E-Ink Input Module?

Hi there,

I’ve seen some discussions about having an e-ink display as a screen replacement or to allow for switchable keyboards. But I couldn‘t find a topic about a small e-ink input module, yet, e.g. instead of the numpad or even just one of the keyboard spacer pieces.

An e-ink module of this size should be fairly cheap and simple to create compared to these other ideas. And I think it could still be very useful, e.g. for displaying some kind of information that doesn’t require a high refresh rate and might even be useful after the Laptop is turned off – like the battery percentage? Or maybe some notes?

What do you think about this?


Framework showed off a prototype of an e̶-̶i̶n̶k̶ display module the size of a numpad.

8 min 30 sec https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeCdBVHYa_8&t=8m30s

Now, while they haven’t confirmed that it will make it to production yet, I think there’s a pretty good chance. There is some information about the prototype on their github https://github.com/FrameworkComputer/inputmodule-rs/tree/main/b1display

A transmissive, mono-color (black/white) screen that’s 300x400px in size. It’s 4.2 inches in size and mounted in portrait orientation. Because it’s optimized for power, the recommended framerate is 1 FPS. But it can go up to 32 FPS.

The current panel is susceptible to image retention, so the display will start up with the screen saver.

Again, note that this is for the current prototype. The specs may certainly change. And it may not even make it to production / you may never be able to buy one. Issues could come up that prevent it. This is not “Coming Soon!”, this is “maybe…”

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@MJ1 I’ve seen that, but Linus was talking about an LCD, later on touchscreen and “different display technologies”, not specifically e-ink.

Image retention also is an LCD issue, I think? The specs otherwise sure sound like an e-ink display, though, so I’m a little confused by all that.

They are an OLED issue, but not an LCD issue for practically anyone’s usecase.

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Hmm, your right, he says “power sipping memory lcd”. I missed that, I had to rewatch.
And also Framework refers to it as a “transmissive” screen. Which I misread.

For those who like their keyboard in the middle (like me) it would be fantastic to have such an e-ink input module the size of a spacer only. I would buy two of those :wink:



that actually would make sense. On the left, you show the new mails etc., on the right, the chat messages … :}

Yes, if you look at the picture of the e-ink module you see they use it for notebook stats such as CPU and GPU usage. The entirety of this information could be expressed as well in half the screen real estate - literally. You could maybe even do it better with percentages instead of bars…

And second advantage of two e-ink input modules the size of a spacer is as you mentioned dual use cases.

PS: final touch would be if they could appear as black as possible when turned off… ;).