See it now: Paperwhite on Amazon
Kindle essentially launched Amazon's device business and had been its most successful product at least until the Echo. A sleek vending machine for ebooks, it popularized e-ink benefits such as long battery life and excellent sunlight readability. The latest Kindle Paperwhite marks the tenth-generation of Kindles, which have come a long way since their launch more than a decade ago. It now resists water as well as the glare from sunlight, which makes it an even better summertime reading companion.
See it now: Not E-Reader on Indiegogo
The first thing to note about the Dasung Not E-Reader is that it is, in fact, an e-reader. But it is far more than that. The developer of the Paperwhite series of e-ink monitors has enabled this 8-inch device to act as an external monitor for a smartphone or PC. It can also function as an Android tablet on its own. Dasung has addressed the slow update speeds of e-ink to the point where one can watch video on it. It won't be your first choice for the next Avengers movie, but could be great for a YouTube video about safety in the sun.
See it now: Yoga Book C930 at Lenovo
Lenovo pioneered the modern convertible laptop with the Yoga which eventually became a hit despite a thicker profile than detachable Windows 2-in-1s such as Microsoft's Surface and Samsung's Galaxy Book. The first Yoga Books struck back by recreating the keyboard as a flat (barely) typeable surface in both Android and Windows versions. (A rumored ChromeOS version never appeared.) Now, the Yoga Book -- at least in the Windows flavor -- is back. The former flat keyboard has been replaced by an e-ink one in the C930. In addition to offering bettter visual feedback when you press its keys, the e-ink portion can be used for capturing drawings or notes or even reading PDFs, making this Yoga Book far more versatile than the first generation.
See it now: Traveler at FreeWrite
The original FreeWrite mashed up a mechanical keyboard and an e-ink display together to create a connected device optimized for distraction-free writing, but it was as large and chunky as some of the earliest laptops, complete with a handle. Its sequel, the FreeWrite Traveler, could only be considered pocketable inside a trench coat, but its clamshell design makes it a bit easier to tote around. While developer Astrohaus had to compromise a bit on the keyboard in the name of weight, the Traveler includes the same 6-inch e-ink display as the original as well as its complete absence of distracting websites and apps. Having completed its Indiegogo campaign, the Traveler should be below the eager fingers of writers in the first half of 2019.
See it now: Digital Paper at Amazon
While the Kindle may have evolved into a successful product line, its move into large sizes, the Kindle DX, missed the mark. Recently, though, a number of companies have ventured into 10-inch and larger form factors. The Digital Paper is actually the smaller sibling of Sony's original 13-inch Digital Paper tablet and caters to professionals who need to pore over and annotate many or lengthy PDF documents. While its functionality is highly streamlined compared to an iPad or Surface, its It's also great for sheet music.
See it now: Gligo at Indiegogo
Watches are a natural for e-ink as they benefit greatly from outdoor readability and long battery life. One of the latest efforts, Gligo raised nearly $400,000 on Indiegogo for an e-ink smartwatch that boasts two years of runtime and can still manage heart monitoring.It is the latest in a number of crowdfunded e-ink watches including the Sony FES watch, the Touch Time, and the pioneering Pebble and its sequels.
See it now: ReMarkable at Amazon
What the FreeWrite is to people who type, the ReMarkable is to those who use a pen or pencil. The tablet aims to be the go-to device for those who sketch, doodle or simply like writing notes by hand. The device has a good file manager and exceptional sketching tools that include various pen sizes and even layers. Its latest trick is the ability to convert handwritten notes into editable text and is another good option for reading PDFs.
See it now: Light Phone 2 at Indiegogo
Like the FreeWrite, the Light Phone 2 is another crowdfunded device designed to keep your life quiet. An update from a first model that was limited to phone calls, its developers were beating the drum of a minimalist phone long before the new Palm. Unlike that device, it doesn't run Android or have an app store, edging just a bit beyond calling and text. A small slab with similar dimensions but a more traditional feature phone interface is coming soon from Kyocera for the Japanese market.
See it now: DM30 at Amazon
The most minimal writing product with a full keyboard that can fit in your pocket is probably the Pomera, which has been around for several iterations in Japan. Its latest version, the DM30, includes a tri-fold keyboard and can accommodate simple grids. Its developers, King Jim, sought to enter the US market via a crowdfunding campaign this year. The company fell short but has vowed to try again.