E-Radonica has launched another entry in the Inkplate family of all-in-one ESP32-powered ePaper displays, and this time it's offering something entirely new: Color.
The Croatian maker collective launched the original Inkplate 6 back in 2019, finding a way to reuse displays recycled from scrapped Amazon Kindles by pairing them with a driver board featuring an Espressif ESP32 WROVER module, a microSD card slot, and three capacitive buttons. The original 6" model was followed by a 9.7" variant, rounded up to be called the Inkplate 10, last year — and now the company is back with its first color variant.
"The AC057TC1 ePaper screen from E Ink Corporation packs seven color pixels for each physical pixel on the screen, and by dithering them, you can show real masterpieces on its screen," E-Radonica explains. "Just plug in a USB cable, open Arduino IDE (or MicroPython), and change the contents of the screen with a few lines of code! Thanks to its low-power mode, you can run it for months, or even years, on a single battery."
The display itself is lower resolution than previous offerings, a consequence of the move to color: At 5.8" diagonal and with a 600×448 resolution, it offers 128 dots per inch and a choice of seven colors — black, red, yellow, blue, green, orange, and the background white — which are extended through a dithering engine built into the Arduino library.
Driven via SPI, the sunlight-readable low-power display does come with a disadvantage: A particularly long refresh rate. The panel is officially rated at a 25-second refresh time to go from image to image, though E-Radonica claims a lower 10-11 second refresh time has been observed.
As well as the display, the carrier board includes an ESP32 module with Wi-Fi connectivity, microSD slot for storage, USB Type-C for data and power, an Qwiic connector for external hardware, a battery-backed real-time clock, connector for an optional lithium-ion battery, a wealth of general-purpose input/output (GPIO) pins, a user-definable wake button, and three capacitive touch buttons.
The Inkplate 6COLOR is now up to order on Crowd Supply, priced at $99 or $119 with optional 3D-printed enclosure.