In letter : The market for E-Ink displays remains small despite the many advancements in the underlying technology. Still, that doesn’t stop companies like Onyx from trying to present it to a new audience. To this end, the company has developed not one but two e-paper monitors that are as expensive as they are impressive.
Electronic ink screens have forever changed e-readers like the Amazon Kindle and note-taking tablets like the Remarkable, and in recent years they have been implemented in several commercial and industrial applications, from the low price of some supermarkets, to the large digital signage you can see in some urban centers.
However, they are far from going mainstream. Onyx is one of the companies that tried to change that with a line of monitors called Mira. The latest addition to this family is the Onyx Boox Mira, a 13.3-inch E-Ink monitor announced in May and now available for pre-order at the Onyx online store.
The Onyx Boox Mira is equipped with an E Ink Mobius panel which has a resolution of 2200 by 1650 pixels, resulting in a relatively crisp image at 207 pixels per inch. The 4: 3 aspect ratio means this panel is great for productivity, and there’s also a touchscreen digitizer that lets you use it just like you would a tablet. Input options include a mini HDMI port and two USB Type-C ports.
Since this is an E-Ink display, it does not need a lot of power to operate as electrophoretic displays only use energy when changing the image on the screen. This makes the Onyx Boox Mira a good choice as a portable secondary monitor for people who need it for their workflow. It also has VESA mount if you want it to become a more permanent item in your setup.
You won’t be able to play games on it due to the low refresh rate that can be achieved with E-Ink display technology, but the Onyx Boox Mira supports a “video” mode which enhances the viewing experience. an animation on this monitor.
At $ 800, this device is definitely not for everyone, and it has a few limitations that can further limit its appeal. The monitor itself is only 8mm thick and weighs just under 600 grams, but it has to compete with a slew of cheaper portable monitors that offer a color display and can sometimes be used as stand-alone tablets. In comparison, the Onyx Boox Mira can only be used as an external display for web browsing, programming, and other productivity tasks.
However, Onyx is convinced that there is a market for e-paper monitors. That’s why he also created a 25.3-inch fixed monitor in the form of the Onyx Boox Mira Pro. This model has an aluminum stand, a resolution of 3200 by 1800 pixels, and built-in stereo speakers, all at a hefty price tag of $ 1,800.
In the meantime, companies like TCL are working on creating affordable alternatives to E-Ink display technology. Last year, the Chinese company unveiled a paper-like color display that is said to offer higher contrast than electronic ink while having almost none of its downsides. A tablet that features the new technology was due to be unveiled this year, but current market conditions have pushed the release date back to 2022-2023.
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