3-Color 12.5″ E-ink Screen Available via Waveshare

Around six years back E-ink launched a 3-color screen to be used in signage. The tech is called Spectra, and it featured red, black, and white colors (but just those 3 colors, and no shades of black or red).

Spectra screen tech hit the DIY market in 2016, and I have just heard via MobleRead that you can now buy a 12.5-inch Spectra screen module from Waveshare,

Depending on the features, the screen module costs wither $152 or $172. The lower price will get you just the screen, but for $20 extra you  can get a kit that includes a frame and mounting hardware which will make it easy to attach a Raspberry Pi or another single board computer.

The screen itself has a resolution of 1304×984. This is low compared to most mobile devices but comparable to laptop screens. Its refresh rate is not, however.  This screen tan take 16 seconds to refresh. That is a terrible lag time for a laptop’s screen, but this screen was always intended for signage, a market where a 16 second delay is not a huge issue.


Nate Hoffelder

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Nate Hoffelder is the founder 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. Name18 December, 2019

    Since Waveshare also sells the flexible 10.3 inch, 16-level grayscale screens for less than $200 on its page, you can get at least some coarse impression of possible margins for manufacturers of ereaders, who use them in their products.

  2. Mike Cane18 December, 2019

    16 seconds?! That doesn’t seem right. There’s no variability based on CPU or software or driver?

    1. Nate Hoffelder18 December, 2019

      the controller chip for this screen panel is probably underpowered.

  3. Michael Lantrip18 December, 2019

    Black and White are not colors.
    One is a complete absence of colors, the other is all colors dumped in together.
    So, really it is a one-color display- red.

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