Amazon Kindle: will you ever be in color?
November 30, 2007 8:34 AM   Subscribe

Gadget-filter: Do you think Amazon's Kindle will ever be offered in color rather than b/w?

I have been pretty fascinated by the Kindle-- were it not for the $400 price point I might seriously consider getting it. But I'm wondering if due to the electronic paper technology if they'll probably stick with black and white only?

The fact that they mention the following particularly fascinates me: "Email your Word documents and pictures (.JPG, .GIF, .BMP, .PNG) to Kindle for easy on-the-go viewing." Being an commercial artist, the Kindle seems like it could have potential for being used as a travel digital portfolio to show clients (I've known people using iPods for that, but the screen's bigger on the Kindle so it seems more useful). Besides the idea of comics and web comics being readable on this thing. Or reading magazines where you could actually see the illustrations and photos in color as well? Even the free wikipedia use-- I often search through it looking for the photos for reference-- the ability to see that in color on this machine would be great (the b/w photos look pretty dull from the product photos, anyway). Most of these things would be pretty nice on the large screen for portability's sake.

I guess this is mostly speculation, since I have no idea how the technology works-- but does anybody know if the electronic ink/paper system they're using could translate into color? I think I'd actually buy it if it was in color.
posted by actionpact to Technology (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I don't know how much of a market they have for color, since most books are effectively in black and white. However, many books have pictures, so maybe we'll see something. I'd be shocked if there wasn't a device like this someday because that's just how technology goes. As to whether it'll happen in the next year or two? Hard to say.

There have been rumors for quite a while now that Apple will release a tablet PC, and there are tablet devices already on the market. They'd be a bit more expensive, but you would get a full-featured computer out of the deal.

For now, I think a tablet PC or iPod are your only options. The Kindle is so new that I would bet that it'll be a while before an updated model appears.
posted by DMan at 8:46 AM on November 30, 2007

Response by poster: Yeah, you bring up a good point DMan, they might not consider it the most viable market to invest in color. Plus based on that above link I don't know how good color turns out in e-ink displays anyway... If I were well off I'd totally buy the new portable Cintiq that came out.

Thanks for the opinions!
posted by actionpact at 8:52 AM on November 30, 2007

I'd say its at least 2-3 years out, if not more.
posted by mphuie at 8:53 AM on November 30, 2007

I'm pretty sure that when Jeff Bezos was interviewed by Charlie Rose last week, he said color was already in the works, and should be out in about four years.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 9:03 AM on November 30, 2007

The Kindle uses an E-Ink screen to display the documents. They are working on color E-Ink, but it isn't quite there yet AFAIK. It is pretty reasonable to think that we're going to see color (illustrations, text books), but probably not for a while.
posted by cschneid at 9:06 AM on November 30, 2007

If you wanted a slightly cheaper solution with a bigger screen than an ipod, could you try one of those digital picture frames? They sell for around $100 right now (though the price is coming down) but have decent sized screens.
posted by drezdn at 9:06 AM on November 30, 2007

Sony Ebook Reader PSC-505 is *excellent*.
posted by iamabot at 9:29 AM on November 30, 2007

I'm pretty sure that when Jeff Bezos was interviewed by Charlie Rose last week, he said color was already in the works, and should be out in about four years.

I think I heard the same thing, or Bezos said that the company who developed the "digital ink" was working on color technology.
posted by Camofrog at 9:55 AM on November 30, 2007

It's definitely in the works. The E Ink Corporation showed prototypes of the color e-ink technology back in 2005. In 2006, Fujitsu and Hitachi showed off actual working concepts of color e-ink devices. And LG Phillips showed off their bendable color e-ink display in March 2007.
posted by junesix at 10:32 AM on November 30, 2007

I've had some contact with digital paper during my studies, and at least last year the prices and quality of full-colour digital paper units were outrageous. The chances that the prices will be dropping any time soon are not too big I guess.

I wouldn't expect affordable colour kindle units in the coming few years.
posted by Wafel at 4:44 PM on November 30, 2007

To piggyback, does anyone know when they'll be dropping the ridiculous DRM and if there will ever be third-party stores?
posted by Mr. Gunn at 11:36 AM on December 1, 2007

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