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(price, specs, and content) , 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.