E Ink displays offer a paper-like reading experience for products like eReaders, digital signage, and electronic price tags. But Dasung is one of the only companies that makes E Ink monitors, probably because there’s not really that much demand for black and white displays with low screen refresh rates.
But the new Dasung Paperlike Color tackles at least one of those issues. The 25.3 inch E Ink monitor is the world’s first to feature a color E Ink display. First unveiled in July, the Dasung Paperlike Color is now up for pre-order through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.
But like most of the company’s E Ink displays, it ain’t cheap: retail prices start at $1,899, although Indiegogo early bird backers can reserve one for $1,499. The company says the displays should begin shipping to backers in December, 2023.
The monitor features a 25.3 inch E Ink Kaleido 3 display that features a color filter laid on top of an E Ink screen, allowing the monitor to display 4096 colors (rather than the usual 16-shades of grey).
In other words, you get some of the benefits of E Ink without sacrificing the ability to view color content. That means you get a high-contrast, low-power screen that can be viewed using only ambient light. There is a front-light that can illuminate the screen if you need it, but by shining LED lights on the screen instead of outward toward your eyes, many people find that front-lit E Ink displays cause less eye strain than LCD or OLED displays.
But Kaleido 3 technology is an imperfect solution for many of the tasks you may normally perform on a computer.
Not only does it have a limited color palette, but colors tend to look muted or washed out when compared to LCD or OLED displays, the screen refresh rate is still much lower than you’d get from other display technologies, and color content is displayed at lower resolutions and pixel densities than black and white content.
Normally Kaleido 3 displays have a native pixel density of 300 ppi for black and white content and 150 ppi for color, but I’m not quite sure what those figures are for the Dasung Paperlike Color. According to marketing materials, the monitor has a 25.3 inch, 3200 x 1800 pixel display, which means it can show about 145 pixels per inch. But Dasung doesn’t say if that’s the greyscale or color resolution (I’m guessing it’s B&W though, as that’s the same resolution used for the original Dasung Paperlike 253 and Paperlike 253 U, as well as other E Ink monitors like the Onyx BOOX Mira Pro).
In other words, the Dasung Paperlike Color is probably most useful if you expect to use a display primarily for reading rather than gaming or watching videos… although there is a high screen refresh mode that makes it possible to watch videos, as long as you’re willing to trade some graphics quality to do that (you may see remnants of previous images on the screen).
Some of the screen’s other features include HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB Type-C inputs as well as support for Miracast and AirPlay screen mirroring, and a stand that lets you tilt the display 90 degrees for use in portrait orientation. There are also built-in stereo speakers.
Dasung is also offering a “Curved Screen” version of the upcoming Color E Ink display, with a “comfortable 4000R curvature.” Prices for that model start at $1,599 during crowdfunding.
This article was first published July 31, 2023 and most recently updated September 6, 2023.