The E Ink Gallery 3 displays are a landmark development when it comes to color e-paper display technology. That has to do with the huge improvement it comes with compared to the company’s earlier attempt with color e-paper display tech, the most recent being the E Ink Kaleido color displays launched just about two years ago. However, while the Kaleido could display 4000 colors, Gallery 3 is able to pump out 50,000 colors, and that too at 300 DPI resolution. This makes for a significant improvement over the Kaleido color display that had 300 DPI resolution in monochrome mode though that dropped to 100 DPI in color.
It is true that Gallery 3 is still nowhere close to the likes of the OLED panels when it comes to brightness or color saturation. Rather, the color display in Gallery 3 still has that washed-out or faded effect. That said, it still is far better than what color e-paper so far has ever been. Naturally, color content, be it illustrations or comic books, all look markedly better on Gallery 3, so much so that color e-paper is finally able to do justice to the color magazine segment.
The best thing though is that the company isn’t being complacent with the success achieved with Gallery 3. Rather, as E Ink’s U.S. business lead Timothy O’Malley stated in an interview with TechCrunch, they are well aware of where they stand with the Gallery 3 displays and what exactly they have to achieve to be right there at the top. The company said they wish to deliver color quality that would deliver a far superior color magazine reading experience than what is available at the moment.
“Fashion magazines in particular really have strict standards on color [and] that’s a great goal for us,” the 22-year company veteran said. “I do believe we will get there and the tech fundamentally supports it.”
As of now, the real challenge that E Ink faces when it comes to color e-paper displays is to not only ensure higher levels of color saturation but to also improve the page refresh times. The display tech does a great job when used as digital signage that typically takes longer to refresh, something that would simply be unacceptable when used in consumer-grade devices such as e-readers or e-notes. So, there is some clarity that is compromised for higher page refresh times.
The company said they have managed to bring down the black-and-white page refresh times to a mere 350 milliseconds. Compare that to the 500 ms that the Gallery 3 display takes to update but in fast color mode. E Ink also offers what it calls the best color mode but at a 1500 ms refresh rate. The company is allowing device manufacturers to offer different page update settings so that users are able to choose the one that suits them best.
Companies like PocketBook, Bigme, Sharp, and BOOX have already announced their upcoming e-readers will have Gallery 3 displays. Unfortunately, Amazon, the biggest player when it comes to e-reader devices is yet to commit to a colored Kindle version. It is only recently that the company launched its first e-note device – the Kindle Scribe even though the segment has been flourishing for years now.
While it is true all attempts at a color e-paper display have largely been a compromise at best, the advent of the new Gallery 3 display tech changes all that. Under the circumstances, it is going to be a pity if Amazon lags behind others in adopting the same for a future Kindle version. Hope they come up with a new Kindle Oasis – the only Kindle yet to be refreshed – having a color e-paper display. Maybe that is going to happen this year itself, or latest by 2024. Of course, all of it is mere speculation at the moment though it’s something that almost all Kindle fans would definitely like to see become a reality soon enough.
With a keen interest in tech, I make it a point to keep myself updated on the latest developments in technology and gadgets. That includes smartphones or tablet devices but stretches to even AI and self-driven automobiles, the latter being my latest fad. Besides writing, I like watching videos, reading, listening to music, or experimenting with different recipes. The motion picture is another aspect that interests me a lot, and I'll likely make a film sometime in the future.