Color E Ink is finally almost here. Hanvon, the largest ereader company in China with roughly 78% of the market share, is set to announce the first color E Ink ereader for release in China, which will be available in March of 2011.
The Hanvon color ereader will be the first of its kind, and will feature a large 9.68-inch display. It uses the same exact technology as regular black and white displays that are currently used on the Kindle, Sony Readers, etc. To make the color display, E Ink uses the same black and white screen with a color filter over the top.
What’s more, the color displays have the same long battery life that black and white displays have, weeks instead of hours. Even better, the color displays are viewable in bright light outdoors unlike LCD displays.
According to the source of this article over at The New York Times, there are a couple of drawbacks with the color E Ink displays:
However, the new color E Ink display, while an important technological breakthrough, is not as sharp and colorful as LCD. Unlike an LCD screen, the colors are muted, as if one were looking at a faded color photograph. In addition, E Ink cannot handle full-motion video. At best, it can show simple animations.
Given that, it will be interesting to see how well the Chinese market takes to this new type of color screen technology, especially considering the cost compared to that of the Apple iPad. The Hanvon color ereader is expected to sell for about $440, about $150 less than the iPad in China.
So will the color Hanvon be headed to the US anytime soon? Maybe. In the article there’s a quote from the founder and chairman of Hanvon that says it is a possible they will sell it in the US online from Fry’s electronics.