eWritable > Blog > What is the difference between the Boox Note Air3 and Boox Go 10.3?

What is the difference between the Boox Note Air3 and Boox Go 10.3?

In this post, I wanted to quickly go over the differences between two of Boox’s newer products; the Note Air3, and Go 10.3.

I’ve not yet used the Go 10.3 first-hand but do have a unit on pre-order and will be testing it as soon as it is shipped. However, I do have a lot of experience with the Note Air3. So, please bear in mind that my thoughts about the Go 10.3 are based on the information currently available on the Boox website.

At first glance both tablets look quite similar.

They are both 10.3″ monochrome e-ink tablets that run Android 12 (and so support the installation of third-party apps). They also both have a 2.4GHz CPU with 4Gb RAM, and 64Gb storage space, as well as a g-sensor, speakers, microphone, Wifi, and Bluetooth.

Neither of these tablets have Boox Super Refresh (BSR), which can provide improved performance when using third-party apps (Boox seems to have reserved this software feature, along with the dedicated GPU that drives it, for their colour and 13.3″ tablets).

However, despite these similarities, I think the Go 10.3 and Note Air3 have been designed with two different types of users in mind.

The Boox Go 10.3 seems to have been optimised for focused reading and writing tasks. The screen has a higher resolution and pixel density, and it is much lighter and thinner (and presumably more portable) than the Note Air3.

In contrast, the Note Air3 has additional hardware features that are not present on the Go 10.3, most notably a frontlight, but it also has a fingerprint scanner, and MicroSD card slot.

The absence of a frontlight on the Go 10.3 should mean that it has a better battery life. It should also result in a better writing experience that feels closer to the surface of the screen – on the Note Air3, there is a small space between where stylus touches the screen and where the mark is made, so it feels as if you are writing slightly beneath the screen.

The Boox Go range also has an updated user interface, which Boox describes as “Minimal, streamlined, and refreshing“.

Putting all these factors together, it feels to me that the Go 10.3 has been designed with the more minimalist user in mind. Someone looking for lighter and more elegant aesthetics, and a more natural approach to digital reading and note-taking.

Indeed, I wrote in my review of the Boox Note Air3 C that although I really like the tablet, with Boox I always feel like I am still using a computer rather than a paper alternative (which is one of the reasons that my Supernote is still my go-to e-ink tablet).

For people like myself that are easily distracted, and want to unplug from the digital world (whilst still making use of digital technology) to truly focus on reading and writing tasks, this is a very important consideration when deciding which e-ink tablet to buy.

This looks like Boox’s way of tapping into the market of people like myself that crave a more minimalist and analogue experience. This is one of the selling points of other brands like Supernote and reMarkable. It has certainly got me rather excited, and I can’t wait to get my Boox Go 10.3 and try it out (and my full review will end up here in due course).

The Boox Go 10.3 has the potential to be my number one recommended e-ink tablet, but there’s still one question left unanswered…what will become of the Note Air3?

I love the Note Air3 – it is my favourite e-ink tablet after my Supernote. And the reason I love it so much is because it offers a great monochrome reading and writing experience, has very good battery life, has powerful internal hardware, and the versatility of the Android operating system (and third-party apps). Pretty much everything the Go 10.3 will offer bar the frontlight. And the Go 10.3 will be thinner and lighter, and looks to be more elegant.

And for this reason, I feel that the Boox Note Air3 is set to only occupy a very small space in the market because of the release of the Go 10.3. For those of us that want a productivity Boox tablet (high-performance, colour screen, top-of-the range hardware etc.), we can choose between the Boox Note Air3 or Boox Tab Ultra C Pro. And for those of us that want a simpler and more reserved Boox device for primarily reading and note-taking, we have the Boox Go 10.3.

I think the Note Air3 will be tightly crammed into a space between these two primary use cases, and will therefore be limited in its appeal. It will essentially be squeezed out of the market, which is not ideal for a product that is slightly less than six months old, particularly as it will be products of the same brand that will be doing the squeezing!

But, this is often the way with Boox – the same thing happened last year with the release of the Boox Tab Ultra C Pro, which essentially replaced the six-month-old Boox Tab Ultra C.

Constant innovation (perhaps better described as incremental updates in this case) means that products are continuously evolving and can be superseded in a small space of time.

Honestly, I’m not a big fan of this rapid product turnover and lifecycle (and not just because it costs me a lot of time and money writing Boox reviews for this website). But it does mean that the bar is constantly being raised with regards to what can be done with an e-ink tablet.

Whilst it can be annoying to some users that have bought a product and didn’t expect an improved version of it to be released just a few months later, it must be remembered that Boox still provide support and software updates for their older devices for 3 years. And because a superseded tablet can still be used for the tasks that it was originally purchased for, the issue is mostly psychological.

This is the way that Boox drives innovation and give the market what it wants. And whilst I may not agree with it, I can’t deny that it works (and Boox does make very good e-ink tablets, in my opinion).

Wow! I went off on a bit of a tangent toward the end of this article – sorry about that πŸ™‚

In summary, the Note Air3 C has a few extra bits of hardware, particularly a frontlight, but is bulkier and heftier. In comparison the Boox Go 10.3 is much lighter and thinner, and probably more stylish, has a higher-resolution screen, but it doesn’t have a frontlight, fingerprint scanner, or SD card slot. Whilst the omission of the frontlight does mean that an external light source will be required, it also has a couple of benefits – the battery may last a bit longer, and the writing experience should feel more precise.

Boox Note Air3 vs Boox Go 10.3: Spec Comparison

PRODUCTBOOX GO 10.3BOOX NOTE AIR3
Specs & ratings infoBOOX GO 10.3
NEW
ONYX BOOX NOTE AIR3
My Rating
Price (approx)$380
$400
ManufacturerOnyx BooxOnyx Boox
Release year20242023
SCREENBOOX GO 10.3BOOX NOTE AIR3
Screen typeCarta 1200Carta 1200
Screen size10.3"10.3"
Screen resolution (B/W)1860 x 24801404 x 1872
Screen density (B/W)300dpi227dpi
Colour⨯⨯
Screen resolution (Colour)n/an/a
Screen density (Colour)n/an/a
Frontlightβ¨―βœ“
Wacom compatibleβœ“βœ“
Buy
HARDWAREBOOX GO 10.3BOOX NOTE AIR3
CPU2.4GHz octa-core2.4 Ghz octa-core
RAM4Gb4Gb
Storage64Gb64Gb
Battery3700mAh3700mAh
Super Refresh⨯⨯
Keyboard folio⨯⨯
Speakersβœ“βœ“
Microphoneβœ“βœ“
G-Sensorβœ“βœ“
Ceramic Tip⨯⨯
Bluetoothβœ“βœ“
Fingerprint scannerβ¨―βœ“
SD card slotβ¨―βœ“
Rear camera⨯⨯
Front camera⨯⨯
Waterproof⨯⨯
USB-Cβœ“βœ“
Width183mm193mm
Height235mm226mm
Thickness4.6mm5.8mm
Weight375g450g
Buy
SOFTWAREBOOX GO 10.3BOOX NOTE AIR3
Operating systemAndroid 12Android 12
Google Play Storeβœ“βœ“
Kindle supportβœ“βœ“
Handwriting searchβœ“βœ“
Handwriting conversionβœ“βœ“
Insert shapesβœ“βœ“
Insert imagesβœ“βœ“
Split screenβœ“βœ“
Custom templatesβœ“βœ“
No. templates40+40+
Brush typesFountain Pen, Paintbrush, Ballpoint Pen, Pencil, MarkerFountain Pen, Paintbrush, Ballpoint Pen, Pencil, Marker
Screen shareβœ“βœ“
ADE support⨯⨯
File formatsPDF, CAJ, DJVU, CBR, CBZ, EPUB, AZW3, MOBI, TXT, DOC, DOCX, FB2, CHM, RTF, HTML, ZIP, PRC, PPT, PPTXPDF, EPUB, DOC, DOCX, PPT, PPTX, TXT, HTML, RTF, FB2, CBZ, CBR, AZW3, MOBI, PRC, DJVU, CHM, ZIP
File formats (image)PNG, JPG, BMP, TIFFPNG, JPG, TIFF, BMP
File formats (Audio)WAV, MP3WAV, MP3
Buy
Where to buyBoox Euro Store
Boox Store
Boox Euro Shop
Boox Shop
Canadian Reseller
Amazon
eBay
PRODUCTBOOX GO 10.3BOOX NOTE AIR3

About the author

Me and my e-ink tablets
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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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