Updated: Trekstor Launches New Mini Pyrus eReader with 4.3″ E-ink Screen
It’s been some time since I last covered a new development in E-ink screen tech, and that’s because aside from the high res screen on the new Kindle Paperwhite and the dual sided smartphone concept there really hasn’t been much that was new. While there is hope for the future (that’s why Sipix was purchased) there hasn’t been anything really new in some time.
That’s why I’m thrilled to share the Trekstor Pyrus Mini with you today. This is a completely new ereader from the German gadget maker Trekstor. The Pyrus Mini has a screen measures 4.3″, and it reportedly has a resolution of 800×600.
This is an ereader with a smartphone sized screen. Now that, my dears, is new.
As you can see from the image above the Trekstor Pyrus Mini is a close cousin of Trekstor’s 6″ Pyrus ereader. It ships with 2GB Flash storage, a microSD card slot, and optional Wifi. There’s no touchscreen. Primary format support includes Epub and PDF, and this ereader also supports some image formats.
I haven’t found complete specs on this but the weight is reportedly 111 grams, making this the lightest ereader on the market when it ships. Retail will be 50 euros and this ereader should be available in German retail stores in November.
Assuming the resolution claim pans out, this ereader will have a resolution of over 232 ppi. That’s an impressive increase in sharpness over the screen on Kindle Paperwhite, which can only boast a resolution of 212 ppi. Of course this new E-ink screen still falls short of many other smartphones but it is still a step up for E-ink.
If anyone wants to see it in person, Trekstor will be showing it off at the Frankfurt Book Fair next month.
Until Trekstor announced the Pyrus Mini, ereader makers only had the option of 5″ or larger E-ink screens, with the first of the 5″ E-ink showing up in 2009. I saw a couple at CES 2010 in the Hanvon booth, one of which I later bought (it’s still in a drawer somewhere). This is a much better size, IMO. This device is going to be much easier for you to stick in some pockets, and it will be easier to grip both edges in a single hand.
This new ereader also confirms E-ink’s interest in getting their screen tech on smartphones. Perfecting the design of the new 4.3″ screen wasn’t cheap, and Trekstor probably could not have funded it on their own. No offense, but they just won’t sell enough Pyrus Mini to justify the expense.
No, this screen was likely financed by the maker of a smartphone. That’s the only consumer industry that I know of which would be interested in this screen size and have the funds to cover the costs. And it wouldn’t be the first E-ink screen used on a smartphone; that privilege belongs to the Alias 2 phone from Samsung.
This double hinged phone debuted in 2009 with a secondary E-ink screen in place of the keys. That was a custom design which allowed the keys on the phone to rotate in orientation, a feature which is worth copying on whichever device uses the new 4.3″ screen.
Of course, that new screen could also have been financed by Amazon but I doubt they are planning to use this 4.3″ screen. If that were the case the first time we would see it would be when they leaked early images of their smartphone and/or smaller Kindle.
cookie September 28, 2012 um 10:19 am
I want one.
Will Entrekin September 28, 2012 um 10:23 am
Like you, I enjoy new ideas and innovations, but I’m scratching my head at this one. I’m trying to figure out why I’d want a smartphone-sized e-reader, considering that I absolutely always have my smartphone with me. And with the single exception of the iPhone, smartphones have screens that are either equal to or bigger than 4.3″. I also can’t imagine any smartphone company wanting to use an e-ink screen, which might not consume much power but at the same time isn’t very good for video and . . . well, anything else besides reading, right?
Still, it will certainly be interesting to see what we’re using ten years from now.
cookie September 28, 2012 um 10:37 am
Battery life, e-ink display, and portability are why you should NOT be scratching your head. And I am not tethered to any damn phone.
kurt September 28, 2012 um 11:58 am
not sure what use that small of an ereader would be – i guess 12 year olds and their young eyeballs?
Now i would love that on a smartphone
My current one i’m assuming is very smart (verizon claims the replacement cost is $600) but i have never used it for anything other than making phone calls and listening to streamed music which uses up my very expensive bandwidth limit usually within 20 days
Not exactly able to surf or watch videos too
Anyway would love a screen where i could see anything at all on the screen when outside
Dan September 28, 2012 um 1:29 pm
Sounds like you need a different phone, not a smartphone if that’s all you use it for.
Razvan T. Coloja September 28, 2012 um 2:15 pm
This one I might buy. I want an eInk e-reader I can carry in my pocket.
Mike Cane September 28, 2012 um 6:35 pm
With no touchscreen and no illumination, I fail to see the point. Where have people been crying out for a smaller than 5″ eInk device?
Sweetpea October 8, 2012 um 2:23 am
Me! I’d love to have a 4.3″ 4:3 sized e-ink reader… I find even my 5″ too large at times (it won’t fit comfortably in my pocket) and I use my mobile phone for, well, making phone calls… And buying a smartphone (which isn’t 4:3) just for reading?
snuffsmurf September 28, 2012 um 7:30 pm
I loved (and still like) e-inks, still own a few, but since I’ve been able to read comfortably the whole LOTR on Galaxy Note, well I think it’s only a mater of time before 5″ or less e-inks are going to disappear.
Razvan T. Coloja September 29, 2012 um 6:41 am
@Mike Cane: actually some people would rather prefer no touchscreen. Myself included. I like having physical buttons. Illumination would be nice though…
Nate Hoffelder September 29, 2012 um 8:00 am
Yes. I’m finding the lack of a touchscreen on the K4 to be useful – limiting, but useful.
Flobber October 9, 2012 um 7:32 pm
There’s a new press release with a price (50 Euro):
I just wish, built quality were a little bit better (Germans often make a pun of the company’s name and call them dreck-store *g*).
Anyway, they stir up the German e-Reader market with their lineup:
* Pyrus Mini: 50 Euro (November)
* Pyrus 2GB: 60 Euro (relabeled, sold by Weltbild and Hugendubel)
* Pyrus 4GB: 70 Euro
* Pyrus WiFi: 90 Euro (mid October)
Nate Hoffelder October 9, 2012 um 7:36 pm
Yes, i noted the detail about the price. And the pun also works in English. LOL
I’m familiar with several of Trekstor’s past devices (under other brands). It’s a well deserved pun.
La guerre des liseuses à bas coût | Mes Petites News October 17, 2012 um 12:19 am
[…] Bon pour ce prix, comme vous le verrez dans l’analyse du site ActuaLitté, tout n’est pas rose, mais c’est une alternative à considérer très sérieusement quand viendra l’heure de sa commercialisation en france. En fin d’article, l’auteur nous parle de son coup de cœur du salon du livre de Francfort : la Pyrus Mini de chez Trekstor […]
A Measure of Their Success: E-ink is Now Suing Over Knockoff E-ink Screens ⋆ Ink, Bits, & Pixels March 2, 2015 um 1:25 pm
[…] about a month ago when I reported on the super-cheap Trekstor Pyrus Mini ereader with the 4.3" E-ink screen and a retail of $64? Now I think we may know why it is so […]
Txtr to Unveil New eReader at Frankfurt Book Fair Next Week? | The Digital Reader January 28, 2016 um 10:32 am
[…] guess I would bet that txtr has found a use for the 4.3" E-ink screen which first showed up on the Trekstor Pyrus Mini. There might also be a gadget coming which uses the smartphone sized screen (pictured above) which […]