Dasung’s 13.3″ E-ink Monitor is Now Shipping

dasung paperlike 1Over the past couple weeks many readers have asked for a status update on the Paperlike E-ink monitor I bought back in April.

It has finally shipped, and FedEx says that it will arrive next week.

The Paperlike is a one of a kind USB-powered monitor based around a 13.3" Fina E-ink display. It first made an appearance at CES 2015, but despite press reports to the contrary this device has not yet been released to the market. Production has so far been limited to a total of 50 units which were pre-sold in April. I got one, and I'm looking forward to its arrival.

And so are many other people. This monitor is the work of Dasung, a Chinese tech company, and it has captivated our attention because its E-ink screen promises to offer a unique solution to the LCD headache problem.

LCD screens don't bother me that much but some people get migraines and vision problems when they stare into a backlit screen for too long. Since E-ink doesn't have a backlight, it is viewed as a possible solution for office workers who have found that a Pixel Qi screen simply doesn't cut it.

Pixel Qi makes a type of LCD screen which degrades from color to grayscale in full sunlight, and (on some models) also offers a backlight which can be turned off. Some users swear by it, but others say that it is a less than complete solution (they still get headaches).

The Paperlike cost about twice as much as a Pixel Qi monitor, and it's not without its own problems. E-ink has a far slower refresh rate than LCD screens and only offers 16 levels of grayscale, and to get around the refresh limitation Dasung has developed new refresh modes, including  mode with only 5 shades of gray as well as a mode with 2 (black and white, basically). That black and white mode hearkens back to 1980s era monochrome monitors and is said to be nearly as fast as an LCD screen.

I'd take that with a grain of salt; that claim was made about a display unit on the show floor at CES 2015. We have yet to receive any reports of real world performance.

But that will change next week.

About Nate Hoffelder (11473 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."

10 Comments on Dasung’s 13.3″ E-ink Monitor is Now Shipping

  1. There’s a video showing the monitor in action. It’s fast.

    When reviewing it, please test it for text processing as well as multimedia-type activity. I would not expect it to perform well with heavy browser activity, for example. I want one purely for text processing.

  2. It would also be a good display for something which does not change that often, stock market quotes come to mind, or as a display for a SSH-Session to control a computer without having to use a GUI.
    Instead of a Terminal I have used a WSYE station (cheap from ebay) with MS XP embedded to watch my client and be able to try to reboot – if the GUI is blocked, the command-line often still works.
    Granted most traders would like a fast display, but for long-term watching of stocks it would be quite good (I am not a day-trader, just dabble a bit in stocks).

  3. I emailed Dasung and they said they aren’t selling new monitors at this time. Would you be open to selling your monitor? Or do you know any other places I might find one? I have problems with my vision and an using a jailbreakon kindle right now. Having a 13.3 inch screen would really be a huge improvement

    • Are you using Kindle Dx as a secondary monitor..How is it ? Can I use it for coding purposes.I am computer programmer.For what purpose do you use it ?? And how did you hacked it ? I know its refreshing rate is very slow,,but its good if you can do your work and earn some income..Is it good if I have no choice in the market and unable to sit in front of normal LCD for more than half an hour ?

      • The instructions are found here:
        However, the refresh rate is slow enough to be inhibitive.

        I have written a program that allows for Nook to be used as a text editor, by hooking up a USB keyboard. The refresh rate is real-time, and I use it for text editing. There is also an option of running Debian on it, allowing for compilation of what you’ve written. If interested, let me know.

  4. @Nate, Can this monitor be hooked up to your Alphasmart Neo? Can you do a review on that if it can?

  5. Aww, that would have been a nice combo.

  6. If it’s for texting, using a 9.7 android eink divice via idisplay or tightVNC would be enough for the job.

    Web contents moves smoothly, but it is the cursor movement which is my biggest corcern.

    According to Dashang’s staff, there’s a little bit deny with the curcor. So, i guess the experience would not be good under heavy browser usage. Maybe that’s why in their sales notice, they call it ‘?????“ ?subsidiary monitor??

  7. I have bought some Paperlike to resell in Italy and Europe, if you are interested: ideaconsortium at libero.it. Ciao!

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