It’s been 15 years since Amazon introduced the first Kindle, introducing many readers to the benefits of electronic paper (e-ink) technology, including long battery life and excellent sunlight readability.

Displays have improved over the years but still exhibit drawbacks such as screen ghosting, where a lighter version of the previous screen image can be seen in lighter parts of the display, and disruptive refresh, which involves removing an image from showing. At first the screen flashes shadow. Technology also took the hard way for coloring.

Two recently released e-paper tablets address these issues, managing contrast versus screen refresh speed, out-of-the-box Google Play compatibility, stylus support, and the latest in E Ink’s color technology called the Kaleido Plus. Offers multiple modes.

Nova Air C: Ultimate Digital Notepad

The Nova Air C comes from Onyx Boox, which offers the industry’s widest range of e-readers and e-paper tablets – even if one excludes only its China-based products.

The Onyx Boox portfolio ranges in size from 6″ to 13.3″ and includes two E Ink-based monitors under its Mira brand. Its products consistently showcase thoughtful designs, attractive packaging and smartly designed accessories.

For example, Onyx Books offers a keyboard folio for its 10.3″ devices that makes it the closest thing to a true E Ink laptop today (a product the company released at a 2017 trade fair but canceled). It also offers a cover that adds page-turning buttons for e-reading apps. Indeed, one of the advantages of Android-based e-paper tablets is that they offer the Kindle’s screen aesthetic, allowing you to choose from a wider range of digital bookstores.

While most companies in the e-paper tablet space have yet to ship a color product, the Nova Air Sea is another entrant from the Onyx Books that includes improved color and grayscale uniformity.

Nova Air Sea E-Reader by Onyx Books

Nova Air Sea E-Reader (Image Credit: Onyx Books)

Like other Onyx Books products, the Nova Air C interface is marked by a “function tab” that appears on the left side of the display by default. These launch a less-than-useful store full of public domain tasks and a library to organize them, a basic file manager, and an exceptionally full-featured note-taking app.

Working with the product’s comprehensive, button-free stylus, the app supports multiple page sizes, adding and deleting pages and layers, inserting images, shapes, and recordings, up to 5GB of free cloud syncing, and handwriting support. In two ways- text. You can also set up multiple pens and brushes and choose from three different erasing modes.

The Apps section includes an App Store that provides some of the basics, taken from the Internet. However, the device supports the full breadth of Google Play and Android-style navigation including settings and notification access from the swipe-down notification shade; The Back, Home, and App Switch functions can be accessed by swiping up from the left, middle, and right sides of the bottom of the screen, respectively.

Alternatively, a circle floating over other app interfaces — similar to those used by Android screen-recording applications — pops out controls for features like switching apps, taking screenshots, and powering off.

All told, the Nova Air Sea is a mix of the best that E Ink has to offer: an excellent note-taking app for those looking for an alternative to Android apps like Nebo or Noteshelf, and a wide range of Google apps. have access to. Via Google Play—all in one lightweight, well-accessorized package.

Bigme Inknote Color: E-Paper Power

Onyx Books isn’t the only vendor to bring color to earlier monochrome slates using E Ink and similar technologies such as Digital Electronic Slurry (DES). The latter has been used so far in outright crowdfunded products from Rinkstone and mini-laptop seller Topjoy; Both have faced lengthy shipping delays from their original November 2021 target.

While more established vendor BigMe has used the crowdfunding route for its Inknote color device, it has used the same Kaleido Plus color technology used for the Nova Air C. In fact, the interface of the product is very similar to Onyx Books and others. e-paper tablet, even including an optional floating navigational control and lock screen illustration in the same style.

Upon launch, you are presented with a shelf similar to icons on the left that includes Meeting Records, Offline Books, and Storage. However, Bigme offers more customization options, including being able to dock Android apps there. This is especially useful because the company hasn’t (yet) implemented alphabetical ordering for Android apps as on Onyx Books.

BigMe partnered with Good eReader – a provider of news and reviews about e-paper devices and an online store on product designs that are hard to find in the US.

As Good e-reader’s impressive review notes, the Inknote Color is the first color E Ink product with an A5-sized display. The larger size makes it better suited for reading and annotating PDFs, as well as content like web pages, magazines, sheet music, and comics.

Similar to other larger E Ink-based devices, such as Kobo’s Ellipsa, the Inknote Color has a relatively thin bezel except for a notably wide bezel on the left margin.

Bigme Inknote Color E-Ink Tablet

Bigme Inknote Color E-Ink Tablet (Image Credit: Bigme)

Beyond color, the tablet offers hardware features that have rarely, ever, been seen before in such a product. This includes:

  • 5MP front and 8MP rear cameras that can be used to take a quick profile photo or scan a document with integrated OCR which works well;
  • A large (but inadvertently very easy to detach) active stylus with three buttons, unlike the button-free version on the Onyx Books;
  • Miracast-based screen-casting — a great feature for when you want to take some video that will overwhelm the E Ink display; And
  • A fingerprint reader – although this requires a Bigme Cloud account to set up.

Inknote Color also revives that microSD slot, which has been seen to lack vendor support, and supports 4G internet access, but not in the US

A technical tour de force for the category, the BigMe InkNote Color caters to those who want the biggest Color E Ink tablet available, specifically for consuming and annotating content transferred through a range of Android apps. And the device’s image and audio is recognized by text recognition applications.

E-paper tablets have made great strides in areas such as refresh rate and color support. However, their more mainstream competitors from companies such as Apple, Lenovo and Samsung have progressed into e-paper sweet spots, such as daylight readability and longer battery life, while offering great advantages in color reproduction.

E-paper tablets, then, are better optimized for prolonged reading, note-taking or annotation versus popular media-focused tablet activities such as playing games and watching videos. Products like the Inknote Color and Nova Air C don’t come close to challenging the iPad for those tasks.

However, with Google Play support and an improved color story, these devices allow more penetration into applications like email, web browsing, and messaging—that is, if you want to defy their promise of a less-distracting experience.

Rubin’s Review: Sherpa 100 Series Power Bank

Goal Zero was a pioneer in high capacity portable power products with AC outlets sold under the Yeti brand. These were useful for applications ranging from camping to emergency power. However, its smaller products, sold under the Sherpa brand, underperformed to stand out in the USB-based charging crowd.

Since the first Sherpa products, we’ve seen a flood of unnamed brands in the portable power space. Additionally, USB-C has offered a more versatile and popular charging standard, with its higher-wattage power delivery option.

In response, Goal Zero’s latest 95 kWh Sherpa power banks, the 100PD, which delivers up to 100 watts via USB-C power delivery, and the 100AC which offers the same in addition to a 100-watt AC outlet, while also standing out Covering each base and providing exceptional control over their features.

Target Zero Power Bank, 100PD and 100AC

The Sherpa 100PD (pictured left) and Sherpa 100AC power banks offer 95 watt-hours of portable, airline-approved charging. (image credits: Target Zero)

While both the products are large to accommodate their high capacity, the AC-based product is smaller for its category. Both include informative displays tracking charge level, incoming and outgoing wattage, and other details.

More power banks are now smartly taking advantage of USB-C PDs to charge themselves as well as other products, reducing the need for a separate AC adapter. Sherpas implement this very well, with switches on the back specifying input, output, or port for automatic detection; A subtle colored light ring around the port glows blue or green to reflect this.

The Sherpa 100 family of products support Qi-based charging, and, in keeping with the company’s heritage, they are sturdily built—though not water-resistant; The 100AC includes a ventilation hole on its side. Nevertheless, the products represent how a company can reclaim premium status, even in a category that has seen widespread commoditization.

Currently, the Sherpa 100PD is priced at $199.99 and the Sherpa 100AC is $299.99 at Goal Zero.

Low-income drivers behind the wheel of electric vehicles are expected to reduce greenhouse gases in the coming years, according to a report released Monday by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a science and technology think tank in Washington, DC. necessary to obtain.

Given the lack of low-carbon alternatives to internal combustion engines (ICEs) and the urgency of emissions reduction requirements for EVs to be market success, report authors Madeline Yozwiak, Sanya Carly and David M. Koninsky.

Because of the stakes involved, he continued, the technology maturity path for EVs needs to move faster than an emerging technology.

There is a need for rapid adoption of this young technology if local and global policy goals are to be met, he added. This implies that a wider range of consumers should buy an EV earlier in the adoption process than similar technologies

Since traditional approaches to incentivizing the purchase of EVs may fail to reach low-income and disadvantaged communities, the authors argue that innovation should help address the disparities in EV adoption and assist the broader goal of mass adoption. would be an important strategy.

They believe that by intentionally involving a diverse range of users in the adoption process, technology providers can more effectively identify issues and modify technology to successfully appeal to the mass market.

barriers to adoption

Rob Enderle, president and principal analyst at Enderle Group, an advisory services firm in Bend, Ore., agreed that low-income and disadvantaged people who drive cars are critical to the decarbonization of the environment. “That’s where most non-compliant gas cars live, which makes it an important milestone in reducing automotive-based pollutants,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“Be aware, however,” he warned, “that most areas still do not yet have sufficient power generation and distribution capacity for these clusters.”

The ITIF report said the top three barriers to EV adoption – range, price and charge time – affect low-income and disadvantaged drivers more than others.

“Standard barriers may be experienced more acutely for low-income individuals than for middle-income individuals,” Yozwick said.

For example, when it comes to low-income drivers, incentives designed to encourage the purchase of EVs can leave their mark.

“The upfront cost is higher than for internal combustion vehicles, yet the primary form of government-created incentive is a tax credit of $7,500,” Yozwiak told TechNewsWorld. “But to benefit from that policy, you must have at least $7,500 in tax liability.”

“If you make $30,000 a year, you won’t have that much in tax liability, so you won’t get the full benefit of that credit to lower the cost of the vehicle compared to higher-income buyers,” she explained.

rich man with garage

Charging an EV can be even more challenging for low-income and disadvantaged drivers. David M. Hart, director of ITIF’s Center for Clean Energy Innovation, told TechNewsWorld, “Low-income people are more likely to live in multi-family dwellings and less likely to have a place to directly charge a car “

Anderle said that because of constraints like price, range and charging time, EVs are often the second car in the family. “Low-income groups likely only have one car that they primarily use, and that is the car that needs to be replaced,” he said.

The report also noted that strategies to accelerate EV adoption among low-income and disadvantaged communities include prioritizing communication and marketing, revisiting perceptions and biases about early adopters, and increasing demand and universal benefits. should be involved in designing government programs to maximize

“Perceptions about who is using this technology inform a variety of decisions,” Yozwick said. “Those decisions result from what defines the types of incentives and policies the technology has made to encourage its adoption.”

“If those decisions are based on misconceptions about who is buying the technology or who can buy it,” she continued, “you perpetuate a bias that could further impact access.”

“When car sellers think of early adopters, they think of wealthy men with garages,” Hart said. “If they focus solely on that group, they will be slow to adopt these vehicles because they will be seen as the province of the rich. We need these vehicles to perform the mobility tasks that all of us need. People need it.”

Enderle notes that EVs were initially offered at the premium end of the market and that public chargers are positioned to serve that segment of the buyer. “Low-income households may not have the power to power a Level 2 charger or the location to install it,” he said.

“Public charging will need to be installed that is more convenient for those populations,” he continued, “such as street inductive charging – which requires less maintenance and is less prone to vandalism – that is available on the ground from companies such as Witricity. achieving.”

Tesla Witricity with Wireless Charger

WiTricity Halo wireless charging for EVs was announced in February.

incentive work

Another takeaway from the report was that the federal government could help increase benefits to the low-income and disadvantaged by modifying the federal tax credit for EV purchases to make it eligible for a refundable, or carry-forward, charging infrastructure. To expand access to and help. Upgrades to older homes.

If the tax credit was refundable, for example, a person who only paid $3,000 in taxes would receive a $3,000 tax credit and a $4,500 refund check from Uncle Sam, or with a carry-forward, they would get a $4,500 tax credit. 3,000 and will be able to carry the remaining credit to subsequent tax years.

Incentives like tax credits can boost sales, said Edward Sanchez, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, a global research, advisory and analysis firm. “Norway recently removed some incentives because they exceeded the 50% threshold for EVs in the form of new car sales, and soon after removing that credit, they saw a drop in EV sales,” he told TechNewsWorld. Told.

“The long goal for manufacturers is to bring the price up to the point where subsidies and credits are no longer needed, but we are not quite there yet,” he said.

move in mass transit

Since most Americans buy used cars, the best thing to do to accelerate EV purchases by low-income and disadvantaged drivers is to accelerate sales of new vehicles, according to E-Mobility Insights in Detroit. Sam Abuelsamid, a leading analyst, said. “As they filter into the used vehicle fleet, they may become more economical,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“The only other thing we can do is encourage people to get out of old vehicles and use mass transportation,” he said.

“As long as Americans want to continue driving their vehicles,” he said, “it’s going to be at least 2040 before you significantly reduce the existing vehicle fleet.”