ePaper might be making a restrained debut with NoteSlate.
I’ve always wanted a whiteboard/blackboard/greenboard that would erase itself. Similarly, I’ve also always wanted a piece of paper that could be used repeatedly, to save from cluttering my desk top with scrap paper. Lastly, an unlimited supply of paper wouldn’t be bad.
With the NoteSlate, we’re getting that — sorta. The NoteSlate is a tablet that is 6mm thick. While not what’s considered ‘paper-thin’, the NoteSlate is awfully thin by today’s standards. It’s affordably-priced, which is definitely major. Rather than just a proof of concept or a high-class product that appeals to the super-rich, the NoteSlate is available to everyone. If it can penetrate the market, it will probably take it by storm.
What exactly does this do that the iPad or other tablets can’t? Claiming electronic-paper like display, it seems to be much more crisp than the iPad’s display, which is a whopping sixteen million colors and can play videos. However, the Noteslate is priced only at $99, which is around a fourth of an iPad at the time of writing. If I was to go purely on drawing or writing notes, I’d much rather purchase the NoteSlate than the iPad. More than just a North American vision lies in the manufacturer’s mind though, as they also plan to spread Noteslate around the world, including third-world developing countries that can’t afford typically expensive machines.
I like NoteSlate’s variants. Not only are there a typical black and white version, but there are also wacky versions such as “Retro Green”. There are also versions with four colors or so, which isn’t bad given the typical different types of ink used. I only use black and blue, and on occasion red, so four colors are proven to be more than enough for a student such as myself.
I think that NoteSlate has great potential. Apparently being released in June 2011, we have yet to see a real prototype of working demo of the product, which makes me a bit worried. I’d hate to see a product showing so much promise flop and end up in development hell.