A Czech startup is preparing to release a monochrome e-ink tablet device called the Noteslate which is built almost exclusively for writing, one that costs only $99 and which will be available from June 2011.
It is closer to an ebook reader than to an Apple ipad, nonetheless; with a screen resolution of 1080x750 pixels spread over 13-inch and without antialiasing, it gives the iPad's 1024x768 pixels screen a run for its money with a unique "real paper" look design and quasi Retina Display quality.
Kent Displays, a US-based LCD provider which has already signed a number of OEM deals for writable super thin e-ink solutions, has confirmed to us that they haven't provided the display technology.
According to its creators, the Noteslate will be available in five different ink colours (white, black, blue, red and green) with matching frames. Although unassumingly unsexy, it promises to offer 180 hours worth of battery life (that's more than one week).
Other basic characteristics include a 280g weight, less than half the iPad, a pen stylus with eraser - held by a magnetic holder, mini USB, SD card reader, Wi-Fi, a 3.5mm jack for audio content (yep MP3 included) and a maximum thickness of 6mm. The designers of this avant-garde tablet say the Noteslate will feature a three button physical interface for saving an existing screen, showing the last one and deleting the current one.
Two other versions of the tablets are in the pipeline, one which will offer basic colours and the other which will accept ordinary pen and pencil (and fingers) instead of the stylus. There's also a back cover with a solar charger expected to go on sale soon.
Noteslate uses its own firmware, which is currently on version 0.7, and the developers say that they will offer a free open source upgrade to version 2.0 which will offer Optical Character Recognition.
There is already a similar, albeit lower-specced, device called Myboogieboard (also known as a paperless LCD writing tablet) which costs $40 at Amazon and we suspect that the Noteslate will be an improved version from the same OEM/ODM. Below is a concept picture of the Noteslate and here is a video of the MyBoogieBoard.