HD wins

Well, after all of the arguments between tech lovers over this issue, it appears that those of us who were hoping for improved E Ink eReader screens have won out. The Kobo Glo, the Kindle Paperwhite, and even the $69 Kindle will all feature improved contrast/resolution E Ink screens. I can now safely predict that all of the flagship, top-of-the-line eReaders will include the “higher resolution” tagline in future releases. Going from 600 x 800 to 1024 x 768 res is a big deal, especially with Amazon’s promise of 62% more pixels. Sony, whose eReading division has seemingly become a joke, has been left behind in the dust, and it is almost certain that the next generation Nook will also feature an HD E Ink screen (“revolutionary screen technology” is already being touted for the next Nook Tablet; I’m betting a similar statement will be made about the next Nook Touch/Glow). I still can’t believe that Sony’s R&D team could look consumers in the eye and say, “here is our new eReader that will feature 3.5+ year old screen technology from now until the time we release our next iteration,” and keep a straight face. Sadly, I will retire Sony to the level of a department store eReader brand. C’est la vie.

Len Edgerly posted this unboxing video of the new $69 Kindle yesterday. He was quite impressed with the improved contrast of the new device, even though it didn’t get a higher resolution/pixel density update like the PW has. It is just improved font rendering software. Even this creates a marked improvement from the greyish, green, faded, outdated displays we dealt with on Kindles past. The video shows just how dark the blacks can look on this slightly upgraded Kindle. I can’t wait for the PW.

Hopefully Kindle, and interest in eReaders in general, will again spike with this release. As E Ink screens advance, the joy of eReading will become that much better. E Ink screens need to put up a fight against Apple’s amazing 2048 x 1546 retina display and the 1920 x 1200 HD displays on new, big-name Android tablets, like the Transformer Infinity. Despite the differences between eReaders and tablets, screen quality, in general, should always be improving; on TVs, on eReaders, on computers, on microwaves, and on tablets!

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