Color E Ink Display Unveiled

The company behind Amazon’s greyscale e-Ink Kindle display has unveiled their next generation screen film, dubbed Triton. But, given the headline in relation to your attention to detail, you already knew its primary selling point is color.

In addition to 16 levels of monochrome, Triton is capable of displaying thousands of colors. And just like E Ink’s monochrome ePaper products, Triton’s crisp text and detailed color graphics are fully viewable in direct sunlight. Both E Ink Triton as well as E Ink Pearl, are both 20% faster than previous generations of E Ink Imaging Film. Whether turning a page, selecting a menu, taking notes, or viewing an animation, Triton’s update performance will satisfy today’s user-interface product needs.

Amazon’s new revenue split, favorable to publishers of periodicals, possibly foreshadows a move into color. As the current implementation leaves something to be desired. Although, color is only one existing shortcoming. The UI is also in need of work. I’d like to see a Color Kindle follow in Sony’s footsteps in bringing a touchscreen to the experience — it’s more natural to directly poke and prod the item you’d like to manipulate, versus mechanical representations on the perimeter.

Speaking of UI… Despite E Ink corporate claims, I still find the screen refresh rate too slow. (It appears Triton is on par with Pearl, the display used in the Kindle 3.) So Amazon could alternatively and conceivably choose head towards a full-on Kindle 4 tablet device, using a LCD-based color capacitive touchscreen as Barnes & Noble has done with their Android-based Nook Color. After all, in addition to being a purveyor of digital books, Amazon also hawks digital video and MP3s.

5 thoughts on “Color E Ink Display Unveiled”

  1. The screen might look better in person, but it looks like it may not have the quality required for color comic books and magazines.

    Also, the price is a big issue. It’s going to sell for well over $400 in China. I never took iPad-over-NookColor argument seriously given the huge price difference, but this makes things much more even. Heck, at this price point, it’d make more sense to get Notion Ink’s Adam with Pixel Qi display.

    Anyway, it’ll be very interesting to see what, if anything, Amazon does before the holiday season. There have been rumors and speculations about a tablet device, especially since they ARE opening up their own Android app store, but if the device is scheduled for the holiday season, they are succeeding in keeping a tight lid on it — Nook Color had been leaked before it’s introduction.

  2. Yeah, the price to performance situation doesn’t appear favorable at the moment… given what can be done with other existing widespread, economical solutions. The color and look doesn’t look anything close to magazine quality print or even LCD. Looks like old school newsprint – maybe higher res, but the limited vibrancy is probably what’s bugging you like it bugs me. Wonder what’s up with Pixel Qi… we saw them at CES earlier in the year, but no mainstream applications as far as I know.

  3. Nook Color is better for reading than iPad and better for everything else than Kindle. Nook Color is better for $249. The Nook Color will not run apps straight out of the Android Market, but that does not mean it cannot run them. In fact, they have done a lot of tests on apps from standard Android smartphones and they pretty much run on Nook Color, which has Android 2.1 under the hood. (The Nook native interface and apps are just standard Android application layers.) Barnes & Noble special Nook SDK runs on top of the standard Android one and gives developers access to exclusive extensions and APIs for the Nook and its interface. So porting Android apps is not difficult. B&N says it is more like optimising them for Nook than porting them. Nook Color screen is supposed to be better (less reflective) for reading than iPad thanks to new LG screen with anti-reflection coating. It allows to watch videos, listen to the music, view Office documents and PDF’s. If you prefer e-Ink screen, the original Nook is still available from BN.

  4. How do you know it’s better for reading than the iPad… based on what criteria and have you tried one? ;) iPad has their own Books app, plus Kindle and Nook r-reading options. Although, having not tested the Nook Color, we know the iPad is significantly heavier which could be a (negative) consideration.

  5. I was wrong, the pre-orders for the device started today at $530 (in China; for delivery in February). Ouch!

    @ Dave — Notion Ink’s Adam will be using Pixel Qi technology (they’ll also have a regular LCD option for less).

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