For the past two decades, E Ink’s electronic paper displays have largely been stuck in the black and white area. But over the past few years the company has started producing color screens for digital signage, eBook readers, and tablets.

E Ink’s version of color still doesn’t look quite as vibrant as what you’d get from an LCD or OLED display, but the company has made a number of improvements: the latest is the launch of the new E Ink Kaleido 3 display, which the company says brings 30% better color saturation than the previous-gen Kaleido Plus.

The new screens are still based on the same basic technology: a color filter array is placed atop an E Ink Carta greyscale display. That means a display that’s capable of displaying 300 pixels per inch in 16-shades of grey can display 4096 colors at 100 pixels per inch.

But the improved saturation should make those colors look a little more vibrant – earlier E Ink color displays looked a bit washed out.

E Ink has also updated the front light used for Kaleido 3 displays with a new “ComfortGaze” system that reduces the amount of blue light that reflects off the screen by up to 60 percent, which could make reading at night a bit more comfortable.

The new Kaleido 3 displays will be available in a variety of sizes including 7.8 inches, 10.3 inches, and 13.3 inches, which means we could see it show up in eReaders, tablets, and digital signage soon. E Ink says it also supports high refresh rates, which makes it possible to play videos or animations… although that will likely take a toll on battery life. One of the reasons eReaders and other devices with E Ink displays tend to have battery life measured in weeks rather than hours is that the displays only consume power when the image on the screen changes. If you’re reading a book, that might happen once or twice a minute. If you’re watching a video, it will happen many times per second.

E Ink also recently unveiled new E Ink Gallery Plus display technology with support for 60,000 colors, but that display technology appears to be designed for digital signage rather than consumer devices at the moment.

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  1. From that photo it does appear larger, brighter, and with better contrast, but more saturation? I don’t think that comes across.

    1. I thought that too. I did the “open image in new tab” thing and spent a bit of time looking at it against a dark background and ended up thinking that the colours definitely looked better, maybe more accurate? Hard to say about saturation though!