It has been 15 years since Amazon debuted the primary Kindle, introducing many readers to the advantages of digital paper (e-ink) expertise, together with lengthy battery life and glorious daylight readability.

Through the years the shows improved however nonetheless exhibited drawbacks equivalent to display ghosting, the place a lightweight model of the earlier display picture could be seen within the mild elements of the show, and disruptive refreshes, wherein the display flashes earlier than exhibiting a picture to take away ghosting. The expertise additionally traveled a fraught path to paint.

Two just lately launched e-paper tablets tackle these points, providing a number of modes for managing distinction versus display refresh pace, out-of-the-box Google Play compatibility, stylus assist, and the most recent in E Ink’s coloration expertise referred to as Kaleido Plus.

Nova Air C: The Final Digital Notepad

Nova Air C hails from Onyx Boox, which gives the trade’s widest vary of e-readers and e-paper tablets — even when one excludes its China-only merchandise.

The Onyx Boox portfolio ranges in dimension from 6″ to 13.3″ and contains two E Ink-based displays underneath its Mira model. Its merchandise persistently reveal considerate design, engaging packaging, and neatly designed equipment.

For instance, Onyx Boox gives a keyboard folio for its 10.3″ units that makes for the closest factor to a real E Ink laptop computer in the present day (a product the corporate floated at a 2017 commerce truthful however canceled). It additionally gives a canopy that provides page-turning buttons for e-reading apps. Certainly, one of many benefits of Android-based e-paper tablets is that they supply the display aesthetic of a Kindle whereas permitting to select from a variety of digital bookstores.

Whereas most corporations within the e-paper pill house have but to ship a coloration product, the Nova Air C is Onyx Boox’s second entrant that features improved coloration and grayscale uniformity.

Nova Air C e-reader (Picture Credit score: Onyx Boox)

Like different Onyx Boox merchandise, the Nova Air C interface is marked by “operate tabs” that seem to the left of the show by default. These launch the less-useful retailer full of public area works and a library to prepare them, a primary file supervisor, and an exceptionally full-featured note-taking app.

Working with the product’s svelte, button-free stylus, the app helps a number of web page sizes, including and deleting pages and layers, inserting of photographs, shapes, and recordings, free cloud syncing as much as 5 GB, and two strategies of handwriting-to-text. You may as well arrange a number of pens and brushes and select from three totally different erasing modes.

The Apps part contains an app retailer that gives some fundamentals culled from the web. Nevertheless, the system helps the total breadth of Google Play and Android-style navigation together with settings and notifications entry from a swipe-down notification shade; Again, Dwelling, and App Change features could be accessed by swiping up from the left, center, and proper facet of the display backside respectively.

Optionally, a circle floating over different app interfaces — just like these utilized by Android screen-recording functions — pops out controls for options equivalent to switching apps, taking a screenshot, and powering off.

All instructed, the Nova Air C is a mixture of one of the best that E Ink has to supply: a superlative note-taking app for these on the lookout for an alternative choice to Android apps equivalent to Nebo or Noteshelf, and entry to a variety of Google apps by way of Google Play — all in a light-weight, properly accessorized package deal.

Bigme Inknote Shade: E-Paper Energy

Onyx Boox shouldn’t be the one vendor to deliver coloration to beforehand monochrome slates utilizing E Ink and comparable applied sciences equivalent to Digital Digital Slurry (DES). The latter has been used to date in one-off crowdfunded merchandise from Reinkstone and mini-laptop vendor Topjoy; each have confronted lengthy delivery delays from their authentic November 2021 targets.

Whereas the more-established vendor Bigme has additionally gone the crowdfunding route for its Inknote Shade system, it has used the identical Kaleido Plus coloration expertise used for the Nova Air C. Certainly, the product’s interface is similar to that of Onyx Boox’s and different e-paper tablets, even together with an non-compulsory floating navigational management and a lock display illustration in the identical model.

After launch, you’re introduced with an identical shelf of icons on the left that features assembly data, offline books, and storage. Bigme, nonetheless, gives extra customization choices, together with having the ability to dock Android apps there. That’s significantly helpful on condition that the corporate hasn’t (but) carried out alphabetization for Android apps as Onyx Boox has.

Bigme partnered with Good e-Reader — a supplier of stories and opinions about e-paper units and a web-based retailer promoting many which might be troublesome to search out within the U.S. — on the product’s design.

As Good e-Reader ‘s effusive assessment notes, the Inknote Shade is the primary coloration E Ink product with an A5-sized show. The bigger dimension makes it higher suited to content material equivalent to net pages, magazines, sheet music, and comics, in addition to studying and annotating PDFs.

Much like different massive E Ink-based units, equivalent to Kobo’s Elipsa, the Inknote Shade has a comparatively skinny bezel aside from a very large one on the left margin.

Bigme Inknote Color E-Ink Tablet

Bigme Inknote Shade e-ink pill (Picture Credit score: Bigme)

Past coloration, the pill gives {hardware} options which have hardly ever, if ever, been seen earlier than in such a product. These embrace:

  • 5 MP entrance and eight MP rear cameras that can be utilized for snapping a fast profile photograph or scanning a doc with built-in OCR that works nicely;
  • a big (however too straightforward to inadvertently detach) energetic stylus with three buttons, versus the button-free model on the Onyx Boox;
  • Miracast-based screen-casting — an important function for if you wish to soak up some video that might overwhelm the E Ink show; and
  • a fingerprint reader — though setting this up requires a Bigme Cloud account.

The Inknote Shade additionally revives the microSD slot that’s seen waning vendor assist, and it helps 4G web entry, however not within the U.S.

A tech tour de power for the class, Bigme Inknote Shade caters to those that need the most important coloration E Ink pill out there, significantly to eat and annotate content material moved by way of a spread of Android apps and acknowledged by the system’s picture and audio textual content recognition functions.

E-paper tablets have made nice progress in areas equivalent to refresh charge and coloration assist. Nevertheless, their extra mainstream rivals from corporations equivalent to Apple, Lenovo, and Samsung have made strides in e-paper candy spots, like daylight readability and longer battery life, whereas persevering with to have nice benefits in coloration replica.

E-paper tablets, then, are higher optimized for lengthy intervals of studying, word taking or annotation versus common media-centric pill actions equivalent to enjoying video games and watching movies. Merchandise such because the Inknote Shade and Nova Air C don’t come near difficult the iPad for these duties.

Nevertheless, with Google Play assist and an enhancing coloration story, these units enable extra forays into functions equivalent to e mail, net shopping, and messaging — that’s, if you wish to dismiss their promise of a less-distracting expertise.

Rubin’s Overview: Sherpa 100 Collection Energy Banks

Purpose Zero was a pioneer in high-capacity transportable energy merchandise with AC shops bought underneath the Yeti model. These have been useful for functions starting from tenting to emergency energy. Nevertheless, its smaller merchandise, bought underneath the Sherpa model, did much less to face out within the USB-based charging crowd.

For the reason that first Sherpa merchandise, now we have seen a flood of no-name manufacturers enter the transportable energy house. Moreover, USB-C, with its high-wattage energy supply possibility, has supplied a extra versatile and common charging customary.

In response, Purpose Zero’s newest 95 kWh Sherpa energy banks, the 100PD, which delivers as much as 100 watts by way of USB-C Energy Supply, and 100AC which gives the identical along with a 100-watt AC outlet, do extra to face out whereas protecting each base and providing distinctive management over their options.

Goal Zero power banks, 100PD and 100AC

The Sherpa 100PD (pictured left) and Sherpa 100AC energy banks present 95 watt-hours of transportable, airline authorised charging. (Picture Credit score: Purpose Zero)

Whereas each merchandise are massive to accommodate their excessive capability, the AC-based product is small for its class. Each embrace informative shows monitoring cost ranges, incoming and outgoing wattage, and different particulars.

Extra energy banks at the moment are neatly profiting from USB-C PD for charging themselves in addition to different merchandise, slicing down on the necessity for a separate AC adapter. The Sherpas implement this very nicely, with a change on the again designating the port for enter, output, or computerized detection; a refined coloured mild ring across the port glows blue or inexperienced to mirror this.

The Sherpa 100 household merchandise assist Qi-based charging, and, consistent with the corporate’s heritage, they’re sturdily constructed — though not water resistant; the 100AC features a air flow gap on its facet. Nonetheless, the merchandise characterize how an organization can reclaim premium positioning, even in a class that has seen intensive commoditization.

Purpose Zero at the moment has the Sherpa 100PD priced at $199.99 and the Sherpa 100AC at $299.99.