Bringing color to e-ink technologies has proved to be a very hard task. Leading contenders like Mirasol, Liquavista (owned by Samsung now) are still unsuccessful in bringing their solutions to mass production and eventually to market.
Now an Ectaco jetBook Color 9.7″ tablet may change the landscape for e-ink readers.
Geek.com and other blogs report very interesting features of this tablet coming to US in January 2012.
The unit is based on the Hanvon C920, which utilizes a 1600 x 1200 Triton color E Ink display that’s capable of interpreting two-finger touch gestures. Wi-Fi support is built in, and there’s a stylus onboard for those who want to take advantage of the jetBook’s handwriting recognition abilities to leave notes in the digital margins of their books.
The jetBook can handle loads of different file formats, including EPUB, PDF, MOBI, DOC, XLS, and HTML — JPG and PNG photos are also supported, as are MP3, WAV, and WMA audio files. Opera’s web browser is included, as is a text-to-speech engine, and there’s a microSD expansion to hold your ever-expanding library.
A pre-order page at Ectaco presents detailed specs of the device:
- Triton Color E Ink screen
- 9.7″ Display
- 1600×1200 resolution
- Load Your Own Content
- Support for: Adobe DRM 9.1, ePub, Mobi, PRC, RTF, TXT, PDF, FB2, djvu, JPG, Gif, PNG, BMP (more to come)
- Wi-Fi enabled with browser
- Fluent Text-to-Speech can read you any book
- 10,000 page turns on a single charge
- Support via microSD for up to 32GB
- Sleek protective carrying case included
- Underline and highlight text
- 50-state reading list
- Fully interactive SAT course
- “Overdrive” library access
- Wireless access to online textbooks, www.ck12.org and other resources
- Speed Reading course
- Talking Oxford Dictionaries
- Course of English and foreign language grammar
- Speech recognition and speech analysis Language Teacher and U-Learn courses that teach you a language step by step
- Pictured dictionaries for 38 languages
- Cross translator for 180 languages
- Vocabulary Builder
- Linguistic Crosswords
- Reference materials for Math, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography and Earth Science
- Interactive Periodic Table of Elements
- Graphing and scientific calculators
The e-book has also been actively introduced in schools in Russia and Ukraine as a replacement to carrying around hefty, traditional books. This is demonstrated in the video below (the video requires captions, as it is in Russian natively):
Colors in a palette of 4,000 are looking quite washed out, too slow for any video, then the price is quite steep at $499 (presumably, $350 for schools), but hey, waiting for Amazon Kindle Color E-Ink device to appear could turn counterproductive, at least for educational purposes.