teXet Launches New $71 eReader with Knockoff 4.3″ E-ink Screen

teXet Launches New $71 eReader with Knockoff 4.3" E-ink Screen e-Reading Hardware eReaders with E-ink screens are so common these days that many are launched without much attention, but some are newsworthy because of the controversy surrounding them.

Such is the case of the teXet TB-436. This ereader was just unveiled today, and it is due to hit the Russian gadget market in the not too distant future with a retail of 2199 rubles (~$71 USD). It's a simple ereader without a touchscreen or Wifi (it is not mentioned), but it does have 4GB of Flash storage as well as a card slot for further expansion.

This otherwise unremarkable ereader  is based on a 4.3" E-ink screen which almost certainly wasn't made by E-ink.

The most interesting part about this 4.3" screen was that it looks to be the same screen as on the Trekstor Pyrus Mini. I reported on that ereader a couple months back and again a couple weeks ago when E-ink announced a lawsuit against Trekstor alleging patent infringement.

The 4.3" screen on the Pyrus Mini was designed and made by a Chinese manufacturer, Guangzhou OED Technologies. This firm reverse-engineered E-ink's patents and developed a similar manufacturing process which involved first making the screen material (here's how E-ink does it) and then mounting it on a backplane which Guangzhou also developed and manufactured.

Cheap Chinese knockoffs are nothing new, and major device makers like Apple, Sony, and Nintendo each have their imitators. You can even find a vast number of makers of knockoff handbags and other apparel.

But Guangzhou  is the first company which I know of that has tried to make a knockoff E-ink screen, and I find that rather fascinating. I cannot wait to get my hands on one (the Pyrus Mini is not on the market yet) and see if it is as well made as the original.



About Nate Hoffelder (10075 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."

2 Comments on teXet Launches New $71 eReader with Knockoff 4.3″ E-ink Screen

  1. Interesting, although the price in the US (don’t know about Russia) is not very competitive, considering the lowest priced e-ink Kindle is only 8 dollars more.

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