The makers of the InkPlate 6 are back with a new open hardware, WiFi-enabled E Ink display. The new InkPlate 10 is a bigger, higher resolution, and faster display with a few new features.
But e-radionica’s new InkPlate is still a low-power, programmable electronic paper display that can be used to build your own eReader, digital signage, digital artwork frame, typewriter, or info panel. It also still uses a recycled display, this time grabbed from Amazon Kindles “and other such eReaders.”
The InkPlate 6 is up for pre-order for $129 from crowdfunding site Crowd Supply and it’s currently scheduled to begin shipping at the end of April, although that date may be subject to change.
The original InkPlate 6 was scheduled to ship in February, 2020 but it took until June for the first units to begin shipping due to delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the displays did ship eventually, which is hopefully good news for the viability of the new version.
Like last year’s model, the new InkPlate 10 features an ESP32 board with support for 802.11b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 and the hardware is programmable using Arduino or MicroPython.
The new model features a 9.7 inch, 1200 x 825 pixel E Ink display with 3-bit grayscale, meaning it can display six different shades of grey in addition to black and white.
In addition to the larger screen size, the InkPlate has a few other improvements when compared to the 6 inch version, including:
- Real Time Clock
- USB Type-C port (upgrade from micro USB)
- 28 GPIO pins (up from 12)
- Push button power switch (rather than a slide)
- 38-percent faster per-pixel refresh rate
That last one is a bit tricky though, since the InkPlate 10 has a total of 990,000 pixels, which is more than twice as many as the 480,000 on the InkPlate 6. So while the per-pixel refresh rate has dropped from 2.6 microseconds to 1.62, the time to fully refresh the entire display has gone up from 1.26 seconds to 1.61 seconds.
Thanks to partial refresh support though, it’s possible to partially update the screen in 0.62 seconds.
The InkPlate 10 does not have a touchscreen, but it does have three capacitive touch pads that can be used with a 3D printed enclosure (available for an extra $40). Or you may be able to design your own enclosure – after all, the InkPlate series of products are designed as hackable, open hardware platforms.
You can find more details about the InkPlate 10 at Crowd Supply.