BOOX Leaf2 Review

Reasons for choosing Leaf2
Because I am idle at home every day, besides facing the computer, I read with my cell phone, but sometimes I prefer to use my iPad to read, after all, the screen is bigger and shows more content; however, no matter it is a computer, cell phone or tablet, there is always some discomfort in the eyes after using it for a long time. After a few searches, I purchased the Wenshi BOOX Leaf2 (Leaf2 for short).

The weight of the Leaf2 is one of the most important factors I considered, because other readers with the same 7-inch size are relatively heavy, such as the Reader F7, which weighs 236g, and the Inkpad MIX7, which weighs 216g.

That’s almost the same weight as my 169g Samsung S21 small-screen phone, and with the weight of the phone as a reference, I can be sure that even if I hold the Leaf2 for a long time, I won’t feel my joints getting sore.

A big part of the reason why I chose the Leaf2, or rather the Aragonite product, is that it uses a completely open Android system. This means that we can install most Android apps as long as the configuration allows, which is a significant advantage over competitors with semi-open or closed systems, as there are no restrictions on installing apps.

In addition, the Leaf2 offers a physical button for turning pages compared to its predecessor, which makes it easier to turn pages while reading with one hand, rather than swiping the screen like other models or products that do not have a physical button.

The Leaf2 also has a bright spot because it supports a TF card slot that can be expanded up to 512GB, because the Leaf2 itself only provides 64GB of storage, and the system, applications, cache and other parts already take up a small portion of the capacity. So for those “bookworms” who often like to stock up on books or even enjoy reading them, support for TF extension is definitely the icing on the cake.

Of course, the Leaf2 has all the usual features like Type-C, 300PPI, multiple file transfer methods, multi-level warm and cool color lights, 256 grayscale display, etc., so I won’t dwell on them here.

Not to mention the slots
In the week or so I’ve been using the Leaf2, it’s been able to meet my reading needs most of the time, whether it’s during the day or at night in bed.

However, the Leaf2’s two physical page turn buttons make me want to gripe a bit, as they seem to greatly free up the ability to change pages without moving my fingers when reading with one hand, but in actual use they lowered my expectations.

In use, the two physical page turn keys are seamlessly connected next to each other, causing me to adjust my grip a lot when reading.

When reading with one hand, I usually grip the reader with one hand in the middle of the edge of the reader, because this position can increase the contact area between my palm and the reader to ensure stability: Instead of the thumb in the middle like the product introduction chart, and then the bottom with the little thumb.

The Leaf2’s two physical buttons are symmetrically positioned in the middle of the reader, which means that if I need to press the “previous page” button during reading, my thumb needs to be slightly bent to reach it, and the “next page” button needs to be completely re-adjusted in my grip to reach it, so now I usually press my palm against the lower left corner of the device to reach it. The two page turn buttons.

I have to say that this is one of my biggest frustrations with the Leaf2, as other products such as the F7, Ocean2, and Inkpad all have a spaced-out design with the two physical buttons slightly misaligned at the ends, which is obviously a much better experience than the Leaf2.

However, the Leaf2 provides a landscape rotation to solve the above problem, at least the thumb can reach the physical keys, but the horizontal grip like playing cards is not as comfortable as the general one-handed grip after a long time.

Then from the software level, in my short experience of using it for more than a week, the commonly used reading software, such as Jingdong Reading, WeChat Reading (Eink version) and Get Book City are all adapted to two physical page turning keys, but not all App are adapted to page turning keys and some daily operations, such as auto-rotation.

Despite the fact that Wenshi’s products all use the open Android operating system, it seems that the only comic book app that is currently available in the app store with an ink screen version is Beili Beili Comics, while other apps such as Tencent Animation are still available in the mobile version.

The Leaf2’s two physical buttons function as a page turner by default, but the project team of Wenshi’s product has obviously taken into account the problem of unadapted apps, as these apps use the volume keys to turn pages, so it may be necessary to make manual changes in the settings to make the physical page turner work, which is a compromise.

But the hardest part for me is that comics doesn’t support auto-rotation, which means I can only hold the comic in my left hand forever, instead of being able to rotate it for my own use to adjust my reading posture like other reading apps. So maybe software adaptation will always be a pain in the ass for most ink screen e-readers.

In addition, since the Leaf2 is only available in a black color and is made of a frosted material, it is also prone to fingerprinting, so we recommend purchasing a protective case if necessary.