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Turn your Raspberry Pi into an e-reader with the Waveshare e-paper HAT, an expansion board that starts at US$15.99

Waveshare sells Raspberry Pi-compatible e-paper HATs in various sizes including a 9.7-inch version. (Image source: Waveshare)
Waveshare sells Raspberry Pi-compatible e-paper HATs in various sizes including a 9.7-inch version. (Image source: Waveshare)
Who needs an Amazon Kindle when you can build one yourself? The Waveshare e-paper HAT comes in numerous display sizes ranging from 1.54-inches to 9.7-inches. The HAT communicates with a Raspberry Pi via SPI, UART or USB depending on the model and comes in a choice of two, three or four supported colours. The Waveshare e-paper HAT costs between US$15.99 and US$169.99 and ships worldwide.

The Raspberry Pi has many uses including as a portable games console, a server or to control your home appliances, to name but a few. The idea of using a Pi as an e-reader has been mooted before, and there has even been a crowdfunding campaign to build one. Most e-reader, or e-paper, displays available online are rather small. The Papirus e-paper HAT, for example, integrates well with a Raspberry Pi, but it is rather small.

By contrast, Waveshare has built e-paper displays that range from a miniature 1.54-inches up to 9.7-inches. The company currently sells 10 different sizes, the cheapest of which display black and white. There are red, black and white or yellow, red, black and white versions though should you want to use more colours. All models work with the Raspberry Pi Zero, Zero W, Zero WH, 2B, 3B, or 3B+.

Refresh rates vary between panels, but all have a viewing angle of at least 170°. Dot pitch, resolution and dimensions vary between panels too, the information for which Waveshare provides in each item description. The 5.83-inch e-paper, for example, has a 0.198 x 0.197 dot pitch, a 600 x 448 resolution, while the whole unit measures 125.40 mm x 99.50 mm. The e-paper operates at between 3.3 V ~ 5 V, although the 9.7-inch version operates at only 5 V.

You can purchase just the display too if you wish, but the HAT kit comes with the display, the HAT module, mounting screws and a PH2.0 8 pin cable. Each module comes with its own wiki too. Waveshare ships worldwide, with prices starting at US$15.99 for the smallest e-paper HAT. Prices rise to US$169.99 for the 9.7-inch model, while the 5.83-inch SKU costs a more reasonable US$49.99. You can also buy them on Amazon.

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(Image source: Waveshare)

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 05 > Turn your Raspberry Pi into an e-reader with the Waveshare e-paper HAT, an expansion board that starts at US$15.99
Alex Alderson, 2019-05-24 (Update: 2019-05-24)
Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - News Editor - @aldersonaj
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.