So it turns out that “E-ink laptop” briefly mentioned last week in an interview of E-ink CEO Frank Ko is, if not yet a real device, may actually be on the development road map.
Digitimes (of all places) has an article on Linfiny, the new joint venture launched by Sony and E-ink in April. It has a name now, and a purpose. It’s going to develop notebook products built around E-ink screens.
From the description, we’re not talking about E-ink screens as an accessory, but it’s also not clear whether they’re talking about notebooks as in laptops or notebooks as in tablets:
The joint venture is set to optimize the design and R&D capability at Sony Semiconductor Solutions and backend module production capacity at EIH to develop e-paper products and solutions to enable clients to shorten time-to-market for new e-paper products, Ko said.
The e-notebook products being developed by Linfiny will come with pen-writing functionality and will target professional and educational markets, Ko said, noting that the joint venture will also offer integrated services to help clients accelerate product developments.
Linfiny will also look for replacement markets for its e-notebook products in the technology, legal, financial and medical care sectors where demand for electronic documents and digital search is strong, Ko added.
The article goes on to say that E-ink’s partners in China, Europe, Japan, and the US will roll out new e-notebook products in the second half of of this year.
That is a curious word, isn’t it?
E-Notebook, I mean.
On the one hand, it suggests notebook computers, but on the other hand it more strongly suggests a digital replacement for a paper notebook rather than a device like the prototype Onyx Boox Typewriter, which has a keyboard and a 9.7″ E-ink screen.
My point is that I think E-ink is expecting more devices like the Remarkable or the Sony DPT-RP1, devices that are essentially E–ink tablets with styluses. I don’t see that we have enough evidence yet to support a particular site’s claim that Linfiny is working on an epaper laptop.
But I could be wrong, so I followed up with E-ink (last week). I’m still waiting to hear back.