E-Ink’s Triton 2 Color Screen Gains Frontlight, Loses Weight (video)

triton 2 color e-ink 3Here's one of those stories which I didn't think were important at CES. As you can see in the video, I was wrong.About a month ago Ectaco announced their second doomed large-screen ereader, the Jetbook Color 2. This ereader is the first to have the Triton 2, the newest generation E-ink screen. At that time neither E-ink nor Ectaco were willing to share specific details on the technical specs for this screen but it seems that E-ink changed their mind for CES 2013.

The following video shows Sriram Peruvemba as he talks about the new screen. It has an improved color filter (it lays on top of the grayscale E-ink screen) as well as a frontlight. The Triton 2 screen is also thinner than it's predecessor.

The tech looks cool but it's probably never going to see much use. LCD screens are simply too good at color, and now that they're cheap and are found on tablets with decent battery life there isn't much of a market for color E-ink any more.

And then there's the screen resolution issue, which i think is the triton 2 color e-ink 2real reason Amazon and the other major ereader makers never adopted the Triton color screen.

The Triton screen gets its color from a filter layer which sits on top of a regular grayscale E-ink screen. In order to provide the standard RGB color pixels, the filter assigns one of the grayscale pixels for each color (and reserves a 4th pixel for white/black). This effectively cuts the screen resolution by 75%.

A color E-ink screen has a much higher resolution grayscale underneath it. The Jetbook Color, for example, has a screen resolution of 1200x1600 but in reality it can only display color at a resolution of 600x800 (and that's on a $500 device with a 9.7" screen). If you gave the KPW a color E-ink screen the resolution would drop to 512x379 or less than you could get on the average smartphone.

Do you see why Amazon went with an LCD screen for the Kindle Fire? It's not that Amazon could not buy color E-iink screens; the screen tech could have been made 4 or 5 years ago.

It just wasn't worth it.

About Nate Hoffelder (11577 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

12 Comments on E-Ink’s Triton 2 Color Screen Gains Frontlight, Loses Weight (video)

  1. The colors have improved somewhat, but are still dull. 800X600 might be acceptable on a 6″ screen, but it’s going to be really noticeable at 9.7″. However the lack of color contrast is still a killer.

    Unless they figure some other way of doing it, I think color e-ink is a def. nonstarter. Electro-wetting now looks like the best bet for color reflective screens.

  2. “Do you see why Amazon went with an LCD screen for the Kindle Fire?”

    The drawbacks of Triton screens had nothing to do with that decision. The refresh rate is the primary reason why tablets use LCD displays – until an epaper can refresh fast enough for full motion they won’t be used for devices designed for moving media (apps, movies, etc).

  3. Didn’t anyone notice that horrible reflection?

    • That’s just because they chose not to put a matte coating on. Your kindle screen would look like that too without the matte treatment, just like any other monitor.

  4. I was thinking they should blow up the lcd industry, destroy every thing of its invention and start over fresh with e ink giving it a chance to succeed.

  5. why not use Electrofluidic display. EFD has superior brightness, color saturation, and video speed, all in a 15-micron thick panel that can eventually be used in rollable displays.

  6. “About a month ago Pocketbook announced their second doomed large-screen ereader, the Jetbook Color 2”

    Why would they announce something their rivals would sell?

  7. I bought a kindle just to support the technology. I know that color e-screens might not be for everyone but I would like to say to Amazon not to underestimate the community. People often support things they believe in, even if it doesn’t seem like it’s economical. LCD might seem to be a better solution for some, but I think e-Ink is the right path forward.

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