It's been just 2 weeks since Qualcomm and the Taiwanese ebook seller Koobe announced the new Jin Yong Reader, and videos are already showing up online.
This video was actually posted a couple days after the launch, but it only came up in a Google search yesterday. as you can see, the hardware looks identical to that of the Shanda Bambook Sunflower and the Kyobo eReader.
Qualcomm and their new partner Koobe have just announced the new Jin Yong Reader. Like the Kyobo eReader and the Shanda Bambook Sunflower, it's based on Qualcomm's Mirasol screen.
In fact, I'd say that it's based on exactly the same hardware as my Kyobo eReader. They're not just similar; both Kyobo and Koobe are using one of Qualcomm's reference designs, and running their own reading app on top of the Qualcomm provided Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS.
The surprises are coming fast and furious today. Just over a day after Qualcomm announced their second device partner, they pulled a third partner out of their hats. This time around it's Hanvon, and I'd like to take a moment and point out that I predicted this last year.
The new device looks to me like it's another Qualcomm reference design. It has a number of details in common with the Kyobo eReader and the Bambook Sunflower.
Qualcomm surprised me this evening at the Pepcom event; they had their new business partner in the booth and a couple Bambook Sunflower units on display. Qualcomm just announced the Sunflower this morning, and I wasn't expecting to see it until CES officially opened.
I even got a chance to speak to the CEO of Nutshell, the Shanda sub that developed the original Bambook. Unfortunately, I didn't get enough time to ask him all the questions I wanted. And to be honest, neither of us was prepared to meet the other. (Oh, I'm sure he was ready to talk to bloggers, but I'm a completely different case.)
Qualcomm decided to start CES off with a bang. They've just announced a second partner with a second Mirasol ereader. It's the Bambook Sunflower, and it looks to be using the same basic hardware as the Kyobo Mirasol eReader that I reviewed a couple weeks back.
This device is built around a 5.7" Mirasol screen, and it runs a custom reading app on top of Android v2.3. This ereader is Qualcomm all the way down to the 1GHz SnapDragon CPU. (Well, that answers one question; this hardware is clearly a reference design originally developed by Qualcomm. That's what I had guesses when the Kyobo was first announced.)
I've just gotten an email from someone with Kyobo. My contact told me that a new firmware update had been released, and it was supposed to fix a number of the issues I'd noticed in my review.
It's an official update, and I'd really like to tell you how well it works. Unfortunately, I haven't been told how to install it and none of the obvious tricks have worked.
Update: A reader turned up the instructions. They're in Korean, but simple enough to understand.
This post is the (somewhat delayed) second part of my Kyobo Mirasol eReader Review. I wanted to cover the screen tech separately because I thought the device it was built into deserved its own pummeling.
I've been following this screen tech for a couple years now. I first heard of it just after CES 2010, and I saw it for the first time a couple months later. Ever since I saw it, I've lusted after Mirasol (for the obvious reasons). It's a low-power color alternative to E-ink which was supposed to offer video abilities and can be read in sunlight.
But the screen is not there yet. As I showed in the other post, it's not all that much more energy efficient when compared to LCDs (at least the Kyobo eReader isn't). And while this screen is daylight visible, the color quality is disappointing.
It's been just over 2 years since Qualcomm first started showing off the Mirasol screen, and a little over a month since the first Mirasol equipped ereader hit the market.
And today I have one in my grubby little hands and can finally post a first hand review.
It's been just over a month since Qualcomm and Kyobo launched this ereader in South Korea, and I have finally managed to buy one. But I'm not going to review it just yet. (I've already posted about this ebook reader quite a few times, including a user review; my review can wait until I am ready.)
Yesterday I posted a couple hands on videos of the Kyobo eReader. They were shot by bloggers who had the good fortune to be at a conference at the same time as a demo unit. The videos are great, but they didn't tell you what actual users thought of it.
And now I know. One of my readers, reichsputin, pointed me at what might be the first US owned Kyobo eReader. The new owner has been posting their impressions over at MobileRead, and they've even uploaded a bunch of photos.