Outdoors laptop

i like to work outside, at a park, on the beach, etc. For years I’ve made do with regular laptops, but all those year’s I’ve really wanted an e-ink laptop to avoid the squinting and the headaches and the search for shade. The pixel-qi displays raised my hopes, but those were quickly dashed when they closed their doors. For a brief time there were two e-ink laptops for sale. They were quite underpowered and expensive, but more importantly they’re no longer around.

Maybe it’s time to build one. There are many ways one could go about it:

  • Get a toughbook with a transflective display
  • Get a rooted nook and run vncclient connected to a server on my laptop or in a vm
  • Get a dasung e-ink monitor connected to my laptop. Not cheap, and dubious linux support.
  • Actually it seems an external pixel-qi display may be available right now. Still pretty steep price.
  • Attach a keyboard to a nook and use that standalone
  • Get a used pixelqi, put it in some sort of case, and hook it up as a separate display
  • Get a small e-ink (2″) display, hook it up to a rpi or beaglebone black
  • Get a used pixelqi display and install it in something like a used lenovo s10-3
  • Get a freewrite and hack it to be an ssh terminal. Freewrite themselves don’t like that idea.
  • Get a used OLPG with pixelqi display.

So is there anyone in the community with similar goals? What are you using? How’s it working for you?

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6 Responses to Outdoors laptop

  1. The only eink laptop I’ve encountered is unfortunately not really useable: https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2017/4/11/15264394/boox-typewriter-e-ink-laptop-is-my-dream-computer

    At least not for any serious programming. I’d really like to see a technical write-up outlining the challenges in getting full-blown eink laptop. For example, I have no idea how this works with a browser and other rather “display-heavy” programs.

    • s3hh says:

      That thing looks promising, if we can install a tiny ubuntu image on it.

      There was an article years ago in linuxjournal by a guy who took an e-ink dev kit and used it as a regular monitor. Motion etc worked fine. And if you watch the videos on youtube by people showing how to root a barnes&noble nook, they show motion working even on those. So I think it’d be fine. Just b&w, no big deal.

  2. hg says:

    I have the same itch. My favorite I am waiting for are Mirasol displays (http://blog.gsmarena.com/qualcomm-shows-off-5-1-inch-2560-x-1440-resolution-mirasol-display/).
    It has poor color depth, but **it has color** and **it has the advantages as e-ink**.

  3. Why not try to use only sound/speech? That is my unreasonable goal: use espeakup or similar and use console based things like ed, edbrowse, etc. Steep training curve to get wpm up but you could move around while listening to code/books/websites.

    • s3hh says:

      In fact I did do that a few times precisely with edbrowse and espeak 🙂 However, one feels like a nuisance when everyone else at the beach hears the espeak output 🙂

  4. Pingback: Outdoors laptop (part 2) | S3hh's Blog

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