Usually foldable screens are all about OLED action, but this time it’s E Ink that’s getting in the game, having demoed recently a foldable ePaper panel. E Ink has shown off a 10.3 inch foldable electronic paper display, that could be used on eBook readers that let you fold the screen in half like a regular book.
E Ink screens are used on a variety of e-readers, including Amazon Kindle models. They have multiple advantages, like high contrast, good outdoor visibility and low power usage. There’s no need for a backlight, so the text and images are visible using ambient light or sometimes a front light. You can also display an image on an E Ink display for a long time. The problem is that such panels are usually in black and white and offer support for 16 shades of gray, but no colors.
Yes, there are some tests and prototypes of color E Ink panels, but they’re quite pricey and have lower pixel density. There have been dual screen E Ink devices in the past, but this prototype takes a different approach. It has buttons on one side and a pretty solid hinge, as well as fold down lightbars at the top to illuminate the screen. You can highlight sentences with a stylus, take notes and more. The prototype has rather large bezels and the while lightbar thing may feel bothersome for some people.
The demo device was shown off in Tokyo, but we’re pretty far from a commercial product. E Ink also unveiled a 10.2 inch foldable display in 2017, but they haven’t release any commercial product or supplied such a panel for partners. Cost would have to be the number one reason. From what I can see Wacom also supplies some tech on this unit.