The team at Soldered Electronics has been designing Inkplate ESP32-based e-paper displays ever since the first 6-inch model was launched in 2019. The latest Inkplate 5 comes with a recycled 5.2-inch E-Ink (e-paper) display with refresh times of only 0.19 seconds, and programmable with the Arduino IDE or MicroPython firmware.
The WiFi-connected display offers a 960×540 resolution, or 213 DPI pixel density, integrates an RTC with battery for accurate timekeeping, two buttons for power and wake/user, and I/O expansion via headers and an easyC/Qwicc connector.
Inkplate 5 specifications:
- Wireless module – Dual-core ESP32 processor with Wi-Fi 4 & Bluetooth 4.0 (BLE) connectivity, 8MB flash, 4MB PSRAM
- External storage – MicroSD card socket
- Display – 5.2-inch, 960×540 e-paper display with
- 213 DPI pixel density
- Refresh times: full refresh in just 1.02s (1-bit and 3-bit) and partial refresh in 0.19s (1-bit)
- USB – 1x USB Type-C port for programming and power
- Expansion – Headers for GPIO pins, I²C, SPI, and easyC/Qwiic connector
- Misc – PCF85063A RTC and backup battery, power and user/wake push-buttons, power LED
- Power Supply
- 5V via USB Type-C port
- JST input and MCP73831 charger for Lithium battery power
- Power consumption – 18 µA in sleep state
- Dimensions – 130.6 x 75.2 mm
The Inkplate 5 is offered in three variants: without enclosure, with enclosure, and with enclosure and a 1,200 mAh battery. The company provides instructions to get started with the Arduino IDE, MicroPython, and the ESP-IDF framework, and those are the same for the full Inkplate family since software/firmware is compatible between versions. Hardware design files and 3D printable enclosures will also be released soon.
The company launched the Inkplate 5 on Crowd Supply just like they did for earlier models. Rewards start at $59 for the Inkplate 5 without EPD (electronic paper display), but most people will get the $79 Inkplate 5 reward instead. The model with enclosure goes for $89, and the one with enclosure and battery for $99. Shipping is free to the US but adds $12 to the rest of the world. Backers should expect the perks to ship by the end of November 2023.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.