As smartphones with folding screens becoming increasingly common, perhaps we’ll see e-readers head down the same path. The E Ink Corporation has shown off its latest foldable e-reader prototype (via GoodEReader), which has a huge 10.3-inch screen.
We’ve seen dual-screen devices with E Ink tech in the past, and this prototype takes a slightly different approach. It has buttons down one side and a seemingly robust hinge, along with fold-down lightbars at the top to illuminate the screen. You can highlight passages with a stylus and take notes on it as well — it’s not the first time that E Ink has incorporated a note-taking system into an e-reader though.
It’ll likely be a while before this tech makes its way to market. If it does, it seems you’ll get much more screen real estate than a standard e-reader, which could come in particularly handy for digital newspapers.
However, as The Verge points out, the design here is pretty clunky as things stand. The prototype has massive bezels, and having to switch on lightbars and fold them down for better nighttime reading seems cumbersome.
The e-reader is still a work in progress, though. It has evolved quite a bit from the last version E Ink revealed in June. If E Ink can make the bezels smaller and figure out an elegant way to build backlit foldable screens, it could be onto a winning idea. If it can somehow add color screens to the device too, so much the better.