Do Kindles Come in Color?by Milton Kazmeyer
Originally released in 2007, Amazon’s Kindle line of portable devices has grown to include tablet PCs as well as e-book readers. As of 2013, the company offers six different models, some with multiple configuration options. If you are looking for a color Kindle tablet, you have a few options to consider.
The E Ink display that comes standard on Amazon’s Kindle line of e-book readers is a monochrome display only. The screen consists of tiny capsules, each of which contains small particles of pigment that react to an electrical charge. When the proper current passes through each cell, the black particles move to the top, darkening the “pixel." By manipulating the amount of pigment that rises to the top, the Kindle can display shades along the monochrome axis, but no colors. Standard Kindle readers display black text on a gray background, while the Kindle Paperwhite features a brighter background and an integrated reading light.
While the Kindle e-book reader is monochrome-only, Amazon also offers a line of tablet PCs that feature a full-color LCD screen. The Kindle Fire, originally released in 2011, boasts the ability to play movies, music and games as well as display books from Amazon’s Kindle store. It is important to note that reading books on a LCD screen is not the same as reading on an E Ink screen, and the integrated backlight may cause eyestrain and headaches after reading for long periods. If you find reading books on an LCD screen uncomfortable, you can dim the screen and take periodic breaks to rest your eyes.
There are many different models in the Kindle Fire line. The original Fire is the cheapest offering, with a 7-inch display. The Kindle Fire HD features a more advanced LCD screen in the same size, but is capable of displaying graphics up to 1280x800 pixels. Amazon also offers a 8.9-inch version of the Kindle Fire HD, which can display images up to 1920x1200 pixels and offers more memory and a faster processor.
True color Kindles using an E Ink screen may not be far off. The company that produces the E Ink Pearl screen used in the Kindle is developing a color version of the screen, called E Ink Triton. The design is similar to the monochrome screen, but each capsule contains colored pigments as well as black ones, and the screen can manipulate these particles to produce different effects. Current Triton prototypes are capable of displaying 4096 colors, and as the technology matures, it will find its way into many different consumer products.