Sony Japan originally designed and manufactured all generations of the Digital Paper e-note. They have released the DPT-S1, DPT-RP1, and DPT-CP1 over the past six years. Initially, these E INK-based devices were only sold in Japan, until the US business unit was formed and mainly focused on selling them to businesses and eventually to consumers through Amazon. Last year, Sony’s US subsidiary closed its offices and all staff were laid off except executives who have all retired. The Digital Paper unit continues to exist in Japan, but they just confirmed with Good e-Reader that they no longer sell the devices to businesses, nor to consumers through retail sites like Amazon or Rakuten. Digital paper as we know it is officially discontinued in Japan. This not only includes the device, but also replacement tips, cases and the replacement stylus.
Sony was a pioneer in the e-reader industry. They were the first consumer brand to develop an e-reader. It was called Sony Librie and was released in 2004. It was the very first commercial e-ink device and was only sold in Japan, but many devices were sold in the United States through retailers in line, because he had a third English. Upgrading the operating system. This reader is the result of a three-year collaboration between Sony, Philips, Toppan Printing and E Ink Corporation. The Sony PRS-500 was known as “A Reader” in its promotional and marketing campaign. It was the first device released by Sony outside of Japan and it was released in September 2006. It was a year before Amazon unveiled its own Kindle reader.
Over the next 7 years, Sony released many different models, opened a digital bookstore, and really tried it out. In 2014, they discovered that the global market was too strong and decided to close their Reader Store and ditch e-readers altogether. This was mainly attributed to the success of the Kindle, which was cheaper than the Sony and had a better bookstore. Amazon at the time was taking a loss on the sale of hardware and e-books to gain market share. Barnes and Noble was also a big reason, thanks to their 700 bookstores selling the Nook, and Kobo was a huge force to be reckoned with in international markets.
Sony decided to learn the lessons of making consumer E INK products and decided to pivot. The same year, the consumer division closed its doors. They decided to focus on digital paper, the first in a new generation of products marketed to replace office paper. It was designed for freehand drawing, taking notes, and editing PDF files. It was an imitated success, thanks to the WACOM screen. The DPT-S1 was a new generation of products, never seen before. It didn’t take very long for other companies to gain a share of the professional market, over the following years Onyx Boox, Boyue, Supernote, Remarkable and many other brands launched their own products and gradually refined them. over time to have capacitive touch screens, front lights and possibly color.
What’s next for Sony? They’ve developed a new product that takes on the spirit of Digital Paper, except that they’ll have an E INK Kaleido 3 display and are slated for release in Japan in June or July 2021. The technology was co-developed by a company called Linfiny, which is a joint partnership between E INK and Sony. The Digital Paper DPT-CP1 Color will be the first commercial product they’ve ever released and it’s unclear if they’ll label the device to other companies or if Sony will take the reins and release it themselves. When I asked Sony representatives about this, they didn’t rule it out. The Linfiny DPT-CP1 Color will have a 10.3 inch E INK Carta 1250 display and an E INK Kaleido 2.5 color filter array. The B&W resolution is 1404 x 1872 at 227 PPI. The color resolution is currently unknown, ditto with the exact number of colors it is capable of displaying. We know that with Kaleido 2 it can only display 4,096 colors at 100 PPI, but from what we noticed from our full hands-on experience, it seemed to be capable of more colors and more PPI. raised.
There is currently no large screen e-note with a color display, which is not exclusively intended for the Chinese market. Sony could probably beat everyone with a 10.3in digital note taker, as long as the price is right. It would also be important to be able to switch the language from Japanese to English, which the DPT-RP1 and DPT-CP1 could do. Why would you buy an Onyx Boox Note 3 or Remarkable 2, if a company like Sony was doing the same thing, but with a great color display. At least we won’t have to wait that long, summer is not too far away and leaks are bound to be in the course of next month.