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E-ink Introduces the Thinner and Lighter Fina E-ink Screen

A belatedpocketbook cad reader press release has crossed my desk today with the news that E-ink is ready to manufacture a new and thinner screen.

The Fina screen module, which is being used in the recently announced Pocketbook CAD Reader, features a lighter and thinner glass backplane. This screen replaces the glass TFT backplane used in many E-ink screens with a very thin glass substrate that promises to deliver screens that are much lighter and thinner than in standard LCD screens. It is now available to be built into E-ink screens of all sizes from 5″, to the 13.3″ screen used in the Pocketbook CAD Reader. According to the press release, a Fina screen weighs less than half as much as an E-ink screen which uses an existing backplane, and it is less than half as thick.

As a result the Fina screen in the Pocketbook CAD Reader weighs only 60 grams. This device, which was only announced a few hours ago, runs Android 4.0 on a dual-core 1GHz CPU. It runs software designed to display blueprints  from AutoDesk as well as other construction documents.

pocketbook cad reader

"Fina adds to E Ink’s portfolio of innovative display products which enable unique consumer and engineering products," said Giovanni Mancini, director of product management for E Ink Holdings. "The extremely low power requirements, thinness, lightweight and readability under all lighting conditions truly enable design engineers to display information where they never thought possible before."

That’s great and all but it’s not like there was any technical reason preventing larger screens from going on the market; the roadblock is that there isn’t much of a market for larger screens due to development and manufacturing costs.

And given the relatively low density/sharpness resolution of the Fina screen (150ppi, compared to 265 PPI on the Kobo Aura HD or 212 ppi on 6″ Pearl HD E-ink screens) I don’t expect to see very many small devices use it either.

But once you filter out the hype this is still a fascinating technical achievement (confirming once again that I am a nerd.).

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fjtorres December 2, 2013 um 4:50 pm

Actually, if the price and weight is acceptable, you could build a pretty good large-print reader for seniors. I’ll look into this for my mother to see how Android their android is. 🙂

Nate Hoffelder December 2, 2013 um 6:55 pm

And if wishes were horses, we’d be knee deep in manure. In other words the price won’t be reasonable.

I’m thinking it will cost $500. That’s not cheap for anyone on a fixed budget.

fjtorres December 2, 2013 um 9:13 pm

But as a gift from working descendants…
I suspect $500 will prove a lowball guess, though; the bundled AutoCad viewer/annotation app points that way.

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Peter December 3, 2013 um 3:55 am

glass ? why not plastic ? This is the "Achilles heel" of all the ereaders….

Nate Hoffelder December 3, 2013 um 7:13 am

My guess? Because the plastic blackplane is expensive, and glass has proven more than adequate over the past couple decades.

Bormasina December 3, 2013 um 11:57 am

This sentence doesn’t read right to me:
"And given the relatively low resolution of the Fina screen (150ppi, compared to 265 PPI on the Kobo Aura HD) I don’t expect to see very many small devices use it either."

In your article you also mention: "It is now available to be built into E-ink screens of all sizes from 5?, to the 13.3? screen used in the Pocketbook CAD Reader."

You use "ppi" to define resolution, which is actually a measure of density, right?
PPI = pixel per inch

Lets assume that the 5″ display has 150ppi (you assume constant 150ppi for all of the displays from 5″ to 13.3″ and per you that is why is not going to be used in smaller devices). For a 5″ display to have 150ppi it should have smaller resolution than 640 X 480. To me 640 x 480 is not very likely even on a 5″ display.

The point i’m trying to make is that it seems to me you are confusing the resolution with density.

Nate Hoffelder December 3, 2013 um 12:06 pm

You’re right; resolution was the wrong word. Thanks!

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