How about an e-paper display?

Nice idea:

2 Likes

There was some discussion around this a (long) while ago on HN, where @mntmn also commented: Hi, I'm the project lead of MNT Reform, an open hardware laptop that just starte... | Hacker News

I’ve been eying these: https://www.good-display.com/product/385.html for a while, looks like the interface with the display is parallel which could make it easier to interface? haven’t seen any real info on them and they’ve been pre-release for a while.

another project to keep an eye on would be the Pine64 pine note: https://pine64.com/product/pinenote-developer-edition/. The development work here on the pine note could open the door towards easier open source epd design adaptations.

I would be super interested in an e-ink/e-paper screen. The screen in the PineNote might also fit the bill, and be more versatile due to its LED frontlight.

E-Ink rocks!

At the moment I run a disassembled Boox Mira 13.3" screen in a custom housing with a headless Thinkpad X230. This works well for everday use.

My plan was to modify a MNT Reform to e-ink, but this poses two big problems:

  1. All currently available e-ink screens are 4:3 ratio, so one would need a complete new case for the reform, which is a bummer as this is one of best parts of the Reform.
  2. The only reliable standard for connection of ePD dispays is HDMI, everything else is still sub-par DIY stuff. The Reform only has an external HDMI port, internal there is only the eDP. I do not know what is needed to convert that signal to HDMI. So either one needs a mainboard mod, or a eDP-HDMI adapter board.

battery savings from an e-ink screen would be pretty large, and if productivity is what you are really using the laptop for, then you would be well served.

I do wonder about refresh rates, and if things like movies could be viewed on it.

I’m pretty sure, you can’t watch movies with e-ink. E-ink is for slow computing: Reading emails, documentation, editing text, IRC and Jabber can work well, which were perfect for me. Videoconferencing and movies have to happen on a different machine then.

You can, sort of. The resolution is very low, the frame rate is not great, but if you need to get information in video form, you can do that. Here’s a video being played on an e-ink phone (skip to 11:15):

I’m surprised. It is much better than I imagined.
For a video call I would accept the quality, but probably not for watching movies.
Thanks for link!

eink just announced gallery 3, which has very impressive specs: