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Colour video e-ink battery life

Thu 27th September 2012

I am eagerly anticipating colour e-ink. I think the current e-readers are excellent (although I unfortunately do not own one), but I think they will become a must-have product once the screens are colour and have a slightly higher refresh rate, as they’ll become proper web-browsable devices and will challenge the tablet market.

However, I have no idea when colour e-ink might come to market. I searched and came across this article titled “Will Color E-Ink replace LCD Displays?“. I was horrified to read the following in the concluding stages of the post:

…but more important, color E-Ink displays will use considerably less power than the LCD displays.  Instead of 10 hours on your tablet’s battery, you’ll get a month with color E-Ink displays, a big plus.  That alone will make people switch to the devices with the newer displays.

e-ink uses “considerably less power” because the battery is only used to change the display which, when reading a book, tends to only happen once every couple of minutes, for an hour a day (e-reader manufacturers’ estimated usage). That “month” of battery life only adds up to around a thousand screen refreshes.

If an e-ink is showing video, it will have to update at least 24 times per second, so current if current e-readers could refresh that quickly, their batteries would only last about a minute!
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