Amazon rumored to release frontlit Kindle reader this summer

first_imgAmazon’s massively successful Kindle e-reader is an improvement over paper books in a number of ways. It’s light, lets you carry many volumes, and can download new books instantly. One thing it hasn’t made better is the reading itself. You still need an external light source to read the e-ink display on a Kindle, but a new rumor indicates that is about to change.Reports are beginning to accumulate that describe a Kindle e-reader with a front-lit e-ink screen. This is not like a standard LCD, which is backlit. A LCD screen is transmissive, so light can shine through from behind. The e-ink screen on Kindles (and other e-readers) is reflective; that’s why they read more like paper. Because of this trait, the lighting needs to come from the front of the display.Barnes and Noble has beaten Amazon to market with a self-illuminated e-reader, the Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight. In B&N’s implementation several LEDs around the screen can light up for better nighttime reading. Amazon would likely go with a similar system.LEDs are low-power, but will still sap some juice from the Kindle’s battery. Although, it should be more power efficient than the Kindle case with external built-in light Amazon is currently selling. The new reports suggest that Amazon could raise the price of the Kindle $10 to cover the new parts, but I doubt the company would feel the need. The Kindle is not the money-maker — the content people buy with it is the goal.Some have speculated that Amazon would be moving to color e-paper like Mirasol or PixelQi soon, but component suppliers are still skeptical these technologies are ready for primetime. Front-lighting is looking more and more like the next big thing. That $79 Kindle might be tempting, but perhaps this is a good time to wait and see if Amazon lights up the Kindle line this summer.via Reuterslast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *