Archive for the ‘Color eReaders’ tag

Qualcomm Mirasol fab may start production next year   no comments

Posted at 8:25 am in Color eReaders,Random

According to DigiTimes, the fabrication plant that will finally enable Qualcomm to begin mass production of its Mirasol reflective color displays will be ready to start production in about a year from now.

The new fabrication facility, which was originally announced about a year and a half ago, just got approval from the appropriate Taiwanese government agency in the past few days. 

Reportedly Qualcomm can currently produce its Mirasol displays in volume in sizes of up to 5.7 inches, although whether it could make enough to support a popular ereader using the screen is unclear.  There have been rumors recently that PocketBook would be announcing a new Mirasol-based ereader at CES, but there has been nothing official yet.

 

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Written by Richard on January 4th, 2011

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Jinke announces 9.7-inch color epaper ereaders   no comments

Posted at 8:34 am in Color eReaders,Other eReaders,Random

Jinke announced today that it will unveil several new ereader models at CES 2011.  The new ereaders will feature 9.7-inch color e-ink displays and feature IR-based touchscreens. 

Hanvon also recently announced plans to release a color ereader utilizing color epaper from E Ink Holdings in the first quarter of 2011.  I’m guessing that the IR-based touchscreen will be from Neonode, which supplied the very good touchscreen for the newest Sony ereaders.

 

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Written by Richard on January 3rd, 2011

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Sharper Image Branded Literati eReader   no comments

Posted at 9:50 am in Color eReaders,Other eReaders

There is word of yet anotherThe-Literati-by-The-Sharper-Image-eReader lower priced LCD ereader.  This one is called the Literati and carries The Sharper Image branding while being supplied by MerchSource.

MerchSource is a California-based company that specializes in the design, development, and production of consumer products to companies such as The Sharper Image, JCPenney, CVS, Rite Aid and others.  A lot of the company’s prior efforts seem to have been directed at toys and games, but there are a wide range of products in the MerchSource bag of tricks.  Yes, MerchSource also has a few digital picture frames to its credit. 

The Literati has a 7-inch LCD screen with a resolution of 480 x 800 and is limited to reading books and other printed content.  There is no web browser, no games or video.  Input is via the keyboard at the bottom of the device – no touchscreen here.  The ereading software is by Kobo, and you can use the Wi-Fi connection to buy books from Kobo.

The Literati comes with a cover and will cost $159.  There will be two colors – white or a black model with silver keyboard.  The Literati comes preloaded with 25 public domain titles and a coupon that will let you download another 125 pre-selected public domain titles free.

Beginning in October the new ereader will be sold in the usual places: Bed, Bath and Beyond, Kohl’s, Best Buy, etc.  The press release says that the Literati will be available in 7,000 stores, so this one should be pretty easy to find.

"The majority of eReaders available today are either too expensive with too many features, or the manufacturer has slashed key functionality and overall device quality to lower the price," said Kirk McLean, co-founder of MerchSource, the company that designed and distributes the Literati under trademark license from The Sharper Image. "We designed the Literati from the inside out — starting with the bookstore — to give booklovers exactly what they wanted: a simple, dedicated device that lets them get right to the book."

I would say that the Literati is going to have a hard time at this price.  It is being presented as an inexpensive and simple ereader that “bypasses high prices and feature bloat, offering instead an affordable, stylish and simple device for those who just want to read.”  Yet it is more expensive than the Kindle 3 Wi-Fi, which has way more features and with its e-ink screen will be much better for those “who just want to read.” 

Well, you say, but it has a color display.  True, true – it does have a color screen.  That should come in really handy for reading all of those color ebooks over at Kobo.

There are a number of other color LCD ereaders available at around the same price range; some for more, some for less.  Most of them have at least a semblance of multifunctionality.

 

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Written by Richard on August 26th, 2010

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Hanvon Said to Launch Color e-Ink eReader in 2010   no comments

Posted at 9:00 am in Color eReaders,Random

E Ink Holdings chairman Scott Liu is quoted at Digitimes as saying that Hanvon will use E Ink’s color electrophoretic display (EPD) in an ereader to be launched in the fourth quarter of this year.

The color ereader will use the Pearl e-ink display with a color filter.  The color filter cuts down on the light entering the  EPD,  making the display harder to read.  Solving this problem is how the Pearl display, with its improved contrast, was developed.  The newest Kindle DX and the upcoming Kindle 3 also use the Pearl display – sans color filter, of course.

It is interesting that E Ink Holdings (formerly Prime View International) could be the first to have its color epaper in an actual product on the actual market.  Last year it appeared that they would be one of the later players to market with a color EPD. 

Liu also says that he expects shipments of ereaders in the second half of 2010 to be two to three times that of the first half of the year, stimulated by the reduced retail prices of the devices.  According to Liu, when Amazon reduced the price of the new Kindle DX to $379 shipments tripled.  E Ink has had to increase its production to meet the demand for the Kindle 3, which has seen its shipping date for new orders pushed back twice after being sold out in pre-order.

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Written by Richard on August 12th, 2010

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The Next iPad   no comments

Posted at 10:32 am in Apple iPad,Random

Digitimes is reporting that Apple will launch a new iPad the first part of next year with an ARM Cortex-A9 based processor and 512MB of RAM.  The article goes on to say that Apple will also launch a 7-inch version of the iPad and a CDMA iPhone for Verizon and China Telecom.  There have been rumors of the latter two for awhile.

I suppose that now the 7-inch iPad will be the latest official  “Kindle Killer.”  By the first quarter of next year I fully expect to see a reflective color display on the market, and this type of display will always be more comfortable to read on than a backlit LCD. 

I’m sure that a 7-inch iPad will be very popular, but I also think that there will be a market for dedicated ereaders for some time to come.  Dedicated devices generally perform the task that they were designed for better than multifunction devices.  Furthermore, there are a lot of avid readers out there that want a device to read on, not to multifunction on.  These are probably the biggest buyers of ebooks and therefore Amazon’s most important Kindle book customers.  As long as this remains true, I don’t expect the Kindle ereader to die.

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Written by Richard on August 9th, 2010

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Pandigital Novel Making its Way Back Onto Store Shelves; Gets Itself Hacked   1 comment

Posted at 9:18 am in Color eReaders,Other eReaders,Random

The Pandigital Novel seems to be slowly making its way back into Stores.  I’ve found listings for it on the websites of Bed Bath & Beyond where it is $169.99, and at RadioShack where the Novel is $179.99, but is shown as currently out of stock.  Bed Bath & Beyond also has a $20 rebate on the Novel, which would bring the price down to $149.99.

Kohl’s apparently received enough units to honor rain checks, and some stores may have the device in stock – my local store does not, and the novel is not on the Kohl’s website.

Nate over at The Digital Reader found the latest update, released on July 4, improved on some of the shortcomings of the Novel, but still left it very crash prone.

Nate also, with the help of members of the SlateDroid forum, was able to hack the Novel and bypass Pandigital’s software, which seems to be causing most of the problems.  This will also allow you to install other apps, including various reading apps such as Kindle or Barnes & Noble for Android or whatever your personal favorites are.

Of course, hacking your new ereader to make it more functional will not be for everyone.  I can’t imagine Pandigital figuring on their ereader turning into a cult classic device that people are buying to hack.  But if it sells, I guess it is all good for them.  Being readily hackable like this is one of the things that makes Android-based devices so cool.

If you don’t want to buy a Novel and hack it or wait for Pandigital to hopefully release a firmware update that fixes all of the problems, you might consider waiting a few more weeks for the Cruz Reader from Velocity Micro.  At least in the video it looks faster and the touchscreen much more responsive.

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Written by Richard on July 17th, 2010

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Newsmy Color LCD eReader   no comments

Posted at 12:32 pm in Color eReaders,Other eReaders,Random

Newman has brought out several Newsmy ereaders for theNewsmy-C66-Color-LCD-eReader Chinese market already, and there is word of a new device.  The C66 ereader is advertised as being faster than previous models and has a sharper display.  The new model also supports 1080P HD video playback.

The design invites comparison to the Pandigital Novel.  The ports of the C66 are all on the bottom, which is a much better design than having them scattered on all sides as the Novel has.  At just over eight ounces the Newsmy is also about half as heavy as the Novel.

(via Eee PC)

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Written by Richard on June 26th, 2010

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Liquavista Looking Good in the Sunlight   no comments

Posted at 8:06 am in Color eReaders,Random

Armdevices has a video of Liquavista displays outdoors in the sunlight.  The displays are looking quite good, but Kurt Petersdorff of Liquavista says in the video that it will probably be the second half of 2011 before they are in production.

(via engadget)

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Blio Still Incoming – to Wal-Mart?   1 comment

The NYT reports that Ray Kurzweil’s Blio ereading software should be more widely available over the next couple of months.   This as PC makers start toBlio-eReader-Software include it on their machines.  The article also suggests that Wal-Mart may offer the Blio software on a device of its own.

So will Wal-Mart have its own ereader?  Kurzweil won’t elaborate, but he does say that Wal-Mart is “very excited” about something.  Recent press releases have indicated that Wal-Mart is enlarging its consumer electronics department and it would not be inconceivable that it may try to develop its own ereader as it tries to take over the electronics section of the retailing world.

The Blio eReader software presents ebooks in the original format – layout, fonts and images are the same as in the original book.  Blio is especially suited for graphics-rich books such as cookbooks, travel guides, textbooks, children’s books, etc.  Purchased ebooks are permanently stored in a virtual library and can be transferred to your favorite device.

Blio also supports multimedia and includes study toolsBlio-eReader-Software-Preserves-Origional-Book-Layout such as translation, sticky notes, highlighting and bookmarking.  You can even insert voice, image or video notes into your books and these can be exported to create study materials.

The Blio website lists the following as platforms the Blio eReader software will soon be available for:

  • Windows and Mac
  • Linux
  • Android
  • Symbian
  • Windows Mobile
  • iPhone
  • Supported ebook formats currently are: XPS, PDF, ePub

I saw Blio at their booth at CES and it was pretty impressive, although I personally don’t like reading ebooks on my desktop or laptop.  Blio should be very nice on the iPad and on smartphones though.

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CPT Making Inroads into eReader Market   no comments

Posted at 7:56 am in Color eReaders,Random

Digitimes reports that Taiwanese TFT-LCD panel maker Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT)  has had some success in the ereader market using its TFT-LCD displays.  The company’s president, Lin Sheng-chang is quoted by the article as saying that probably all of the ereaders currently on the market featuring 7-inch 4:3 ratio TFT-LCD displays are using CPT panels.

One ereader with a 7-inch display comes readily to mind at the moment – the Pandigital Novel – which features a display made by CPT.  CPT has also been showing a prototype reflective display that could compete with Pixel Qi.

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Written by Richard on June 14th, 2010

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