eWritable > E-Ink Tablet Specifications & Ratings

E-Ink Tablet Specifications & Ratings

eWritable gathers all the important information that a prospective e-ink tablet buyer needs to make an informed decision about which device is right for them.

This includes the objective specifications of each device as well as our own subjective ratings.

This page explains each of the specifications and the things we look at when rating an e-ink tablet, as shown our comparison table.

NOTE: More features do not necessarily mean a better device – for example, a frontlight can make the battery run down quicker and some colour e-ink screens make the entire screen darker than monochrome screens.

Specifications

Specifications are split into a few categories; General Information, screen, hardware, and software.

General Information

  • Product – the model name of the e-ink tablet
  • Image – a picture of the e-ink tablet (images are in scale to one another, so physically bigger tablets will be represented with a larger image)
  • Price – how much the device costs.
    To ensure an even playing field, prices are collated for the tablet and a standard stylus, without a folio (unless it is included for free). Due to the international appeal of this website, shipping and taxes are not included. We also provide information about the availability of each tablet.
  • Where to buy – recommendations about where a particular product can be bought
  • Release Year – the year the device was launched onto the market

Screen

  • Screen Type – the type of screen used on the device:
    • Carta – the standard glass screen used on most monochrome tablets. There are four generations; Carta 1000, Carta 1100, Carta 1200, and Carta 1250.
    • Mobius Carta – a monochrome plastic screen with more flexibility
    • Canvas/Carta – reMarkable’s own implementation of the Carta screen
    • Kaleido Plus – a colour e-ink screen
    • Gallery 3 – a new and improved colour e-ink screen
    • DES Slurry – a possible future competitor to e-ink colour screens
  • Screen Size – the size of the screen measured in inches diagonally. Although there are a few deviations they usually fall into one of the categories:
    • 7.8″ (small, A6)
    • 10.3″ (medium, A5)
    • 13.3″ (large, A4)
  • Screen Resolution – the number of pixels displayed horizontally and vertically (width x height)
  • Screen Density – the number of dots per inch (DPI) or pixels per inch (PPI). DPI and PPI are the same
  • Colour – whether the tablet has a colour screen
  • Colour Screen Resolution – (for colour screens only) the number of colour pixels displayed horizontally and vertically (width x height)
  • Colour Screen Density – (for colour screens only) the number of dots per inch (DPI) or pixels per inch (PPI). DPI and PPI are the same
  • Frontlight – if the tablet has an integrated light that allows for reading in dim or dark conditions
  • Wacom-compatible – if the tablet has a Wacom EMR layer that supports the use of any Wacom-compatible stylus

Hardware

  • CPU – Central Processing Unit or CPU measured in the number of processor cores and the clock speed (in GHz)
  • RAM – Random Access Memory or the amount of onboard memory on the tablet (not to be confused with storage capacity below)
  • Storage – the capacity of the tablet for storing files, documents and apps (the actual storage will be a little less because the operating system of the device will take up some of the space)
  • Battery – the capacity of the onboard battery in milliamps per hour
  • Super Refresh – Boox’s Super Refresh technology, combined with an integrated GPU supports faster refresh rates, which makes movements on the screen (such as scrolling and animations) much smoother than has traditionally been possible with e-ink screens
  • Keyboard folio – if the manufacturer produces a folio/cover with an integrated keyboard
  • Speakers – if the tablet has integrated speakers
  • Microphone – if the tablet has an integrated microphone
  • G-Sensor – if the screen auto-orientates the screen when the tablet is rotated (so that text is always the right way up)
  • Ceramic tip – if the default stylus has a ceramic tip, which never needs replacing
  • Bluetooth – if the tablet has integrated Bluetooth connectivity
  • USB-C – if the tablet has USB-C connectivity
  • Fingerprint scanner – for added security, the tablet scans the user’s fingerprint before unlocking the screen
  • SD Card Slot – if the tablet’s storage capacity can be expanded using an SD Card
  • Rear Camera – an integrated rear-facing camera
  • Front camera – an integrated front-facing camera
  • Waterproof – if the tablet is waterproof to IPX standards
  • Width, height and thickness – dimensions of the tablet measured in millimetres
  • Weight – how heavy the device is measured in grams

Software

  • Operating System – the operating system of the device, usually either:
    • a proprietary operating system built on Linux, which does not support the installation of additional apps, unless specifically provided by the manufacturer
    • a version of Android, which supports the installation of additional apps from the Google Play Store
  • Google Play Store – if the tablet supports the installation of additional apps from the Google Play Store
  • Kindle Support – if the device supports the installation of Amazon’s Kindle Reader
  • Handwriting to text conversion – the facility to convert handwriting into plain text
  • Handwriting search – if the user can search their handwriting (without prior conversion to text)
  • Insert shapes – if the native note-taking app supports the insertion of straight lines and shapes (circle, square, triangle etc.)
  • Insert images – if images can be inserted into notebooks
  • Split screen – if the screen can be split into two halves, each with a different app open
  • Custom templates – if the user can add their own templates to the native note-taking app
  • No. templates – how many pre-installed templates are available within the native note-taking app
  • Brush types – the range of brush types available in the native note-taking app (e.g pen, pencil, marker etc.)
  • Screen share – if the user can share the screen of the tablet in real-time via wifi or the Internet
  • ADE support – if there is native support for opening DRM-protected ebooks secured with Adobe Digital Editions (ADE)
  • File Formats – the filetypes that can be opened on the tablet, split into documents/ebook filetypes, image filetypes, and audio filetypes

Ratings

We give each device an overall rating based on our own experiences using an e-ink tablet. These ratings are based on our personal experiences with each device, as well as our own personal preferences, so they are subjective but honest.

We also rate devices in seven key areas that we believe are important for e-ink tablet buyers. They are:

  1. Design and build
    How the tablet looks and feels and the build quality
  2. Hardware
    The hardware specs of the tablet and any additional hardware features
  3. Organisation
    How files are organised on the tablet, how files can be transferred to and from the tablet and any companion apps provided by the manufacturer
  4. Note-taking
    The quality of the writing experience and the software features of the native note-taking app
  5. Reading
    The quality of the reading experience and the software features of the native reading app
  6. Versatility
    Other than reading and writing, what else can the tablet do? Can you access email or install additional apps?
  7. Customer service
    The quality of the customer service experience, including software updates and returns policy

If you think there is other objective/subjective information that we should make available in our comparison table, please email me via dan@ewritable.com

About the author

Me and my e-ink tablets
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Dan Dutton is passionate about E-ink writing tablets, which bring together the pleasure of writing on paper with the power of digital technology. When he bought his first tablet, he realised that there wasn't a lot of unbiased information available for people that were considering buying an E-ink tablet, and so he built eWritable.