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Full Version: Anyone tried MobileSheets on BOOX tab X?
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I'm a piano acompanist/concert pianist and at the moment i'm using a Samsung tab FE 7 with a bluetooth pedal in all my gigs, loving it, never had any problems with it but I want to try a bigger, e-ink tablet. I found BOOX tab X and it is what im looking for but i'm concerned because there are mixed reviews and there is no musician commenting about that tablet. Has anyone tried the tab X with mobilesheets and a pedal? Is it responsive? Is it worth paying that much or I'm better of buying an ipad or better samsung tablet?
I would appreciate any input, I cannot find almost no information on the internet.
So I'm probably not the right one to answer this question, but I'll at least provide my two cents on it. I have an e-ink version of MobileSheets for sale (https://zubersoft.onfastspring.com/, contact me at mike@zubersoft.com if you already purchased through Google Play) that works much better on e-ink devices, and I quite enjoy using my BOOX Max Lumi. I find myself using it more often than my other tablets when playing on my baby grand. The e-ink screen has almost no glare at all, the battery lasts a ridiculously long time and the aspect ratio is great for sheet music. I do feel the touch detection on the screen isn't quite as good as regular tablets but if you use a bluetooth pedal for page turning (or automatic scrolling), then that's not a concern. After that it would be a toss-up between my Samsung S8 Ultra and my iPad Pro, both of which are much more expensive than the e-ink tablet. 

The BOOX Tab X seems to be very similar to the Max Lumi and Max Lumi 2 in terms of performance and usability. I haven't really heard any negative reports from users utilizing it for MobileSheets. One thing I will say is that, most animations are disabled in the e-ink version, so it's never going to look quite as nice as a regular Android tablet, and if you want to use features like automatic scrolling, you can't really have a smooth scroll. It's better to have the page immediately scroll sections of the page at a time in my opinion to avoid ghosting. On a regular Android tablet, the vertical scrolling is smooth and works well.

Hopefully other users will chime in to give you their perspective and opinions.

Mike
To me, the only real advantage of e-ink is viewing in bright sunlight. Since most pianists don't do much of that, then e-ink just isn't worth the extra expense. I personally just carry an e-ink Kindle for emergency backup on outdoor gigs and use regular tablets for everything else. I typically run into only one situation per year where my regular tablet is too hard to read outside. I can usually set up in the shade and get by. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have a huge e-ink tablet. But I can't justify the cost considering how little most of my gigs pay. My Samsung tablet was paid for in just 2 gigs.
I have a Tab X and I love it.  (Disclaimer: I've only had it for about a month so far)

I first ventured into electronic music stands about 10 or 12 years ago, but because a lot of my playing is outside I very quickly found that LCD/TFT displays were absolutely useless, battery life was ridiculously short, and gave up on it.  More recent tablets from pretty much all manufacturers seem have much brighter displays that can often be made to work, but the brightness still has to be turned up so high that the battery still goes flat pretty quickly.  Of course, this can be overcome if you purchase a backup, external auxiliary battery pack/charger.  I did this "just in case" but have never needed it...  I can play several back to back 2 plus hour gigs without recharging.

A friend of mine actually reverted to paper from her iPad for outdoor gigs because between the brightness being way up, and the heat of the day her iPad would shut down due to overheating.  I assume to prevent thermal runaway in the battery.

On the other hand, my TabX is GREAT in bright light.  I don't miss any of the niceties Mike mentioned as being unavailable or unwise to use with an e-ink device.  I have a cheap, Amazon bluetooth pedal and it works fine.  Response time is good.

The front lights work well, and having separate , controllable "cold" and "warm" lighting makes adjusting visibility in marginal light a snack.

The battery life is excellent.

About the only thing I miss is a camera.  I didn't notice one was missing from the specs prior to purchase, but understand why one isn't included - can't display colour photos anyway - but it also means I can't grab a quick photo of a chart and display it on the tablet.  Colour for highlighting would be nice too.

Make sure you buy a cover for it... Oh yes, there is no metal strip for the magnet in the stylus to stick to, either on the tablet or the cover.  I fixed that by cutting up a steel tin (actually it was an empty aerosol can) and fashioning a couple of strips that I glued to the cover - make sure to eliminate any sharp edges or corners if you decide to try this.  Mine are about 50mm by 16mm, bent along the long axis to conform to the curve of the device and cover, corners rounded over, painted black and glued to the cover, one outside and one inside where the cover folds back on itself when open.

Currently I use mine by sitting it on a music stand rather than having a tablet specific holder (the magnets in the cover tend to hold it in position on the stand too - a serendipitous bonus).  This is primarily because I like the convenience of places to put my spray bottle, or valve oil bottle*, and other bibs and bobs I like access to when I'm playing.  A bonus is that because my stands are steel, the stylus also sticks to them.

* Depending of what instrument I'm playing.  All my music stands have double shelves too.

In closing, if you never play outside, then I suspect a colour display on a non e-ink device would be more to your liking, especially if you use a "highlighter".  If necessary the shorter battery life can easily be overcome by using either a charger or external battery pack while you're playing or between sets.
BUT if you play outside, then the E-Ink display is unbeatable IMHO.

PS - Onyx recently released a smaller (10.1" ?) colour e-ink device, and I suspect there will be a colour TabX (or equivalent 13.3" device) in the relatively near future.  I also suspect it will be a premium price.
I've been using the Onyx e-ink tablets for a few years and they've been great for me. I'd been wanting an e-ink music reader for years and a few companies had come out with them but they were always buggy and very expensive. The Onyx models were the first ones that had enough processing power and a low enough price to be worth considering. Mobilesheets e-ink version works very well and that stands to reason given that Mike (the app developer) uses one himself. I'd been wanting one because I thought e-ink would work really well for music and because I do a lot of playing outdoors and they are great for that. We only ever play in the shade but even in the shade the sun is often a problem on other (non-e-ink) tablets. I haven't used a non-e-ink tablet for reading music but I've heard a lot of musicians say that they get tiring for your eyes if you use them for extended periods and that's not a problem with e-ink.

I think the touch screen is a bit less responsive than the other touch screens I use (laptop and chromebook) but it seemed to improve markedly when I removed the screen protector. I hadn't really noticed not having a camera until Mobilesheets added face gesture recognition - I'd be happy to give that a try (I have a Pageflip page turner and a cheap single button one and they both work great). If it had a camera then I'm sure I would use it for scanning music too. Most of my string quartet music was already on pdf so all I had to do with that was import it but most of my piano music is in hardcopy and I still haven't got round to scanning a lot of that. Page turns are slower with my Boox tablets than on a non-e-ink tablet but my tablets are 3 years old so that may not be the case with the Tab X - they're meant to be much quicker than the older models. Battery life is insanely good even with my older tablets and the Tax X battery is ~50% bigger again. In 3 years of use with 4 tablets they've proven to be very reliable.

I don't miss the animations that Mobilesheets has on non-e-ink devices. I'm not sure whether I'd use colour annotations if they were available - the annotations feature on the app is very good these days which probably makes it easier to just use b&w/grey. Faster page turns would be great but tbh it's not bad enough that I've tried to do anything about it (use a faster mode, optimise pdfs etc) and probably isn't a problem on newer Onyx tablets.

Guy
Their hardware steadily improved over the years and now is perhaps usable. BUT anybody dealing with sensitive data should look elsewhere. Privacy not included.