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Tablets with E Ink displays and support for digital pens tend to be pricier than models with similar specs that have LCD screens. And that’s even more true for models with E Ink’s new color display technology.

Case in point: the BigMe InkNote Color E Ink writing tablet I reviewed last year had a retail price of  $699, as does the newer Bigme inkNote Color+. But Bigme has just introduced a new InkNote Color Lite that lets you save some money if you’re willing to make a few small sacrifices.

Like other members of the InkNote Color family, the new “Lite” model has a 10.3 inch E Ink Kaliedo color display that can show 300 pixels per inch of black and white content or 150 ppi in color.

Bigme’s InkNote Color devices feature an Android-based operating system, so you can basically use them as general purpose tablets. But the displays are their defining feature, and they’re not really made for high-motion graphics, which makes them a poor fit for watching videos, playing games, or even scrolling through web pages.

Kaleido displays can’t show as many colors as LCD or OLED screens, have slower refresh rates, and generally look more like newspapers than glossy magazines. But they’re also low-power screens that can be viewed using nothing but ambient light, which makes them good options for reading, writing, and drawing.

All of which is to say, that $699 is kind of a lot of money to spend on an eNote unless you’re sure it offers exactly the features you’re looking for.

The new Bigme InkNote Color Lite offers a cheaper (but still not exactly cheap) option: it has a list price of $519, but it’s currently on sale for $499. What do you sacrifice to get this cheaper model? It has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of built-in storage rather than the 6GB and 128GB that its pricier siblings come with.

Everything else is the same:

InkNote Color LiteInkNote Color
Display10.3 inches
2480 x 1860 pixels (300 ppi grayscale)
1240 x 930 pixels (150 ppi color)
Front light with adjustable color temperature
Touch & pen input (4096 levels of pressure sensitivity)
Processor8 x Cortex-A53 cores @ 2.3 GHz
microSD card reader (up to 1TB)
microSD card reader (up to 1TB)
Battery4,000 mAh
WirelessWiFi (dual-band)
Bluetooth 5.0
Cameras8MP rear
5MP front
Audio4-mic array
Bluetooth audio
Ports1 x USB-C
1 x microSD card reader
SecurityFingerprint sensor
SoftwareAndroid 11-based operating system
Dimensions225.6 x 191 x 6.6mm
Price$519 ($499 at launch)$699

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  1. How slow will the system be with the reduced RAM? I want to use it as an external computer monitor.