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Hanvon to be first with color E Ink reader

updated 01:40 pm EST, Mon November 8, 2010

Hanvon previews color E Ink reader for March

China's Hanvon today had the distinction of becoming the first company to support a color E Ink screen. The company said it would launch a 9.7-inch touchscreen device. The design has few details but should behave slightly more like a tablet, with a website in view in the initial NYT render and both 3G and Wi-Fi support. It reaches the Chinese market in March for an equivalent price of $440.

E Ink has taken advantage of a wave of interest in e-readers and has found its e-paper screens used in the most important readers in the US, including the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook. Color screens have faced significant resistance, however as the process of putting a color filter over e-paper gives a very washed-out look and doesn't improve the slow performance of current technology, which bars significant animation and video.

The limitation has left many companies switching to LCDs and tablets instead to pursue color. Apple's decision to use LCD for the iPad was dictated by its intended role, but Barnes & Noble notably skipped over E Ink entirely for the Nook Color so that it could get interactive children's books and third-party apps. Amazon has been one of the few to fully defend the technology and said color Kindles were distant as it wanted to remain focused on the advantages of current grayscale e-readers.

Hanvon's decision may prove successful. Although it has tried to crack the tablet market with muted results, it controls 78 percent of the growing tablet market in its native China. The iPad costs the equivalent of $590, and while popular for tablets may struggle to get acceptance compared to e-readers as a whole.

by MacNN Staff



  1. onehere

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Nook Color is still better for $249

    The Nook Color will not run apps straight out of the Android Market, but that does not mean it cannot run them. In fact, they have done a lot of tests on apps from standard Android smartphones and they pretty much run on Nook Color, which has Android 2.1 under the hood. (The Nook native interface and apps are just standard Android application layers.) Barnes & Noble special Nook SDK runs on top of the standard Android one and gives developers access to exclusive extensions and APIs for the Nook and its interface. So porting Android apps is not difficult. B&N says it is more like optimising them for Nook than porting them. Nook Color screen is supposed to be better (less reflective) for reading than iPad thanks to new LG screen with anti-reflection coating. It allows to watch videos, listen to the music, view Office documents and PDF's. If you prefer e-Ink screen, the original Nook is still available from BN.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    btw nook color 800mhz Cortex A8 processor

    Usually when a company keeps something a secret, that's bad news.

    But this is a powerful processor to be included on a $249 tablet - the Nook Color really impresses.

    Thankfully TI finally revealed the details - B&N doesn't quite understand the tech trade.

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