When Amazon killed off the Kindle DX earlier this year I took it as a sign that large screen ereaders were on the way out. I didn’t think they were worth the expense when compared to Android tablets or the iPad.
It seems that Ectaco never got that memo. They’ve just unveiled the Jetbook 2 ereader in Russia, and they plan to have it on the market by March 2013 (I don’t have news yet on plans for other markets).
The Jetbook 2 looks to have an updated screen but otherwise is identical to the current model. It has the same general design, ports, card slot, and CPU as the current model, and from what I can tell unfortunately it even has the same Wacom touchscreen (more on that later).
The one major change with this new model is reportedly the Triton 2 screen. I’m still waiting to hear back from E-ink for more technical details on the screen, but according to the Russian language ebook blog who scooped me on the story this screen has better contrast and is noticeably less gray than the screen on the current Jetbook model.
You’re supposed to be able to see the differences in this photo, but I’m not sure whether the bezel might be influencing our perceptions.
For example, look at the black segments next to the black bezel and white bezel. Do you notice how the segment seems darker when set next to the white bezel that when it is next to the black bezel? That is a result of your eye tricking you into thinking perceiving the black as being darker.
The new screen is still 9.7″ in size, and the resolution remains unchanged, but just making the screen less gray is a great improvement. My Jetbook Color had a screen so gray in color that it was darker than any of my other ereaders, including the original Kindle. It was so gray, in fact, that I took to calling it Dorian (it didn’t have 50 shades so I could not call it Christian).
With luck this new ereader will be on display at CES 2013 next month. And with even more luck (bad, this time) some unfortunate students will be stuck with using it in the classroom instead of some more capable device like the iPad, laptops, or Android tablets.