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Ectaco jetbook Color eReader Shows Off Colored E Ink Display

LAS VEGAS — With CES 2012 fully underway, one of the more difficult tasks is distinguishing between what's new and noteworthy, and what's insignificant (or even worse, vaporware). But here at Showstoppers, we ran into something that looked pretty cool: an E Ink color eReader by the name of jetBook.

Manufactured by Russian company Ectaco, the jetbook Color eReader shows off a 9.7-inch, 1600x1200 display imbued with color E Ink technology. Reps told us that the eReader was essentially made for educational purposes, and it certainly looked the case with a sample biology textbook loaded onto the tablet for the press' benefit. (At least, we thought it looked like a biology textbook from the pictures—the writing was in Russian.) We were also told that other educational tools had been preloaded onto the eReader; that since its display was low-powered, battery life was fantastic; and that Internet connectivity options include both 3G and Wi-Fi.

Make no mistake, this is no hi-res, full-color display. The unit we inspected had rather muted colors, and you wouldn't exactly call the details sharp. But for its ostensible purpose—reading a textbook and studying—the device more than adequately addressed what you'd look for in an eReader. You get all the benefits of an E Ink display that won't strain your eyes, with colors that can help you discern more technical diagrams. While it's already available in Russia, there's no exact word yet of availability in the US, but there are apparently "definite" plans to bring it over to the States.