A member of MobileRead tipped me to an ereader that I didn’t expect to see. Medion, a budget gadget maker in Europe, is now selling the Akoya P9212. You can find it on Amazon.de for 280 euros.
This is rather boring looking ereader with a 9″ screen, Wifi, 2GB Flash storage, microSD crd slot, headphone jack, and a touchscreen (capacitive, I believe).
The P9212 is based on a 9″ Sipix screen (not E-ink), and that’s why I’m surprised to see it. The latest info that I had heard (while at CES) was that the Sipix was not in production at the moment. AUOptronics had stopped production so they could retool the equipment for a second gen screen. I was told that they had not started up again, but perhaps my source was wrong.
Sipix is based on tech that is similar in concept to E-ink (only Sipix uses a different approach to make its low-power, bi-stable screen). Its screens first hit the market in 2010 with the Pandigital Novel eReader Pro. That first screen was surprisingly gray, so much so that it made the original Kindle screen look white by comparison.While this screen tech is a competitor to E-ink, it also was beaten to the market by a margin of over 4 years. This put it at a serious disadvantage, and so far Sipix has not made serious dent in E-ink’s ereader monopoly.
But that issue with screen quality is likely the reason why AUOptronics ended production. The next gen Sipix screen will likely show significant improvements – if it is ever released.