The ereader design house Netronix has just revealed two of their latest prototypes, and you’re in for a treat. Charbax caught up with Netronix at a recent trade show and he caught a new 6.8″ prototype on video as well as a concept design that is based on the 13.3″ Fina E-ink screen.
The 6.8″ prototype features the same E-ink screen found in the Kobo Aura HD and the Onyx Boox T68, and it runs Android 4.1 on a Freescale CPU. From the way it is described in the video the casing and software we see is more of a concept design than a commercial product; Netronix expects that their potential partners would want to modify the design by adding their own software.
They might also modify the case but if they choose this design then I wouldn’t expect them to replace the touchscreen. Rather than use a capacitive touchscreen like most ereader makers, Netronix has elected to use a Wacom touchscreen. This older touchscreen tech fell by the wayside as more and more device makers switched to capacitive and (later) IR touchscreens, but it is still good for certain uses – just so long as you don’t mind that it requires a stylus.
This design is expected to be in the hands of potential partners in the next few months, and it could see a commercial release later this year.
Later in the video Charbax shows us a concept design for a second monitor screen which would attach a 13.3″ E-ink screen to a laptop or other PC. It’s by no means intended for use as a stand alone ereader, and that’s why Netronix went with the cheaper Fina screen tech rather than the Mobius screen tech, which costs 3 times as much.
A Fina E-ink screen has a glass backpanel, just like most ereaders, and not the plastic backpanel found in Mobius E-ink screens. This makes a Fina screen easier to manufacture, but it also means the screen is less rugged. As with everything, there are tradeoffs.