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Old 09-12-2010, 12:17 PM   #1
DonaldL.
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Reading E-Books in All the Colors of the Rainbow

Reading E-Books in All the Colors of the Rainbow

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“We expect companies to market color e-book readers if not by the holidays, then soon after,” said Sarah Rotman Epps, an analyst specializing in consumer product strategies at Forrester, the market research company. “And some consumers will definitely opt for them.”

Of course, even with their current, monochromatic text, e-book readers have already been strong sellers, said Vinita Jakhanwal, director of small and medium displays at the market researcher iSuppli. Worldwide shipments have risen quickly — to 11 million in 2010, from 5 million in 2009, she said, with 15 million predicted for 2011.
Quote:
E Ink will ship its color displays to device makers in late fall, Mr. Peruvemba said. Hanvon Technology, in Beijing, a maker of e-book readers, will be one of the first customers, he said.

The color filters used in the displays block some of the light, but the loss is offset by an improved ink formulation that yields higher contrast, he said; the color display consumes no more power than previous monochromatic displays.
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:26 PM   #2
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Ha! I'll eat my hat if colour eInk devices make it to market before next summer.
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:28 PM   #3
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Ha! I'll eat my hat if colour eInk devices make it to market before next summer.
If you do, I'd like to see video.
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:35 PM   #4
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Will you eat it even they are crappy, overpriced, sluggish, and faded?

I could see something possibly shipping in limited quantities; just nothing a rational buyer would actually want.
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:36 PM   #5
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I don't see them coming out before summer, either. And I still don't understand why people are so rabid to get them in color... the books I read are black and white text. Sure, the cover is in color, but that's it. And if the refresh rate is anything like the eReaders, you couldn't watch movies or anything on it.
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:44 PM   #6
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I don't see them coming out before summer, either. And I still don't understand why people are so rabid to get them in color... the books I read are black and white text. Sure, the cover is in color, but that's it. And if the refresh rate is anything like the eReaders, you couldn't watch movies or anything on it.
Well, I read the new Stephen Hawking book this week, and even some poor, faint colour would have helped with the diagrams. However, I wouldn't want one if the contrast of the black text against the background was compromised, which I suspect might be true of the early colour devices.

Graham
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:49 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by TrvlrsChick View Post
...And I still don't understand why people are so rabid to get them in color... the books I read are black and white text
This is mentioned often. There is a lot of material that relies on color. Though you may not read it many people do. It's often hard to see or understand that which doesn't personally interest you. If all romance books were eliminated from the earth I'd probably not notice. My aunt and many others on the other hand certainly would. I'm pretty sure color ereaders with the best properties of eInk and LCD at a reasonable price will be a major breakthrough.
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:49 PM   #8
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Thank you for the link.

Color might be nice for covers, but I am not sure I would want to pay the cost premium for the technology (I'm assuming it would cost more, anyway.) As a rule, black & white will suffice for my personal eReader use, since I will probably only use the eReader to read novels, biographies, histories, but I can see the need for those readers of different genres - technical books, etc.

Of course, back in the day, monochrome CRT screens were the latest and greatest, and now most of us couldn't imagine using a computer without an LCD monitor with great color graphics capabilities. At some point in the (near) future, I imagine black & white-only eReaders will also be considered "dinosaurs."

Holly

Last edited by OakIris; 09-12-2010 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:51 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by TrvlrsChick View Post
I don't see them coming out before summer, either. And I still don't understand why people are so rabid to get them in color... the books I read are black and white text. Sure, the cover is in color, but that's it. And if the refresh rate is anything like the eReaders, you couldn't watch movies or anything on it.
Comics.

What I would give for a no-glare colour device that ran a program like Marvel's Smart Panels

Edit: Ultimate Spiderman #1 at Marvel.com

Last edited by Hatgirl; 09-12-2010 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:58 PM   #10
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Well, I read the new Stephen Hawking book this week, and even some poor, faint colour would have helped with the diagrams.
Those books for which colour is beneficial, I'd read on my iPad.
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Old 09-12-2010, 01:01 PM   #11
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As a rule, black & white will suffice for my personal eReader use, since I will probably only use the eReader to read novels, biographies, histories...
Even history and biography books make occasional use of colour in maps and photos, so all else being equal I'd be happy to have colour available for those.

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Old 09-12-2010, 01:08 PM   #12
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Those books for which colour is beneficial, I'd read on my iPad.
The Hawking book, though, would be a good example of a book that I would prefer to read on my eInk device, and with the use of colour being minimal, although useful on the occasions it was used, I wouldn't want to stop and switch devices.

I guess the topic in this thread is how soon we're going to see useable colour on eInk devices; I think it's a given that there are much better devices already available that provide a colour ereading experience.

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Old 09-12-2010, 01:19 PM   #13
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At some point in the (near) future, I imagine black & white-only eReaders will also be considered "dinosaurs."

Holly
Probably.
And yet...
...desktop laser printers have been around for over 25 years and even though color laser and color inkjets are readily afordable, good old b&w lasers still command a respectable share of the market because of economics.

It may yet come to pass that eink economics might result in enough of a cost advantage for plain old b&w to endure well into the color reader era. I'm thinking that the underlying hardware for color eink readers is going to essentially mirror the underlying hardware for *good* android webpads, just substituting eink for the LCD panel; 1GHz CPU, a graphics accelerator, lots of RAM and lots of storage.

In contrast, b&w readers do fine with 200-400MHz older-gen cpus, as little as 64MB RAM, and 2-4GB storage. More, we'll likely see single-chip readers in the very near future that will bring the price of an entry-level unconnected reader into double-digit pricing. I suspect reader development is eventually likely going to work in at least two direction; high-capability color readers that will try to eat into the current LCD slate-computer business at the high-end and very small, very low price b&w readers for consumers of fiction and other forms of recreational reading. Pricing for the latter could conceivably mirror low-end calculator prices. Not soon, mind you, but sub-$50 b&w reader list prices are far from impossible. That might keep'em around longer than we might otherwise expect.

To me, the key difference is that PC vendors have never had much incentive to maintain device capability constant and ride the price curve down Moore's law; they would much rather keep prices stable and ride the features up the Moore's law curve.

Meanwhile, eBook readers that are tied in to ebookstores (Nook, Kindle, Kobo) have *every* incentive to price the gadget as low as possible to grow their "storefront access" share. We're already seeing this playing out as all three "storefront readers" are happily playing in the sub-$150 range and driving competitors up-market into high-feature devices. We'll know fairly soon if the strategy results in enough volume to justify even further cuts in which case we could in fact see a race to the bottom that will make early color eink readers a tougher sell. To me the issue isn't when we'll see the *first* color eink reader (Fujitsu already did it) but when we'll see the first ones that are a compelling non-niche buy. And I don't see those anywhere near the horizon. Not in market with LCD tablets.

It's not all about the tech; economies of scale and business model matters too. Going to be interesting no matter what.

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Old 09-12-2010, 01:20 PM   #14
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Those books for which colour is beneficial, I'd read on my iPad.
I agree with this.

Would be interesting to see a poll determining how many people would be interested in a colour eink device based on current tech.
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Old 09-12-2010, 01:55 PM   #15
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I agree with this.

Would be interesting to see a poll determining how many people would be interested in a colour eink device based on current tech.
What do you mean "based on current tech" since there is no color eInk device available commercially now?

I see Harry's "I'd use my iPad" comment just reinforcing that there is a need for color support.
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