A few years ago I just didn’t really get the Kindle. Why would anyone buy a device that looks and behaves like something several generations behind a modern tablet? After all, can’t an iPad do every a Kindle can do and lots more? That was before I tried a Kindle and understood what people mean by e-paper. Fundamentally an iPad is a light-emissive device whereas the Kindle is a light-reflective device. In the dark the iPad is great but try reading it on a sun bed on holiday. Whereas the Kindle is hard to read in the dark but is easier to read in very bright conditions; just like an old-fashioned book or newspaper.
But there are two things that still let e-paper technology down. The refresh rate is slow and it’s mainly still just shades of grey. Where is the colour e-paper that promised to revolutionise our mobile displays? According to industry expert Sean Buckley the technology of colour e-paper may be grinding to a halt. And now it seems that consumers are losing interest in e-readers anyway. To read Sean’s fascinating account in full please click here.