Sony announces 13.3-inch Flexible Color E-paper – on display at SID 2011

While we can’t imagine you’ll carry a 13.3 inches eReader with you anytime soon, the technology is important nonetheless and it might make its way into the next year’s eReaders. During the SID 2011 (International Symposium, Seminar and Exhibition), Sony unveiled a rather nice flexible color ePaper, that easily will beat the current LCD/OLED technology in terms of visibility outdoors and power consumption.

Let’s see some technical details: The actual screen is around 150μm thin and at the displayed size (13.3 inches) only weight 20 grams (around 6 onces). The color gamut is 13%, contrast ratio 100,000:1, reflectance 10% and the resolution 800×1200. The subpixels are 4 different colors, red, green, blue and white, 169μm x 169μm each and the density is around 75ppi (pixels per inch).

It will be interested to know where exactly the eInk based readers are heading, since it looks like the customer interest might migrate from dedicated eReaders to thin tablets based on color LCD / OLED screens. While much better in direct sunlight, eInk is not suitable for video / fast action gaming or even fast Internet browsing. Personally, I prefer my Nook Color to a dedicated reader even if I also own a Kindle 3, and the original Nook. Amazon will also announce color LCD tablets in time for the end of this year.