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Old 05-13-2013, 03:53 PM   #1
JAcheson
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Earl: a 6" E-ink Android Tablet with Solar Panels and Radio

Meet Earl

"Earl" is an Android tablet with a 6" e-ink screen and solar cells on the back, designed to be a back-country survival tool with GPS and preloaded maps. It also is set up to read Epub, Mobi and PDF.

Further, it has a fairly decent radio in it:
Quote:
Worldwide FM band (64–108 MHz). Worldwide AM band (520–1710 kHz). Shortwave band (2.3–21.85 MHz). Longwave band (153–279 KHz). NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Weather Band using SAME technology (162 MHz).
The tablet has a 3000mAh battery rated for 20 hours of active use. The solar cells are supposed to recharge it in 5 hours.

Originally seen on Engadget.

Frankly, I'm interested in the thing just to have a full-fledged Android tablet with an e-ink screen.
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:02 PM   #2
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I like it!

I don't know why I'm so into things like this I'm not a survivalist, a prepper, nor am I even especially outdoorsy, but if I was in the business of designing gadgets, this is the kind of gadget I'd want to design.
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Old 05-13-2013, 05:10 PM   #3
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Me want. I'm not the outdoorsy type either but the IP67 rating would make it an ideal reader in the bath or by the beach/swimming pool.

Android 4.1 means I can use Mantano Reader Premium or a host of other Android reader apps that, for some reason, have better library management and user-friendly features/options compared to commercial e-ink readers.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:45 PM   #4
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I'm an outdoorsman more in theory than in practice, but I like that it's designed to operate as a self-contained unit--a tri-corder of sorts, for the Trekkies out there

Too many apps and utilities on mobile devices demand a data connection for no good reason whatsoever (usually DRM and/or cross-marketing with social networks). My main interest in tablet technology from the start was offline reading and reference.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taosaur View Post
I'm an outdoorsman more in theory than in practice, but I like that it's designed to operate as a self-contained unit--a tri-corder of sorts, for the Trekkies out there
...and I guess THAT explains why I like it.
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:37 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ilovejedd View Post
Android 4.1 means I can use Mantano Reader Premium or a host of other Android reader apps that, for some reason, have better library management and user-friendly features/options compared to commercial e-ink readers.
Specs are impressive, solar cells a natural pairing with power-savvy tech like eInk. But when it comes to using of-the-shelf Android apps on eInk screen, I want to see it in action first. If it is as fast as Aura HD, they have a winner.
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:32 PM   #7
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Interesting concept that definitely intrigues me. But, I have two reservations that make it a no-go. The first one is its size. It's too large to be lugging around on the trails. 5" would be much better. The second problem is it's lack of a hardshell snap-on cover to protect the display.

Last edited by tubemonkey; 05-13-2013 at 10:38 PM.
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Old 05-13-2013, 11:03 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by tubemonkey View Post
Interesting concept that definitely intrigues me. But, I have two reservations that make it a no-go. The first one is its size. It's too large to be lugging around on the trails. 5" would be much better. The second problem is it's lack of a hardshell snap-on cover to protect the display.
I don't think the one inch should be showstopper. And it will hopefully be rugged enough without a cover, but you could always provide your own. I'd rather carry the extra inch of useful device than a cover if its not needed
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Old 05-13-2013, 11:14 PM   #9
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Cool! I've been wondering why e-ink readers don't have solar cells like lots of calculators do.
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Old 05-13-2013, 11:15 PM   #10
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I don't think the one inch should be showstopper. And it will hopefully be rugged enough without a cover, but you could always provide your own. I'd rather carry the extra inch of useful device than a cover if its not needed
It has the same dimensions as a 7" tablet. That's too large for one handed use.

I'm sure it's a rugged device; but for outdoor use, the display needs hardshell protection similar to the snap-on covers used by OtterBox and Seidio.
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:03 AM   #11
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Wait, it has (or will have) a flexible e-ink display? And solar? Neat.
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Old 05-14-2013, 01:22 AM   #12
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Wait, it has (or will have) a flexible e-ink display? And solar? Neat.
Yep; flexible is a big plus.
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:10 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by tubemonkey View Post
Interesting concept that definitely intrigues me. But, I have two reservations that make it a no-go. The first one is its size. It's too large to be lugging around on the trails. 5" would be much better. The second problem is it's lack of a hardshell snap-on cover to protect the display.
I would have jumped in if it had 5" screen. Having said that, I love the concept. Flexible Eink screen, android 4.1, built in GPS, AM/FM, solar charger, waterproof , and more, what’s not to like
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:11 AM   #14
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They won't offer a European version until the end of the year.
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:17 AM   #15
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"Lunar" mode for nighttime illumination also doubles as an emergency lantern.
I wonder if that's anything like a front light or how it works for reading at night? It really sounds like an interesting device.
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