E Ink displays are often associated with eBook readers like Amazon’s Kindle and B&N’s NOOK line of products. But they’re also used for digital signage and other applications, and Chinese company Dasung has been selling E Ink monitors for a few years.

Now Dasung is preparing to launch a different type of product: an Android tablet with an E Ink display. It’s called… the Dasung “Not e-Reader.”

The company hasn’t announced pricing or availability details yet, but Dasung plans to launch a crowdfunding campaign soon and the company has posted a preview page on Indiegogo.

Update: The crowdfunding campaign is live and the Not e-Reader is expected to ship in March, 2019. The retail price is set at $499, but backeres of the crowdfunding campaign can reserve one for as little as $369.

The Dasung “Not e-Reader” will feature a 7.8 inch E Ink display with 300 pixels per inch, an unspecified quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. It has a 5,300 mAh battery and Android 6.0 software.

Dasung says the tablet has a “cold & warm front-light,” which I assume means you can toggle between white light and night-mode illumination which removes blue light.

While you can use the device to read eBooks, Dasung says it can also be used as a PC monitor, a video player, a tablet, or even as a monitor for a smartphone.

There are a few advantages to using an E Ink display in this type of device. They’re easy to view outdoors or under bright lights because they don’t need to be illuminated (you can shot off the front light altogether and still see the screen using just ambient light). Some folks find them easier on the eyes than the sort of illuminated screens you tend to find on laptops, tablets, phones, or TVs. And generally speaking E Ink displays tend to use less power than LCD or OLED displays.

That last bit is at least partly due to the fact that E Ink screens can display a static image indefinitely without using any power. It’s only when you change the image the the screen draws power from the battery. So if you’re reading an eBook, the text on the screen only needs to change once or twice a minute as you “turn” the page.

If you’re going to watch videos or play games on an E Ink screen, you may need to refresh the screen 30 times a second or more, which helps explain why Dasung put a 5,300 mAh battery in this device. Kindle eReaders, by comparison, tend to have battery capacities of around 1,500 mAh or less.

All told, the “Not e-Reader” seems like a niche device. I doubt most tablet users are clamoring for a device with a grayscale display to replace their full-color iPads or Samsung Galaxy Tabs.

But having covered E Ink devices for this website over the past decade, I know there are definitely some electronic paper enthusiasts that would rather have a high-contrast, low-power, sunlight viewable display than a full color screen. There are already a bunch of eReaders that are powered by Android which can be used as tablets in a pinch… but they tend to have smallish batteries and low screen refresh rates.

The Dasung “Not-eReader” seems like one of the first devices that’s intentionally designed to blur the lines between an eReader and an Android tablet.

Hopefully it doesn’t cost as much as Dasung’s Paperlike E Ink monitors… which tend to sell for around $1,000 and up.

Update: The retail price is expected to be $499.

via The eBook Reader and @DasungTech

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19 replies on “Dasung “Not e-Reader” is an E Ink Android tablet (crowdfunding preview)”

  1. planning to use it as standalone navigation instrument (marine, airplane etc), does it have internal GPS or possibility to connect external wired GPS?

  2. Be awre : Dasung is not a fair company. It proposes crowdfunding several years ago for expensive products with multiple issues and defects. The problem is that the company doesn’t support the client issues and doesn’t improve either actual drivers for their product. Developing new products with still no support for them (as proposed in the frame of experimental products) appear more profitable.
    You can read my review about the dasung paper like pro here :
    And you can see in my article and in the comments of it that I am not the single to notice the lack of serious.
    I try to re-sell their rubbish almost not used but even with 25% discount, nobody wants to buy it…

    1. Hi David. Thank you for your feedback. I know that we still have a lot of places to upgrade, you can contact us by email at [email protected]. If there is a problem with the product, let me find a way to help you.

  3. Likebook mars is similar – 8 core, 2GB RAM, 7.8″ screen android 6 (later versions don’t work well for eink).
    Able to run non e-reader stuff, but it doesn’t work too well with some things. The OS here is Android, but quite simplified – this is an e reader first and foremost.

  4. I would be interested in something like this but:
    1) I would want a larger screen (10″)
    2) Cost could be an issue. It needs to be no more than $400
    3) Crowd funding projects have a big failure rate
    and the killer:
    4) “and Android 6.0 software”

  5. Wow. The main reason I have not purchased an eInk device has been that slow refresh rate and the flashing to inverse on full refresh. If this device solves those issues, I am very interested.

  6. As an Android tablet, the screenshots show it clearly running Windows?
    EDIT: it seems to act as an external monitor. Personally I would just read stuff on Android with it. Sorry -not sorry eReader -not an eReader

    1. Too bad Pixel Qi, Qualcomm Mirage and others never took off. I was excited to using a desktop Linux distro or Windows with such outdoor visible and low power displays.

      Too bad this thing is running Android. I’m not really interested in Android outside of phones.

  7. I find it hard to believe they have an E-ink screen capable of refreshing fast enough for video.

    1. It’s never really been the display that’s the bottleneck, it’s the processor and energy consumption. If they throw a faster chip and big battery in there, it should be able to hit 30fps. I’m not sure what the rate is in the video shown in the demo, but it certainly seems watchable. You’ll probably get fat shorter battery life while watching videos than you would while reading eBooks though.

      1. Wow. Does this processor upgrade also solve the flash to inverse that you see on every so many page turns when a typical eReader does a full refresh?

        From watching the ice skating demo video, it would seem this device could go on forever without the need for that flash to inverse full refresh that all eReaders always do at some point. But I really don’t understand what is going on here with this technology.

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