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Old 02-16-2010, 01:24 PM   #1
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Another Amazon/Mirasol Rumor

According to Chris Davies at SlashGear, Qualcomm was displaying their Mirasol screen at MobileFocus today, and the company confirmed that it will begin shipping their device in the fall of 2010. According to the article, Qualcomm also said that they wouldn't confirm who will be using their new screen, but they did say it would be paired with a capacitive touchscreen. It is strongly believed that Amazon is their partner.

The video of the Mirasol screen on SlashGear's site is pretty cool too.
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:43 PM   #2
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Looks very nice. I would be more interested if it were a larger screen. Perhaps we'll have options in screen size. If the Notion Ink Adam comes to life this year (for less than $600), I doubt I'll be buying another dedicated ebook reader even if color is available.

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Old 02-16-2010, 01:54 PM   #3
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From my perspective, this it the perfect e-reader screen technology. But until I see product, I don't let myself get too excited.

Bistable (same low power consumption as e-ink) for reading use, modest video capability (secondary use) which would allow a web browser, really looks good...
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Old 02-16-2010, 02:00 PM   #4
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I agree with you RSE. The perfect e-reader screen technology, but I'll believe it when I see it (especially that fall 2010 date).

I also agree with Scion in that I'd like to see a bigger screen -- about the size of my Kindle DX (even a tad bigger would be good).
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Old 02-16-2010, 02:10 PM   #5
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Pretty neat stuff.
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:42 PM   #6
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It's a pretty exciting technology - color e-ink which is readable in sunlight.

I wonder how it will go in terms of battery life though, we would have to assume color tech takes more power? I am suprised Amazon hasn't made any announcements yet about the direction of the new kindles. If they don't announce anything before the release of the iPad I will be shocked. The iPad will eat their Kindle DX sales up I think.
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:03 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by fugazied View Post
I am suprised Amazon hasn't made any announcements yet about the direction of the new kindles. If they don't announce anything before the release of the iPad I will be shocked. The iPad will eat their Kindle DX sales up I think.
I agree. I think non-techies will snatch up the iPad instead of the Kindle DX.
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:07 PM   #8
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I don't think it's legal to announce a product too far before it will actually ship. If mirasol won't be shipping displays in any quantity until the fall then whatever ipad response amazon takes will likely be more price oriented than feature oriented.

Of course, that's just my own not terribly informed opinion...
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fugazied View Post
It's a pretty exciting technology - color e-ink which is readable in sunlight.

I wonder how it will go in terms of battery life though, we would have to assume color tech takes more power?
No, it doesn't. Video takes more power, but the screen can "rest" at a very very tiny bias voltage. Even in video, it is supposedly very low power (around 20-30mW according to one of their claims). As a reader, it should be similar to, if not better than, electrophoretic (like E-Ink) in terms of battery life.

For reference, Pixel Qi's screen will draw around 500mW (According to Pixel Qi, or 200mW according to Notion Ink), and they hope to get that down to around 100mW with more optimization. A typical backlit LCD will be more than 2000mW.
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:29 PM   #10
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Mirasol might have some hurdles to overcome but it's a great concept, and seems to be a good product.

Of course, good hardware needs good software. If you're going to have a fast screen for reading, you should have reading software that will take advantage of that speed. Unfortunately, all we've seen so far are page-turning animations, which might be pretty but are functionally useless. On at least one iPad video, I remember the demonstrator telling people to try turning the pages more slowly in order to enjoy the animation. If all we get out of a Mirasol Kindle-like device is the same old experience with more animation, it'll be a pretty pathetic waste of a good technology.
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:38 PM   #11
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...On at least one iPad video, I remember the demonstrator telling people to try turning the pages more slowly in order to enjoy the animation....
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:55 PM   #12
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I agree. I think non-techies will snatch up the iPad instead of the Kindle DX.
Non techies and techies. I mean it's only $10 more for the lower model and does a lot more.

The DX and other large screen e-ink readers really only appeal to people who need to read large documents for hours on end. So they were always a niche, and that gets cut into since one can read a PDF etc. on something like the iPad with a similar form factor.

And most won't need e-ink as people probably aren't reading that type of stuff for hours on end like they do novels. Even being an academic, I'm seldom reading textbooks, research articles etc. for more than 1-2 hours in any give stretch, so I'd much prefer something like the iPad which does a lot more than an large screen e-ink reader for the same price (or more for the iRex or Que).

I don't think the large screen e-ink devices will die per se. And they were never going to be more than a niche item with less appeal than portable readers anyway. Stuff like the iPad and things that come out with Pixel QI or Mirasol screens will just cut into that niche a bit is all.

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Old 02-16-2010, 08:04 PM   #13
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Yeah, if it works like in the video, I think this is the screen that many of us have been waiting for. However, if they're saying now that it will be ready in the Fall of 2010, then that probably means it will really be out sometimes in 2011. I'd be very interested in an 8" screen with that technology. Darn it! There's always something better on the horizon.
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Old 02-16-2010, 09:28 PM   #14
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Non techies and techies. I mean it's only $10 more for the lower model and does a lot more.
I think you're rather making the assumption that Amazon will leave the price there. PVI's deal in October for mass production of their screens means that wholesale prices are likely to be falling, and that gives Amazon room for cuts.

Equally, I doubt they'll do it more than a few days before the iPad launch, so they can get their own licks in for publicity.

Oh, it's speculation - but it's informed speculation and perfectly feasible...

(Plus we're only a couple of months away from ASUS's 9" SiPix screen, which will badly undercut the DX and it's sales if Amazon let it... (and I don't think they will!))
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:17 PM   #15
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While the resolution of the screen is good, the contrast looks low and the colors look washed out, similar to other attempts at color. Lets hope they improve it because as it stands, it looks worse than e-ink in terms of contrast and worse than the ipad in terms of color saturation.
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