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At CES 2011 earlier this year, we were impressed with Mirasol, the Qualcomm’s color e-ink display technology that could run full motion videos in direct sunlight. We didn’t hear any more news about the technology since then and we thought it was dead. However, Kyobo, the largest bookseller in Korea, has announced the first Mirasol colour e-ink display made by Qualcomm and called it Kyobo eReader.

The Kyobo eReader features a 5.7 inch XGA display with the resolution of 1,024×768 pixels, the ppi rate is 223 and a capacitive touch screen. The best advantage of the display is that we can view the screen in direct sunlight, besides, we will never have any issue with eye strain as the display uses ambient light instead of its own. This also leads to the better battery life for this device. Take a look at some of its tech specs below, we can see that it uses the 1800mAH battery which has much lower capacity compared to tablets on the market. However, the battery life of the reader is amazing. It allow reading under typical usage for weeks, it means we can read book for 30 minutes per day with Wi-Fi off and brightness decreased to 25% utilization. The e-ink display is far superior for outdoor reading and is much more energy efficient than tablets using power-hungry LCD screens.

color e-ink reader

Although the Kyobo reader is built upon Android 2.3 Gingerbread, we almost can’t recognize it as the OS was heavily customized for the device. If you are worried that the device can’t run videos and play games smoothly because of the low refresh rate of e-ink technology, you can feel happy now as they promise you can playback videos at 30FPS. This would be awesome if you’ve ever used readers using e-ink technology before, such as the Amazon Kindle.

Kyobo color e-ink reader

There have been a lot of monochrome e-ink and LCD e-readers on the global market, however, each of them has its own advantages. The LCD consumes more energy while monochrome e-ink has low refresh rate and can be used for reading only. The introduction of Mirasol color e-ink eReader absolutely will help diversify the market and give consumers more choices.

The Kyobo eReader is hitting shelves in Korea now for the price of 349,000 won (US $310). It will be available globally after official announcement at CES 2012 in next January. Stay tuned for more information of the appealing slate.

2 COMMENTS

  1. This looks great, although I don’t really understand the technical stuff behind a coloured e-ink screen which can be displayed at 30 FPS. I strongly doubt that. And also, what does it mean by “brightness decreased to 25%”? Sounds like a backlit screen to me.

    There is one more thing I’m worried about, it is its digitizer. Having looked at the video, it seems to be the device will support multi-touch screen panel, which often provides reflection and poor contrast.

    I can’t say anything by now without seeing it in person, however its low price point sounds great to me.

    • Actually I think the price should be lowered to reach more users.
      The technology doesn’t use back-lit screen but a front-lit LED system with reflective mirrored surface to project brightness back. So, I guess we can have good viewing experience both indoor and outdoor.

      Qualcomm claimed that the reflectivity and contrast ratio are the same as we read newspapers, so it can’t beat LCD screen at the moment. I expect there will be more models with improved screen next January.

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