E Ink produces the display in Amazon’s Kindle line of e-readers, and the ball is squarely in Jeff Bezos’ court if we’ll see higher-res models.
I have good news and bad news for fans of E Ink-based e-readers like the Amazon Kindle and Kobo: E Ink has not forgotten about you, but it may be a while before the fans get their desired new displays.
E Ink has not made a higher resolution display since 2014's Carta HD. But at CES on Wednesday morning, E Ink told me that it's fully capable of delivering higher-resolution displays than what is currently on the market (these top out at 300 pixel per inch, or PPI), but that it's up to its customers—the Amazons and Kobos of the world—to figure out what, exactly, they want a next-generation e-reader to do.
"Our position on [higher-resolution displays] is that we can give it to you if you want, but it's a question if the average human being appreciate a display that's higher resolution than 300 PPI," said Giovanni Mancini, E Ink's Head of Global Marketing. "Some of our customers believe that 300 PPI is fine, but some believe that 265 PPI is fine. It's something we're leaving up to our customers."
In other words, if hardcore e-reader fans want, say, a next-generation Kindle Voyage 2 to have a higher-end display, they'll need to make their feelings known to Amazon.
Now to kindly ask Amazon for a higher-end Kindle Voyage 2!
This article was updated to correct a reference to a discoloration issue that I and many other early Kindle Voyage users had experienced, with E Ink clarifying that while its lighting technology has improved over the different generations of displays it did not have a comment on this issue specific to the Voyage.