixel on LED panels. However, that specialty comes with a high price, so it’s worth checking if the Onyx Boox Mira is worth the buy.
Onyx Boox Mira Specifications
- Screen Size: 13.3 Inches
- Resolution: 2200 x 1650
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Panel Technology: E-Ink Flexible Mobius EPD (16 Grey Level Monochrome)
- Stand: Height – No
- Stand: Tilt – Yes
- Stand: Swivel – No
- Stand: Pivot – No
- VESA Compatibility: Yes (75 x 75)
- Connectivity: Mini HDMI x 1, USB-C x 2, USB 3.0 x 3
- Dimensions With Stand(WxHxD): 12.14″ x 9.10″ x 0.32″
- Weight: 1.3 lbs
Design and Features
The Onyx Boox Mira starts out with a design that’s just like any other portable monitor, although it’s elegant and very much portable. The device has a matte silver finish that’s matched to an ash gray cloth cover so it should match most premium laptops easily. The display has thick bezels which make it look like a monitor from the 90s in addition to its 4:3 aspect ratio.
The device is basically a tablet since it’s no bigger or thicker than a notebook that you would take to college. It is only a third of an inch thick and it weighs in at around 1.3 pounds so it is easy to slip it into your laptop bag. The magnetic cover adds a bit more, but that’s a minor inconvenience you have to deal with to use the monitor anywhere.
The Onyx Boox Mira is a premium option if you consider its price, but it also makes up for that with its refined build quality. The device is encased in durable aluminum so it won’t stain or crack even if it’s sandwiched in your bag. The monitor also feels durable unlike the cheaper plastic models, plus it looks quite good next to an equally opulent workstation laptop.
The product is also missing an OSD joystick since it was designed to work with a proprietary app. It does have two buttons for its function and refreshing the screen, along with a scroll button that lets you navigate its features smoothly. You can also set what the buttons do in the accompanying app which, by the way, is compatible with both Mac and Windows.
The Onyx Boox Mira comes with a flip cover to protect it and at the same time function as its stand. It works just like any other magnetic flip cover, but that also means that it will easily topple over if you accidentally nudge the screen. But what’s great about this model is it’s VESA compatible unlike the other portables, although we don’t think anyone would go through the trouble of bringing a stand for it.
The connectivity layout on the Onyx Boox Mira is straightforward, but it’s also made to be compatible with the latest laptops and PCs. The monitor has an HDMI 1.4 slot for video, but it also has a USB-C port that supports DP Alt Mode. The second USB-C slot is for power input since the monitor doesn’t have an internal battery.
Take note that you still need to use the power input even if you go with the HDMI slot for your video. On the other hand, you need to use the USB-C video input if you want to utilize the provided software on your Windows or macOS desktop. It might look tricky, but its easy to get the hang of since you are only dealing with two cables.
The Onyx Boox Mira doesn’t have speakers, but that’s okay since built-ins on something this thin will sound tinny. You are better off using your laptop’s set which will most likely have more power and better tuning. It should have them for the price, but not at the expense of the design which prioritizes portability.
Display and Performance
The Onyx Boox Mira uses a unique E-Ink Flexible Mobius EPD panel with a 2200 x 1650 resolution, 16 grey levels, and a 450ms refresh time. E-Ink panels are composed of static ink particles and cells filled with fluid which change when they are hit with electricity. This doesn’t work like most LED and LCD options and it doesn’t refresh the whole screen as they do.
This unique composition affects the screen’s output in many ways, starting with the colors and contrast of the screen. It also becomes more prone to blurring if you apply a higher refresh rate due to its technical nature. As such, we could not measure the screen with a colorimeter in the same way we measure regular monitors.
It’s worth emphasizing that the Onyx Boox Mira is in monochrome or black and white, unlike its IPS counterparts. That’s not good for watching movies and editing work, but the main purpose of the monitor is for reading and browsing. Its other specialty is it’s 100% flicker-free since it doesn’t have a backlight like LCD and LED panels.
This means that your eye comfort and safety are guaranteed, and the headaches you get from the micro flickering on regular monitors will not happen. The monitor was made to make browsing and reading easier, but it was also designed for visually sensitive users. It can also be used for imaging and video, but the picture’s contrast is usually too high so lines aren’t well-defined while motion can sometimes look jerky.
Images in motion also tend to get blurry with the Onyx Boox Mira, so you might find yourself pressing that refresh button more frequently. Even scrolling and something as simple as moving the cursor will add smudges, but it can be solved by simply pressing the button.
The Onyx Boox Mira is also touch-sensitive, but you need to use its driver and its USB-C input to have that function. It works flawlessly on Mac OS, but it still has issues on Windows since using the gestures only moves the cursor around. The company behind this product is currently working on a solution, but we’re not sure when it will come out.
But the bottom line is that it’s very comfortable to use for reading and some office work. It has a front light which can be switched to white or yellow to help further with making your experience comfortable. Users who preferred black and white tablets like the Kindle will like this monitor, but those used to laptop screens might struggle at first.
Thoughts on the Onyx Boox Mira
The Onyx Boox Mira works as advertised in making basic computing more comfortable and suitable for users who are sensitive to flicker. The unique I-Ink panel doesn’t have the downsides of regular screens, but it also has a few cons of its own. We like the build quality and overall functionality of the monitor where only a few IPS portables can compare.
However, the Onyx Boox Mira is quite expensive and its uses are limited to specific cases, so it’s a little less flexible. It is not the most practical option in the market, but it solves specific issues which other manufacturers have overlooked.
- 100% Flicker-Free
- Comfortable View
- Excellent Build Quality
- Black and White
- Blurry (Videos)
About the Author: Paolo is a gaming veteran since the golden days of Doom and Warcraft and has been building gaming systems for family, friends, and colleagues since junior high. High-performance monitors are one of his fixations and he believes that it’s every citizen’s right to enjoy one. He has gone through several pieces of hardware in pursuit of every bit of performance gain, much to the dismay of his wallet. He now works with Monitornerds to scrutinize the latest gear to create reviews that accentuate the seldom explained aspects of a PC monitor.