Thanks to new panel developments from E Ink – the manufacturer behind the Kindle’s current displays – we could soon see an Amazon ereader with a color ink screen.
A color E Ink screen is exactly what it sounds like, a full-color version of the screens Amazon’s Kindles use to create book-like visuals on their displays. This would provide some major upgrades to the ereader line, and chief among them would be that the Amazon Kindle could become one of the best ways to read digital comic books.
Amazon has yet to officially announce a Kindle Color but we expect that that we’ll see one in the not too distant future. Here’s everything we know about a color Kindle right now, and what we’d like to see.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? A color version of the Kindle ereader
- When is it out? Probably 2023 at the earliest
- How much will it cost? Hopefully somewhere between the Kindle Paperwhite and Oasis
Amazon Kindle Color: release date
Following E Ink's late April announcement of the new E Ink Gallery 3 color panels – which use cyan, magenta, yellow and white ink like a printer to create a non-monochrome image – many have been asking when the Kindle will get an upgrade.
This isn’t the company's first color screen, but E Ink explained that it’s much more responsive to touch controls, offers a higher resolution, and updates more quickly than previous versions.
Another reason to believe a Kindle with a color screen is headed our way is Amazon’s purchase and integration with ComiXology. While you can read comic books on today's monochrome Kindles, and Amazon’s Fire HD tablets (such as the Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021)), neither experience is optimal.
The monochrome ink doesn’t do the amazing artwork justice, and the tablet screens aren’t as satisfying to read from – especially if you’re outside or trying to wind down for bed.
This improved quality and usability almost certainly means it's time for a Kindle with color ink, but when?
Some have speculated that the Amazon Kindle Oasis (2022) could be the first to get a color screen, though we expect Amazon will release a more traditional version of its Kindles with one in due course too. A 2022 launch may be a little optimistic for this tablet though, especially given that the new E Ink panels were only announced this year.
Because of this, we’d expect to see a Kindle Color launch in 2023 at the earliest, but we’ll keep our eyes peeled for any leaks or rumors that could tell us otherwise.
Amazon Kindle Color: price
It’s hard to say how much a Kindle Color would cost – especially as it hasn’t even been announced yet – but expect it to be more than Amazon’s typical ereaders.
Those after a Kindle Oasis (2019) with 32GB memory and free 4G for downloading books on the go (in select markets) dropped $349.99 / £319.99 / AU$559 at launch to get their hands on one. We wouldn’t be surprised if a Kindle Color costs at least as much as this – with Amazon justifying its high cost with the impressive new color screen.
Preferably though, a Kindle Color would sit somewhere between this and the Kindle Paperwhite; at launch, the 8GB model should cost $129.99 / £119.99 / AU$199. Somewhere around $200 would be more than ideal – and very possible if Amazon releases a more premium full-color Amazon Oasis ahead of a more traditional style Kindle with color.
We’ll have to wait and see what it announces though, and we’ll be on the lookout for any rumors, leaks, and news to keep this information as up-to-date as possible.
Amazon Kindle Color: what we want to see
1. Wireless charging as standard
Wireless charging has become a lot more commonplace over the past few years. It’s no longer a premium feature saved only for the best of the best smartphones – and that should be true of the Kindle too.
When you’re reading just before bed wouldn’t it be so much easier to place the Kindle on its charging pad rather than having to work out a fiddly charging cable? We know what we’d prefer.
2. A non-Signature model
The first Kindle with a color E ink panel would be Amazon’s most impressive yet, but there’s a chance Amazon will release just one version pumped up with features normally reserved for its Signature edition devices. This would make its new Kindle look much more impressive, but without a standard model alongside it, we could be facing a pretty steep price increase.
The color screen would be enough of a game-changer that we’d be happy to take a non-Signature (read: less feature-packed) model of the Kindle Color at a lower price.
3. Faster page turns
That being said, one upgrade we’re desperate to see is faster page turns. Even the Kindle Paperwhite (2021) Signature edition feels a little slow whenever you have to turn the page.
This has been true since the original Kindle was released and while the situation has improved more recently the Kindle doesn’t feel like the slick modern device it could be.
4. Good internet connectivity
Right now Amazon Kindle ereaders can only connect to the slower 2.4GHz internet bandwidth, not the faster 5GHz. As the new form becomes more widespread this can mean people are unable to connect their Kindles to the web at all.
A new Kindle Color needs to include support for 5GHz Wi-Fi so that we can get back to downloading and reading ebooks without trouble.
5. A better library design
A full-color Kindle would encourage us to have an even larger library than we’ve had before. We’d not only have our favorite books but comic books and graphic novels to read too – all in their colorful greatness.
With so much more to read on our ereader, Amazon needs to improve the Kindle’s library layout. Currently, it's a mess collection of everything we’ve downloaded from the Kindle store or added to the device ourselves.
There are options to filter results but they’re unintuitive, to say the least. Case in point, you can filter your books by Read or Unread, but there's no option to find part-read books – and they’re sent to the Unread section when using these filters.
A Kindle Color needs to change this and make it easier to find the books we want to read.