Color E-Ink Kindle on the Horizon?
Don’t give up on e-ink Kindles yet. After the success of the Kindle Fire and the tablet boom, I was beginning to think that e-ink was on its way out. However, there are new speculations floating around in the tech world about Amazon’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) supposed order of color e-ink screens.
If that is so, we might be seeing a color e-ink version of the Kindle sometime next summer or early fall. The timing is based on the past yearly refresh of the Kindle lineup.
I think this would give e-ink a much needed jump start to reclaim its place in the electronic sales market. Tablets are showing unprecedented success, and are threatening to leave the e-ink devices behind to become a niche market unless they don’t do something about it.
The biggest advantages of a color e-ink Kindle over an LCD tablet are that it doesn’t cause eye strain and suck up battery life. I love my iPad, but I can’t sit and read it for longer periods of time. My Kindle’s battery lasts for a couple of months, whereas my iPad’s battery lasts about 10 hours or less depending on use.
Looking at it from an accessibility standpoint, there are certain vision conditions that cause the user to be sensitive to bright lights. E-ink is obviously a lot friendlier to that type of condition.
The e-ink Kindle began as a single service device designed for reading. The electronic paper style that the Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and other e-ink readers use is designed to simulate the experience of reading a real book. Adding color would provide better graphics for comics, newspapers and magazines. To me, comics are a better fit for paper rather than LCD.
I am excited about this new development. I think in the long run there will be hybrid e-ink and LCD tablets out there on the market. I don’t know about you, but it can get cumbersome toting around several different gadgets that each fulfill a different purpose. By adding color, e-ink is a step closer towards making a device like that a reality.