Troubleshooting & How-Tos 📡 🔍

Notes on E-Paper Display Computers

For More Than Just Reading

This one’s not a tip, it’s my notes on something I’d be interested in that I can’t seem to find:

A low-powered Linux laptop with an e-ink display, that I could use for long-form writing or coding.


  • Sunlight. OLED screens look great until you try to read them in bright sunlight. Especially if they’re glossy.
  • Battery life. Active displays are a huge battery drain. E-ink displays only use power when they change.
  • General-purpose. Not just an e-reader. Not just a word processor. Something I could use for writing, for programming, as a terminal to SSH into a remote computer. Something I can install third-party software on, maybe even an IDE. Linux would be ideal. Android might do for some of it.
  • OK, almost general. I wouldn’t expect to run games or videos on it, so the low refresh rates wouldn’t be so bad. Black and white / grayscale would be fine too. I’d figure on mostly text, some drawing.

What I’ve Found So Far

  • Tablets intended for hand-written note taking (like the reMarkable or BOOX’s various lines)
  • Higher-end laptops where the e-ink display is an extra (like Lenovo’s swivel designs where you rotate the display to use either an OLED or e-ink).
  • Prototypes like the Modos Paper Laptop.

Some of the tablets do have keyboard cases, which would be better than just hooking up a random Bluetooth keyboard, but it doesn’t look like I can just install programs on them, except for the Android ones, which aren’t going to be ideal for things like coding or running build scripts or anything like that.



reMarkable is an e-ink note-taking tablet with stylus and optional keyboard. It’s got a dedicated OS and can sync with various cloud services and corresponding desktop/mobile apps. But you can’t install other software on it.

Boox has a whole line of Android-based eInk tablets, some meant for reading (I’m quite happy with the Poke3 as a multiplatform e-reader), some for note-taking (my son saved his allowance and bought one!). They run a customized version of Android, but you can install apps and hook it up to Google Play, Aurora or F-Droid and install just about anything, even a custom launcher. The Tab Ultra C Pro has a corresponding keyboard cover with a built-in trackpad, making it the closest thing I’ve found that’s actually in production.

Daylight Computer is an Android tablet with a “LivePaper” display, which is LCD-based but targets the same use cases as eInk. It has a Wacom stylus and Bluetooth support. (via)

Pine64 is working on the PineNote, which will be a Linux-based eInk tablet with stylus.

eWriteable is a news and reviews site on eInk tablets and readers.

Engadget: Best E Ink tablets for 2024 will probably get renamed and updated next year.


Modos is an Open Hardware company prototyping an e-ink laptop. They have a stand-alone e-ink monitor ready for pre-launch as of May 2024.

Lenovo ThinkBook Twist and similar devices are expensive laptops with a primary OLED screen that swivels and has an eInk display on the back. Aside from being more expensive, it sounds like a durability problem waiting to happen.

A very sparse E-paper laptops category at E-Ink Info.


Freewrite makes dedicated word processors with e-ink displays. They call them “smart typewriters.”

ZeroWriter is a DIY project using a Raspberry Pi 0 (via)

E Ink is the trademarked name for the specific brand that’s also the most commonly used. It looks like e-paper, electronic paper, and e-ink are generic. Not clear about epaper, ePaper, or eInk.