Epson, E Ink teaming up on 300-dpi electronic paper device

Colorized e-book readers and related apps for tablets are becoming more popular, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for more development with electronic ink displays.

Colorized e-book readers and related apps for tablets are becoming more popular, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for more development with electronic ink displays.

Epson and E Ink have announced that the two companies are teaming up to develop a brand new 9.7-inch electronic paper device. The 300-dpi display will support 2,400 x 1,650 pixels, promising to deliver "razor-sharp text and images."

In comparison, currently-available electronic ink e-book readers such as Barnes & Noble's Nook Wi-Fi/3G and the Amazon Kindle sport monochrome ink screens with 160-dpi and 600 x 800 resolutions. That's certainly clear enough for text and even some basic images (just look at the images of authors that pop up on the Nook's screensaver), but Epson and E Ink seem to be shooting for something much more advanced.

When it comes to images, it's hard to argue that digital black and white ink can substitute for color, but perhaps such technology can at least offer a more competitive and budget-friendly price tag to customers. Additionally, with a display larger than the average e-reader and approximately the same size as the iPad, it's possible that this product will be targeted towards more professional-related functions such as education and research.

However, we'll have to wait for this one. The prototype is being showcased at SID Display Week in Los Angeles this week. Epson will continue to work and manufacture the device while E Ink worries about the display. No word on availability or pricing just yet.

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