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Summary:

E Ink Holdings had a scare earlier this year as sales of ebook readers using its screen technology fell. There are other uses for E Ink screens though: Consider this large tablet used to view Autocad drawings.

PB_CAD_Reader

Growing up, I was surrounded by blueprints and design drawings thanks to my father’s career as an architect. I remember as he got older, he started playing around with computer-aided design, or CAD, programs. Were he still around today, I think he’d be mesmerized by the new PocketBook CAD Reader.

PB_CAD_Reader

The 13.3-inch Android tablet uses the latest E Ink Fina display which has less than half the weight of a similar glass-based TFT and is less than half as thick as well. The PocketBook CAD Reader has a 1 GHz dual-core chip and runs Android 4.0.4 with 2 GB of memory and 16 GB of internal storage. It also has an 8,000 mAh battery, Wi-Fi and an integrated 3G radio as well as Wacom digitizer support.

Obviously, this device was built with a very clear purpose in mind; it’s specifically designed to render Autocad drawing files.

That purpose is best suited, however, for a high-contrast grayscale display and it’s nice to see E Ink products made available for markets outside of the obvious ones — think ebook readers. That’s important because this past August, E Ink Holdings reported its worst quarter in four years as traditional tablets gobbled up ebook reader sales. There’s still plenty of opportunity for E Ink displays in future products as the PocketBook CAD Reader shows, so don’t write off E Ink just yet.

  1. When I first saw the story I thought this thing would be bigger, at least 18″. 13″ is about pointless.

    Now a 27″ eInk device that is thin and light and inexpensive. That could get rid of the plotter.

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  2. Hmmm, this does look pretty cool, but isn’t there already CAD software available on tablets such as the iPad?

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    1. But have you ever tried to read an iPad display in the light of day? You can e-ink just as easily as a page on a book in bright light.

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      1. you can “read” e-Ink…

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      2. Point duly noted your certainly right.

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  3. Great to see some new e-Ink products coming between this and the new Sony device. Both, however, are geared towards niche market. I don’t understand why eInk seems to ignore/not establish better relationships with the maker community. The average e-ink display available for tinkering is under 4 inches. I still don’t know anyone who likes to read for hours on their tablet. We need eink, the major manufacturers can’t seem to create what I want, or want to lock me into their universe. Please E ink, we need a 13inch screen, controller and software for the maker community. Please.

    I disagree that this size is pointless, for one because A4 (or 8.5×11) can now be reproduced at 100% scaling. Though I do hope larger screens become available as well.

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  4. Actually, 13.3″ is perfect because it is close to the diagonal of the standard US letter size (8.5″ x 11″). Most tech PDFs / drawings are made to the US letter size (at least in the US), and this reader can display such PDFs at 100% to the page.

    Now, what I would like is to reduce the bezel on this / add colour capabilities while keeping the power consumption down — this could prove ideal in universities for students and companies dealing with engineering (electrical / mechanical / computing — anything that exchanges lot of information in documents with standard letter sized pages).

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  5. It’s about time they go mainstream with colour eInk . How long can they hold off this greyscale eInk. This is why sales have gone down and people view of eInk is a dead technology.

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  6. I search Google every other day to find any decent eink reader/tablet . I am an engineer and work in the field. Have to carry my plans for different projects. Looking for something where all my plans could be read in PDF in eink format. Should at least be 12″ and not too heavy to carry. This may be good. Have been following the Sony but don’t know release date and the price. Thanks for the article.

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