The Color E-Ink Reader is Here

The Color E-Ink Reader is Here

Anthony Nguyen
Nov 9, 2010

We've covered the topic of E-Readers time and time again, but let's recap. The Kindle and iPad both have their own strengths and flaws, each made with a certain purpose and demographic in mind. E-Ink readers are great for battery life, but don't have the bright screens for viewing photos/video on the iPad. Now with color E-Readers on the horizon, we wonder if this added dimension of E-Ink technology is enough to push forward the next generation of digital readers?

Announced at the FPD International 2010 trade show in Tokyo today, we're about to witness a world's first - a color E-Ink reader. The Chinese company responsible for this new tech uses the standard black-and-white display with an overlaid color filter. As a result, we still get the superior battery life (weeks rather than hours), though we have heard the filter reduces the brightness a little bit.

However, after having tested both the iPad and many of the E-Readers out there, we're going say guess that adding a dash of color isn't going to reinvigorate or shake up the industry by any means.

Although we understand the E-Reader is catered towards a demographic that enjoys book reading rather than web browsing, the end goal of E-Readers shouldn't be trying to kill the book, but rather create new ways for us to experience stories, all within a portable package that's lightweight, holds an impressive battery life, and still provides a window to the Internet, even if that's not its main focus.

Hanvon, the company responsible for the color E-Reader, plans to release it later next year for about $440. Yep, that's pretty darn close to the price of an iPad, so they'll have to work on pricing a bit in order to get the mainstream consumer to buy in. Or, you could just grab the new Barnes and Noble NOOKcolor for $250 in a few weeks when it comes out (though it uses a color LCD touchscreen, not E-Ink).

While we can't predict if these new color technologies will eventually take off, but we're always happy to see E-Reader manufacturers exploring new ways to push forward with existing tech. What do you guys think?

[Thanks alysaaria for the mention of the NOOKcolor!]

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