Netronix and, purportedly also Onyx International, are developing 13.3 inch screen eReaders using eInk’s Mobius screen, as rivals to Sony’s expensive, PDF-only DPT-S1 Digital Paper. A new video shows the Netronix device prototype being displayed at a recent trade show:
Unfortunately, it seems that without a major company to put up the money to manufacture, market, distribute and sell it the device won’t become available to consumers. That is a real shame! Many people, myself included, would love to have such a device for taking notes or reading scientific papers, magazines and textbooks that don’t display well on, say, a Kindle.
However, I think there is one weakness of the device. Although I haven’t had the privilege of demoing one, the problem also exists on my Onyx Boox M96. Writing with the stylus is not actually that good! Because there is a delay in the line/text appearing as you write it is very hard to write accurately. This seems to make writing small text very difficult since the required stylus strokes are shorter and writing is quicker. The lady in the above video seems to avoid writing small, maybe subconsciously since she already knows that it doesn’t really work well! The manufacturers should really try to improve this aspect of their devices. Perhaps a faster refresh mode while writing would help. Accurately writing with the stylus is essential when notating articles or books, perhaps between the lines of text.
Maybe the resolution of my M96 screen is too low, so that the drawing line cannot be made thinner for more precise drawing and writing. The Mobius screen is supposed to be higher resolution, so that could fix it.
Another crucial problem with eReaders for textbooks is the navigation inside the book, being able to quickly jump between different parts of the book and back again. Think of working on some problems in a Maths textbook and trying to jump to the back for the solutions every few minutes! The software on the device is therefore of utmost importance.
Having stated these problems, I would probably buy one immediately anyway. Please make it available soon!
Update: It looks like Onyx were serious about their 13.3 inch device! It is expected for release in Spring 2016!