eWritable > Blog > BOOX NOTE AIR3 C vs KOBO SAGE: Which e-ink tablet is best?

BOOX NOTE AIR3 C vs KOBO SAGE: Which e-ink tablet is best?

This page was created to explore the similarities and differences between two e-ink tablets; the ONYX BOOX NOTE AIR3 C, and the KOBO SAGE.

This is currently a simplified comparison consisting of a table of side-by-side specifications, and review cards of each tablet, outlining their pros and cons. If a tablet has a rating then you can also click on it for a full and detailed review of the tablet.

I do write detailed ‘versus‘ comparisons, however because I am only one person it is impractical for me to compare every single e-ink tablet against every other one! So if you think that this page would benefit from being fleshed out with additional information and my own thoughts and opinions, then feel free to drop me an email at dan@ewritable.com – I will prioritise pages that get the most requests πŸ™‚

Additional E-Ink Tablet Resources

If you’re new to e-ink tablets, you may wish to take a look at:

I have also created a gigantic e-ink comparison table (which is also searchable/filterable, so you can whittle down your search to the tablets that best meet your needs).

And a list of (what I believe to be) the best e-ink tablets can be found here.

Now, onto the comparison between the ONYX BOOX NOTE AIR3 C and the KOBO SAGE.

Spec Comparison

Below is the comparison table for the KOBO SAGE and ONYX BOOX NOTE AIR3 C

PRODUCTBOOX NOTE AIR3 CKOBO SAGE
Specs & ratings infoONYX BOOX NOTE AIR3 CKOBO SAGE
Not yet rated
My Rating
Price (approx)$500
$300
ManufacturerOnyx BooxKobo
Release year20232021
SCREENBOOX NOTE AIR3 CKOBO SAGE
Screen typeKaleido 3Carta 1200
Screen size10.3"8"
Screen resolution (B/W)1860 x 2480 1440 x 1920
Screen density (B/W)300dpi300dpi
Colourβœ“
(Kaleido 3)
β¨―
Screen resolution (Colour)930 x 1240n/a
Screen density (Colour)150dpin/a
Frontlightβœ“βœ“
Wacom compatibleβœ“β¨―
Buy
HARDWAREBOOX NOTE AIR3 CKOBO SAGE
CPU2.4 Ghz octa-core1.8 GHz quad-core
RAM4Gb0.5Gb
Storage64Gb32Gb
Battery3700mAh1200mAh
Super Refreshβœ“β¨―
Keyboard folio⨯⨯
Speakersβœ“β¨―
Microphoneβœ“β¨―
G-Sensorβœ“βœ“
Ceramic Tip⨯⨯
Bluetoothβœ“βœ“
Fingerprint scannerβœ“β¨―
SD card slotβœ“β¨―
Rear camera⨯⨯
Front camera⨯⨯
Waterproofβ¨―βœ“
USB-Cβœ“βœ“
Width193mm160.5mm
Height226mm181.4mm
Thickness5.8mm7.6mm
Weight430g241g
Buy
SOFTWAREBOOX NOTE AIR3 CKOBO SAGE
Operating systemAndroid 12KoboOS
Google Play Storeβœ“β¨―
Kindle supportβœ“β¨―
Handwriting searchβœ“βœ“
Handwriting conversionβœ“βœ“
Insert shapesβœ“βœ“
Insert imagesβœ“β¨―
Split screenβœ“β¨―
Custom templatesβœ“β¨―
No. templates40+35+
Brush typesFountain Pen, Paintbrush, Ballpoint Pen, Pencil, MarkerBallpoint Pen, Fountain Pen, Calligraphy Pen, Brush, Highlighter
Screen shareβœ“β¨―
ADE supportβ¨―βœ“
File formatsPDF, EPUB, DOC, DOCX, PPT, PPTX, TXT, HTML, RTF, FB2, CBZ, CBR, AZW3, MOBI, PRC, DJVU, CHM, ZIPPDF, EPUB, EPUB3, TXT, HTML, FlePub, CBZ, CBR, MOBI
File formats (image)PNG, JPG, TIFF, BMPPNG, JPG, GIF, BMP, TIFF
File formats (Audio)WAV, MP3Kobo Audiobooks (via Bluetooth)
Buy
BUYBOOX NOTE AIR3 CKOBO SAGE
Where to buyBoox Euro Shop
Boox Shop
Reseller (CA)
Amazon BE
Amazon DE
Amazon ES
Amazon FR
Amazon IT
Amazon NL
Amazon PL
Amazon UK
Amazon US
eBay AU
eBay CA
eBay DE
eBay ES
eBay FR
eBay IE
eBay IT
eBay UK
eBay US
Rakuten
Amazon AU
Amazon BE
Amazon CA
Amazon DE
Amazon ES
Amazon FR
Amazon IT
Amazon PL
Amazon UK
Amazon US
eBay AU
eBay CA
eBay DE
eBay ES
eBay FR
eBay IE
eBay IT
eBay UK
eBay US
PRODUCTBOOX NOTE AIR3 CKOBO SAGE

To compare even more e-ink tablets, click here for the full comparison table.

ONYX BOOX NOTE AIR3 C Review Card

Overall rating

Pros

  • Colour screen
  • High screen resolution/density
  • Great hardware specs
  • Very versatile
  • Sophisticated native reading & note-taking apps
  • Scratchy writing feel
  • Handwriting search/conversion
  • Google Play Store
  • Frontlight
  • Onboard GPU & Boox Super Refresh Tech
  • Audio (speakers and microphone)
  • MicroSD card slot

Cons

  • Steeper learning curve
  • GPU/Super Refresh uses more power
  • Screen is darker than monochrome e-ink tablets
  • Some ghosting when the screen changes
  • Lots of options can lead to less focused work

Top-of-the-range hardware and software combined with a pleasurable writing experience makes the Note Air3 C one of the most versatile and capable e-ink tablets on the market.

KOBO SAGE Review Card

Overall rating

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Great e-reader
  • Waterproof
  • Read DRM-protected ebooks (via ADE)
  • Innovative advanced notebooks
  • Frontlight
  • Good handwriting recognition
  • Page-turn buttons
  • Backed by a major corporation

Cons

  • Sub-par writing experience
  • Not very versatile
  • Stylus requires batteries
  • Cannot export highlights/annotations
  • Feels a bit 'clunky'

The Kobo Sage may be thought of as a smaller, waterproof version of the Kobo Elipsa 2E. It is a lightweight 8" e-reader with some innovative note-taking features but the tactile writing experience is lacking, and the whole ecosystem feels a bit 'clunky'.

About the author

Website | + posts

Dan Dutton is passionate about E-ink writing tablets, which bring together the pleasure of writing on paper with the power of digital technology. When he bought his first tablet, he realised that there wasn't a lot of unbiased information available for people that were considering buying an E-ink tablet, and so he built eWritable.

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