E-Paper technology has gone through a number of iterations over the years. Some of been widely adopted by companies like Amazon, B&N or Kobo and others were relegated into obscurity. The best new screen is called Carta and is currently employed by the Kindle Voyage, Kindle Paperwhite 2, Kobo H2O and Kobo Glo HD. In the near future, with Carta prices coming down we will soon see a ton of new e-readers adopt this technology.
E Ink Carta first debuted in early 2013 and the primary benefit is a dramatic 50% increase in contrast over earlier generations of ePaper, giving e-Readers a contrast ratio close to that of a paperback book. It also offers a better refresh rate when you are turning the pages of a book. I think what I like best about Carta is that it has support for ultra high resolution screens.
Until the last few months, Carta has been very expensive and could only be viable for the companies who sell both e-readers and operate their own digital bookstore. Due to the aging nature of the technology we will soon see new e-readers such as the Energy Sistem PRO+, Boyue T62+, Icarus and the new Onyx BOOX C67ML Darwin.
The one trend I have noticed with all of these upcoming products is that they are reissues. Instead of these companies developing a brand new e-reader they are simply just adopting the Carta screen on existing products and often giving them the + moniker.
I am eagerly waiting new products hopefully towards the end of the year that have been designed from the bottom up, with a high resolution screen and Carta e-paper. People want a 3rd party reader that isn’t locked into a specific ecosystem and runs a vanilla version of Android. This empowers people to be able to install any digital reading app they want.