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Color E-Ink

[O]n Tuesday at the FPD International 2010 trade show in Tokyo, a Chinese company will announce that it will be the first to sell a color display using technology from E Ink, whose black-and-white displays are used in 90 percent of the world's e-readers, including the Amazon Kindle, Sony Readers and the Nook from Barnes & Noble.

While Barnes & Noble recently announced a color Nook and the Apple iPad has a color screen, both devices use LCD, the technology found in televisions and monitors. The first color e-reader, from Hanvon Technology, based in Beijing, has an E Ink display.


E Ink screens have two advantages over LCD -- they use far less battery power and they are readable in the glare of direct sunlight.

However, the new color E Ink display, while an important technological breakthrough, is not as sharp and colorful as LCD. Unlike an LCD screen, the colors are muted, as if one were looking at a faded color photograph. In addition, E Ink cannot handle full-motion video. At best, it can show simple animations.

These are reasons Amazon, Sony and the other major e-reader makers are not yet embracing it. Amazon says it will offer color E Ink when it is ready; the company sees color as useful in cookbooks and children's books, and it offers these books in color through its Kindle application for LCD devices. Sony is also taking a wait-and-see approach.


The technology's not quite there yet, but they're working on it and that makes me happy. I'm sure this isn't the end all be all, and they'll continue working on it until it's at least "good enough that i can't tell it's less good". Then we can worry about how we're gonna get all our comics on an e-reader.

By min | November 8, 2010, 1:38 PM | Boooooks | Comments (0)| Link

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