LG Mass Producing High-Def Flexible Electronic Paper for eBook Readers

LG ePaper

One of the biggest problems with E Ink ebook readers is the fact that they are somewhat fragile, especially when not using a case to keep them protected.

If you accidentally drop your ebook reader, sit on it, or stick it in a bag with a bunch of other stuff, there’s a good chance the screen could crack. This is because the screen’s backplane is made of glass.

For years E Ink has been talking about using plastic backplanes to help mitigate this problem, but LG has beaten them to the punch.

Last week LG announced that they have begun mass producing the first plastic epaper displays specifically made for ebook readers. The new 6″ displays use a plastic backplane that is as thin as cell phone protection film (LG oddly uses that as a comparison instead of giving a number, as if we are all supposed to know how thin cell phone protection film is).

Anyway, the overall thickness of the new display is 0.7mm. That’s about 33% slimmer than existing E Ink displays with glass substrates. It also weighs about half as much. And since it uses plastic it is flexible up to 40 degrees from the center of the screen.

According to LG, about 10% of ebook reader owners have accidentally damaged their screens. With plastic displays, that should no longer be a problem. LG states their new displays can withstand being dropped from 1.5 meters (nearly 5 feet). LG also put it through a break test that involved hitting the display with a small urethane hammer to no ill effect.

Not only is LG’s new epepar display more durable than existing displays, the resolution is higher as well. Instead of 800 x 600, they are 1024 x 768. The iriver Story HD is currently the only E Ink ebook reader using a 1024 x 768 resolution screen.

LG’s new screens are headed to ODM companies in China, with completed products to become available in Europe as early as next month.

7 Responses to “LG Mass Producing High-Def Flexible Electronic Paper for eBook Readers”

  1. I wonder if these will work ok with the LED flex lighting?

  2. @Pappy
    If they don’t, it will be interesting to see which kind is more popular!

  3. What LG is doing with E-ink can also be done with the LED display. Flexible plastic should be the standard. It’s lighter, stronger, and better for touchscreens.

    Iriver Story HD has the best 6-inch E-ink screen around. The only ones that are better are the 9.7-inch Pearl screens of the high end Kindles and Pocket Books. The other strong point of Story HD is its keyboard. That feature would be extremely useful –if only the Story HD had a text-writing or E-mail function!

  4. Next month? In which readers will this new display be used?

  5. That is pretty exciting. I managed to kill 2 kindles before I got a case for it.

  6. Is thre an update on this?