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PaperLike: 13.3″ E Ink Monitor by Dasung Tech (the-ebook-reader.com)
524 points by notsony on Jan 26, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 177 comments

I'd love to eventually see a low-end Chromebook built around one of these displays. You're already volunteering for a limited experience in exchange for convenience there, and I can see the battery life outweighing the negatives with the display. (And you probably have a phone or tablet with a higher resolution screen in your pocket/bag/whatever anyway.)

Obviously it's cost prohibitive right now, but as throwawaymsft said earlier it's very likely the price would plummet at scale. Clearly it would need to if the display is to find a market, and I expect they know that.

Emacs, a tiling window manager, a low-powered processor, and lots of RAM in a 2-in-1 form factor e-Ink device is pretty much my dream machine. Sadly, I am a tiny and ignored market segment.

Cool technology like this feels cyclical. Now we want what seems like a fancy graphing calculator.

It might even have nostalgic roots: I would totally buy an scaled-up version of my TI-83 Silver Edition

Someday soon we'll be able to order ourselves one-off machines like this (or any way we like). At least that's my hope

You could already hack something like that up if you want to spend the time: very low power ARM or MIPS board, Linux, e-ink display.

The problem, at least for me, is that 13" is about the minimum screen that I'm willing to consider, and this is the second display of that size that I've seen (the first being Sony's Digital Paper, which is currently prohibitively expensive for me). I'm hoping that the price on this will come down into my range once the tech gets proven out a bit, though if it ends up getting positive reviews I might not wait.

Same here, just vim, but that would be dream setup.

I actually really want to run my terminals on an e-ink display. The reduction of eyestrain would be a boon.

Once color e-ink displays are available, I'd move emacs over to it as soon as possible.

Good point. I need color syntax highlighting in Emacs and rainbow parens for lispy stuff.

While it's totally not the same, I found that for late night hacking amber on black terminals and cranking the brightness down is fantastic.

(I don't use colours though, my normal terminal setup is green on black)

Similar devices are around for 3 years now. PixelQi offered 10" display compatible with most netbooks for $220. It even offered color backlight color mode.

In real life the benefits are not that great, screen is still polished glass and reflects everything.

saying pixel Qi "displays" were around or available is an overstatement. For a short while you could pick up the screen as a hacker kit. Just the glass and ribbon cable. It wouldn't be clear to build a housing and then make it run via USB, which is really the best way to use as a portable secondary monitor if you think about it. That and the screen quality was never really good. Dark mode was really silvery. I had the OLPC with the pixel qi screen and it was neither good as either screen, lit or not. Sadly they never became anything for the consumer. I'm not sure why either because they claimed they were in this great niche where they could pump out a lot of product because their build process was right inline with LCDs except for minor tweaks.

If you want to say they've existed you they have since maybe 2005 / 2006. Doesn't mean they have been accessible to anyone for mainstream use. This chnese e-ink display could get traction but they need to cut the price in half. the best innovation on e-ink lately is the yotaphone. Makes the most sense, solves problems and is accessible in price.

I don't have any glare problems with my Kindle Paperwhite, even in bright sunlight.

I would dearly love to have a laptop using a display like this, so I can write code in the park on nice days.

The pricy Sony 13" Digital Reader (plastic e-ink display) has a web browser, so it can be used to display some web pages and function as a pseudo-monitor. It weighs 358 grams / 0.79 lbs. Android clones are expected later this year, when Sony's exclusivity period on the new lightweight e-ink screen expires.


I have an old kobo e-reader that's been in flight mode since day 1.

It's amazing the difference I feel between reading on a tablet and an ereader. The ereader doesn't really feel like a "device," more like a book. On a tablet, I'm googling (Can you really ride from Winterfell to Kings Landing in a week? How fast do ravens fly? Lets see what the internet thinks.). They might be related to the book. They might not. Emails, HN, news…

Watching TV before bed keeps me up. Roaming the internet for half a Saturday on it makes me feel crap. Doing those with a book relaxes me, improves my sleep and my energy levels. Tablet reading is more like TV than like a book.

Anyway… I wonder if bringing that to a writing device could be some sort of improvement, at least for a subset of uses. Something that's designed to write. Editing as a secondary. Something that will feel different when you sit down to write on it. It's not research or email time. It's writing time. Change the pace. Focus.

As a second screen running your normal software… I'm iffy. As a purpose built device that is significantly different than our laptop, but possibly superior at certain tasks, I'd like to see one of these.

I've been daydreaming of a typewriter that appends to a file on a USB stick so when you're done writing you can take it to a computer to edit.

There's also the Hemingwrite https://hemingwrite.com/ which is like an eInk typewriter. I prefer having immediate physical output which is why I'd rather have a mechanical typewriter that also saves to digital. But it might be what you're looking for.

Check out Alphasmarts. They're ~$40 on ebay. I have three models: Dana, Neo, and 3000. They have:

- sunlight readable display

- no internet temptation

- full keyboard designed by former Mac engineers, so it looks and feels good

- no moving parts (journalists take them into third-world countries)

- long battery life. (Dana: 24 hours, Neo and 3000: 700)

- They're recognized as USB keyboards, so you can output to computer easily.

These are along the lines of what I've been dreaming, but I'm afraid the screen is far too small. I'm not plagued by LCDs either. My MacBook Pro screen is perfect. However, I want a digital experience completely without distractions, like the one I have with my Kindle (but for writing).

I have an idea that I call TypewriterOS. An USB bootable OS (probably based on Linux) that goes directly into a full screen text editor, which is in fact its only feature or software. No WiFi, no multitasking, no ability to save the plain text UTF-8 files to anywhere else but the USB that I booted from.

When I'm ready writing I reboot in to OS X and I can upload the result to wherever I need to.

Are you looking for this: http://www.informatimago.com/linux/emacs-on-user-mode-linux....? Not exactly what you are looking for, but a starting point, maybe.

The feature that's important for me is having immediate physical output. I don't like reading what I just wrote off a small LCD display. And I like having the paper result right away, but it would be nice to have a digital copy if I wanted to edit the document further. But thanks for the lead!

A mechanical typewriter and some white-out correction fluid?

You're missing the digital part. And I don't mean editing typos, I mean real editing. And things like being able to turn it into a blog post, for example.

Beautiful device. Too bad the OS is closed with live-sync to the cloud. Need a version with an SD card and wireless that can be securely disabled.

Yeah, they've made some design decisions I don't agree with but it is pretty nice all the same. I think you can turn off the wireless with a switch but haven't looked into it as I'm more into paper-output typewriters than reading a small display.

Does this work for you: http://www.usbtypewriter.com/pages/faq

It requires a desktop, Raspherry Pi or Android phone/tablet that supports USB OTG, http://www.corsair.com/en-us/landing/otg-compatibility-list

Maybe you could use a USB powered hub + hardware keylogger to record the keystrokes from the typewriter?

It's close, and it's the first thing I found that made me think it would be possible someday. My first attempt would probably be to take one of those kits and a RbPi and figure out how to have it constantly record keystrokes. Or use a keylogger.

The use case for me is being able to carry a typewriter around and write on it without thinking about plugging it in to something, then taking a USB key off it later. Whereas that kit is more oriented to using with another computer.

It's also a project that I've accepted I'll tackle some year in the future as my list of fun projects is long and limited by a full time job and a side business. Thank you for the links!

seriously? You look at that thing and think it's beautiful? I haven't seen anything look that ugly since the first kindle. It in no way, shape, or form resembles any typewriter hemingway used.

It looks like a the kind of thing you'd find in a baby store. Does it honk a horn when you hit the big red button?

Well ... beautiful in function and usability for a certain audience. To that audience, there are few to no choices, so this is beautiful in comparison. It's all relative :)

I want data to go the other direction: a physical typewriter that can impact letters onto a page from a digital text file. Seen anything like this in your searches? I'd bought one on eBay that could type from floppy disk but it arrived broken.

(What I really want is a USB-driven daisywheel printer.)

Hmm, hadn't thought of that use case so I haven't really looked for it. I feel like you could hack that together relatively easily if you're a hardware/electronics type, since that's basically what electric typewriters are.

I just bought an old Sears electric off Kijiji and it buffers keystrokes as you type - if you keep typing when it hits end of line, it will type them for you on the next line. Also has a "demo" function where you hit a special key combo and it will type out a feature list from memory. Reminds me of a player piano.

It uses a daisywheel, I can't believe how fast that thing rotates. If you could control the input to the daisywheel you'd be in business. No idea how hard it would be to reverse engineer it, not my area of expertise, but it seems doable.

I did see somebody at a maker faire a few years back who made a typewriter that wrote out tweets, you could tweet at the machine and it would print it out. Pretty cool, but I think it was a long labor of love and not necessarily easily replicated. You should be able to find something about it with a few searches, I think they were out of Kitchener-Waterloo?

Here's a hack for turning a Selectric into a printer! Have not investigated beyond glancing the page. http://hackaday.com/2012/06/13/turning-an-ibm-selectric-into...

Good links, thanks for the product leads. Are there any more ergonomic versions of these?

I think it's a great idea for secondary information... however, I just don't retain what I read as well on an electronic display (e-ink or lcd) as I do a real, physical book. I have a photographic memory, and it's probably the physical size of a book, and the position of the page in the larger whole just ads a little more context that makes it easier to remember. I don't typically remember the text, so much as an image of the words on a page, and roughly where in the book something was.

As much as I value being able to access things electronically, I tend to spend 2-3 hours a day reading on sites like this, or blogs... just the same, I find a lot of value in a physical book when getting into something new, and hope they don't go away altogether for technology books.

Typography also makes a big difference, hence PDFs that retain print layout can provide more visual context than reflowed text in epub/mobi.

I was thinking this would be fantastic for reading textbooks or code documentation. My eyes get fatigued after reading for any length on a tablet or lcd, but a traditional ebook reader is far too slow and small for scanning through textbooks.

There is a hack to turn a Kindle DX into a monitor:


I read textbooks on my Kobo Aura HD all the time. I upgraded from a Kobo Glo exactly for that purpose.

I would like it even bigger so that research papers in PDF could all be full page without panning. Textbooks in epub are good. Allowed me to finally leave all paper books behind.

Curious, is it actually " just like flipping paper pages" as the website claims? Might have to pick one up...

My kindle has slowed to a crawl and freezes often after the latest on-device shopping bloatware update that Amazon pushed out.

I completely agree, and that's why you're not getting my old Gen one Kindle DX from my hands any time soon. Dedicated devices that do just one thing to me seem like a great area for somebody to pursue.

I do not want or need everything I own to be an all-purpose, voice-controlled, spend 40 hours on the internet device. I might just want to read, or write, or listen to music. So give me something that does that and stop trying to create another content delivery system or way to push ads in my face.

This is a very simple request. I can't imagine that it's somehow strange or weird. The problem here is that marketplace momentum is going the other way.

> The problem here is that marketplace momentum is going the other way.

Maybe that momentum is an optical illusion, http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/dec/06/ipod-class...

"One of this year’s hottest Christmas presents is no longer available in the shops. Two months after Apple announced the demise of its iPod Classic MP3 player, the model is selling secondhand for up to four times its original price as aficionados clamour to get their hands on one."

The super-expensive Sony single-purpose eink PDF reader/annotator is selling to many outside the original target market of legal professionals, much to Sony's surprise. For a while, there was a 50% markup on the device by reimporters.

Hopefully Project Ara succeeds, allowing users to choose different points on the spectrum between single and multi purpose hardware.

Could be combined with distraction-free writing and note-taking software (Scrivener, etc.)

Edit: scrivener for linux has a free beta, http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2014/08/29/scrivener-on-li...

I noticed that reading on a tablet with reverse colors (black background) has some of the same effect as e-ink. Since I started doing this I feel it is much easier to concentrate on the book. It is probably the fact that you're less exposed to light, even though you never get a completely black screen on a tablet.

Yes, triple-click the home button on iOS.

An OLED screen would be a truer black, since the pixels are turned on/off individually, with no backlight. The new Dell "world's thinnest" 8" tablet with 350 PPI OLED for $399 looks promising, http://www.androidcentral.com/dell-venue-8-7840-qhd-display-...

A few years ago I used to pine for an E-Ink (or later, a Mirasol) display so that I could have sunlight-visible portable computing, but sadly the iPad basically wiped that market away.

While the standalone monitor is neat, I think the biggest use-case would still be for a portable/outdoor terminal. That being said, with MEMS-IGZO devices finally coming from Sharp/Qualcomm (Pixtronix) this year (they've been showing it off since 2013 [1], but have announced a 1H 2015 release in JP [2]) that boasts some impressive specs [3]: 220ppi, 120% NTSC color gamut, 8000:1 contrast ratio, 50% power consumption of an LCD. It is also sunlight readable and has switchable low power/low refresh grayscale and color modes.

It's not bistable, but is looking like a really good e-reader/tablet option. Personally, I'm still looking forward to the revamped SMI Mirasol [4] but that's probably years out... (basically, the perennial story of cool display tech)

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGVKRTosykg

[2] http://www.sharp.co.jp/corporate/news/141006-a.html

[3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBkIRil7f_A

[4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMDaJB2y4vc

I have a Kyobo tablet with a Mirasol display, and while it is vastly underpowered and less than 6 inch display it's still pretty good for watching video on YouTube etc. in full sunlight. The only real drawback of the display is that whites can look silvery depending on how it, you, and the sun are angled.

I'd really love to see a thin e-ink screen that you could place in front of a regular laptop screen. That way you wouldn't even have to switch devices you could just grab your regular laptop and go work outside in the sun for a few hours.

So kind of the way ink on paper adds black to make CMYK, the screen would add black to make RGBK? That would be awesome! I wonder how hard it would be to line up two independent displays? They'd need to be pixel perfect.

While that Sharp tablet looks very interesting, I'd be wary of the fact that they also produce the AQUOS series. I'm currently using a Crystal and it is far and away the single worst touchscreen experience I've had (yes, the G1 did indeed boast more reliable touch performance).

I had it replaced once thanks to the fact that the hardware was known to be defective (well, known to Sharp and Softbank, at least; they didn't bother telling people) but both new and old suffer positively abysmal touch recognition and performance.

Sample size of one, of course, but buyer beware. I'd wait for feedback from the trenches before even considering a Sharp product in this category.

Hmm, I played around with one of those at Yodabashi the other day and it seemed fine. Did a quick search for some reviews [1] and none of them mention anything about the touchscreen being bad - seems like a standard 5-finger capacitive multitouch. I wonder if you just've just had bad luck. I searched for "bad" and "terrible" touchscreen and didn't find any results. If it was something widespread, it'd be all over the Android forums.

[1] https://www.google.com/#q=sharp+aquos+crystal+review

Impressive refresh rate!

I'd love to try using an IDE such as Eclipse on such a screen. I suppose IDEs can have an e-ink mode where instead of colors, they use multiple fonts, italics, bold fonts, and other decorators to highlight syntax.

> Impressive refresh rate!

Yeah, and apparently no need to go to the black state required on current e-ink screens?

JamesMcMinn, your posts are being marked as dead. Not clear why, try getting in touch with the mods if you read this.

HN hell banning real name accounts now?

Unbelievable. This site forces people to communicate like they're being watched by their professor, and it still passive aggressively bans people who merely dissent once and a while.

Just wait until an alternative site emerges. One that doesn't have a concept of crimethink for the sake of "preserving the community".

Apart from the point in the first video when they click on a link and you can still see the smudge of the text column on the newly cleared screen. A close look at the text column while scrolling makes it look dirty compared to the rest of the screen as well.

E-ink theme would do, most IDE's give you extensive code formatting / theming options; replace the standard colours with bolds and underlines and such and you're good to go.

They do have colored e-ink displays on the horizon too, but yeah that would be nice until those become mainstream.

> Impressive refresh rate!

YES, but sadly you can see afterimages, or image burn on the screen, I hope they have some self erase/calibration procedure buildin.

Use Emacs, Acme, vi

All great monochrome editors.

Plenty of exceptional programmers use mono. One wonders if it is a cause or an effect.

Huh? There's nothing inherently monochrome about emacs or vi/vim. Both support colour syntax highlighting, and I'd be surprised if the vast majority of programmers using those editors weren't using it. Certainly everyone in my workplace who uses vim (including me) does. (Don't know about Acme).

> There's nothing inherently monochrome about ... vi/vim

But it is nonetheless "a great monochrome editor"

A monitor like this would be the end-all-be-all for my scientific workflow woes. The paper du jour on the e-ink and the journal and ipython on what I call "the lightbulb" (read: TFT).

I have already been fantasising about and doing a spot of research into building one on my own by using an Arduino (I wouldn't need as high a refresh rate as this little marvel) and one of PervasiveDisplays'[0].

I gave up convinced there was no sane way to actually connect this contraption to my laptop, and the USB solutions mentioned below do not instill hope.

[0] http://www.pervasivedisplays.com/

They seem to be doing a bit of open-source advocacy, too: http://repaper.org

You sound like you might benefit from Flux: https://justgetflux.com/

Flux minimizes blue light but not total light hitting your eyes. Even with it, backlit displays tire the eyes and inspire wakefulness far more than front-lit surfaces.

This would be a great addition to small dev boards like the raspberry pi, beagle bone, or galileo since it mentions it doesn't even need to run off of its own power source. It scrolled nicely and seemed to refresh the screen well in the videos. This would also come in handy for console monitors.

Agreed, but the Raspberry Pi does not conform to the USB specification because it can not deliver more than 100mA-150mA over its bus. I wonder how much this screen will draw.

It would, but I don't see people dropping $1k on a screen for a $35 computer.

For a cheaper alternative, try kindlevncviewer.


Nice, a bit pricier than I would like but it certainly has appeal. I use tablets as off monitor reading stands for their high dpi screens. Personally I think a 300 ppi version of this screen would be just killer, even if it didn't do all the fancy scrolling and you just threw up pages on it which could stay there with no additional power applied.

I was first intrigued, but when I saw the price I couldn't really see it being all that useful. It is possible to buy a 4K display with a similar 150dpi resolution for less.

So the only advantage I can see here is lower power consumption?

And readability. And only using power when making updates. Using a max of 2.5W instead of 100W is a big deal. You can now power a monitor from your laptop or phone.

Also, think about how things tend to work in the electronics industry. DVD players were $1000 in the 90s.

They dropped in price because they were being built and sold in huge volume; I don't really see that happening with this product. E-ink readers (and by extension screens) were very promising five years ago, but then the iPad and Android tablets came along and pretty much wiped that whole market out overnight, disregarding readability and power consumption because apparently that's not as strong a sales argument as people thought it would be.

I'd still like a screen like this though. I gathered I can convert my old Kindle to an external screen with some custom firmware, I might do that.

Not convinced Kindle sales have been wiped out.

My conjecture: Kindle sales is part of a ecosystem sale, rather than standalone sale. There is definitely a segment for E-Ink display, but as a standalone desktop seller it might be hard.

If they added a stand-alone text editor to Kindle, I would use it instead of a laptop when I'm on the go. It already has a web browser and 3G.

The keyboard on the old model I have is good enough for typing down thoughts, there's just nowhere to write unless you add comments to a book.

Also no back light; that alone makes reading much easier.

This is really the killer feature as I see it. Instead of external light making screen content harder to see, it actually makes it more visible. I think there are plenty of uses for this technology.

Current displays are a huge power hog because they have to compete with/outshine ambient light. With this technology, we use ambient light to make the display content visible, instead of trying to outshine it by cranking up the backlight.

I wish E-Ink would get more attention because of this. Forget power consumption as the killer feature...it would look more natural and you wouldn't be shining a bright light in your face all the time.

I'm pretty sure a generation from now kids will not be able to comprehend that we once used additive light displays. It's really a poor reflection on the way markets work that the "good enough" of backlit displays has stifled the correct way to do it for so long.

power consumption is enough.

and the portability that goes with it.

After a long day at work, I get home with my eyes "burned". I sit on the couch and the ceiling lamp hurts my eyes. I turn it off and can only stand the dim light. I think this monitor is perfect for people like me. (Recently started using f.lux, it's helping though)

You should go see an optometrist. This was me as well until about a month ago; turns out I am slightly farsighted and my eyes were straining to focus on my computer monitor all day. Now I wear an appropriate pair of computer/reading glasses and my eyes don't hurt anymore.

Probably won't help. We can be scientific about this: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22762257

Results suggested that reading on the two display types is very similar in terms of both subjective and objective measures.

It is not the technology itself, but rather the image quality that seems crucial for reading. Compared to the visual display units used in the previous few decades, these more recent electronic displays allow for good and comfortable reading, even for extended periods of time.

Here's link to abstract and full pdf for free: http://www.jemr.org/online/5/3/5

Interesting study but by no means conclusive and has a few flas as they only measured 6 female participants reading 300 words at a time on each device.(10 inch ipad, two sony e-ink devices of 6 inch variety)

Number and sex of participants might not be that crucial here but 300 words at a time seems very low amount.

Anecdotally, I can read just fine and quickly on a most glossiest of LCDs for a few minutes.

If I have to read for an hour or longer give me e-ink screen any time.

Please do not use 4 spaces to indicate quoted text. Or, if you do, please make sure you add line-breaks.

EDIT: using four spaces to indicate quoted text means mobile users have to horizontally scroll the line of text in order to read it.


This doesn't mention anything about the light promoting wakefulness, but rather simply assesses levels of comprehension: "These dependent measures included subjective (visual) fatigue, a letter search task, reading speed, oculomotor behaviour and the pupillary light reflex."

Staring at a light producing screen all day then not staring at one could still be a good move.

Blue light affects circadian rhythm, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2831986/

Is there any research which compares eye strain on reading from paper vs e-ink/LCD?

1- Go see an expert.

2-Buy a good quality screen.

3- Adjust the brightness of it so it is always the same of the surroundings, so your eyes do not suffer from constantly adjusting.

4- For every 50 minutes of work, relax 10 minutes. That means closing your eyes if necessary.

5- Exercise regularly. People ignore how important is blood circulation for your eyes.

One bit of advice I can give is to not use IPS displays. They are terrible on the eyes compared to VA panels.

Do you know why? IPS is usually presented as having the highest image quality.

I don't know why. Yes IPS does have the best image quality but it is awful for eye strain.

I wanted a display like this for years. In fact, I even did a lot of research to build my own. The biggest hurdle was getting a manufacturer to sell me a big-enough panel at reasonable cost. Absolutely nobody wanted to do anything less than 1k units (understandable, I guess), and I wanted only a few units.

I hope they will make larger versions too. The refresh rate on this display is pretty impressive, but I would be happy even with much slower refresh rate. My needs are humble, I use Unix and Plan 9, and most of the time I write programs in acme. I don't need scrolling, and I certainly don't need color.

I love how easy it is to read (for me) text on an e-ink display and how little fatigue I get. Retina displays significantly improved the experience on regular displays, but it's still significantly behind in the eye-strain department.

> I wanted a display like this for years. In fact, I even did a lot of research to build my own. The biggest hurdle was getting a manufacturer to sell me a big-enough panel at reasonable cost. Absolutely nobody wanted to do anything less than 1k units (understandable, I guess), and I wanted only a few units.

This guy claiming access to 13.3" panels, and he quoted me $2800 for a single 13.3" dev kit along SDK when I PMed him several months back.


Sony has a 13" 150ppi e-ink display for $1000 direct.

Initially I thought this would work great for development but then I thought of all the different colors in my IDE. Regardless I think this is an interesting idea to reduce eyestrain when looking at code, even if imperfect.

It could work if IDEs ever get richer typography.

I experimented with a monochromatic color scheme for my F# projects. Basically, I wanted the code to look like a page from a beautifully typeset math book. It got pretty close, but for want of italics, which VS does not support.


I'm playing around with rich IDE typography right now (but with color), it especially pops out at higher DPIs.


Thanks… I actually got the idea to start using proportional typefaces from a comment that you made.

Another thing that I tried was to extract each font variant into a separate file, and then to force VS to use those explicitly for different code element types, but that didn't work.

Cool. You might want to try a san serif font; serif fonts aren't really in fashion right now :)

It's funny, but for me languages have typographic affinities. Of the ones that I regularly use:, F# feels like it should be Garamond, C# and JavaScript feel fine in pretty much any monospace sans serif typeface, and VB is most congruent with "fun" typefaces like comic sans (I don't mean that as a dig).

Hey, you're actually the author of these articles! I remember seeing them before.

Got an RSS feed to make it easy to keep up with your articles?

Can you share a screenshot/mockup of how that was supposed to look?

Sure. This is pretty close to what I had: https://github.com/noblethrasher/typography/blob/master/fs-t... (the typeface is Adobe Garamond Pro).

But, it would be nice if VS supported italics, various font weights, and small caps.

Once you're doing typesetting like that, I think it would be even better if you start replacing keywords with special symbols and reformatting the lines to some canonical representation. That would make it way easier to read.

Wow, that looks way better than I thought it would. I'm saddened to hear that after all the effort into the new VS text system it isn't capable of doing all you wanted.

The CLRS Algorithms textbook typesets its pseudocode with keywords in bold, variables in italics, function names in small caps, and the rest in plain. You could go even further with a bit of grayscale shading or a complementary pair of serif and sans serif typefaces, but like any syntax highlighting scheme it would be very language-specific.

Although this would be perfect for documentation

This is what I have literally been waiting for ever since I got my Kindle. I really want a 13/15 inch laptop with an e-ink screen. It's just so much better to look at, especially before bed.

You should try f.lux [0]. When you're getting towards your bedtime, it turns your blue light off or down, giving a much softer color on your monitor.

[0] https://justgetflux.com/

I would get one of them. Much of what I do on a second screen is just reading manuals or patents.

Is there an e-ink reader with a 8.5"x11"/A4 screen that'll display PDFs? All I want is to be able to bring all my tech ebooks with me to work and be able to look things up/brush up on things on the commute/flight etc.

If you can find an Entourage Edge 10" on ebay or somewhere, you would probably be set. I had the pocket edge version. These were very solid android dual-screen tablets - an e-ink and lcd display. The e-ink was also a digitizer, so you could use a stylus to take notes.

Sadly, being a hardware company is tough and the product line became unprofitable. The android version ended at 2.3, but it was sufficient to put on several readers. If your books were in a standard format, the built in reader worked fine. There was also community effort to either mirror the screens or force other reader apps onto the e-ink panel.



How is the PDF reading experience?

It's actually quite good if you "root" the device and install koreader[1](the original developer is the same guy who wrote the vnc viewer for kindle, that was mentioned in this thread), or its librerator fork[2]. In contrast to Amazon's practically unusable PDF reader, these open source projects support custom zoom levels, 2-column mode for academic articles etc. Another option is to use k2pdfopt[3].

[1] https://github.com/koreader/koreader

[2] https://github.com/kai771/kindlepdfviewer/tree/librerator

[3] http://www.willus.com/k2pdfopt/

Horrible. The screen refresh was fast enough, but the actual PDF rendering was grossly underpowered. I was reading technical articles with embedded plots that would take quite literally minutes to render.

I sold my DX (the "current" gen) and bought a 3rd Gen iPad the minute the retina display was released. I still pine for the eInk display though. I've half considered a hobby hack project that involves a Kindle DX brain transplant.

Didn't even know those exist. Talk about failed marketing.

No. That product is years old and has been removed entirely from the market twice now. Amazon deliberately does not market them and only makes them available intermittently.

The PocketBook 912 (and I think a few other models) had a 9.7" (diagonal) display size, with the usual 16 shades of grey, and a reasonable, if not over-powered, CPU.

I have one, and use it for good purpose with a variety of text books. The ability (or constraint?) to not be distracted by colourful networky things is grossly underestimated, but even more so is the ability to stare at the thing for several hours, in a variety of lighting conditions, and not feel any type of eye-strain.

Horribly expensive at the time it came out, and probably rare as rocking horse poo now. Looking at the other responses to your question there is slim pickings for contemporary devices with these specs, sadly.

You probably don't need 8.5x11". There's no reason to display the (usually blank) margins in an e-reader. 6.5x9" should suffice.

I have an old Kindle 3G that I use for reading papers. Its screen is 4.8" in height, which is just about the default column width of LaTeX (= 8.5" - 3.75" margin = 4.75"), meaning I could comfortably read papers in landscape with only scrolling up & down.

PDF reading was okay. It was rather slow, and you couldn't highlight/markup anything, but the rendering was gorgeous.

I've dreamed for this screen for a long time. I would love to have side-by-side an E-ink screen for coding and reading papers and a normal screen for any normal things that require color (e.g., videos) A related story: I got terrible headache more than a year ago. My doctors could not figure it out. Migraine, stress, etc. you name them! Nothing helps. Eventually I ended up buying a pair of computer glasses and I've been wearing any time I look at LCD-like screen: TV, computer, tablet. It's miracle, I don't experience that type of headache ever since.

Thanks to MobileRead users NiLuJe and hawhill, the Kindle can be used as a second display:


Here's one in action:


The refresh rate isn't really fast enough to use a mouse/trackpad comfortably, but for keyboard-based work like vim, it is swell.

I love the idea of an e-ink monitor. This would be a great performance display for a headless server. Weather and news display connected to an arduino? Low power systems that expend just enough power to display some information then shutdown while allowing the display to retain its static display?

It might not be the most versatile of displays but use of this should really be in the "right tool for the right job" mindset.

If you are looking for something for those purposes, some e-readers used rootable android as their OS, which would make displaying custom stuff relatively easy.

do you know of which ones exactly? I was looking into using an old kindle for such a think, but couldn't figure out a straightforward way of pushing data onto it

Kindle is one of the harder ones. The Barnes and Noble Nook is android-based and easily rootable: http://forum.xda-developers.com/nook-touch

NB it runs android 2.1 though. Is there even a VNC viewer that runs on an android version that old?

For devices which do have a VNC viewer, is it possible to periodically (e.g. every 15 mins) wake up the device, refresh the screen via VNC, then power off or switch into very low power state running only the timer?

Sony PRS-Tx (I think all 3). Seems like they all used Gingerbread, but for simple apps (e.g. just pulling a web page or text) that should be ok.

If I don't care about syntax highlighting, it's definitely going to help ease eye strain after programming for long hours.

you can have syntax highlighting in grayscale :|

It says it connects as a display over USB... I wonder if this requires specialized drivers or if there's a standard?

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/DisplayLink, http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/DisplayPort#USB_Type-C, http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_High-Definition_Link. The latter, I think, uses USB connectors but not USB signalling. I also don't know how well OSes support either of these.

It seems video interfacing remains an area of innovation, which means a) getting a new type of connector on every computer you buy, and b) huge confusion in the market for mere mortals (no, I don't know what a HDMI connector looks like, and I don't know either whether it is better or worse than displayport, thunderbolt, etc)

No standard for this use case, so it's going to need a driver of some sort or another. Also, be ready for it to be CPU hungry, as you're going to be without the benefit of any sort of graphics acceleration.

I would love something like to work with Chromecast and display tabs from my browser. Being able to hang a tab up around the house or office would be endlessly useful. The problem with most devices that try to solve this problem is that they try and create a new app ecosystem when it is completely uneccessary to do so.

I think the best usage scenario for an e-ink screen is the portable devices scenario, but I don't think 13.3" is made to be portable. And this monitor is not touchable, so we can image a man holding the monitor in his left hand to read, and a smart phone in the other hand to turn page(if the monitor can be compatible with smart phone). And another thing I have to say is it's to expensive for me. I can buy two e-ink readers with this price, one for me and one for my wife so she won't complain to me how boring to look after a baby all day. But the refresh rate really surprised me, and I hope the company can do more market research for the next production.

I'd get one of these or a device like it that can be oriented to an A4-ish size. I'd just run a full-screen emacs session in it (and subsequently would be forced to figure out how to highlight code with such a limited palette). I really enjoy E-Ink displays for reading for any amount of time over LCDs; even high-density panels (though they make it easier to read for longer periods than their predecessors, E-Ink still wins due to limited color range and not being back-lit by a thousand tiny suns).

Can't wait to see more of these on the market!

This will keep its picture while the power is off, right? So it could be a black and white 'canvas' that you hang in your lounge and change the picture every now and then.

If it was to be a static(ish) picture could you not combine many smaller displays and get the same effect?

In the past,the niche in the population who suffers headache/nausea/etc from lcd refresh rate would have loved this.

But some lcd makers solved this, like viewsonic in[1], so this niche is gone.


Unless you have a rubbish backlight, I don't see how an LCD panel can flicker? (actually I can see why, turn of dynamic contrast, and crank the brightness up, turn off energy saving. That'll stop the PWN on the backlight)

The refresh rate of a panel is not what it can display, the only real practical effect is on screen tearing. (I worked for a VFX company, trust me I've tested it.)

Even really fast displays take 5 ms to get from grey-white-grey.

I'm talking about the PWM, and if you need to use PWM at 100% , for some it would be much too bright.There are some options to correct it(contrast, or apps like flux), but they usually really hurt color reproduction.And sometimes even them don't lower brightness enough.

If you stick with HP zr range of monitors, you'll not have that problem

Are there any tablets that offer E-ink display? I own a kindle and browsing the internet is a big pain on the stock browser of the device

The Onyx Boox T68 6.8 inch e-reader runs Android 4.0: http://www.the-ebook-reader.com/onyx-boox-t68.html

Have you tried using this as an ssh terminal? Saw they have a bigger version too that also supports Bluetooth keyboards.


Something like this could be a very, very cool development setup for me. I'm interested if anyone has tried it and whether there are any downsides.

Unfortunately this technology is not quite there yet. Which makes me sad. A few years ago I was very hopeful that Mirasol tech would be a game changer. Until we get 13" flexible passive displays at low prices the reign and deluge of real paper will continue.

The refresh rate on that monitor looks absolutely fantastic. I am wondering why the development of e-ink displays isn't pushing to get rid of it and implement it some ultrabooks / chromebooks. Would make for some very long lasting battery time.

This monitor would make it a lot easier for me to fall asleep at night! The bluish light from normal monitors supresses melatonin, and thus disturbs sleep - making it hard to fall asleep at night, and hard to get up in the mornings...

The refresh delay makes scrolling reminiscent of Matrix's white rabbit scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Smwrw4sNCxE

Now all we need to do is to add some scanline filter to the browser and illuminate it with green LEDs

It is so expensive. Hope amazon will release a cheaper usb kindle monitor.

I've been looking for an e-ink like monitor for years. The bright light from todays screens has a strong hypnotising effect, that ruins your concentration and makes you more awake at night.

You can tone down the brightness/contrast for those, and/or install an application like F.lux that changes the colour temperature based on the time of day / season. I've been using that one for years now and I haven't had any problems with eye strain or sleeplessness. Note that I don't remember if I actually had problems with that before though.

I have kindle ereader and pixel qi screen on a netbook, I cannot wait for something like this, it would be very useful for me,many people have eye problems with LCD screens.

(semi-offtopic) Isn't there some kind of glass slab that turns any light emitting display into a color e-ink like display? Isn't there a theoretical model at least?

There isn't. You can try sensing the incoming light with some kind of transparent light sensor matrix, like MIT's BiDi screen [1], which enables mimicking a diffuse reflector (i.e. paper) under ambient lightning, but there's no linear material that will do that.

[1] http://web.media.mit.edu/~mhirsch/bidi/bidiscreen.pdf -- this prototype goes even further and can mimic the illumination of an arbitrary 3D object, actually. Quite amazing.

Maybe there is a market among Harry Potter fans? Seems good enough to build a gallery of animated paintings. That would be an awesome demo for Dasung Tech.

I still want something like a 11" or 24" e-ink panel in a photo frame for the wall. Show a nice dashboard at times or rotate artwork on it.

We offer a bunch of E-Ink digital singnage solutions which can be used as a photo frame for the wall in sizes between 9.7" and 32". Check out http://www.visionect.com/technology/

You say you offer, do you mean you have products that we can buy today? If so, what is the price for your 32" product and can we see detailed specs and a youtube video of it in action?

Hmm... I'm guessing the lack of response means that by "offer", you meant you "can" develop such a product in future.

hm. have it be powered by your mobile phone and maybe add touch input? Battery, CPU + touch input with streaming from any mobile device to it would also be nice, not sure if this could be made responsive enough, though.

It looks like it accurately reproduces the visual experience of bad newspaper printing on cheap paper.

If they can produce a color one that is 65" or larger, then I'll buy it.

Not sure why I'm being downvoted. I want to buy one, I'm completely serious.

It doesn't have to be fantastically high res, it doesn't even need to do color well or have a good bit-depth, having 2 or 3 bits of RGB is good enough.

23 bits and 61.7" to go then.

This screen has at least 3-4 bits and color in 15 is good enough for a lot of uses.

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