Onyx Boox China is teasing three new devices to be launched sometime in May, 2022. The image shows three things in color, in varying sizes. Industry analysts are predicting E INK Kaleido 3 will be the new e-paper screens and will have a 7.8, 10.3 and 13.3 displays. These sizes make sense, since E INK said that the new color filter array can provide a resolution of 150 PPI and is ideal for larger screen devices. Does this mean we will finally get the Lumi 2 Color?
The 3rd generation color e-paper, E Ink Kaleido 3 is likely what Onyx will employ on their 3 new devices. It offers richer colors, increasing its color saturation by 30% compared to the previous generation, E Ink Kaleido Plus, in addition to 16 levels of grayscale and 4,096 colors. Kaleido 3 also uses E Ink ComfortGaze, a new front light technology that reduces the amount of blue light, with a reduced Blue Light Ratio (BLR) and Blue Light Toxicity Factor (BLTF) by up to 60% and 24% respectively. BLR is the ratio of toxic blue to total blue light output, and BLTF is the ratio of brightness to hazardous blue. Additionally, the responsiveness of the ink means that Kaleido 3 can play animations and videos.
The last few generations of color e-paper could only display 4,096 colors and 100 PPI. Kaleido 3 managed to increase the color accuracy to 150 PPI. This was accomplished by putting the Color Filter Array closer to the ink layer. The company did further updates to the print pattern, in the past they used glass and they switched over to plastic. Do colors look washed out as previous versions of Kaleido? E INK said K3 reduces the light scatter and loss of color. LCDs using CFA do not have this issue given that they are emissive. The tradeoff is energy efficiency, and eye fatigue. E INK is also using RBGW colors and not CMYK.
Onyx tends to use the latest generation e-paper in all of their products. I believe the Max Lumi 2 Color will have an Carta 1250 display, to decrease latency when putting the stylus to the screen. In conjunction with Kaleido 3 and the new front-light system, this might be the most powerful and capable e-note in the world. It is likely, the hardware specs will remain the same. The same goes with whatever 10.3 inch model they release to go with, they have a few in their portfolio, but I think they will do a Note 5 Color. The company might go completely out of leftfield, and instead of doing a color version of their 7.8 inch e-reader, they might use the new Gallery 3 color e-paper that can display between 50k to 30K different colors in a CMY color panel, but this new panel is only optimized for an 8 inch screen at this time.
Whatever Onyx plans to do, we will not have to wait that long for an official product announcement, May is right around the corner. Onyx Boox and Pocketbook are typically the only two companies that take big risks on new color technology.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.