It's about time: Amazon Kindle could get a color screen this year

Summary:Amazon may finally release a Kindle with a color E Ink screen, according to a recent report.

Could Amazon finally be ready to announce a Kindle with a color E Ink display?

That's the story according to DigiTimes, which says that Amazon could make move as early as the second half of this year.

But the real wonder is that it's taken this long: E Ink has been promising that manufacturers would adopt color displays since at least 2010.

At last year's IFA Conference last year, E Ink showed of the latest version of its color screen, dubbed Triton. The screen, which runs of the same low-energy technology as the monochrome E Ink displays, is capable of displaying 4,096 colors.

But there was a problem. As you can see in this video, the most obvious issue with the Triton technology was its fairly lackluster color saturation.

Jeff Bezos agrees -- or at least he did last May. In an interview with Consumer Reports, Bezos said that the color E Ink technology wasn't quite ready to be the centerpiece on an Amazon device. The reason? Blame the colors, which Bezos called "very pale."

Even E Ink marketing exec Sriram Peruvemba alluded to the technology's limitations in the above video: "One of the issues with the higher-resolution display is that it reduces the light going into the display material, and therefore the color is not as saturated as we would like," he said.

So its no surprise to see that a color E Ink device from Amazon or Barnes & Noble has yet to materialize. It can't be easy to create a high-resolution E Ink display that also offers adequate color saturation. But if the DigiTimes report is true, E Ink is finally getting close.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware

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Ricardo Bilton writes for ZDNet's The ToyBox.

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