it uses opaque reflective very slow but ZERO power to maintain eInk display technology.
Inherently a touch onscreen keypad would take about 1s to appear and vanish and can't be animated.
Inherently you can't have a backlight, each dot is solid ball or cylinder that is half white, half black and physically rotated by a voltage pulse lasting nearly 0.5 to 1 second, hence slow response time.
It does mean zero consumption while reading.
They are constrained also by standard eInk display sizes.
I think they could do a better keyboard with rectangular staggered columns and more height for display if a taller one becomes available.
The Sony book with identical screen does have an LED front light option for the dark. I've played with the Sony model which has nicer styling. The Sony is also a 2nd class MP3 player.
The Rex illiad is also same screen tech, but with WiFi and Touch Screen annotation options (too expensive.
It needs WiFi and connection to PC for up/down-load as well as 3G.
These are all still to expensive