Supernote A5x

Supernote A5x e-Writer – Review

I recently got a Supernote A5x digital note taking device. A malfunction of the first unit meant the manufacturer sent me a second device. Here are my initial comments.

Why a Notetaker?

I am a note taker. Whether I travel or whether I go to meetings or whether I am reading something related to my profession and I need to grasp the key points, I take notes. Until now, my notes have been on notepads or sometimes I use the unused side of printed paper.

A Sample of My Notes

The problem is that there are too many notepads and too many sheets of paper now, and sometimes I use multiple ones at the same time. And it is always not easy to have a notepad – particularly when I am travelling.

Years ago, I thought of going digital and got the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 which came with a stylus. But it was a failure. The screen was meant primarily for reading/watching and not note taking, so it was too slippery. As well, the screen was too small for note taking.

And then recently I came across reMarkable 2 and suddenly I was interested. I started researching and found a number of digital notebooks using e-ink, or electronic ink, a technology for simulating writing/drawing on paper.

Check My Review on YouTube

Video Review of Supernote A5x

The Path to Supernote a5x Digital Note Taking Device

After some research, I had shortlisted three e-writers (I discounted those that are primarily built for reading of books) – reMarkable 2, Supernote A5x and the Onyx Boox Note Air. I also briefly considered Supernote a6x but realized it was too small.

The reMarkable 2 was tempting but I didn’t like that some of the basic features are now part of a subscription plan. That a company needs revenue to keep up with product development is understandable given the fact that revenues from sales is a one-time affair. However, the device is not cheap and I am not a big fan of this trend towards “device-as-a-service”.

Onyx Boox Note Air. It is also a 10.3” tablet with good reviews. It had front-lit display for reading in low light.

Supernote looked clean with a 10.3” screen without too many frills and I liked it. From some of the reviews it appeared to be me that it was geared more towards writing and less towards sketching and reading – just like I liked. It also had a feature to convert handwriting into text and no subscription plans. As well, the company seemed to have a good customer service.

So, I decided on the Supernote A5x


Ordering was a simple affair. The challenge was the wait. I had ordered early February and their shipping calendar said shipments for that period will go out early March. I received the device in the 2nd week of March.

Problems With Supernote A5x Digital Note Taking Device

The excitement of unpacking and starting to use the device soon evaporated as I started having problems in setting it up.

Challenges With My Supernote A5x

The key problems can be summarized as follows:

  • When I tried to input data for the wifi password and later for my email address, the device was doing its own typing – inserting random numbers and characters.
  • The Top Status Bar and the For More Options key (three buttons on top right) would appear in a flash and then disappear.

Supernote Customer Service

I wrote to the company. They were very fast and asked me to send a video of the problems. I did that.

They could not figure out whether it was a hardware or a software issue so asked me to enable Usage and Diagnostics and then submit the history log.

The problem was that it took me a while to go to Settings to enable Usage and Diagnostics but when I finally managed to do it, I could not set up the internet connection. Every time I tried to input my password for the wifi, the keyboard did its own insertion.

Finally, I hit upon the idea of tethering from my phone and keeping the connection open so I didn’t need to input the password.

It worked.

The company – again promptly – answered saying that they will send replacement device

There was some delay but finally it arrived early this week.

So, I made this video of setting up the device.

I will follow up with more videos of trying out all the myriad of features of this device.

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