back to article Startup rattles tin for e-paper monitor with display fast enough to play video

E-paper display startup Modos wants to make laptops, but is starting out with a standalone high-refresh-rate monitor first. The initial plan is for the "Modos Paper Monitor," which the company describes as: "An open-hardware standalone portable monitor made for reading and writing, especially for people who need to stare at …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I'd have thought that the use cases for an e-ink and a fast enough for video display were fairly contradictory.

    1. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      I think they are. This is just a tech demo.

      The point is that the demos show Windows in use, without special adaptations. The screen can update fast enough to display a mouse pointer, and show menus opening and text being typed, in real time.

  2. John Robson Silver badge

    The monitors might have been available for a while... but they are obscenely priced.

    It's a shame, it would be nice if e-ink could be a scalable display option, be great for digital signs/notices in a variety of places.

    1. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      They are. I suspect most e-paper goes into much smaller displays.

      But it is getting there, perhaps more so than people realise. There are also working colour e-paper displays now, although it's usually black and white plus one or two other colours rather than *full* colour.

      Three colours:

      Seven colours:

      So right now, you can either have colour, or speed, but not both.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        "I suspect most e-paper goes into much smaller displays."

        Mainly because the yield rate on larger ones is problematic - just like LCDs 10-15 years ago

        1. John Robson Silver badge

          Yield must be awful - I'd love to get a few A3/A2 displays - heck, if they were reasonably borderless I could patch them together with a raspi behind each one.

          But they are multiple thousands of pounds each...

          Digital signage is such an obvious use case, and doesn't require high refresh rates - doesn't necessarily need colour (though that could be a nice to have).

  3. claimed


    I have the Dasung display, so if its the same hardware then popping a different frame round it is not a big step forward.

    To use it requires pissing about with display settings to turn on high contrast mode etc. The resolution is not quite good enough to make out buttons like close/minimise, but is *just* about good enough to work with code, but there are some problems. Typing code in a modern IDE has a lot of contextual information like underlines/colours that you miss, so basically back to notepad; a fair trade for being outside, perhaps. The main issue is OS support for greyscale is not good, everybody has a colour monitor and even in high contrast mode, using ubuntu is hard at times as menus are contextual and fonts are thin.

    Plus the biggest issue, which these guys might actually solve, is I'm plugging an external monitor into a laptop, so the awkwardness of moving outside requires a table and power cords and faffing about. Good luck, cant wait for this to be easier! sun + code, yes please

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Hmm

      I’ll be watching this closely as I love working outside. My current arrangement is to use a Boox 13.3 inch e reader in HDMI mode. It works but it is a rats nest of cables.

      A purpose built laptop with a e paper screen is a dream I never thought would come true because the market is so niche. I don’t even need video playback. Fingers crossed. Only 1241 responders on a 50,000 target market survey, I won’t get my hopes up.

  4. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    I'd like an e-ink monitor on a stand to replace printed sheet music. It's a great shame that the monitors currently cost so much. A Kindle paper white gets you 22.5 square inches of e-ink for £130 whereas a Dasung monitor gets you 85 square inches for £1000. That's twice the cost per square inch, ignoring all the other gubbins in a Kindle.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      PocketBook have a reader designed for music (X or Lite). As the screens get bigger, I think weight becomes more of a consideration and the first plastic-based screens make this possible.

  5. Stu J



    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: MicroUSB

      Because it's standard for e-readers and easy to use for the demonstation. Assume any actual product will be USB-C

  6. Hairy Spod
    Paris Hilton

    Would it not just be cheaper to ask the people who make Amazon's kindle devices?

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