Kyobo E-Reader: 5.7-inch 1024×768 Mirasol

Qualcomm:

Qualcomm MEMS Technologies, Inc. (QMT) a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, and Kyobo Book Centre, Korea’s largest seller of books, today announced the retail availability of the world’s first e-reader to include mirasol display technology.

Note the 4:3 aspect ratio. E Ink Kindles are also 4:3 and so is the iPad. But unlike them the Kyobo e-Reader packs a resolution of 223 ppi. I expect a pleasurable reading experience.

Mirasol attempts to combine the responsiveness of color LCD and the long lasting, power sipping E Ink. Did Qualcomm succeed? Close, but not quite. A Mirasol based e-reader or tablet lasts as long as one based on E Ink with video capable fast response times. That alone is an accomplishment, but the problem is color. Compared to LCD color is far from vibrant.

For those wanting their tablets to last as long as E Ink, Mirasol is disappointing because of its pale colors. On the other hand, for those wanting E Ink with color, Mirasol looks pretty good. Page turns are instant, video playback is possible, and you get some color.

Compared to the $99 Kindle Touch, the $199 Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet, the Kyobo e-Reader seems a bit expensive at ₩349,000 or about US$300.

Update: Netbooknews:

The colours on the display were decent though could have been more vibrant and they viewing angle left a lot to be desired as I’m sure you’ll notice in the video below. The reds especially seemed to in need of a little bit of a boost and if you think back to the canned demo’s we saw at the beginning of this year you’ll quickly realize that the colour saturation is much lower.

The fact that the device has a glossy display certainly didn’t help when checking colour brilliance in direct sunlight. It is worth noting that the display doesn’t need to be glossy and we hope that future iterations take note that mobile devices, especially ones that require sunlight to light up the screen shouldn’t have issues with glare.

A glossy reflective display is asking for trouble: trouble reading that is. This is a first generation Mirasol-based e-reader, so let’s hope Qualcomm moves in the right direction with more brilliant colors in a matte display.