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That definitely looks like a potential competitor for the ipad pro in that price range! I couldn't justify a full sized tablet, and went with a smaller ipad when they went on sale, and it does its job for me. I would like a larger screen if they come down in price next time I'm looking for one, but the smaller one is good enough for my needs.
 

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YAS-62 Series 1 | Holton 241 Tenor (1952)
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I've been using a Boox Max Lumi for a few months now and I think it is brilliant! I run it using MobileSheetsPro and couldn't be happier. This isn't a general purpose tool, like an iPad or a general tablet, but I find it superb for music reading and playing (along with a foot pedal). It is easy to load up the PDFs and MSP makes set lists a breeze. Oh! And the battery life is wonderful. I'm a fan :)
 

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I've been using a Boox Max Lumi for a few months now and I think it is brilliant! I run it using MobileSheetsPro and couldn't be happier. This isn't a general purpose tool, like an iPad or a general tablet, but I find it superb for music reading and playing (along with a foot pedal). It is easy to load up the PDFs and MSP makes set lists a breeze. Oh! And the battery life is wonderful. I'm a fan :)
I'm glad to hear it. After all this discussion I looked at the Max Lumi yesterday and it checks all the boxes... except price. If my Galaxy tablet takes a crap on me or if/when Covid lifts and I'm gigging regularly again I'll probably consider it. As it stands, I get by and at 1/4 of the Max Lumi price. And I have more incentive to memorize tunes. I use the tablet more as a security blanket and look at it if I get derailed or it's a new tune.
 

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I'm glad to hear it. After all this discussion I looked at the Max Lumi yesterday and it checks all the boxes... except price.
There is that. I was in the position of comparing it with an iPadPro so the bucks weren't really the limiting/deciding factor, and I didn't need it to do other things: it is a dedicated music/academic PDF reader. Still, I've shown it to a number of my music friends and they also like it a lot for what it does, though they are also not 100% sold on the cost
 

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I was checking out the Quaderno and all the manuals and tech support seem to be in Japanese with some sort-of translations to English on GoodeReader.
Has this been a handicap? No matter how intuitive a UI, sometimes there is an edge problem that is quickly solved by looking it up. And what about downloadable templates--can you find them on the Japanese site?
Onyx Boox documentation is in English.
Here is an apparently new weirdly-Russian-named Boox model, 10" with screen lighting for $400:
I'd prefer 13" A4 but that price is nice.
If you don't know about the Apple refurbished store, Gen 3 12.9" iPads are available there at 28% discount (have new exterior housing and battery), still $759 for the lowest capacity 64GB (which is a LOT of .pdf charts).
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 · (Edited)
The lack of a proper manual in English hasn’t been a problem at all. The device is very simple and intuitive. Between the few reviews on YT and the auto-translation of the product website it’s pretty clear.


Templates can be downloaded from the Japanese website, yes. There are dozens of them. I believe you can also create your own but I haven’t tried that yet.
 

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Does it have access to the Google Playstore? Can you put other apps on it, like MobileSheetsPro?
I think you'll find this sheet music specific device would require you're scanning of your sheet music, saved in PDF format and uploaded via cable connections. hmm, maybe its bluetooth / WiFi - but I think this is how its done.
 

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I've had my Boox Max 3 13.3 which was the predecessor to the Lumi since early last year. It's been great for reading sheet music and method book pdf's. It doesn't have a back light but I can use my Mighty Bright Light if needed.

Being able to install 3rd party apps from Google Play is nice to have, but I've found that unless they are mainstream apps like Kindle reader etc then they may not work. I installed a metronome app and the UI didn't display properly.

I've even used it to read an ebook with that huge screen!

One issue with Boox at the time was that if you had to return it for fixing under warranty you had to send it to China!

To transfer files from my PC I just use a USB cable.
 

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I realize that e-ink is the point of this thread. But for the same money, you can get a full blown 2-in-1 laptop like this that's vastly more powerful. I've used the one below for years, and battery life has never been a problem. I can easily get through a 3 hour gig or rehearsal with hours of battery to spare. 14" screen is easier to read than my old 13" iPad. It can also do double duty as an actual laptop. In fact, nearly every post I've ever written here has been made from the same laptop I gig with. I also do all my composition on it using the active pen. Only real drawback is that it washes out in direct sun.
 

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Keilwerth saxes (S/A/T), Selmer clarinets (S/B), Altus Azumi flute
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I realize that e-ink is the point of this thread. But for the same money, you can get a full blown 2-in-1 laptop like this that's vastly more powerful.
I think most people posting in this thread are well aware of the alternatives, including standard tablets and 2-in-1s. Processing power (beyond that needed to process PDFs) isn't really much of an advantage in a device like this, and it's often a liability because it means that the device draws down battery power more quickly and that it likely needs some type of active cooling. Not everyone wants a device that can do everything, and most of us already have other devices (e.g., laptops, phones, LCD tablets) that we can use for other purposes.

I've used the one below for years, and battery life has never been a problem. I can easily get through a 3 hour gig or rehearsal with hours of battery to spare.
I don't doubt that this is true, but the difference in battery life between a 2-in-1 and an e-ink tablet is hours vs. weeks. It's a dramatically different experience; you can leave the device in your backpack/gig-bag overnight and still not have to worry about running out of power.

Only real drawback is that it washes out in direct sun.
Other drawbacks, besides battery life, include its size (i.e., thickness) and weight (which is about an order of magnitude greater than that of a comparable e-ink tablet).
 

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@mmichel , All good points, but to be fair, my battery life is at least 10 hours. Not anywhere near weeks of battery life, I admit, but that's a month's worth of gigs and rehearsals for me. So no worries if I leave it in my bag and forget to charge now and then.

Don't get me wrong. I absolutely love the idea of replacing it with thin, light e-ink tablet. But the price and inability to run my sheet music apps are deal breakers for me. An app is essential for me to organize and access the thousands of tunes I have on my tablet (over 4,000 at last count).

One idea I'm toying with is adapting a lyre holder to hold my iPhone and reading from it. The apparent size of my phone screen 1 ft away is equal to my tablet screen 2.5 ft away. Problem is how bad it would look on stage.
 

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Keilwerth saxes (S/A/T), Selmer clarinets (S/B), Altus Azumi flute
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@mmichel , All good points, but to be fair, my battery life is at least 10 hours. Not anywhere near weeks of battery life, I admit, but that's a month's worth of gigs and rehearsals for me. So no worries if I leave it in my bag and forget to charge now and then.
Fair enough.

Don't get me wrong. I absolutely love the idea of replacing it with thin, light e-ink tablet. But the price and inability to run my sheet music apps are deal breakers for me. An app is essential for me to organize and access the thousands of tunes I have on my tablet (over 4,000 at last count).
I definitely agree with you regarding the price. Regarding the sheet music apps, however, @mark5009, who owns a Boox Max Lumi has indicated above that he can (and does) use Android PDF organizing apps with his.

I'm debating getting it despite the price because, besides the music aspect, it would be so useful to be able to comfortably read, review, and annotate scientific journal articles, student papers, etc. in bed.

One idea I'm toying with is adapting a lyre holder to hold my iPhone and reading from it. The apparent size of my phone screen 1 ft away is equal to my tablet screen 2.5 ft away. Problem is how bad it would look on stage.
Heh. I'm guessing that you're younger than I thought.

I'm nearsighted, but (at 44) I'm already getting to the age where creeping presbyopia means that while I can read tablet screens just fine at 2.5 ft. away, I have to take my glasses off to be able to focus on items less than about a foot away. This would be very inconvenient in any situation where I have to pay attention to anything farther away than my music during a performance or rehearsal.
 

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One reason I went for an e-ink over an LCD device is that it is easier on the eyes.
 

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One reason I went for an e-ink over an LCD device is that it is easier on the eyes.
And this is for me the thing. There is no light glaring at me all the time and, if I want (I have a Lumi), I can use a normal stand light and it works fine. The difference in contrast is also a big thing as my eyes start to tire and I find eInk way better in this regard :)
 

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It seems to me the only justification for the high prices on many of the items mentioned is demand. For that kind of money I'll stick with my iPad. For the $1600 that the Gvido costs you could buy an iPad AND a Slate Raven MTi2 multi-touch 27" full color display. Does it run on batteries? No. But I'm wondering why it seems to be such a big thing about battery life? Most places I perform have electricity. I have no problem plugging my iPad in. I'd have no problem hooking my iPad up to the Slate or another cheaper large screen which needs plugging in.

Granted, maybe I'm missing the point? The Gvido looks amazing but no way it should cost $1600 except that the market lets them charge that - I'm guessing that price is inflated by the fact that professional organizations are probably their largest customer base (orchestras, operas, broadway shows, etc.). You also don't need a top of the line iPad or tablet for the purpose being discussed here. I'm a Mac user so I can't really speak to the programs on non-Mac devices but I would be very surprised if something like the 12" Galaxy Tab Pro wouldn't do what's needed and you can get one on eBay for under $200. Battery not good enough? Again - electricity... extensions cords. Or bring a generator along with you (yes I know, noise, just trying to make a point here).

I just checked Amazon - there are 17 tablets available, new, under $300 all 11" or larger - all with battery life between 4 and 14 hours. Not the best brand? Some of them are only $100. You could buy 8 of them for half what the Gvido costs... I figure that even if you only get a year out of each one you're still good for 8 years and by then maybe the specific use type item everyone wants will be a lot cheaper. That tends to happen with technology.

Sorry for the rant. And I'm not knocking anyone or anything here. I would love something like the Gvido but I'm not planning on spending $1600 for it.

ps - I have the Slate Raven - I use it as part of my home studio instead of a hardware mixing board - but if I really needed to I'd have no problem taking it to a gig. Then again, I don't play in bars - I would never take it to a bar gig... lol.
 

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It seems to me the only justification for the high prices on many of the items mentioned is demand. For that kind of money I'll stick with my iPad. For the $1600 that the Gvido costs you could buy an iPad AND a Slate Raven MTi2 multi-touch 27" full color display.
I think it's actually a lack of demand (i.e., a small, specialized market) and the consequent lack of supply. Sort of the same reason manufacturers can charge $100 for a ligature that costs < $1 to make.

In addition, there's the fact that a single company (E-ink Corp.) still owns the patent and controls all manufacturing of the displays (i.e., they alone make the E-ink films at the core of all these displays). Once the patent expires, I imagine that you'll see these devices available for much cheaper.

Does it run on batteries? No. But I'm wondering why it seems to be such a big thing about battery life? Most places I perform have electricity. I have no problem plugging my iPad in. I'd have no problem hooking my iPad up to the Slate or another cheaper large screen which needs plugging in.
For me, the main music-related use case would be for playing in large ensembles, like my 17-piece big band, which:
  • sometimes plays in bars
  • often plays in cramped spaces
  • is a 17-piece group, which would make providing power for many individual devices difficult
If I'm not playing scored music as part of a big group, I generally don't need written music.
 

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Hey Michael - Nitecore recently released their NB20000 Li-ion 10000 mAh power bank which is about as big as a smart phone for anyone who has concerns about the battery of their divice. FWIW.
 

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Playing a bunch of outdoor gigs, my tablet was pretty much unreadable in the outdoor light. Found a very good deal on used Sony "Digital Paper" (larger format) on CL, and it's great both indoors and outdoors.
Unexpected cons are that it needs a special Sony app to add files; the memory doesn't show up on the Windows desktop. As well, the file organization of the OS leaves something to be desired. There's no scrolling file lists. I had to create separate folders for "A" tunes, "B" tunes, etc. But once done, navigation is pretty easy.
Last con: it's orphanware. Sony got out of the e-ink biz. Part of why it was bargain priced, I'm sure.
 

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Like all sax stuff, especially accessories, there's no one "best" option. It depends upon what each individual requirements and tolerances are. Robert made some good points above that largely describe my observation and experience. I use 8+ year old tablets and many of my bandmates are using 10 year old devices - mostly iPad2s. Most of us don't use these devices for much else besides reading sheet music and since many were purchased used for under $200 and have been used for years now to play hundreds of gigs that's no big deal. If you have the money to own a couple different devices with different options and their associated strengths and weaknesses that's probably ideal. If you're not sure you're ready to move away from paper and begin reading music off a digital device getting a lightly used or refurbished Android or Apple tablet makes a lot of sense to "test the waters". Otherwise, I'd suggest looking at what is being used by people you're playing with or those playing the kind of gigs in the kinds of environments you are planning to be a part of. There's a pretty good chance that they have figured out what works best and you'd likely be well served taking that advice.
 
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