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Customer Discussions > Kindle forum

Future of E-Ink Readers

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Showing 1-23 of 23 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 3, 2013 2:01:01 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 3, 2013 2:01:39 AM PDT
So, I'm sure we've all seen all the advertisements as well as a video or two for the new Fire HDX. However, are we going to see an update to the Kindle E-Ink readers anytime soon? The tablets are nice, but they don't hold a candle (heh, Fire?) to the ease of reading and exquisite battery life found on the traditional and Paperwhite readers.

Do you think Kindle has forgotten this demographic? I can't be the only person who would rather have a color e-ink reader with faster refresh than a shiny new tablet.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2013 2:06:42 AM PDT
JES says:
Why do you need a color e-ink kindle? Unless you read picture ebooks color would be useless.

Posted on Oct 3, 2013 2:15:27 AM PDT
Picture ebooks = manga, graphic novels, comics. Which is quite a large market.

Color does open up more options for highlighting, emphasis, and focus indicators as well, however.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2013 2:15:30 AM PDT
Jazzy_Jeff says:
I don't need a color e-ink. Most of the books I read are text only. If I want to read a magazine then I do that on my Android tablet.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2013 2:38:17 AM PDT
I don't need colour e-ink, so I doubt I'd be able to justify the higher pricetag it would carry. But given Amazon has *just* released a new Paperwhite, they very obviously ARE keeping on developing them. It's perfectly possible that they're working on getting a colour e-ink up to marketable standard, and if they are they're not going to be giving away secrets ahead of time.

To assume they've "forgotten the demographic" is both unreasonable and presumptuous.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2013 4:44:11 AM PDT
Sarida says:
I was glad to see Amazon has NOT forgotten the demographic!

With the release of the new Paperwhite prior to the release of the HDX, it showed me that they want to stay in the eink business. It's no accident that the price point of the HDX was set that one can still get a Paperwhite and have two devices for the comparable cost of an iPad. I believe this is a deliberate business decision made by Amazon.

Posted on Oct 3, 2013 4:56:34 AM PDT
There are color e-ink readers. They only have 64 colors and slow refresh rates and are very expensive. Tablets are faster, have better screens, more colors, and a basic tablet costs less than a color e-ink reader while doing a whole lot more.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2013 6:44:27 AM PDT
justus4justice says: "I can't be the only person who would rather have a color e-ink reader with faster refresh than a shiny new tablet."

How can you have a color e-ink reader with a faster refresh rate when the best color eInk screen today has a refresh rate of the original screens in 2007 (when in color mode)? That's why there are no mainstream color eInk readers.. the screens are too slow and too expensive to manufacture.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2013 7:09:12 AM PDT
S. Dunham says:
I don't think Amazon, or other eInk companies, have given up on color eInk. There just hasn't been a good product yet.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2013 7:19:20 AM PDT
Bufo Calvin says:
justus4justice, fortunately, it's not an either/or for consumers or for Amazon. :)

Many people own both (including me). The Paperwhite is great for long-form reading, the Fire is more versatile for uses beyond reading.

I've seen perhaps more commercials for the new Paperwhite than I have the for new Fire, although I'm not sure. I have my KPW2 now: my Fire HDX should arrive on October 18th. The ads may shift at that point.

Color, of course, is a quantum leap forward. By its nature, it should be more expensive, take more battery charge life, and mean slower refreshes. Presumably, Amazon is waiting for that to be market ready (although there would also need to be enough of a market to justify it...there certainly may be at that time, as you mention for picture books, graphic novels...and non-fiction involving graphs and such).

This is a nice article on the issue:

So, to answer the question, although Sony has opted not to make their newest non-backlit reader available in the USA, Amazon has not abandoned them here, and continues to show a commitment to it.

Posted on Oct 3, 2013 7:23:20 AM PDT
Ectaco JetBook Color eBook Reader

Here's the color ereader. It was developed in Russia. There is another model sold in China. There is pretty much nothing a tablet like the Fire or Nexus can't do for $300 less that this can do.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2013 7:39:31 AM PDT
R. D. Clark says:
It's easy to say "I'd rather have a fantasy product that is perfect in every way than to choose from what actually exists that doesn't meet my perceived needs." But the fact is that there is no commercially viable color reflective display technology that can properly support video or action games, and nothing that looks like color tablet is going to succeed in the marketplace unless it can act like a tablet.

E-readers being grayscale is probably their primary distinguishing characteristic as a product. Yes, we all know that the differences are much more complex than that, but product categories need really obvious distinctions. Toaster-ovens can make toast, but nobody shopping for a toaster would mistakenly buy one.

Amazon certainly has not "forgotten" the e-reader market. They just introduced what most reviewers are calling the best e-reader ever made. And not long ago they bought Liquivista, a company developing color reflective-screen display technology, so they are obviously thinking about it. But of course it's a long stretch to creating a viable product that can be sold at a profit.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2013 1:16:30 PM PDT
Erich says:
"Color, of course, is a quantum leap forward. "

So it's the smallest leap possible? That should be easy for Amazon!

(Sorry... pet peeve. Carry on.)

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2013 3:36:58 PM PDT
Bufo Calvin says:
Erich, I'd never deny anyone their pets. :)

The quantum itself is the smallest unit, but the quantum leap, as I understand it, is the change from one quantum state to another.

The key thing in the idiomatic use is that it isn't a gradual progression from one point to the next, but a discontinuous "leap" from one formed state to another formed state.

My point on this one is that I don't think we'll see a gradual introduction of color, and I don't think that would work in the market. For example, I don't think they would introduce a color device that only did a pale green, and no other colors. :)

Page refresh, to give a contrast, is not a quantum leap change in the technology. It can be faster next time, and faster still the next. There isn't a point where it goes from "unacceptably slow" to "acceptably fast"'s a continuum.

What that means in terms of color non-backlit technology is that I think Amazon will wait until it seems fully a color device before introducing it.

There...did I carry it on far enough? ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2013 4:03:35 PM PDT
Except display well in bright sunlight and cause less eye strain, both of which are pretty big selling points.

Posted on Oct 3, 2013 4:47:48 PM PDT
Jay says:
I prefer E-Ink. I have no use for color E-Ink, but would like an audio capable PaperWhite, with page forward / page back buttons rather than a touch a PW screened Kindle Basic with sound for Audible books would suit me fine. If it had a larger memory-say 64 GB, or 128 GB, that would be nice.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 17, 2014 7:19:22 AM PDT
Arvind says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 17, 2014 7:27:37 AM PDT
Is your ten-year-old in college yet? Technology can change drastically in a short time. Today's ten-year-old can make very good use of an e-ink reader whether or not there is an iPad in the equation.

Posted on Aug 19, 2014 12:11:32 AM PDT
mee2 says:
For a textbook, you need to increase the size of the screen to a textbook size.
Right now I can't read charts, diagrams and maps which I presumably could read in the the textbook version of the ebook.
So I have to bring the book up on my PC to read the chart, diagram, or map.

Also for us senior citizens, who need to use a larger font, that 6 inch screen significantly reduces the amount of words that I can see to read. I have taken to using an 8" tablet in horizontal position. But give me a nice 10" e-ink screen that is similar in size to a text book.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 19, 2014 6:08:14 AM PDT
Jay says:
Color E-Ink is dead as far as the consumer market is concerned.. Three different systems were devised, and none works well enough to justify the high cost, or bother, each would require. It is cheaper to own both an E-Ink Reader, and and a color tablet, than it would be to buy a product which tries to be both in one. There may be some market for color E-Ink, but it would be industrial, not consumer. Corporations can justify buying expensive niche products. Most consumers can't.

Color E-Ink readers have too low a refresh rate to be worth bothering with. That could change...but only if there were enough of a market to make it work pursuing...and there isn't. Why wait for ten years to buy the color E-Ink unit you want...if it ever becomes available then...when, for less money, you could have the greyscale e-reader you want for text, and the color tablet which will do whatever you want color for, and have both now? Once you invest in a greyscale E-Ink reader for text, and a color tablet for comic books, and your tablet can also play movies, and video games, would you also buy a color E-Ink unit which can not play movies, or video games, just to e-read the comic books your tablet can already read for no more cost? would not...and neither will anyone else. Ergo, there is no real consumer market for color E-Ink, and probably never will be one. That being the case, no one is going to bother producing a color E-Ink unit...even when the technology does allow it.

Many people want a flying economy car-boat which can drive on land, fly in the sky, and sail on the sea, and get 100 MPG while doing so, but not enough people are willing to pay the high cost such a device would require, and so no one is making them. The technology does exist, but there is no profit in using it that way.

Posted on Oct 30, 2014 6:59:31 PM PDT
Polar Bear says:
I really wish the was a color Letter size ebook that can properly read PDF as well as other ebook formats including kindle.
Many text book have color - does have to be fancy.
Scientific article, financial data charts are often presented in color.
LCD is just not it when it comes to reading text.
I would but one - but the trend seem to be phones and tablets - no body cares about book anymore pity.

Posted on Oct 30, 2014 9:14:45 PM PDT
I'm not sure what you mean by "LCD is not it". I read text on my iPad all the time, no problems. I like my Kindles for portability and prolonged battery life, but for magazines, charts, maps, illustrations, newspapers iPads are better.

Posted on Oct 30, 2014 9:33:31 PM PDT
Sue says:
For what it's worth, I do not see a color e ink reader in my future. I read books with black text in them. I do not highlight passages in the books I read. I do not use text books. For those reasons and probably some other ones a color e ink reader would not be a wise investment for me.
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  18
Total posts:  23
Initial post:  Oct 3, 2013
Latest post:  Oct 30, 2014

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