Many people are hostile to crowdfunding campaigns and Dasung has a tendency to raise capital this way. It is very hard to buy their products when they first hit the market and often it takes over a year to buy one directly from their website. The Not e-Reader 103 is a strange name for a product, but the user experience is far from it. This device acts as a secondary display for your computer and also for your smartphone. Unlike other E INK monitors on the market, this one actually has a processor, RAM and an internal battery. You can use it as a dedicated tablet, it runs on Android and has full access to the Google Play Store to download and install apps.
One of the biggest selling points of Not E-Reader 103 is the different speed modes that make it the fastest E INK product on the market. This is primarily attributed to the patented DASUNG Turbo technology, which offers a high-speed refresh system with almost no latency. There are several speed modes that can be used and that is where apps benefit the most. Amazon Kindle, Overdrive Libby, Scribd, and Kobo for Android are all designed for flagship LCD screen smartphones, so they look very pretty. While with E INK devices the page turning is often jerky due to update rate problems with typical E INK devices. This Dasung handles everything like a champion, the performance is similar to an LCD screen. You can watch youtube videos, listen to music and the experience is really amazing. It can easily handle anything you can throw at it. It’s the most responsive product we’ve ever tested.
The Dasung Not e-Reader 103 has a 10.3 inch E INK Carta HD display with a resolution of 1872 Ã 1404 with 228 PPI. With a clear, high contrast retina screen, the display effect will be clearer and sharper. It has a front-lit display with a warm front light, there are around 30 LED lights. There are sliders to control the lighting with over 256 different levels, it can also be switched off completely.
One thing we noticed about the screen is its reflection. This is because the glass-based display and screen are flush with the frame. Skylights or outdoor use do not absorb the light, but reflect it. I would recommend using a matte screen protector to defuse the light. This would make it easier to use in natural or artificial light environments. Dasung contains 2 screen protectors in the box, one normal and one matt.
The entire color scheme is black with silver accents on the side. At the bottom is a USB-C port, a single speaker, and a microphone. One of the best things is that it has an SD card. Aside from the power supply, there are two buttons. At the top left is the contrast adjustment button and the ghosting clear button, no matter how fast the update system is, sometimes there are smudges on the screen and this button removes them with a full page refresh. The back of the Not-eReader 103 is made of plastic, probably to reduce the weight of the housing, without a metal back. The back is a silver-gray matt layer.
Under the hood there is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 chip processor, 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of internal storage. It runs on Bluetooth 5.1 and has wireless internet access for surfing the internet and accessing online functions. It has a USB-C port with OTG functionality, so you can easily connect accessories such as a keyboard or other peripheral devices without a driver. You can listen to music through the 3.5mm headphone jack and speaker, but also connect wireless accessories through Bluetooth. There is an HDMI port that is mainly used to connect the display to your computer. A micro HDMI to full HDMI cable is included in the scope of delivery. To connect it to your smartphone, you can use WIFI or Bluetooth. We found the best performance with the lowest latency when using both Bluetooth and WIFI. The display is powered by a massive 6400 mAh battery that should typically be used for about a week before it needs to be charged. When using it as a monitor, it is recommended that you keep it plugged in at all times. The dimensions are 232x191x9.1 mm.
The Dasung Not E-Reader 103 uses Google Android 9 as the operating system. This operating system allows you to load your own apps, but it also has Google Play. You can easily download millions of free and paid apps. Dasung doesn’t report that this device has access to Play, its Shopify store listing and Kickstarter campaign clearly state that it is not Play certified so they’ve probably found a workaround for it in the past few months.
The 103 has three different speed modes to make the tablet more responsive. You get Fast +, Fast ++, and Fast +++. This is a kind of hybrid A2 mode, each one increases the performance but degrades the image quality. Fast + offers the best image quality with slightly increased responsiveness. Fast ++ is good for quickly viewing websites, apps with animation, viewing PDF files, and browsing Google Play. Fast +++ is designed exclusively for multimedia content such as watching videos.
To get the maximum benefit from all the different speed modes, you should optimize the contrast. There’s a sliding bar that really gives you a ton of flexibility and options. There’s also a grayscale adjustment that helps with saturation. There are four different image modes, most of which apply to image-intensive content such as PDF files or image-intensive websites. There are four picture modes, picture 1 filters out a lot of unnecessary information and you only see an outline of the picture. Image 2 improves the sharpness of the image and improves the front ridges. Picture 3 gives you the best image sharpness, picture 4 only allows the picture to have more shadows, pictures appear darker.
One of the disadvantages of adjusting the grayscale and contrast settings is that they are not automatically saved for the different speed modes. Let’s say you want to optimize Fast ++ mode for viewing PDF files. You can spend around five minutes fiddling with the various settings to get the best experience. If you switch to Fast + to start reading an ebook, you’ll need to reset everything to optimize Fast +.
With all these features aside, it’s a typical Android tablet. It comes with a number of Google apps like Chrome, Maps, and everything else. Although, depending on your use case, you might want to install your own apps. There are millions of literary apps out there and everyone will use this tablet differently.
If you want to invert the colors shown on the screen, there is a system-wide dark mode. This changes the background from white to black and the text from black to white. Some people really like dark mode, so this device supports it and also apps that have the ability to switch to dark mode exclusively within that particular app.
I really like how fast and robust the Dasung 103 is. It’s super fast and the performance is the best in the business. When you use it to mirror your smartphone, you can see everything that is shown on your phone. When you use it as a secondary monitor for your PC, there are so many ways you can really make it your own. This product will really appeal to people who need to see a screen that is easy on the eyes.
The only thing holding back the Dasung Not E-Reader 103 is the fact that it costs anywhere from $ 900 to $ 1000 to buy, which is quite expensive. However, if you intend to use it exclusively as a second monitor, the price is actually not that bad compared to the competition. The Onyx Boox Max Lumi can act as a secondary monitor and has a huge 13.3-inch screen and sells for $ 879. This device can also be used as a tablet but has a WACOM layer so you can take notes, freehand draw and annotate, but the Dasung has better global contrast, picture settings and speed modes are better. In addition, there are the Onyx Boox Mira and Mira Pro currently only available in China, which are pure monitors without tablet functionality. They should be available to English-speaking customers in October, but they will cost over $ 1000. The upcoming Dasung 253 is a 25-inch E INK monitor with no tablet functionality and sells for $ 2,000.
If you look at the competition, the Dasung 103 actually offers the most added value. It’s cheaper than other secondary monitors on the market and does a really good job of mirroring your iPhone or Android device or using it on your PC or MAC. I would recommend this device, it’s the most responsive E INK product I’ve seen and I’ve been reviewing products since 2007.
Dasung Not E-Reader 103
- Well built
- Android 9 + Google Play
- Smartphone and PC monitor
- Can be used as a tablet
- Speed ââmodes and picture modes are fantastic
- Not the easiest product to buy
- Glass is reflective
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audio books and e-readers for twelve years. His articles have been received by major and local news sources and websites such as CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post, and the New York Times. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.