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Old 03-06-2021, 12:20 PM   #1
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Any authors using E-Ink Android Tablets? Experiences?

picking up from a similar but dated old thread I found.

E-ink has come a long way since pairing up with Android.

I've seen youtube videos of people using the Tablets with BT Keyboards and using them as their daily writer/typer, as in long-length writing. But there's never been follow-up to see if it was a novelty or a new way to write.

I'm in that position now and there seems to be a real split in opinion as to the effectiveness of this idea.

So, I'm wondering if there are folks in here who are writers/authors, or hobbyists who compose long-length writing (as in books) who specifically use (or tried and failed) Android E-Ink Tabs with Keyboards for their daily writing/word processing ?

If so, can you share your experience?

The main questions seem to be:

(1) Does the screen hold up / keep up enough over long periods of time?

(2) What are Practical Program solutions for Start-to-Finish Word Processor apps? (novel, script, etc...)
(a) That is, can you use Browser Based, like Office.com for MS Word, or does the Google Docs App work well ?
(b) And have you been able to create and finish a project JUST ON THE TAB? No going to a PC or Laptop to format, etc...

(3) Does screen scrolling kill the battery?

Thanks
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Old 03-10-2021, 04:32 PM   #2
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No one using their E-ink tablet as a writer with keyboard ?
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Old 03-11-2021, 01:44 AM   #3
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No one using their E-ink tablet as a writer with keyboard ?
Nope. Not me anyhow. I'm not even using my LCD Fire tablet to write, despite the fact that I have a good Bluetooth keyboard and (with an OTG cable) I can use a standard wireless Logitech keyboard and mouse with it. And I've got some decent software installed on it (for what I want anyhow). But the tablet sits in drawer, uncharged for about four or five months now. A laptop is just easier and more convenient.
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Old 03-11-2021, 10:48 AM   #4
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It makes almost no difference having Android on eInk towards a general purpose computer. It does mean you can have Kindle App, Borrowbox App, Google Playbooks, Kobo App and KoReader without any hacking.

A basic text editor works. I use Jota and a decent BT keyboard. But hardly ever. I might use Jota on the phone if I'm in a shop.

Many Android apps don't work well on eInk.

There two problems with actual wordprocessing:
1) Even a 10" screen isn't really big enough.
2) Decent local wordprocessors need Mac OS, Windows or Linux. Android (and iOS to a large extent) are really poor for content creation. You can't have floating tool panels, only toolbars and docked panels.

I have a 7.8" Android eInk and it works better than I thought. But plenty of Android apps that work on the 6" phone, 7" tablet and 10" tablet are useless.

I also had a Windows 10 x86 tablet, gave two away. You need at least a 1920 x1080 laptop with LCD (OLED looks pretty but much shorter life) for much serious content creation, with a proper OS like MacOS, Linux or Windows. Not iOS, ChromeOS, Windows Mobile ARM or Android.

My 1600 x 1200 P4 laptop from 2002 was better for most Wordprocessor use than my recent 1920 x 1080. But screen hinge now worn out and battery dead again. Also the OS on it is past EOL.

I use the 10" tablet for PDFs and Viber. I use the 7" LCD for solitaire and did use it for Google PlayBooks, Borrowbox and Kindle till recently when I got the 7.8" Likebook Mars eink.
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Old 03-11-2021, 11:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgbout View Post
(1) Does the screen hold up / keep up enough over long periods of time?

(2) What are Practical Program solutions for Start-to-Finish Word Processor apps? (novel, script, etc...)
(a) That is, can you use Browser Based, like Office.com for MS Word, or does the Google Docs App work well ?
(b) And have you been able to create and finish a project JUST ON THE TAB? No going to a PC or Laptop to format, etc...

(3) Does screen scrolling kill the battery?
1) The screen is fine to READ on.
2) There are none for tablets. Only for MacOS, Windows and Linux.
a) Web programs are best for real time collaboration. Nasty for one person writing and the Internet and Service providers are less reliable than my laptop. You need local software.
b) Almost impossible.
3) Screen scrolling kills your eyes and brain on eink. And I have not yet found a wordprocessor where if you make the page size fit in the window, that paging puts the top of the page at the top of the window each time. So I've abandoned the idea of an eink monitor on the laptop. I'd imagine scrolling is harder on the battery than paging, but might still beat OLED / LCD. Pretty unreadable till you stop and force a refresh.

Eink works best with page orientated applications that are text that fits the screen, ie apps displaying real ebooks, or SMALL PDFs that happen to fit on the screen. Colour is rubbish. Blink is rubbish. So a text editor for programming with colour highlights and bracket matching is terrible. The good screens do Black, a nearly white and theoretically 14 levels of grey inbetween. But in that mode ghosting can be an issue if there is not full refresh on every page turn. Each cell has little black and white balls. Replace the CPU with Babbage and it would be steampunk. Also very large and noisy.

It's abysmal with animation, colour, scrolling etc. Don't hold your breath for colour without full sunlight or a bright front light and 1/3rd resolution.

But great for reading with page turns and long battery life.

Last edited by Quoth; 03-11-2021 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 03-11-2021, 08:27 PM   #6
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Thanks kindly.
Reading through, I get the impression my needs are much much simpler (and dated perhaps) than yours.

Floating panels, color highlights, animations, the need for 1920x1080 minimum res...
These have never been in my work.
Fixed menus are the only way for me. I'm perfectly happy with old Office 2000 and Windows 7 for a computer, and I found the older 11" chromebooks plenty powerful, I just never committed to it.

I'm only looking for gDocs, Word, Writerduet.., those kind of programs.
So in that frame of reference, I was wondering how these hold up.

The one issue you have me thinking about is text scrolling.
As you type new lines and the lines scroll up - are you saying the ghosting is so bad it's hard to read and does the screen keep flickering to re-image the screen? I've not seen that on any youtube vid, so that's concerning....

Thanks again
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Old 03-12-2021, 09:00 AM   #7
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I'd not use even something like Office 4.2, Word 2.0a or Office97 on eink.
Word 2.0a certainly works on a smaller screen. I archived my floppies to an Archive goldish CD. I wonder would it work on Android on Win 3.0 in Dosbox?

But I'd never go back to Wordstar, Word 2.0, etc. A navigation window when editing a novel is a must as is a separate window with a tabbed text editor for places, characters, timeline, events etc.

I did write my first three novels and millions of words of technical documents and programs on CP/M and DOS text only editors. I'd not go back except for short notes or maybe a chapter / scene. I have used Jota on Android for that.

The scrolling issue isn't a conventional flicker. A video is a poor way to see it. It's ghastly and exclusive to eink.

I gave away my last netbook, a chromebook sized thing with a FAR better OS. Originally a Linux, then XP and then Linux Mint with Mate Desktop. It's like editing through a letterbox. No space for navigation window and having to switch windows or desktops to read notes.

Also 10" eink are twice the price of a decent laptop. A 7.8" Boyue Likebook Mars is I think the best value affordable Android eink as it's a little cheaper than a Kobo Forma.

You'd need a 10" eink and a real keyboard and it will be rubbish for writing novels and nearly impossible creating final ePub (for Amazon KDP, Google, Smashwords) and PDF for paper POD.
You'd be relying on an always on WiFi to Broadband Internet and clunky Online tools lacking in privacy, security, ease of backup and accessiblity of connection/service. You couldn't pay me to do that.
I remember too the era of terminals and only having the document on someone else's server, even in the 1980s. Cloud computing is fine for collaboration or sharing to the public. A massive step backwards for your own creative work.

I've 35+ years experience creating, proofing and editing all sorts of documents and programs. The eink is great for reading. You'd want a 12" or larger screen and software that doesn't seem to exist and a better OS than Android to write AND final format books on eink. Even Windows 3.1 would be better. Or DR Gem.

What you want is a nice aspiration. I'd like to do it. But it's currently fantasy.

Certainly you can write plain drafts of chapters on any Android eink.
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Old 03-13-2021, 06:17 AM   #8
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Hi, I wrote a lot of text with mechanical keyboard and e-ink, before with iRex Iliad, after with Onyx M96 and now with Onyx Note3. I also published two books with most of the text I wrote on e-ink.
To be honest: it is nice to try, and sometimes is good when your eyes are tired for LCD or it is nice for writing in sun places (I wrote a chapter on a beach two years ago).
But the text refresh is not so good if you, as me, write with 10 finger and a fast mechanical keyboard. The time I end writing with fingers is not the same I see the text I wrote on screen, especially if I choose to have a good refresh of the screen. There is a delay that could be annoying.

I think this is very personal thing: could be very good for someone and unusable for another one. I use it often, I also use it for create markups for ePubs (it is funny to create ePub in XHTML using e-ink) but I still use LCD more than e-ink to write. We still need some development in e-ink before leave definitely the awful LCD. Some years I think.

IMHO
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