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Tag - E-Ink
E Ink, a manufacturer of monochrome displays, has announced it is creating a 1.73-inch e-paper screen for use with smartwatches. Offering 16 shades of greyscale, a resolution of 320x240, and low power requirements, Slashgear reports that the display will be surfacing in the Sonostar Smartwatch, due to be shown later this week at Computex.
Despite the popularity of Apple's iPad and competing tablets such as the Kindle Fire, some consumers still pine for color e-readers. Amazon, maker of the Kindle, top seller among e-readers, has flirted with the idea, but previously maintained that the technology wasn't ready yet for a quality color reading device. Now, sources tell Digitimes, color E Ink technology may finally have reached a satisfactory level of sophistication, and Amazon is said to be preparing to roll out a color Kindle in the second half of 2012.
E Ink has reported its first loss in two years following ten quarters of consecutive profit. Revenues declined by a steep 63 percent to just $131 million, while its gross margin shrunk to a microscopic 0.8 percent from a much higher 28.5 percent in the previous quarter. The decline is said to be the result of excess manufacturing capacity and being forced to move into lower margin LCD panels from higher margin Electronic Paper Display (EPD) products.
The combination of a leak and discoveries has revealed that Amazon is likely developing a unique illuminated E Ink screen. A source showing a disguised prototype in person to TechCrunch had an adjustable screen that evenly lit up with a cool light. The effect was like that of a white LED, but softer and easier to read, according to the anecdote.
Amazon may have reshuffled its Kindle Fire sequel plans again to drop an 8.9-inch model. A rumor Wednesday night spread to Digitimes had Amazon instead planning a straightforward seven-inch sequel to the current model as well as the alluded-to 10-inch version. Success with the tablet was leading Amazon to drift from e-readers to tablets, prompting the larger model, the sources claimed.
A pair of leaks Sunday night have pointed to Amazon both growing its tablet line and dipping into color e-paper for the firs time. E Ink is supposedly getting orders for a six-inch, color e-paper display, Taiwan's Economic Daily News said. The production would start very quickly, in March, with production scaling up to as much as three million a month.
Amazon's fourth-generation Kindle costs more to make than its $79 selling price, a cost breakdown has uncovered. IHS iSuppli told Main St that the e-reader costs $84.25 to build, or a combination of the $78.59 in raw parts and $5.66 in assembly. The most expensive part was the E Ink Pearl screen, at $30.50, while the circuit board was next at $30.37.
Although Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet stole the show last month at the company's launch event, the company also introduced an update to its traditional Kindle reader. The fourth-generation model brings a smaller housing and improved E Ink display, but without the hardware keyboard that was present on each of the earlier models. In our full review, we determine how the new Kindle stacks up against the earlier models and competing devices.
Amazon in the same introduction as the Kindle Fire tablet also revealed its own direct answer to the current Nook. The Kindle Touch is based entirely on an infrared-based, six-inch touchscreen with a unique interface known as EasyReach. Tapping the top quarter of the screen brings up the menu, while tapping near the left edge goes back; tapping the rest of the page goes forward.
Sony on Wednesday confirmed a long-expected update to its Reader e-book hardware. The Reader Wi-Fi, or PRS-T1, borrows much of its influence from the Xperia smartphone line, down to an 0.35-inch thickness and a lighter six-ounce weight dictated by a switch from aluminum to plastic. The design runs on a much newer, E Ink-made six-inch Pearl screen and now supports multi-touch for zoom as well as page turns through swipes.