B&N recently teased that its next tablet would have a ‘revolutionary’ display with technology yet not seen on the market, but display expert Dr Raymond Soneira is not convinced by the claim.
“Revolutionary presumably means in a mass market consumer product, and talk like that is pure puffery. It takes ten years and tremendous amounts of capital to develop a new display technology, so there are no ‘never before seen displays’ lurking around.”
Soneira is president and founder of DisplayMate Technologies and has carried out a number of tests on tablet displays in recent times. He believes Barnes & Noble’s relative low volume in the tablet market could allow for the tablet to feature one of the fledgling technologies already in existence:
- Mirasol: “Qualcomm scrapped the large production plans for Mirasol in July, but it’s been shipping in low volumes for a while."
- E-Ink Triton: “Mostly for eReaders, although color E-Ink displays can do some very low frame rate video."
- Pixel Qi: “They have been in low volume protection for a while."
- OLED: “Samsung has already produced an unsuccessful OLED tablet. OLEDs are too expensive, have low brightness compared to LCDs, are still power inefficient compared to LCDs, so are not yet viable for tablets."
So, where does this leave Barnes & Noble with its next Nook Tablet? For Soneira, the most likelihood is of B&N launching a tablet with a Pixel Qi display, low-power display technology which was first developed in early 2011.
“Taking a step back, maybe it just has a ‘revolutionary’ low reflectance screen, like Nokia’s Lumia 900 screen that cancels reflections.”
Barnes & Noble discounted its 8GB and 16GB Nook Tablets and Nook Color earlier this week, leading to suggestions that the bookseller could be preparing for the rival of its next tablet, or the second Kindle Fire from Amazon.