An E-Ink Laptop?!

Better for your eyes, insane battery life… but all the programs you know and love.

An E-Ink Laptop?!

I’m a huge fan of e-ink (also known as electronic paper) technology. Heck, one of my reviews was featured on the Supernote main website for ages. There are names in the review business way bigger than mine, but I’m proud of the mark I’ve left. Why? Because electronic ink technology is one of the most under-appreciated and exciting developments in years.

The history of e-ink can be summed up in this sentence: has been around for decades but has only seen proper exploration in the last ten or so years.

How does e-ink work? At the most basic level: there are little globes suspended in the screen which, when a current is applied, flip over. One side is black, one side is white. This is a horrid over-simplification that engineers will scream at me for. But, the point is that it’s an analog experience.

The thing is, this experience is better for your health. E-ink reflects light, it doesn’t project light. This experience causes far less eye-strain than our glowing devices. It also means there’s a huge increase in battery life for these devices. My Supernote can go four days of constant use before I have to give it a charge (and it can run Microsoft Word).

Imagine a space that’s distraction and eyestrain-free. A place where you can just read, write, and think.

A laptop with electronic ink?

Not so crazy as it sounds!

The biggest flaw with e-ink is that it generally refreshes very slowly, and can leave ghost images in the background until refreshed. Supernote gets around this with a neat manual trick, but if you want to type properly, you need more than manual refresh rates.

But high-refresh e-ink screens do exist. Lenovo has been building them for a while, with their latest design coming out in the summer of 2023. But, the laptop that has me super excited is the Modos, an open-source project that promises something great.

Imagine a space that’s distraction and eyestrain-free. A place where you can just read, write, and think. Now imagine a laptop that allows you to work in your most productive environment from anywhere. A laptop that encourages you to spend less time in front of a screen and gives you back time to focus on what matters most in life.

The Modos is still in its community design phase, and they need our help! They’re hoping to hit 50,000 signatures to showcase large interest in this project, which will surely lead to funding (considering the appeal of devices like the reMarkable and Supernote).

They already have a prototype screen with a refresh rate of 60Hz! Optimized for typing, this monitor showcases the future possibilities.

Personally? I’m hoping that they find a way to partner with Framework to offer a modular option for low-cost, high-portability e-ink laptops. But, whatever way they decide to take things, I’m so excited to see this take off.

Go ahead and sign their community survey today!

Hi there! I’m Odin Halvorson, an independent scholar, film fanatic, fiction author, and tech enthusiast. If you like my work and want to support me, please consider subscribing to a paid tier for as low as $2.50 per month!

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