First True Hands On Videos of the Kyobo eReader w\Mirasol Screen

Qualcomm's Mirasol screen has finally made it into the hands of a few bloggers, but sadly I am not one of them. Cheryl Goodman, the head of marketing for Mirasol, is in Taipei this week for a conference. A couple of bloggers caught up with her yesterday and they got to shoot videos of the elusive ebook reader.

I've already covered the details of the Kyobo eReader (price, specs, and content) before, so I'm really just interested in the screen tech. I turned off the sound.

The first video is by TweakTown. Watch carefully and you'll see that the video confirms the long load time for ebooks. The video also doesn't give a very good impression of the true screen quality. And about 3 minutes in you'll find a video playing in the eReader. It's surprisingly jerky.

The next video was shot by Nicole Scott of NetbookNews. It shows pretty much the same thing, only in this video the screen is lit by natural light. What do you think of the color quality on the screen?

Nicole reports that it's doing just under 30 frames per second video, and that the hardware was capable of doing 40 fps. She wasn't too pleased with either the color quality on the display or with the viewing angle.

This ebook reader is going for about $310 in South Korea, and it's not available elsewhere. That's probably a good thing; it doesn't look like the Mirasol screen is ready to seriously compete with either E-ink or LCD screens.

Nicole also says that Qualcomm plans to announce partners at CES 2012, but I don't see that happening. I've heard from a couple sources that Qualcomm is still having a lot of trouble with rejected screens. My industry source told me that they're losing an incredible number (it's so high I'm not sure I believe him), and my source inside Pocketbook says that their device is stalled because they can't get enough screens.

But all that could change once Qualcomm gets the factory up and running. They broke ground back in December 2010,and right now they are setting up the equipment. The factory is due to open in the 2nd half of 2012. With a lot of luck, we might see the Mirasol screen on more devices in time for next Christmas.

Of course, that's what Qualcomm said last year, and as you can see it didn't happen.

7 thoughts on “First True Hands On Videos of the Kyobo eReader w\Mirasol Screen

  1. Well, now that I’ve seen these I wonder if the slow loading and opening times for books could be due to them being filled with hi-res graphics and video clips? The pinch-zoom on that kid’s illo didn’t break up into jagged edges, which makes we wonder if that a very hi-res scan or SVG. Wonder how fast a typical 99%-text ePub would open?

    A shame she didn’t take them outside for full-on direct sunlight. The indoor lighting sucked and was no recommendation for the screen.

    As for those videos being choppy, I think they encoded them wrong.

  2. The display quality when viewed from an angle seems pretty bad – lots of colour shift.

    But fascinating to see it actually in a product at last. I hope by this time next year they’ll have improved things for their mass production runs.

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