Review of ONYX BOOX Darwin 8 – an e-book with an emphasis on quality

A detailed review of the ONYX BOOX Darwin 8 e-reader with the latest generation screen, 35 hours of battery life and touch control.

Characteristics of ONYX BOOX Darwin 8

  • Display: 6″ E Ink Carta Plus, 16 shades of grey, 1072 × 1448 dots (300 ppi), touchscreen with multi-touch and SNOW Field.
  • Backlight: MOON Light 2.
  • Processor: 4-core, 1.2 GHz.
  • Audio: 3.5mm jack.
  • RAM: 1 GB.
  • Built-in memory: 8 GB.
  • Memory card slot: yes, microSD/microSDHC.
  • Charging connector: USB Type-C.
  • Supported file formats:
    • Book formats: TXT, HTML, RTF, FB2,, FB3, MOBI, CHM, PDB, DOC, DOCX, PRC, EPUB, PDF, DjVu.
    • Image formats: JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP.
    • Other formats: CBR, CBZ, MP3, WAV.
  • Bluetooth version: 4.1
  • Battery capacity: 3000 mAh
  • Battery life: up to 35 hours.
  • OS: Android 4.4.
  • Dimensions: 170 × 117 × 8.7 mm.
  • Black colour.
  • Weight: 182 g.

What is included:

  • Electronic book.
  • Charging cable.
  • “Smart” cover.
  • User manual.
  • Warranty card.


The review should start with the appearance of the reader, which can be called “classic”: a black case with a fairly wide indentation from the bottom. There is also a physical back button.

On the sides are two more buttons with which you can navigate and control.

On the bottom edge there is an audio jack, a modern Type-C charging input, which is a huge plus for a device of this price category (there is a microSD slot next to it).

At the top is the power button.

The cover looks more interesting and solid. It is made of soft-touch faux leather in a brick shade with a tree image, inside there is a soft fabric that protects the screen from scratches.

The reader screen reacts to the position of the cover: if the cover is open, the device is activated, if it is closed, it automatically goes into sleep mode. This is a useful feature to avoid accidental touches and waste of battery power. What pleases – the cover is included, it does not need to be purchased separately. The quality of materials and seams is high.


The manufacturer ONYX BOOX Darwin 8 really took care of its users. The screen of the latest generation E Ink Carta Plus is made using “electronic paper” technology: image quality, high resolution and contrast make it seem as if you are holding a high-quality paper edition of a book or newspaper, and not a simple electronic reader.

The display supports MOON Light 2, which provides comfortable and eye-safe reading through two main features:

  1. Flicker-free brightness adjustment. It is important to note that many models (smartphones, tablets, etc.) have flickering, which is why users experience discomfort, headaches, as well as fatigue and pain in the eyes after prolonged reading. ONYX BOOX Darwin 8 does not have this drawback.
  2. Choice of cold and warm light. The correct shade of the screen while reading is the key to health and comfort for the eyes. For example, blue light during evening/night reading interferes with the production of melatonin, which negatively affects sleep. On ONYX BOOX Darwin 8, you can independently change the cold (for the day) and warm (for the night) light depending on the time of day.

The positive point is that the display does not glare and does not shine in the sun.


Navigation and control of the reader is carried out in two ways: using the touch screen (it is easy to zoom in or out of text / pictures) or using convenient physical buttons. The buttons can be customized to suit your needs.

The list of available actions is quite wide: you can change the scale, intervals, choose fonts, highlight text, make notes, set bookmarks, call the context menu, etc.

Features of work

A 4-core processor and 1 GB of RAM, which is considered quite good for e-books, provide a fairly fast gadget.

The reader supports a huge list of common book, image, and other file formats. At the same time, there is no need to limit yourself in the amount of content: the built-in 8 GB and an additional 32 GB microSD are enough to save thousands of books, magazines and pictures.

Navigating among them is also not a problem – sorting by formats, genres, authors, titles, etc. is available on the device.

To read foreign books, the reader has built-in dictionaries: Russian-English and English-Russian. To translate while reading, you need to select the text and click on the corresponding icon. In addition, online translation is also available.

You can listen to audiobooks and podcasts. To do this, the device has a built-in audio player, a headphone jack and a Bluetooth connection for a speaker or wireless headphones. The TTS function is supported, which allows you to convert text to audio: in simple words, you can turn on the voice acting of any text.

You can add new books and other files in many ways, and not just by cable. Transmission is available via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, QR code, via the Send2boox cloud PUSH service. It is possible to use various network services and libraries through a Wi-Fi connection.

Access to the Internet and the capabilities of the device itself allow you to install third-party programs, such as your favorite or familiar reading application. However, Google services are not supported, nor is Google Play.

The model has a long battery life – up to 35 hours without recharging. The indicator is excellent.


ONYX BOOX Darwin 8 is a practical and comfortable e-reader. It contains all the necessary functions, all popular formats are available, convenient operation, a built-in audio player for audio books, a high-quality screen, and there is nothing superfluous.

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