We are approaching the end of 2023 and while we get to that, what seems all too evident in the gradual change in the very ethos that would have defined e-readers so far – that of a digital device conceived and designed from the ground up to serve exclusively as a reading aid and nothing else. In that sense, e-readers can be considered as nothing more than digital incarnations of print books, one that offers zero distractions, which is unlike devices such as smartphones or a tablet.
But then, things seem set for a change as it is e-note or E Ink Android tablets that likely are poised to emerge as the e-reader devices of the future.
It all started with the Amazon Kindle way back in 2006. While many would be quick to point out Sony has been the first to launch an e-reader device, it’s the Kindle that went on to become synonymous with the word e-reader over time. All of it was centered around a simple principle – that of serving as a device that could replace the print books. Much of that owed to the evolution of the E Ink display tech which offered the same feel as paper.
Other benefits of E Ink display include its reflective nature. What that means is it does not emit any light as such and hence it has the least adverse effect on our eyes even when viewed for long hours. Also, it being reflective in nature, it continues to be just as readable under the sun as indoors. Further, another huge positive of E Ink display tech is that it requires very little power for its operation. In fact, it draws power only when the display changes and won’t drain the battery so long as the display is static.
All of these qualities make the E Ink display tech just right for e-reader devices. You can indulge in binge-reading without hurting your eyes or worrying about getting your battery drained. Also, you can have hundreds or thousands of e-books stored on your e-reader devices which typically weigh almost as much as modern-day smartphones. Imagine having to lug around that many physical books and this alone should be a pointer to how much beneficial e-readers can be.
Fortunately, manufacturers hit upon an ingenious way to make E Ink display tech beneficial to a wider section of people who typically have to stare at electronic displays for hours on end, whether be it as part of their routine job or studies. Such a group comprises office workers, lawyers, journalists, students, teachers, researchers, digital artists, designers, and such who need to spend long hours staring at the computer screen. When replaced with an E Ink display, things suddenly are a lot more beneficial for their eyes.
Enter the special breed that has come to be known as e-notes. These essentially are E Ink tablet devices running Android which can be considered as further extensions of e-reader devices. These typically come bundled with a stylus pen which allows users to take notes, scribble, sketch, or do whatever they want right on the display itself. Some e-notes such as the reMarkable 2 or the Onyx Boox Tab Ultra C support Bluetooth keyboard attachments which transforms the e-notes into sort of notebook devices.
This way, those who have to read or lot (lawyers, students, researchers, journalists, teachers, etc.) can benefit immensely from e-note devices. The bundled pen can enhance the productivity quotient of these devices all the more. They are usually lightweight and can easily last several days on a single full recharge of the battery.
These generally come with display size options of 8-inch, 10.3-inch or so, and 13.3-inch. Of these, 13.3-inch and even 10.3-inch is best suited for reading PDF files but things can get a bit tacky with 8-inchers. So, those who need to do a lot of e-reading would do good to procure 10- or 13-inch sized e-notes, cost permitting of course. Price tends to rise dramatically for anything north of 10-inch e-note devices.
Most of the e-notes allow access to the Google Play Store or at least support sideloading of apps. You can always have your favorite e-book reading app installed on your device, or opt for multiple e-book reading apps as well. This way, you can always carry on with your e-book reading on the e-note devices as well if you don’t mind the larger size of e-note devices. All the benefits you have with e-reader devices are equally applicable to e-notes save for the slightly larger dimensions as well as a corresponding increase in weight.
Those who already own an e-reader and are well aware of its pros and cons won’t mind opting for an e-note for their work. You suddenly have a device that will let you do a lot more than just e-reading. It’s like an e-note can be an e-reader but not the other way round. While avid readers will always opt for an e-reader device, those who are looking for a more versatile device can opt for the e-note.
With a keen interest in tech, I make it a point to keep myself updated on the latest developments in technology and gadgets. That includes smartphones or tablet devices but stretches to even AI and self-driven automobiles, the latter being my latest fad. Besides writing, I like watching videos, reading, listening to music, or experimenting with different recipes. The motion picture is another aspect that interests me a lot, and I'll likely make a film sometime in the future.