What is the future of e-readers? B&W or Color screens?

2024-03-22 / News / 3512 Sees / 0 Comments

Most e-readers on the market have black and white e-paper screens. The Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook and Kobo are all major brands that provide a superior reading experience, and the devices are all relatively inexpensive. You can buy digital books and audiobooks on the device and listen to them via Bluetooth. The core technologies for black and white e-paper keep receiving upgrades. Colour e-readers have also been around for a while, but the tech has never been that great. Is there a future for colour e-paper?

Kaleido 3 is E Ink’s latest generation of print colour display technology for ePaper products. Compared with conventional black-and-white E INK displays, Kaleido uses an RGB Color Filter Array (CFA) to present colours on the screen. With a colour filter on top, red, green, and blue can be mixed with black and white to create 4,096 colours. Typically, black and white content can be displayed in 300 PPI, and colour PPI is around 150. I have often found that colour e-paper has a saturation problem, where everything looks washed out. Colour tends to look washed out, which is why most of the largest companies in the world have not embraced it. The colour filter array also adds anywhere from $50 to $100 or more to the overall cost of the device since it’s mainly smaller brands using this tech and doesn’t benefit from scale.

I have found on Kaleido’s e-paper that you do not get true black and white when reading an ebook. Instead, colours are mixed for black and white. This is why traditional black-and-white e-readers provide a better experience when reading books. However, colour does have advantages, such as reading comic books, magazines, webtoons, and PDF files. This is great if you are the type of person that consumes content. Examples of good e-readers using colour tech are Pocketbook InkPad Color 3 or the Pocketbook Era Color.

Digital paper, such as e-notebooks, provides a great experience using colour e-paper. You can freehand draw, make annotations and edit PDF files with a stylus. Typically, you can select between 16 and 24 colours when drawing. Great e-notes include the Onyx Boox Note Air 3C or Bigme Inknote Color+ Lite.

Will colour e-paper have any staying power or be a flash in the pan? Most devices that use colour technology are e-notebooks or digital paper; there are hardly any e-book readers with colour screens. E-notebooks are expensive; they often cost around $350 to $1000. At the same time, your typical e-reader can be purchased for under $100.00.

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