This is my review of the official flip case for the Max Lumi 2 E-ink writing tablet from Onyx Boox.
The Boox Max Lumi folio is a grey, PU leather case compatible with Max Lumi 1 and 2.
It has a smooth interior lining to protect the screen and automatically wakes up or sleeps the tablet when the lid is opened and closed.
The folio can also double up as a stand to tilt the screen towards you for more comfortable viewing.
The tablet snaps into a plastic holding frame on the inside of the folio and the stylus slots into loop on the exterior.
How does it look and feel?
When I first received the folio case, I was a little disappointed. The price of around £50 would suggest it is a premium product, but it felt a bit cheap and plasticky. PU (polyurethane) leather is supposed to be an imitation of real leather, but there really is no comparison, in my opinion.
However, after using it for a while, I began to appreciate it more. It is durable and does a great job of protecting the tablet screen from scratches. And it looks and feels a bit more premium than some of the other cases on the market (but perhaps not enough to justify the price tag).
The rear of the flip case is made from plastic and has two sets of holes aligned with the tablet’s rear-facing speakers to prevent the audio fronting muted. The material used on the back, although robust, is a magnet for grease and finger marks and very quickly looks smudged and smeary.
At the top, there is a rubber button that aligns with the tablet’s power button. I found this to be a bit temperamental, and it takes a bit of time to learn the exact spot and how hard you have to push down to turn the device on or off.
Opening and closing the case causes the Lumi Max to wake up and sleep, respectively. The folio case used to close securely with what I thought were magnets but now realise were simply sticky pads. After six months of use, the ‘sticky’ has now run out, resulting in the front of the folio shifting slightly when handled – I expect this to result in more rapid wear and tear over the coming months.
The stylus is pretty secure in the loop on the side of the stand but occasionally gets caught on things and slips out (this has happened several times whilst pulling my Max Lumi out of my bag). But as there is no way to attach the stylus to the tablet, I feel that a case is necessary if only to keep the tablet and stylus together.
How does the stand work?
The case also doubles up as a stand, which is handy. Although I must say, I found it a bit fiddly to prop up the tablet. Unless you get it just right, it just slides back down again. There is no way to secure it into position.
The product images show the folio being used as a stand like this:
But this really isn’t practical because any impact with fingers at the top of the screen causes the tablet to wobble and sometimes even fall down. I’ve had more luck using the stand like this:
However, I much prefer portrait mode to landscape mode because you have more space to write, and the stand doesn’t work at all for portrait so I tend to keep the device flat most of the time anyway. Note: Landscape mode is useful if you use the split-screen function, for example, to read a PDF on the left and make notes about it on the right.
I have mixed opinions of the Max Lumi 2 flip case.
It performs the core functions of protecting the tablet from damage and having somewhere to store the stylus safely.
But everything else is, at best, just ‘good enough’.
It looks okay but does attract grease and dirt and will look a bit grubby after a few months. Over this time period, the stickiness of the pads that ensure the folio is closed securely will wear out. The power button is a bit fiddly, and the stand doesn’t really work as advertised.
Maybe I expect too much, but if I’m going to spend £50 on a tablet case, I expect a little bit more quality. Unfortunately, there aren’t many more competing products on the market, and I only recommend this case because I believe that you need some way to keep the tablet and stylus together – if I didn’t have the case, I think I would have lost two or three styluses by now!
I give the Onyx Boox Max Lumi flip case 3 stars.
About the author
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.