ereader kyoboFutureBook looks at South Korean company Kyobo’s new color “e-ink” reader, whose Mirasol screen has the same read-in-direct-sunlight capability as black and white e-ink. The device has a 5.7” 1024×768 pixel video-capable multitouch touchscreen, wifi, and English-language text-to-speech. It runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread on a 1 GHz Qualcomm SnapDragon processor, and costs $300.  FutureBook’s conclusions are not very complimentary.

It would appear to be halfway between a smartphone and a tablet. It reads ebooks but is that its main draw and in our opinion it fails on some basic counts. It is not a smartphone. Size wise it falls uncomfortably between the new smartphones and today’s tablets. The screen technology may now offer colour but anyone who has a Amoled screen will know this game has already been decided and the winner is here today. Finally the price is sitting on the high side of unattractive.

It seems a little puzzling to me just who would want a five- or six-inch device anyway. They’re a little bit too big to pocket easily, but not big enough to show even as much as a Kindle Fire can. And for the price, you could have a Kindle Fire instead with a hundred bucks left over for a year of Amazon Prime and an e-book or two. Is there really a market for this?


  1. It appeals to people like myself who really like a passive e-ink display. I’d have to actually try the Kyobo to offer an opinion but yes, offhand I’d say it’s too small. That probably means the display technology is still too expensive.

  2. It was designed, I believe around the 5.7″ Mirasol screen which in turn has been determined as the largest size that fits into a men’s jacket pocket.

    I find the review very limited in its perspective, I spent a month in Egypt unable to use my Android phone outside; except at night. I could not see the screen — I cannot see how any light emitting screen can ever compete with sunlight.

    The game must go with reflective technologies, and not just with e-readers. I need screens that work outside no matter how stronmg the sunlight (I am Australian – we have strong sunlight).

    I am in line for the Kyobo unless someone brings out a full Android tablet with the same screen technology and form factor (with GPS and a camera)

  3. I totally agree about the need for displays that work in sunlight. I bicycle, and walk, a lot and my smartphone is useless outdoors in the sun. And I don’t care about watching videos, so the speed of the display is irrellevant.

  4. jim h,
    The Mirasol screen technology does full speed video ; ) And a touch screen, and LED lighting night reading; and a battery that will just keep going on.
    I must work in sunlight therefore what I really want is tablet, with a good stereoscopic camera, WiFi, GPS, dual SD slots, a removable keyboard-stand/charger and telephony — an e-reader++.
    Thing is that all these features are found in Android devices now on the market.
    This is really a major step in the right direction, as far as I am concerned, and it may not know it yet but LCD is dead in the water. It is not just the colour, but the full motion speed that places Mirasol technology in the right place.
    I will be getting a reader simply because I cannot wait (or rather I have been waiting on this for a long time already), but by the end of 2012 I am hoping a tablet with the works might be available. Reflective technology is the ultimate. I just don’t understand how people don’t get that; may be they never go outside or live in semi-permanent gloom.

  5. I want a Mirasol android / linux phone with USB host.

    Evo has a great screen beautiful video with 3rd party players but the battery dies instantly: 70% of the drain? The screen.

    Tablets are great except that they aren’t a phone. I only want a tablet if it has E Ink, 3G and color video.

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