has gone color. Hanvon Technology is announcing a new colorful eReader that avoids the drawbacks of an LCD display - that of battery usage and glare in direct sunlight.
The familiar black-and-white of previous E-Ink displays is history, at least at Hanvon. They have the first eReader
in this format to offer color. Tablet computers are bright and colorful, even cell phones offer multi-color screens. In contrast, eReaders are dull and gray, but honestly, so are pages in a novel. For printed color, choose an illustrated children’s book, or a table-top art or travel volume.
Competitors, Barnes and Noble
which offers the Nook in color now, and the Apple iPad, have LCD screens with their inherent disadvantages. Still, the color E-Ink comes with its own draw back – less than exciting colors. They appear muted, not brilliant like you’ve become accustomed to on your HDTV. Also, it is restricted to animation, instead of full motion video.
Sony’s e-Reader customers want color too, but Steve Haber, president of Sony’s digital reading business division, who is holding back, says color needs to be vibrant
. "We’re not willing to give up the true black-and-white reading experience."
Hanvon, the largest seller of e-Readers in China
, was presenting at FPD [Flat Panel Display] International 2010
, a trade show in Tokyo. They, like 90 percent of the world’s e-Readers, use E-Ink technology. Hanvon differs in that, now, their E-Ink displays will be in color. This is achieved by placing a color filter overlay on the standard black and white display.
Although the new reader will debut in China, Hanvon sells tablets and e-Readers in the USA
on line and through Fry’s, the electronic chain. Liu Yingjian, Hanvon founder, said "It’s possible that we’ll sell this in the U.S. as well."
E-Ink, although based in Cambridge Massachusetts, has an Asian presence, in that Prime View Holdings of Taiwan bought the company in 2009
. It prides itself on being "Readable, Rugged, and Green".
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