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Old 02-19-2020, 09:40 PM   #1
myself248
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Largest screen, lowest power?

I haven't paid much attention to the e-reader scene since the iLiad was a shipping product, but back then I remember it was a selling point of the various zero-power displays that the computer/controller could completely power down, waking up only to service the "page flip" interrupt, and power down again.

Battery life was sometimes measured in months, or in thousands of page turns rather than a unit of time at all.

Are there still some that work this way, or are they all running background tasks and keeping wifi awake and doing other silliness?

Things I care about:
  • Huge screen. 8" minimum, 10+ ideal.
  • Longest possible battery life. Truly zero power while idle.
  • Reading PDFs without reformatting/reflowing text.
  • Reading offline Wikipedia and other ZIM files.
  • SD or MicroSD expansion.
  • Wifi would be cool, as long as it consumes no power when turned off.

Things I do not care about:
  • Apps, app stores, online ebook stores, or other ecosystems.
  • Note-taking, word processing, or any input besides search.
  • Stylus or touch input.
  • Cellular data of any kind.
  • Audio.
  • Backlight, frontlight, sidelight, do-the-hokey-pokey-light.
  • Price.

Of course all those things are fine if they happen to be included, as long as they don't detract from the main goals.

If possible, I'd like to support someone whose out-of-the-box software experience gives me the things I want, without having to jerk around with bootloader hacks and custom firmware and downgrading to a specific version or whatever other godawful pains people put up with just to get reasonable functionality. I'd like this to be a tool, not a project.

I'm totally fine using an older device -- replacing batteries is well within my skill set -- I'm just trying to avoid needing the JTAG skills.

Does such a device exist?

Thanks in advance for your insight and recommendations! I'm aware that this might be a bit off the beaten path...
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Old 02-20-2020, 03:44 AM   #2
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Maybe the Forma (8").
All eInk mostly take power only to page flip. WiFi and indexing takes power.
The Kobo models seem to have a real off
The Kindle models have sleep only.

I got the Libra because the Forma was about €100 more. It's 7". I spent €120 on a decent 10" Android tablet for larger PDFs.

In reality you need a 10" to 14" screen and colour to be able to read any larger PDF.
The Libra manages A5 size PDFs OK. Even an 8" screen will be poor for many scanned PDF from magazines, larger books, Letter size or A4.

A larger than 8" eink is really expensive and is likely heavy to read novels on. I have several 6" eink readers, one 6.8" Kobo, a 9.7" Kindle DXG and the 7" Kobo Libra is best. It does PDFs better than the 9.7" DXG because it's faster and 300 dpi rather than 150 dpi
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Old 02-20-2020, 10:42 PM   #3
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Ooo, the Forma looks gorgeous, and 300dpi, too. For some reason I hadn't even considered operating the device in landscape mode, but that would be near ideal for much of my use. Good on them for depicting it in their product photos. An 8-inch screen is probably doable, then.

I should clarify -- most of the PDFs I intend to read are electronic component datasheets and scientific papers. They're exclusively formatted for A4 or Letter size pages, and I don't think I've ever seen one that was in color. I take it the PDF format has another traditional use around here?

Unfortunately, it sounds like Kobo had ZIM support but broke it recently, so that's out of the running. (And I just confirmed with Kobo support that ZIM is indeed not a supported format at present.)

Dang. That's sort of an essential feature for me. And it looks like basically nobody supports it out-of-the-box.
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Old 02-21-2020, 11:50 AM   #4
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A used or new old stock Sony DPT-S1 might work. The screen is a full 13.3" (1600x1200) but only 150DPI. It will mount as USB mass storage and has a microSd slot, which it also exports for mounting. It has both IR touchscreen and pen support. Battery life is good and waits longer than most before going to sleep, which is handy for staying on a page for reference.

The e-ink screen has a flexible (plastic) substrate and the reader is surpisingly light and comfortable to hold.

The DPT-S1 is PDF only.

It had a 200DPI successor (DPT-RP1), but that dropped the SD card slot and only communicates with microsoft OS and only via proprietary windows software. This has been reverse engineered, but that violates your no hacking restriction.
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Old 03-01-2020, 01:07 PM   #5
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Dang. That's sort of an essential feature for me. And it looks like basically nobody supports it out-of-the-box.
Likebook, Onyx - Android devices + Kiwix.

7.8" Devices:
Likebook Mars
Likebook Muses
Likebook Ares

10.3" Devices
Likebook Mimas
Likebook Alita

Onyx devices are mor expensive.
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Old 03-01-2020, 01:46 PM   #6
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No Readers use no power while idle. They just use less power while idle.
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Old 03-05-2020, 02:53 PM   #7
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No Readers use no power while idle. They just use less power while idle.
THE SCREEN does not use power when idle, but the prossesor still runs, as well as touch ect. in theory it would be acivable, but no one has attempted
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Old 03-18-2020, 04:12 AM   #8
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This looks interesting, under the context:

https://www.cnx-software.com/2020/03...thout-battery/
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Old 03-18-2020, 04:37 AM   #9
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NFC is basically power transfer using a lossy transformer. It's a lazy solution to avoid a short cable and connector. It's inefficient.

This is a niche product for in store adverts and very low resolution. No value for ereaders. The 7.5" @ 800 x 480 with 2 level greyscale is really poor. Old 6" ereaders were 800 x 600.
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Old 03-18-2020, 06:02 AM   #10
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This looks interesting, under the context:

https://www.cnx-software.com/2020/03...thout-battery/
Looks a bit rubbishy to me.
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Old 03-18-2020, 04:42 PM   #11
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Looks a bit rubbishy to me.
imao looks clunky, tech is awesome
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Old 03-18-2020, 07:27 PM   #12
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obviously this is for signage purposes where a semi-permanent image is displayed (until the next image is uploaded). for instance, instead of buying a name plate for a CEO to be placed on an office door, you could use this and not have to worry about supplying it with power after the initial upload. then when the CEO is replaced, the next name gets applied. no need to get rid of the name plate and replace with another name plate.

however, why couldn't they do it with more levels of gray? it's only two levels. this is stepping backwards. even the very first e-ink screen had 16 levels of gray.
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Old 03-18-2020, 07:40 PM   #13
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THE SCREEN does not use power when idle, but the prossesor still runs, as well as touch ect. in theory it would be acivable, but no one has attempted
I'm not sure about "as well as touch". Eink e-readers tend to have power buttons; the touch screen is not using power when the reader is sleeping.
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Old 03-18-2020, 11:22 PM   #14
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A used or new old stock Sony DPT-S1 might work. The screen is a full 13.3" (1600x1200) but only 150DPI. It will mount as USB mass storage and has a microSd slot, which it also exports for mounting. It has both IR touchscreen and pen support. Battery life is good and waits longer than most before going to sleep, which is handy for staying on a page for reference.

The e-ink screen has a flexible (plastic) substrate and the reader is surpisingly light and comfortable to hold.

The DPT-S1 is PDF only.

It had a 200DPI successor (DPT-RP1), but that dropped the SD card slot and only communicates with microsoft OS and only via proprietary windows software. This has been reverse engineered, but that violates your no hacking restriction.

This is great, I believe this is the one. Thanks for posting this.
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