$200 Android tablet with RETINA display. That’s right. Retina display.

Cube, a Chinese tablet manufacturer, is touting their forthcoming release of the U9GT5, a 9.7″ Android 4.1 tablet that will feature a 2048 x 1536 retina display with 264 PPI. In case those screen specifications don’t ring a bell with you, 2048 x 1536/264 PPI is the exact same resolution featured on the new iPad (along with the same physical dimensions of the screen), infamous for its groundbreaking retina display technology. Cube is hoping to charge about $200 for their new tablet, which would be a shocking deal when compared to the iPad’s $499-and-up price tag. Some have suggested that Andriod’s ratio would interfere with screen clarity, but perhaps they already found a fix for that. This tablet will be released in “China first,” so unless you want to tangle with an obscure Chinese Internet commerce site, you might not get to see this. I doubt, with Apple’s considerable legal power in the US, that it will make it over here.

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2 Responses to $200 Android tablet with RETINA display. That’s right. Retina display.

  1. David Grace says:

    Hi, I looked for an email address but did not find one so I will communicate with you via this comment. What happened to Qualcomm’s Mirasol technology? One minute they were building a huge production facility in Taiwan and the next they were abandoning the technology because of reported high defect rates. Do you have further information on this once-promising color passive display tech?

  2. Andrew says:

    David, my email is einkeread@gmail.com. I love comments though, so feel free to communicate with me either way. To answer your question, it seems that Qualcomm has opted to license out its technology rather than attempt to compete with the big eReader brands by selling devices. They want to license their color screen ideas to larger companies (I have heard a rumor that they are very interested in partnering with Barnes & Noble) and let them take all of the manufacturing and production risks. You are correct; Qualcomm had major issues with manufacturing. Display failure rates were over fifty percent, and the company incurred huge losses. Now they want to put their R&D into the hands of a more capable manufacturer in hopes of turning a profit on licensing fees. If the new B&N Nook eReader (a device which, according to a B&N spokesperson, is supposed to feature new “revolutionary screen technology”) uses a Mirasol patent in their display design, they will get a cut of the sale price. Licensing patents is all the rage in the tech world, and unless you have the capital to mass produce hardware like Kobo, B&N, or Amazon, your best option might be that route.

    But you should also know that the whole concept of a “color E Ink eReader” was really just a fad in tech interest during the few years after the Amazon Kindle 1 release, and, most importantly, BEFORE the Apple iPad’s release. Once tablets came onto the scene, the drive for a color E Ink device has all but disappeared. The JetBook Color costs $500, the same as the new iPad. There is a huge value gap between those devices when it comes to speed and functionality. E Ink’s Triton 2 display is their second generation in color e ink displays, and it isn’t even meant for reading (see my earlier post, “Readers to E Ink: stop fooling around” under the E Ink category; they will use it for signage purposes). Unless a populous movement rises up to demand color E Ink, we will probably be stuck with monochrome displays. Like higher resolution E Ink screens, a color display could be used to attract customers to a struggling eReader brand, like Barnes & Noble. They were the first to release an eReader with glow light; they might want to be the first to attempt color as well. What do you think? I hope this helps. Thanks for checking out my blog.

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