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

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.



Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. yuzutea23 November, 2012

    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.

    1. Nate Hoffelder23 November, 2012

      I believe the $64 price for the Trekstor Mini in Germany includes their taxes, so that device is a heck of a lot cheaper.


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