Paired with a really good stylus, any tablet can make for a decent drawing machine. It’s not the same as scribbling with a pencil on a piece of paper, but it’s close enough to be a functional alternative. The Noteslate Shiro wants to step things up even further, with a stylus and a screen that, when used together, is designed to replicate the experience of pen-to-paper as close as possible.
An e-reader with special talents, the device can be used like any of your Kindle devices, letting you read e-books while consuming very little power. Unlike them, it’s also designed to serve as a functional drawing tablet, allowing you to write notes, sketch plans, and do illustrations.
The Noteslate Shiro has a 6.8-inch E-Ink Pearl display (1080 x 1440 resolution) that can show 16 levels of gray, with a specially-textured surface that’s intended to emulate the feel of traditional paper products. Aside from the chunky stylus that you will use for drawing, it comes with 8GB of internal storage, WiFi, Bluetooth, and an SD card slot, with a 1GHz Freescale chip powering the operation.
Since there’s a focus on making the experience as paper-like as possible, you can rest your hand on the screen at any time without affecting whatever’s being sketched out on the display. Aside from drawing on a blank on screen, you can annotate books, draw on the pages, or totally vandalize them like you did with the middle school textbooks from back in the day.
Of course, a paper-and-pen experience means the Noteslate Shiro needs to have zero-lag between what the person is sketching and what actually appears onscreen. From the video below, though, it looks in need of a little more work on that end. Still, they have time, with the device slated to launch in March of next year.