Electronic Paper Displays vs. LCD Displays
You've heard the old saying, "a penny saved is a penny earned." The same is true of power in the portable device sector; the more power one can save, the more one earns in terms of performance, size and weight. Why? Consider that, on average, A 12” LCD-equipped device uses, in 20 hours, the equivalent of 36 AA batteries while an E Ink 12-inch display uses just one battery's worth. What this means is that the power supply for an E Ink equipped device can weigh a few ounces as opposed to a few pounds when it comes to its equivalent LCD counterpart. The ramifications for product design are dramatic.
Explained another way, under normal usage conditions, an E Ink enabled reader will last three weeks on a single charge while an LCD-based display will need to be recharged after just one and a half days. If you could apply such a dramatic increase in power efficiency to the automobile, that would be like running for six months on a single tank of gas.
ePaper vs. Printed Paper
The benefits of E Ink over the printed page can easily be measured in the size of the consumer's carbon footprint. First, we all know that trees breathe in CO2. But did you know that a single tree can remove about one metric ton of CO2 from the air every year? On average, each harvested tree produces 173 reams if paper. Therefore, each ream of paper is the equal to roughly 12 pounds of CO2 that will not be removed from the atmosphere every year.1
The numbers become more and more compelling from there. In 2004, world paper production was equal to 359 million metric tons, emitting 74 million metric tons of CO2 in its production.1 We throw away approximately one billion trees worth of paper each year,2 and a portion of that paper is incinerated, creating more carbon emissions. One Sunday's worth of newspapers require the cutting of 500,000 trees2.
Conversely, a study out of the University of California Berkeley shows that reading a newspaper electronically releases 32 to 140 times less CO2 and uses 27 times less water than reading the paper version.3 In short, the difference between electronic ink and printed paper could have a dramatic effect on CO2 in the atmosphere in just one day. If we could replace all paper newspapers with eNewspapers tomorrow, 95 million trees4 that would remove 98 million tons of greenhouse gas every year could be saved.1
1 James DeRosa, Global Warming Initiatives, Inc. 5/3/2007 www.greenpdf.com
3 Vivian Song, Electronic Ink, Paperless Display Technology Saves Trees and The Environment, 2010 Toronto Sun.com
4 New Generation of e-book Readers Contributes to Environmental Protection, 7/20/09 Digital Book Readers.com