Jetbook Color, the First eReader with a Color E-ink Screen, is Officially Abandoned

jetbook color russia 2Here's an interesting historical footnote. Ectaco customer service recently revealed to one Jetbook Color owner that the device was no longer supported, and that the project had been discontinued. Announced in the summer of 2011 and launched in 2012, the Jetbook Color was the first ebook reader to feature a color E-ink screen. The device came with a 9.7" screen and cost $500, and was targeted primarily at the educational market.

Given that this was a two year old ereader, it is not unexpected that it is no longer supported. But this still disappointed one Jetbook Color owner, who had recently asked Ectaco about the possibility of a firmware update. He posted their response over at MobileRead:

Thank you for your email. No, there is no any chance. The project is

The original Jetbook Color was a disappointment when it shipped, and even the two updates from Ectaco improved it slightly. My unit had a gray screen and was never very fast at turning the page.

What's more, it was never able to match the colors or features shown in Ectaco's promo images:


The high price and limited features probably encouraged many to instead invest in an iPad, but in spite of the cool market reception Ectaco pushed ahead, and released an updated model in early 2013. The $500 Jetbook Color 2 had a newer (but still gray) Triton 2 color E-ink screen and otherwise identical hardware, so it is not unreasonable to think that Ectaco could have supported both models.

According to their website, Ectaco is still selling the Jetbook Color 2. It's not clear whether the later model is still being updated, but I doubt there are enough sales to justify it. This thing costs more than an iPad and does considerably less, and that simple fact will discourage many potential buyers.

About Nate Hoffelder (11466 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."

6 Comments on Jetbook Color, the First eReader with a Color E-ink Screen, is Officially Abandoned

  1. Good idea, but tecnology. I don’t understand whit a device like this is not done but the screen Japan Display (the same screen that hasn’t buyers but looks better than this from eink).
    Mirasol, Plastic Logic, Bridgestone, Triton… seriously is impossible to make a reflective color display quality?
    We’ll have to wait to Liquavista, ClearInk, etc … but after so many years I start to lose faith.

  2. Fixed your first sentence:

    Ectaco customer service recently revealed to THE one Jetbook Color owner…

    • Lol, no. There are at least 5 or 6 people who bought one about the same time I did, and a high school in Brooklyn ran a pilot program with 30.

      But he could be the last remaining Jetbook owner, that is a possibility.

    • I have had a very good experience with the Jetbook Color. Despite the slow loading pages, reading from an LCD screen is impossible for my eyes. With the Triton screen i can do it for hours without getting tired. I only regret that such technologies do not continue to improve. Is demonstrated that the LED light produces retinal damage, so it is clear that a different technology for color reading is needed. Japan Display? Liquavista? please do something!

  3. Ectaco invested to make the product unsalable. Even been slow and expensive, it would have sold a lot if the device could read comics and news magazines natively; it could not, and they made clear they were not interested in making it possible. They could have released an SDK; they did not.

    Once you discriminate the most interested public, are are condemning yourself. It is that simple!

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