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Boox’s Palma is a flawed E Ink gadget that helped me cease doomscrolling

Key Takeaways

  • The Palma is a single-use e-reader with a strong design and E Ink display screen, but it surely suffers from connectivity points and bugs.
  • Regardless of its flaws, the Palma is usually a helpful gadget for studying articles and books on the go, providing a distraction-free expertise.
  • The Palma’s battery life does not evaluate to different e-readers, limiting its useability considerably.



I first heard about Boox’sPalma a number of months in the past when it became the tech YouTuber product of the moment, but it surely wasn’t till I got here throughout David Pierce’s The Verge story concerning the E Ink gadget that I made a decision to get my arms on one. Like Pierce, I hoped the Palma would encourage me to learn extra and battle that all-encompassing urge to start out scrolling via TikTok or Instagram after I’m bored or killing time earlier than an appointment. I write and edit for a dwelling and know I ought to actually learn extra in my free time, however I at all times discover myself being pulled away from articles and books. Perhaps the Palma is the gadget I have been ready for?


Whereas I have been in a position to higher focus my studying efforts because of the Palma, I additionally encountered a number of irritating bugs that make it tough to suggest this single-use gadget to anybody aside from these attempting to interrupt free from the clutches of doomscrolling. Do not get me unsuitable: I nonetheless actually just like the Palma. From a design perspective, it is strong, and I am a giant fan of its textured again (I continuously discover myself operating my fingers down it). Its E Ink display screen includes a shockingly quick refresh charge and may be adjusted to run numerous apps for those who’re attempting to save lots of additional battery life. You’ll be able to even watch movies with apps like YouTube, if you need. Boox even sells just a few great-looking cases for the device. At occasions, it is an absolute pleasure to make use of.

Nonetheless, I can not wholeheartedly suggest the Palma except you need to use it solely as a studying gadget. This is what my expertise has been like to date.

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The Palma is not the E Ink cellphone of your goals

For me, it is a single-use gadget

The Boox Palma against a wall


I need to make one factor very clear: The Palma sucks as a smartphone. You’ll be able to’t use a SIM or eSIM with it; its Wi-Fi connection is usually spotty, and quite a lot of Android apps are barely usable in gray-scale E Ink. If you happen to’re within the Palma since you intention to switch your smartphone completely, you may must rethink that technique (or be keen to take care of quite a lot of frustration and disappointment). In my week with the tiny E Ink gadget, the variety of occasions I bumped into bizarre glitches, reboots and apps that simply flat-out refused to run within the background regardless of altering the gadget’s settings, feels numerous.

The textured back of the Palma


For instance, I assumed I’d be capable of use the Palma as a contemporary iPod. Since I do business from home, I usually go for walks to interrupt up my day, however I discover myself continuously being pulled again into work after I test Slack or getting distracted by the attract of a crimson Instagram notification bubble on my iPhone 15 Professional. With the Palma, I deliberate to obtain just a few podcasts by way of Pocketcasts and unplug for a bit whereas going to get a espresso. The gadget does not have an information connection, and if I really want to get a dose of web, I can use the Wi-Fi at Starbucks.

I have never completely given up on the offline iPod dream with the Palma, and plan to strive a distinct pair of wi-fi earbuds, however a minimum of to date, I’ve encountered much more roadblocks than I anticipated.


First off, the Palma disconnected from my AirPods Professional when getting into sleep mode, regardless of me turning this selection off (I ultimately did get this to work for a day, however then it began disconnecting once more). I additionally encountered a difficulty the place my AirPods Professional randomly dropped Bluetooth connection or audio grew to become garbled in a wierd manner.

The palma against a tire

I have never completely given up on the offline iPod dream with the Palma, and plan to strive a distinct pair of wi-fi earbuds, however a minimum of to date, I’ve encountered much more roadblocks than I anticipated. For most individuals, the Palma’s obvious Bluetooth points are in all probability cause sufficient to not use it as an offline music participant. It is simply manner simpler to seize your cellphone, pop in your wi-fi earbuds of alternative, and be in your manner.

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The Palma is a superb tiny e-reader

Studying on the go

The Palma beside a bike

I have been fairly detrimental concerning the Palma to date, however that is the place that modifications. This gadget is a strong e-reader, particularly for those who want to learn with one hand or need to take your ebooks on the go simply. I went for a prolonged bike journey just a few days in the past and needed to take my e-reader with me to make amends for just a few articles I saved in Pocket and end off Pierce Brown’s Iron Gold within the Kobo app at a close-by park throughout a short mid-ride break.

Often, I would take my considerably cumbersome backpack with me, however as a result of I’ve the Palma, I might slide the gadget into my aspect satchel bag and be on my manner. Positive, its 6.1-inch E Ink show is not that a lot smaller than the 7-inch Kobo Libra’s, but it surely nonetheless makes the gadget simpler to take practically wherever.


Reading a book on the Palma

I can see myself taking the Palma on walks or to locations the place I do know I will be ready round for a bit, just like the physician’s workplace, just because I can slide it into the bag I take with me in every single place. In truth, I might ditch the bag completely and slide the Palma into my pocket alongside my cellphone if I wanted to.

Sure, I might simply learn content material on my smartphone, however I at all times discover that I rapidly get distracted by a flashy social media app and do not get any studying finished. Because the pint-sized E Ink gadget runs Android, I might get these apps operating on the Palma if I needed to, however they don’t seem to be nice to make use of on an E Ink show, and like many, this minor friction has saved me targeted on why I needed the gadget within the first place — studying articles and books.


The Palma’s battery life hasn’t been stellar both, coming in at roughly two days, so I am in search of methods to optimize how lengthy it lasts.

I am additionally not keen on long-form studying on an OLED/LCD show — it is simply by no means labored for me. The Palma’s nice E Ink show includes a low-key backlight that is a pleasure to have a look at for lengthy durations and might simply be adjusted relying on ambient lighting situations. That stated, there appears to be a useless Pixel in direction of the underside of the show that is seen below particular backlight ranges. I encountered this identical downside with the just lately launched Kobo Libra Color, and it disappeared randomly, so hopefully, that occurs once more.

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There’s probably nonetheless extra for me to uncover concerning the Palma

And, will it stick?

palma-apps

I’ve admittedly solely been utilizing the Boox Palma for roughly per week, so there’s probably much more I want to find concerning the gadget. As an example, there is a programmable button on the aspect of the Palma that I have never finished something with but (by default, it refreshes the Palma’s E Ink show). I really feel prefer it might work as an excellent devoted button for turning pages within the Kobo app.

The Palma’s battery life hasn’t been stellar both, coming in at roughly two days in my expertise, so I am in search of methods to optimize how lengthy it lasts.


The Palma’s battery life hasn’t been stellar both, coming in at roughly two days in my expertise, so I am in search of methods to optimize how lengthy it lasts. I need the Palma to be the e-reader I’ve on me always, whether or not in my backpack or a bag, and it not being useless is essential to this use-case working. Additionally, perhaps I am going to iron out the Bluetooth points I’ve skilled and be capable of flip it into the iPod of my goals?

Palma side buttons

However most significantly, whereas I am studying extra now, will that proceed? That is the important thing query surrounding how I’ve used the Palma to date. I write about quite a lot of tech units, and after I’m finished with them, they usually collect mud in a drawer. Is the Palma yet one more a kind of devices? I am hoping it is not.

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