Tag Archives: E ink

Here is a big 13.3-inch ereader that can also be used as a PC monitor

2017-12-09

A new application has emerged for ereader devices that originally were intended for reading ebooks alone: they are also used as secondary monitors for PCs. So far, tech-savvy PC users have had to hack an ereader to plug it into a computer as a monitor, but now, the Onyx Boox Max 2 provides the feature out-of-the box.
Onyx Boox Max 2 ereader and PC monitor
The Onyx Boox Max 2 is a big ereader with a 13.3-inch E ink screen. A device like this is optimal for reading PDF documents and PDF books (the product can open all common ebook file formats). The Max 2 has been developed with this in mind – it lets users write and draw on the screen with a stylus. The device can also be used like an ordinary touch screen device by touching the screen with fingers.

One more key feature that at the moment separates the Max 2 from competitive products, like the Sony DPT-RP1, is the HDMI port that lets you plug the Max2 into a PC and use it as a secondary PC monitor.

People who stare a monitor their entire work day or can’t setup their PC displays for ideal lighting conditions, can greatly benefit from a E ink screen that doesn’t flicker and provides high contrast. It is, of course, a grayscale display without even the possibility to watch videos – perhaps an important feature for easily distracted workers.
Onyx Boox Max 2 e-reader with stylus for handwriting and drawing on screen
The Onyx Boox Max 2 is available in a few online stores for 800 Euros. The official Onyx stores are listed on the company’s web page.

The product is shipping to customers, some of whom have had time to record hands-on videos of the Max 2. Here is one:

As the video and the reviewer’s reply to questions on YouTube indicate, there are some teething problems in the product that may cause problems for some users, but may not affect others.

Onyx Boox Max2 key features and specifications

13.3-inch E Ink Carta display. Made of plastic, it is light and flexible.
Resolution 2200×1650 pixels, 16 levels of grey.
High contrast 15:1.
Electromagnetic (WACOM) and capacitive dual touch screen. With the included stylus it is possible to write and draw on the screen. The capacitive layer allows touching and controlling the screen with fingers, just like using it as a tablet.
Four buttons: Menu, Back, Next Page and Previous Page.
WIFI
Bluetooth 4.0
1.6 GHz quad-core processor.
2GB RAM + 32GB of storage space.
Android 6.0 operating system software.
HDMI port for connecting the ereader to a PC as a secondary monitor.
Speaker and microphone.
3.5mm audio port for text-to-speech, playing music or audio books.
Ebook and document formats: PDF, EPUB, TXT, MOBI, CHM, DJVU, HTML, RTF, FB2, DOC, PDB. Audio: MP3, WAV.
7.5 mm thin.
Weight 550g
4100mAH lithium-polymer battery. Up to 4 weeks of standby time.

Onyx Boox Max 2 e-reader and computer monitor

Via The Verge.

New application for E ink displays used in ereaders: art and architecture

2017-10-18

We are so used to the grayscale E ink displays in our ereaders that we rarely think about how peculiar the technology really is. The information displayed on E ink screens are not composed of light, but physical microcapsules that rotate to create patterns on the screen. The patterns, or information, on the screen remain there until an electric pulse changes the patterns. This is why E ink screens are energy efficient and easily viewable even in direct sunlight.

You probably have seen small E ink displays in stores where product prices or other information is updated in real time. Displays can be tiny price tags or large boards.
San Diego car park with E ink walls
In any case, commercial applications are not the only ones where E ink can be used. In San Diego, California, these displays are used for decorating a concrete car park building.

View the video below that shows how it looks like.

Very thin e-paper tiles have been attached to the outer walls of the car park building. These screens are wirelessly connected to a host computer that tells the screens what to do. Uebercall, the company behind concept, has designed 15 programs used to animate the tiles. The screens are powered by solar cells.

All this means that the animations can be seen during the daytime only when the screens have power and there is daylight for viewing the screens.

I wonder if it would be possible to create an effect that looks like the building was moving as you drive by? It would, of course, freak out the drivers on the highway next to the building, which wouldn’t be safe.

Via VentureBeat.

The new class of ereaders: products with 8-inch screens

2017-10-09

For many years, people who read ebooks on ereader devices have settled on products that have six-inch screens. Nothing wrong with a 6-inch display, but there are people who would like to read on a larger screen. Now, the time has come for more choice. Not only has Sony introduced a huge 13-inch ereader, but a number of 8-inch ereaders are available from renowned brands and less known manufacturers.
Cybook Ocean 8-inch ereader

Cybook Ocean.


There are, at least, four products available with an 8-inch E ink display at the moment. In fact, some of the products come with 7.8 inch screen and others with 8-inch, but we will refer to all of them as 8-inch ereaders.

Boyue Likebook Plus 172 Euros.
Cybook Ocean 189 Euros.
Icarus Illumina XL HD 199 Euros.
Kobo Aura One 229 Euros.

If you need help in deciding which device size is the right one for you (from 6 to 13 inches), read the article that also has a video where different ereader sizes are compared.

Here are the most important features for each four ereaders.

Key features and specifications of the Cybook Ocean ereader

8-inch Eink display, touch sensitive.
Display resolution 1024×768 px (160 PPI), 16 levels of grey.
Front light for reading in dark.
CPU: Cortex A8 TI OMAP3611 (800 MHz)
RAM : 128 MB
Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n)
4GB internal storage for ebooks.
MicroSD memory card slot for additional storage space.
MicroUSB 2 port.
Dedicated keys for turning the page.
25 user interface languages.
Web browser.
Ebook formats: ePub, PDF Adobe DRM, HTML, Txt, FB2, DJVU
Li-Polymer battery 2100 mAh.
Dimensions: 196 mm x 150 mm x 7 mm
Weight: 300 gr with the battery.

Kobo Aura One key specifications

kobo aura one ereader

– 7.8-inch E Ink touchscreen, 1872 x 1404 resolution, 300 dpi
– Front light for reading in places with inadequate light. ComfortLight PRO technology that reduces blue light exposure.
– 8 GB on-board memory. Storage for up to 6,000 ebooks.
– 11 fonts and over 50 font styles. Font weight and sharpness settings.
– 14 file formats supported: EPUB, EPUB3, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ, CBR.
– Access to public libraries that use Overdrive ebook library system.
– Wi Fi 802.11 b/g/n.
– Micro USB port.
– Battery life up to 1 month.
– Built-in device languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Brazilian, Portuguese, Japanese, Turkish.
– Weight 230 gr.
– Dimensions 195 x 138.5 x 6.9 mm.

Highlights of the Icarus Illumina XL HD ereader

Icarus Illumina 8 inch ereader.

7.8-inch E ink screen.
300 DPI resolution.
Touch screen .
Powered by Android software. Google Play.
Front light.
Wi-Fi.
Bluetooth.

Key features of the Boyue Likebook Plus

Boyue Likebook 7.8 inch ereader

7.8-inch display in 1448*1072 resolution. Touch screen.
Ebook formats: Html, Epub, Pdf, Mobi, Html, TXT, Djvu, Rtf, Fb2
WiFi.
Android operating system.
Bluetooth
Dimensions: 198*144*8.3 mm.
Micro USB port.
3.5 mm headphone jack.
16GB storage space.
2800mAh battery.
Weight 290gr.

Ebook news digest: respect privacy when photographing, blogging tools, news editors set free

2017-05-21

News on ebooks, photography, writing and ereaders

Woman reading an ebook on an ereader, photo by wolfg
Know Your Travel Photography Rights
Wanderness

The title of this excellent post should be something like “How to Respect Privacy Laws when Photographing Overseas”. Every aspiring street photographer and traveler with a camera should read this.

Tools I use for Writing, Publishing & Blogging
Write & Publish like a Pro

These are professional tools for a blogger who is running a blog business. Backup is priority number 1.

How to buy and read ebooks in Edge as part of the Windows 10 Creators Update
PC World

Microsoft Windows 10 features a store where you can purchase apps, games, movies and music. Ebooks haven’t been available so far, but they will become into the store soon. Windows 10 developer version already includes the new store with ebooks, so it is safe to assume that it will happen.

Gvido dual-screen e-ink music sheet gets an unbelievable price tag
Slashgear

A dedicated device for musicians: dual-screen E ink device. Only in Japan, and the price tag may suit for the famous artists only.

The Lighter Side of Finland (6th Edition)
Russell Snyder

If you want to learn something useful and be amused while doing so, The Lighter Side of Finland is for you, especially, if you are interested in the Nordic culture or have travel plans for Scandinavia.

New York Times will offer buyouts to editors in push to transform editing
Poynter

The New York Times is one of the few successful news organizations that has managed to convince readers to pay for digital news. Nonetheless, the old business structures will have to go as the newspaper is preparing a new way to edit news articles. When plenty of experienced editors are let go, we expect some of them are going to establish new startups and independent publishing companies.

Travel Photography Tips and Techniques
Picture Correct

Tip number 10 is very important for everyone who is shooting to document a destination, for instance, in order to write an article or a travel guidebook. Also, when documenting, you must take photos of subjects you may not like or don’t see as very photogenic. You may need it later when you write.

Onyx is launching an E Ink notebook (and several eReaders)
Lilliputing

This is strictly in the rumors category: Onyx may launch a laptop with E ink display. It is called the Onyx Boox Typewriter. Well, let’s wait and see. An intriguing idea, though.


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Dual-screen Hisense A2 smartphone is also an ereader

2017-04-10

Common smartphone screen sizes are between 5 and 6 inches, and the most common ereader screen size is six inches. Reading a book on a bright and colorful smartphone display is pretty convenient these days. The downside is that the color screen drains the battery and it is still difficult to read in sunlight. So, why not build a smartphone with two screens: a color screen for apps and a black-and-white screen for ebooks.

Hisense A2 smartphone ereader. Photo: maistecnologia.com

Hisense A2. Photo: maistecnologia.com


The Hisense A2 is the latest product that has implemented just that. The smartphone comes with a 5.5-inch color display and a 5.2 E ink display. One side of the phone is used as an ordinary smartphone and the other side an ereader. Two devices in one product.

01net had an opportunity to get their hands on a Hisense A2 prototype. Their first impression was positive, so it seems that we finally could have a proper dual-screen smartphone for ebooks by the end of 2017. The price is expected to be around 400 euros.

Similar products have been available in some markets earlier. Yotaphone has returned to the business, introducing the Yotaphone 2. Its availability, however, is unclear at the moment. Also Onyx, which has successfully introduced a number of ereaders recently, had a dual-screen smartphone earlier, but it didn’t live long.

The Hisense A2 is already available in China, running on Android software.


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Convenient reading on a large screen: Kobo Aura One ereader comes with a 7.8 display

2016-08-22

It seems that we are not the only ones who have been wondering why the majority of ereaders are six inches in size. A compact device has its advantages, but when it is time to do some serious reading, we prefer larger screens. Kobo has introduced the Aura One ereader that maybe the answer to our hopes – and makes many ebook lovers to think twice before investing in the Kindle Oasis ereader.
kobo aura one ereader
The highlight of the Kobo Aura One ereader is its screen: it is 7.8 inches in size. That’s about the same screen size as the iPad Mini tablet, and larger than entry-level 7-inch tablets have.

The list price of the Aura One is $230 which means it priced lower than the Kindle Oasis. The Oasis, however, only has the standard six-inch E ink screen. Amazon pushes ads to Kindle ereaders that you can prevent by paying a little extra. Kobo doesn’t push ads to its ereaders.

Another highlight of the Aura One is that you can take it to a bath or swimming pool without having to worry about water, or sand on the beach. The device is waterproof.

The ereader can wirelessly connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi and it comes with a touch screen. It also has a front light that is a big help when reading in a dark nook or late at night in bed.

The product is available at Kobo’s online store for $230.

Here is a hands-on video of the Kobo Aura One:

Kobo Aura One key specifications

– 7.8-inch E Ink touchscreen, 1872 x 1404 resolution, 300 dpi
– Front light for reading in places with inadequate light. ComfortLight PRO technology that reduces blue light exposure.
– 8 GB on-board memory. Storage for up to 6,000 ebooks.
– 11 fonts and over 50 font styles. Font weight and sharpness settings.
– 14 file formats supported: EPUB, EPUB3, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ, CBR.
– Access to public libraries that use Overdrive ebook library system.
– Wi Fi 802.11 b/g/n.
– Micro USB port.
– Battery life up to 1 month.
– Built-in device languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Brazilian, Portuguese, Japanese, Turkish.
– Weight 230 gr.
– Dimensions 195 x 138.5 x 6.9 mm.
kobo aura one ereader by a pool

If you read a lot on your smartphone, you might want to consider a dual screen phone

2016-05-27

People who read plenty of ebooks often like to have a dedicated ereader device, like a Kindle, Kobo, Sony, or Tolino for reading. The reason for this is the greyscale E ink screen that doesn’t flicker and consumes very little energy. The downside is that you have to carry a smartphone or a tablet as well, because an ereader doesn’t let you do anything else but read. But what if you had a smartphone with two screens: an LCD for ordinary tasks and an E ink display for ebooks? You would get all the features of a smartphone plus an E ink screen for reading?

These kind of products exist. You may not find one at your local electronics store, but at the moment it is possible to choose from (at least) two models: the Yota Phone and the Siam 7x.
yotaphone, dual screen smartphone

YotaPhone

The YotaPhone comes with 5-inch color screen on one side and an 4.7-inch greyscale screen on the other side of the phone. YotaPhone is a pioneer of dual screen smartphones. The current model is the company’s 2nd generation product, and the 3rd generation dual screen smartphone is in the works.

In Europe, the YotaPhone is priced at 299 euros, but it is available at the manufacturer’s online store to other parts of the world as well.

4.7-inch always-on 16-level greyscale screen: 960×540 resolution, 235 ppi, full capacitive touch
5-inch color screen (AMOLED) : Full HD 1920×1080, 442ppi
Android™ 4.4 operating system
Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 801 2.2 GHz quad-core
Reading with Yota Reader (3G): up to 109.3 hours
2GB RAM
32GB eMMC
Main camera: 8 megapixels
Front camera: 2.1 megapixels
2500mAh lithium-polymer battery
3.5mm headphone connector
FM radio
GSM/EGPRS 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
WCDMA, DC HSDPA (rel. 8, cat. 24)
HSUPA (rel. 7, cat 7) bands 1 (diversity), 2, 5 and 8
LTE (rel. 9, cat 4) bands 3, 7 and 20
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
MicroUSB 2.0
Bluetooth 4.0
NFC
A-GPS + GLONASS
Nano-SIM
Dimensions 144.9 x 69.4 x 8.95 mm

siam 7x, dual screen smartphone

Siam 7x

The Siam 7x is a 5-inch smartphone on one side, and a 4.7-inch e-ink ereader on the other side. Despite it comes with two screens, the phone is extremely slim (8.9 mm / 0.35 inches). In addition dual screens, the Siam has dual SIM card slots.

The product is priced at $550, but Cnet’s reviewer didn’t find find the Siam 7x worth the money because of problems with its ereading features.

Here is a video that shows how to use the Siam 7x dual screen phone:


(video via the-ebook-reader.com)

If you read PDF ebooks, you may want to try out this Onyx ereader

2016-05-16

Practically all new ebooks are being published in EPUB and Kindle formats so that they are easily accessible on all tablets, ereaders, smartphones and computers (independent of their screen size). A number of books published years ago in print may only be available in PDF format, and the PDF file format was never designed with small screens in mind (it is simply a replica of a printed page). That’s why reading an PDF ebook or document can be frustrating on a small-screen ereader. So, a larger screen is required for PDF, and that’s what Onyx ereader is delivering.
onyx boox max ereader, landscape
The Onyx Boox Max comes with a 13.3-inch E ink screen which makes it a good choice for anyone who is reading textbooks and other non-fiction books in PDF format.

The Boox Max has a feature that is rarely included in ereaders: you can write on the screen. A stylus is attached to the side panel, and using that stylus it is possible to write on the screen.

There definitely is a large group of people who need a 13.3-inch ereader, but it is not for everyone. The device doesn’t fit into a small bag or purse, but you have to have something where you can carry it. For instance, would I take this ereader on a trip to Budapest? Probably not, I would take a 10 inch tablet and a smartphone. The current price for the Onyx Boox Max is $650, which means it has to compete against 12-inch tablets in price.

Having said that, an ereader with large screen would be nice to have in the office and at home.

Here is a video recorded by Armdevices.net where the Onyx Boox Max is demonstrated. It is a five minute video, but the 13.3 ereader is shown right in the beginning and after four minutes.

Onyx Boox Max key features and technical specifications

onyx boox max ereader
13.3 inch screen with 16 shades of grey, 1600×1200 resolution.
Flexible screen with handwriting input.
Full-screen touch with stylus, support handwriting and annotation.
Android 4.0, possibility to download additional applications.
CPU: Cortex-A9 1G Hz.
RAM: 1G LPDDR2
Storage space 16GB.
Memory card: Micro SD (up to 32Gb)
3.5mm connector for headphones.
Microphone.
Micro USB 2.0
WIFI 802.11b/g
Bluetooth 4.0
Ebook formats: PDF, TXT, HTML, EPUB, CHM, PDB, MOBIPOCKET (Non-DRM), FB2, DJVU
Displays JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP images.
Plays MP3, WAV audio files.
Dimensions 325 x 237 x 7.5mm.
Weigth around 550g.
Operating Temperature 0°C- 50°C.
Battery 4100mAh LI-ION Polymer.
Standby battery around 4 weeks.
Charging takes about 3 hours.

Amazon Kindle Oasis reassures ebook lovers that ereaders are here to stay

2016-04-16

Many people don’t remember (or don’t want to remember) how much the original Kindle ereader cost when it was introduced in 2007. It was priced at $400 (and strangely, it had a keypad). Nonetheless, it was popular because Amazon had created a perfect system for shopping and downloading ebooks to the Kindle. Since then, ereader prices have fallen, and a fine Kindle ereader costs less than $100 today. Amazon’s 2016 ereader model Kindle Oasis is priced at $290, and we have to ask why? What is the point?
amazon kindle oasis ereader with cover
Everyone who reads ebooks knows that tablets and ereaders are the best devices for reading. Many people prefer tablets, because they have color screens and let you do many other things, like email and web browsing as well. Others prefer grey-scale ereaders exactly for the opposite reasons: you can’t do anything else but read and you focus on the text because lack of colors don’t make images shine on the screen.

We have always argued that heavy readers – people who really read a lot, several books a month – are the most likely users of dedicated ereader devices. Occasional readers, and people who read a book or two in a month favor tablets (and perhaps increasingly, large screen smartphones).

Even if you are an avid reader, why would you read your ebooks on the Kindle Oasis instead of, say, Kindle Paperwhite that costs significantly less and has more or less the same features and provides the same reading experience than the Oasis? What is the key difference between the Oasis and the previous Kindle models? Is there a compelling reason to buy the Oasis instead of the Paperwhite?
amazon kindle oasis, side view
The Oasis is somewhat thinner and it has longer battery life than the previous Kindle devices. The Oasis also comes with a stylish cover that charges the ereader battery. That’s about it.

Because new hardware, software or service features don’t explain the price difference between the Oasis and the older models, it comes down to the strategy. Amazon has created a product range called Kindle. It has multiple products. Each product must be positioned as low end, high end or something in between. A product range should always have a flagship product even if it doesn’t sell well. Customers can choose the flagship product or a lower priced product, but they always get the brand name they wanted.

The Ebook Reader blog has created a nice comparison video of the Kindle Oasis and Paperwhite version 3 ereaders. Take a look:

Key features and technical specifications of the Kindle Oasis ereader

– 6-inch Paperwhite display (E Ink Carta). Touch screen, backlight, 300 ppi pixel density, 16-level grayscale.
– Wi-Fi connectivity: 802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11n standard with WEP, WPA and WPA2 security.
– Optional 3G mobile network connectivity.
– Storage space for ebooks 4 GB, and free cloud storage for all Amazon content.
– Dedicated buttons for turning pages.
– Charges in less than 3 hours from a computer via USB cable.
– Content formats: Kindle Format 8 (AZW3), Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML, DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG.
– Size: 5.6 x 4.8 x 0.13-0.33 inches / 143 x 122 x 3.4-8.5 mm.
– Cover size: 5.7 x 4.9 x 0.07-0.18 inches / 144 x 125 x 1.9-4.6 mm.
– Weight: 4.7 oz (133 g); Cover: 3.8 oz (107 g).

Traveling light, but loaded with books thanks to a small and affordable ereader

2015-01-04

Every traveler has to make decisions on what to carry with him or her on a trip. Electronic devices tend to be small, whereas books tend to take space and can be heavy. Yet, if I think about all the gadgets I’d like to pack with me on a trip – cameras, a tablet, phones, a laptop, an ereader and chargers for everyone of them – something usually has to go. Any lighter and smaller products that can help space are always welcome.
energy ereader e4 mini front
Energy Ereader E4 Mini is one of the smallest and budget-friendliest ereaders I have discovered so far.

The E4 Mini has 4.3-inch E ink screen in 600×800 resolution that can display 16 scales of gray. EPUB, PDF, TXT, HTML, RTF and MOBI ebooks can be opened in this tiny ereader. Thousands of ebooks can be stored on a microSD memory card.

That’s it, there is no wireless connectivity, touch screen or any other advanced features, because the price at the vendor’s online store is only 37 euros (about USD 42).
Energy Ereader E4 Mini
Why carry an ereader on a trip if you already have a smartphone or tablet that you can use for reading? Battery life. Ereaders, and especially the Energy E4 Mini, are simple devices that don’t consume power like tablets and smartphones do. Less functionality, less power, less cost.

The screen in the E4 Mini is about the same size as many phone screens (or even smaller), but if the ereader’s battery lasts up to a month, and you have several years worth of books on the device, the investment is worth considering.

Energy has larger and more advanced ereaders in their product range. For instance, Energy Ereader Pro comes with touch screen, wireless connectivity, and backlight. The screen size is 6 inches in 758 × 1024 resolution.
The Pro model is priced at 119 euros (about USD 136) at the vendor’s online store.
energy ereader pro front