A few years ago a company called Noteslate promised to deliver a $99 tablet designed for writing handwritten notes. They didn’t.

But now the company is back with a new model featuring a new design, technology that actually exists, and a shot of really launching this fall for $199.

noteslate shiro

It’s called the Noteslate Shiro, and it’s available for pre-order now, but it’s not expected to ship until September or later. Noteslate says it won’t charge you for a pre-order until the tablet actually ships.

The new model features a 6.8 inch, 1080 x 1440 pixel E Ink Pearl display with support for 16 shades of grey and a backlight. There’s 8GB of storage, a microSD card slot, and a custom operating system called Noteslate OS that lets you use the device as an eReader and a note-taking tablet.

It works with a pressure-sensitive pen, allowing you to draw pictures or compose handwritten notes. There’s also support for finger input for navigating the user interface without the use of a pen.

You could always use a smartphone or color tablet to scribble notes, but a device like the Noteslate Shiro should get significantly longer battery life thanks to its low-power display and low-power 1 GHz Freescale processor. It’ll also be easier to use in direct sunlight, and at $199, it’s a relatively affordable (if less versatile) options when compared with, say, an iPad mini.

Clearly this isn’t the sort of product that’s going to appeal to everybody… but those looking for a dedicated note-taking device might find the Shiro attractive.

Noteslate says it hasn’t given up on the original device it described in 2011… but that it’s still under development. The 6.8 inch Noteslate Shiro will be the company’s first product, followed by a 13.1 inch device.

E Ink already offers screens in those sizes, and companies like Netronix have already shown devices with E Ink screens and support for pen input, which makes the Noteslate Shiro look much more plausible than the company’s original concept.

Original Noteslate concept
Original Noteslate concept

via Ink, Bits, and Pixels

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12 replies on “Noteslate Shiro ePaper writing tablet due this fall for $199”

  1. This is pretty interesting but as a lot of people point out the e-ink screens are laggy which is very offputting while writing. As an avid stylus user with Galaxy Note 3, Note 8.0, Vaio Duo, Wacom tablets . . . I have kind of given up on getting a real “paper” feel to tablet writing. Yes you can get a lot of usability out of Wacom and NTrig technology. But the immediacy and tactile feel of the paper surface and the slight drag of the pencil or pen tip – it’s just not there. Someday maybe, but I don’t see much action on really trying to equal the paper feel.

    Also for writing it would be far better if you could COMPLETELY shut off the touch screen. If you can very casually rest your hand and other fingers on the screen without messing things up, such a relief. If this e-ink tablet has no touch screen at all – that might be one thing in it’s favor.

  2. eInk =/= ePaper.

    Two entirely different display techs. ePaper beat eInk to the practical color market for instance and is in devices like Pebble Time while eInk is focused only on black/white in devices like the Kindle.

    1. Both terms are used on the Noteslate website and I’ve sort of been working under the assumption that E Ink is a specific type of screen offered by one company (called E Ink), while ePaper (or e-paper, or what have you) is more of a generic term for high-contrast, sunlight readable displays that do not require a backlight. That includes E Ink, Mirasol, Electrowetting, and other digital paper technologies.

  3. How about that lag between the writing and the display? Everything I hate about writing on a touchscreen.

    1. there is no lag with an active stylus. The Asus Vivotab 8 or the Toshiba Encore would not have any lag.

      1. there are not e-ink “powered”. The best e-ink device I know is Sharp WG-N20. Do look videos on Utube : can’t understand this zero lag memo pad isn’t targetting Europe and US market. It’s better than all other devices with less cost.

  4. Paper and pen cost a lot less and are a way more ergonomic

  5. Here’s hoping the 13.1″ device is closer to $500 than it is to $1000, and that it has decent pdf support. Sony’s attempt at this product is just way too expensive.

  6. I was very interested in the original $99 Noteslate, mostly for its size and white-on-black (or colour-on-black) configuration.

    This is far less appealing. Twice the price, and half the size.

Comments are closed.