First Look: E-Ink 32-inch Displays

June 9, 2014 by Dave Haynes

One of the goals of walking Computex last week in Taiwan (still there, leaving in a few hours) was to see the new 32-inch E-Ink electronic ink displays that were recently announced.

The company was set up in what I’d imagine was budget space in a secondary hall at the show (there were at least four trade halls, some miles apart) among the seemingly hundreds of companies selling tablets and power bank battery packs for phones.

The plan was for a meeting with an E-Ink guy, but that didn’t get sync’d up, so I talked to a sales person – who unfortunately didn’t know all that much about the units – particularly anything to do with price.

Think on them as giant Kindles but in rectangular, flat panel display-like enclosures. The screens are actually monochrome, but there are color filters embedded that allow basic colors to be added. Don’t ask me to explain the science behind that.

They look good … ish.

The fonts are crisp but the colors are definitely muted. The booth lighting didn’t help.

These screens really are best suited to locations where power is limited and sunlight washes out regular displays. The refresh rate is not 30 or 60 times a second, but about every five or six seconds. There is a pronounced time gap between the displays changing a visual. These are displays, like flat panels, that need an external media playback device.

So these are very much limited application/specialty displays, and nothing the LCD people should get twitchy about anytime soon. But I could see the circumstances – like mass transit – where these could have a role.



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