I might be wrong about the Amazon tablet

I’ve just come across a news article that makes me think I made a mistake in arguing against the Amazon tablet.

Digitimes are reporting that Amazon have placed orders with Quanta for a tablet. Quanta is a Taiwan-based notebook maker that does a lot of OEM work for other companies. The article goes on to say that the supposed Amazon tablet would use FFS technology that was developed by E-ink.

The article also notes that the Kindle could get another price cut; if this happens then I might actually believe in the Amazon tablet.

Do you want to know why this has me worried? This article  has technical details that only an insider would have.

FFS is the screen tech that is used in the NookColor. I’m sure you know that the NookColor has a high quality, high resolution 7″ LCD screen. E-ink developed the technology in the NookColor’s screen and they license it to other manufacturers. For example, LG Display make the NookColor screen.

When a source with a  manufacturer says that the Amazon tablet will be using the NookColor screen, I’m willing to consider that I might be wrong.


Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Rich Adin3 May, 2011

    Nate, do I understand correctly that eInk has created both the familiar eink screens as well as an LCD screen? It isn’t clear to me (and I admit I’m not a tech geek) what the difference is between a standard LCD screen such as I have on my Dell laptop or in my Samsung monitors and the FFS screen. Why would a company like Amazon or B&N need or want an LCD screen from an eink company rather than from a traditional LCD screen manufacturer?

    1. idi3 May, 2011

      I think E Ink holdings only licenses the technology . The display themselves may be manufactured by another company .

    2. Nate Hoffelder3 May, 2011

      E-ink develop a lot of stuff besides the E-ink screen.

      And as for why anyone would use the FFS screen tech, have you even seen the NookColor screen? It’s the best on the market.

      1. Andrys3 May, 2011

        The NookColor (which I have) has the best display I’ve seen on tablets so far, less glare, gorgeous resolution, superb color balance.

        It’s addictive, though not for books. (Great for mags, portable web browsing, tho’ it’s slower at that than it should be). I’ve worried that the Amazon Tablet might not have a screen as good as the NookColor, so these claims are good news.

        Nate, you’d be wasting $1K. It’s inevitable for all the reasons given before. Amazon sources have admitted to Computerworld they were doing the tablet. http://bit.ly/kwktab2
        And that’s just one item.

        For a few hours or 1 day advance, you’d pay $1K? (Someone said the online mags can pay more.)

      2. Michael3 May, 2011

        I really wanted to like the NC, especially when it’s so hackable, but I don’t think the NC wants to like me.

        I returned two because the screen had an atrocious flicker when viewed from any angle other than precisely straight on. It wasn’t possible for me to use it comfortably for more than a few minutes. Maybe I was remarkably unlucky and got two lemons in a row, but checking out someone else’s NC on the train I observed the same thing. Perhaps my eyes are more sensitive to refresh rate than most.

        I’ve never seen that issue with other tablets I’ve used. If it’s something inherent to the FFS screen technology, then I may have to pass on Amazon’s offering too.

  2. Mike Cane3 May, 2011

    Well, there are three articles today that tie into this. The one from DigiTimes, the Engadget one, and this one:

    What you’re forgetting is what this does for both Kobo and the Sony Reader. They have nothing more to offer! Sony could add wireless, but that’d be too late, I think. Kobo could continue at the low end in places untouched internationally. Even the classic Nook could update to Pearl (doubtful).

    And yes, the NookColor is the best damned LCD on the market, rivaling Apple’s Retina Display, but at a wow-ing 7″.

    So, it’ll be a battle between an Amazon tablet at 7″ and a Super iPod Touch at 6″? Given Apple’s penchant for crapcams…

    1. Mike Cane3 May, 2011

      Oh, how cute. Just noticed at the article I point to, they took the Samsung Galaxy Tab and PShopped it to Amazon. LMAO!

    2. Nate Hoffelder3 May, 2011

      I think the engadget and crunchgear articles were based on either the digitimes or one from CNet. That’s only 2, not 3.

  3. fjtorres3 May, 2011

    Three trends that make me think an Amazon tablet is less unlikely by the day:
    – The sheer mediocrity of the bulk of the non-Apple webpads out there; except for NookColor, none hits the right mix of hardware, software, and price to be a viable mainstream alternative to iPad. And NookColor’s lockdown means that, barring hacking (not a mainstream option) there is no room for Amazon on it. Most open android webpads out there are either oversized cellphones (and tied to carrier data plans) or bottom feeder MIDs built off obsolete hardware/software. There really is a gaping hole in the market for a quality open webpad at a reasonable price.

    – The non-appearance of Windows-based netbook slates. Let’s face it, Android is at best a mediocre Kludge of a platform surving solely on the abundance of quality apps. Even the great hope Honeycomb is by Googgle’s admission half-baked. At the prices Apple is charging, Win7 netbook-based slates would be instantly competitive and at least offer compelling features to offset the lower battery life. To compete with iPad you have to either be better and slightly cheaper or comparable and way cheaper. No shipping product meets either test.

    – Apple’s pending eviction of apps that access externally acquired content. If Apple truly forecloses the iOS market to Amazon, and no open platform is available, Amazon will have to get its hands dirty.

    I still don’t see an Amazon tablet of any kind as more than a 50-50 likelihood but the odds are a lot higher than even a month ago.

  4. […] by Texas Instruments,and Wintek providing the touchpanel. Digitimes are also repeating the rumor we heard last time about Quanta performing the […]

  5. […] you need to keep in mind all the other rumors. For example, Digitimes told us back in May that Quanta would be making the Amazon tablet. If that rumor were true, then Quanta would have ordered the parts already. So these touchscreen […]

  6. […] expect me to be upset at my mistake; I figured out all the way back in May that I was very likely guessing wrong on this. The only reasons I didn’t change my position […]


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