Reading books on an e-book reader is great, so why does (almost) no one take out monitors and laptops to work directly on these screens?
That is precisely what a user who has wanted to build a unique notebook has asked himself : one that combines a ThinkPad T480 with an electronic ink screen from the manufacturer Dasung. The process is promising, although there are other interesting projects in this regard.
If you don’t need (much) video or games, the idea is great
Electronic ink screens are not for everything or everyone , but this user was clear: “from 6 AM to 7 PM I am in front of a computer or a digital device that emits blue light”. The idea was therefore to replace part of that experience with a laptop that would allow working directly with an electronic ink screen.
Taking a look at this market, this user realized that there were hardly any alternatives . The legendary OLPC with the Pixel Qi display was heading in the right direction more than a decade ago, but there are also more erect examples like the Lenovo Yoga Book C930 or the recently launched Lenovo ThinkBook Plus .
The latter does indeed have an e-ink screen, but it is not the main one and cannot be used natively as such with the computer keyboard . The closest thing to a laptop with a keyboard in which to work with an electronic ink screen is probably the Freewrite typewriter , which however leaves hardly any options if we want to do other things than just write.
Although there are no laptops that offer this option directly, there are other devices that point to this possibility in a “handmade” way . It happens with the unique reMarkable tablet , to which a Linux-derived operating system called Parabola-rM can be installed to work with it much more similar to a tablet aimed at productivity, although there is no easy way to connect a keyboard .
What this user is proposing is an attractive idea because it is possible to take advantage of almost everything that makes the ThinkPad T480 what it is, but by removing its screen to replace it with another. That’s where the Dasung HD-FT (FrontLight & Touch) display of 13.3 inches and 2,200 x 1,650 pixels of resolution comes in, which, yes, is not cheap at all ($ 1,099) .
Dasung’s technology even allows you to watch videos with remarkable quality (even in monochrome), and the traditional problem of refreshment times seems to be significantly alleviated in this technology. It also has an HDMI input and is powered through the USB port , which makes it possible to connect it directly to the ThinkPad T80.
That is precisely what this user proposes, who has already disassembled the laptop screen to mount the Dasung screen, although he is still working on the complete assembly. Others have already done something similar in the past and more recently someone managed to connect this Dasung display to a Raspberry Pi 4 successfully.
The final result of this promising process remains to be seen, but the truth is that all these ideas seem to show that there is palpable interest in monitors (such as the Paperlike 253 , also from Dasung) and equipment that allows working directly with electronic ink screens. There are movements in this direction, of course, but ideas like this may inspire manufacturers in the future and offer more and more proposals.