E-ink Screens Now Available From a German Electronics Wholesaler

Monday's news that Kobo has a couple new ereaders in the works has borne unexpected fruit. While I still don't have any additional details on the devices themselves, I can report that the details on the screens have turned up a related opportunity.

A reader has found a German electronics wholesaler which says it has E-ink screens in stock. (Thanks, Micheal!) According to its website, Beck is now carrying a variety of screen sizes ranging from 6" to 13.3" - including the 6" 300 dpi screen found on the Kindle Voyage.

beck electronik

This is not the first time I've seen E-ink screens for sale as components, but I was surprised to see a company claiming to offer the screen from the Voyage. I had thought that Amazon had had an exclusive on that screen, but now I see I might have been wrong.

I'm still waiting for pricing and technical details from Beck Elektronik, so at this time I can't report on the specific condition of the screens - whether they are sold with bare cables or with an adapter board included.

Either is possible.

E-ink screens made by Pervasive Displays, E-ink's partner in the DIY and hardware development market, are available both with and without those adapter boards. Pervasive Displays makes screens with sizes ranging from 1.44" to 10.2", all of which have unusual screen resolutions.

You won't find them in ereaders, but you can find them through electronics wholesalers - DigiKey, for example. AdaFruit is also carrying a few products, although those are more intended for DIY market rather than hardware development.

As you can see from the prices on Digi-Key, the screens run pretty expensive when sold as a single component. I can't tell you the prices Beck will be charging with any certainty, although I would expect the Voyage's screen and the 13.3" screens to be expensive. I've been told by Netronix that E-ink is selling the latter to device makers at $150 a pop.

Speaking of the screen on the Kindle Voyage, this new report increases the odds that Kobo's new "Alyssum" device has a 6" screen, and not the 6.8" screen which I suggested on Monday. If Beck really does have that screen, then it would mean Kobo might as well.

And that is why I am doing breathing exercises at the thought that Kobo might launch a Kindle Voyage competitor this spring. At this point that is pure speculation, but I will be keeping an eye out just in case.


About Nate Hoffelder (11222 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

12 Comments on E-ink Screens Now Available From a German Electronics Wholesaler

  1. And what about that last line? An 8′ color display that would be available soon? Is it e-ink of LCD/LED?

  2. Hi Nate,

    since the 13.3 inches e-ink screens are more readily available is there any chance to see a 13.3 inches e-reader this year on the market? At CES 2015 in Las Vegas, Netronix presented a prototype. However it seems to me the main players are very conservative and risk adverse and stick to the 6 (or 6.8) inches template.

    I mean, Amazon took lately a hit with its tablet and smartphone sales. It might be the time for the company to refocus on e-readers in different sizes.

    Kobo is doing well, but it also lacks diversity.

    So, what do you think? I know you’re no big fan of large e-readers, but there are some of us desperate for a non-paper alternative to non-fiction books, .docx and .pdf documents. Untill now there is no serious contender in this category. The sony 13.3″ e-ink device is only dedicated to PDFs and it is too expensive. The Onyx Boox M96 is somewhat small with its 9.7″ and its technology is utterly outdated. For a DIN A 4 screen one does not need built in light or sound, but a good resolution and ability to read lots of formats.

    • Sony has a device, but it barely qualifies as an ereader.

      I don’t really expect to see any others, no. The screen costs too much; even the USB monitor costs over $800 at retail.

      • I guess you’re right. Still I have a glimmer of hope. According to Internet rumours, the flexible sheet screen is not more expensive if the diagonal increases from 6″ to 13.3″. There is a big industrial sheet made of plastic and one has simply to cut it to his or her needs. Thus the cost for the big or the small screen is almost identical, while in the case of the the old glas screen the cost difference is significant.

        Is it true? If it is so, then why such a price differential for the bigger screen?

  3. $150 13.3? E-ink screen (info by Netronix) sounds like a dream compared to $275 Pervasive Displays 10.2″ panel.

    E-ink’s monopoly means we’ll wait little longer for easy accessible large low power/e-paper screens.

    Would love to know Beck’s pricing of 13.3?.

  4. It’s one month since Beck announced E-ink screens.
    Would anybody have any updates on availability and pricing?

  5. I would also like to know, what’s the price.

  6. There’s new EInk info at Beck’s website:

    Should we be excited?

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