Jetbook Color, the First eReader with a Color E-ink Screen, is Officially Abandoned
Ectaco customer service recently revealed to one Jetbook Color owner that the device was no longer supported, and that the project had been discontinued.
Announced in the summer of 2011 and launched in 2012, the Jetbook Color was the first ebook reader to feature a color E-ink screen. The device came with a 9.7″ screen and cost $500, and was targeted primarily at the educational market.
Given that this was a two year old ereader, it is not unexpected that it is no longer supported. But this still disappointed one Jetbook Color owner, who had recently asked Ectaco about the possibility of a firmware update. He posted their response over at MobileRead:
Thank you for your email. No, there is no any chance. The project is
The original Jetbook Color was a disappointment when it shipped, and even the two updates from Ectaco improved it slightly. My unit had a gray screen and was never very fast at turning the page.
What’s more, it was never able to match the colors or features shown in Ectaco’s promo images:
The high price and limited features probably encouraged many to instead invest in an iPad, but in spite of the cool market reception Ectaco pushed ahead, and released an updated model in early 2013. The $500 Jetbook Color 2 had a newer (but still gray) Triton 2 color E-ink screen and otherwise identical hardware, so it is not unreasonable to think that Ectaco could have supported both models.
According to their website, Ectaco is still selling the Jetbook Color 2. It’s not clear whether the later model is still being updated, but I doubt there are enough sales to justify it. This thing costs more than an iPad and does considerably less, and that simple fact will discourage many potential buyers.