I am a naturally suspicious and doubtful person, so when Kobo, Amazon, and Sony (via the leaked retail box) all started claiming that their new ereaders were using an amazing and wonderful screen tech I tended to think the claims were all marketing hooey.
It looks like I was wrong.
E-ink has just formally announced a new generation of screen tech, and based on the technical description in the press release and the product page this new tech is probably already being used in the newly announced Kindle Paperwhite.
Here’s what E-ink says about the new tech:
E Ink Carta displays utilize a new electronic ink formulation and technology to provide a dramatic 50 percent improvement in contrast ratio and over 20 percent improvement in reflectance over previous generations of E Ink displays for a remarkably improved viewing and reading experience. The new Carta displays utilize the most advanced bistable electronic paper technology to deliver the best contrast ratio E Ink has ever delivered to the market with the same extremely low power consumption expected from an E Ink display.
The new display has been specifically tuned for reading applications, fully supporting E Ink Regal™ waveform technology. Regal waveforms dramatically reduce the need for full page refreshes after a few page turns. This enhances the reader’s experience by providing smoother page turns and more focused reading.
- Vizplex (2008)
- Pearl (2010)
- Carta (2013)
I do not yet have specific confirmation that the new screen is used in the new PRS-T3 or the Kobo Aura, but based on what how those new devices are described I would bet that they do not.
The back of the T3′s retail box doesn’t mention an improved contrast, and I don’t see any mention of the improved contrast in the early reports on the Kobo Aura. That leads me to conclude that the T3 and the new Aura only gained the new Regal waveform tech, and that they are using it with the older Pearl screens.
On a related note, is anyone else disappointed that we didn’t get to see the Ultra-HD E-ink screen? I know that was a long shot but it would have been cool.