Color E Ink display tech still a slow mover

While black and white e-Ink technologies, such as Vizplex, Pearl, and Carta, have been in existence since 2007, color e-Ink is a relatively recent addition to the scene, making its debut in the consumer market in 2021. This makes it a technology still in its infancy. Presently, two main players in the consumer color e-Ink arena are ACeP (branded as Gallery 3) and Kaleido, both developed by the E Ink Corporation.

Each has its strengths and weaknesses. Gallery 3 boasts an impressive visual display with 32,000 colors, offering a superior color experience. However, it is criticized for its sluggish performance when it comes to writing and displaying content on the screen. Despite this drawback, it stands out for its potential in presenting comic books and magazines in more authentic colors, making it a promising choice for the future. It offers an impressive 300 ppi resolution both in color and monochrome mode.

On the other hand, Kaleido 3 prioritizes speed in rendering color images, providing a faster experience. However, its color images suffer from color resolution getting halved to 150ppi, and the black-and-white display appears darker due to the presence of the color filter layer. You still have 300 ppi resolution in the black-and-white mode though the presence of the color filter array makes things look a bit darkish even in the monochrome mode.

There is anticipation and speculation about major players like Apple or Amazon entering the color E-Ink market. Given Amazon’s success with black-and-white e-Ink on Kindle e-readers, there is hope that their expertise could pave the way for a functional color Kindle, perhaps named the Kolor Kindle. As it is, color e-Ink holds significant potential, particularly for applications like comic book or magazine readers and large electronic photo frames.

Despite the promise of this display technology, there seems to be a gap as no major U.S. companies are actively developing consumer products in this space. Hopefully, we’ll see Gallery 3 display tech improve to have faster refresh rates. Also, let’s hope there are more Gallery 3 devices entering the market at an affordable price, unlocking the full potential of color e-Ink technology.

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