Mirasol colour ereader finally turns the page

The Qualcomm Mirasol colour ereader is finally a reality - in South Korea that is - where the Kyobo e-Reader has just been announced.

Kyobo is Korea’s leading bookstore and will give owners of the 5.7-inch device access to 90,000 ebooks including the Steve Jobs biography, a month before any other Korean digital outlet.

As for the device itself, it packs a 5.7-inch XGA display (1024x768, 223ppi) and Qualcomm’s 1GHz Snapdragon S2 class processor. There's a custom UI sitting on top of Android 2.3. Battery life is said to be "weeks" but that's only with the brightness set to 25 per cent and 30 minutes reading a day.

Pocket-lint first got hands-on with a Mirasol powered colour ereader back in June 2010 over in San Diego at Qualcomm HQ, a 5.7-inch prototype that the company was hoping to introduce with "multiple vendors" at the beginning of this year.

However, Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs confirmed that the first Mirasol product had been cancelled as he wasn't happy with the device.

Speaking at a briefing attended by Pocket-lint in San Diego in June of this year, the CEO said: "We were getting ready to launch a low volume ereader product, but I didn't like the whole system. I didn't want to launch our first product and have it be something that we didn't really like, so we basically decided not to launch it, and instead just focus on the next version of it."

The Kyobo device, although not scheduled for a release outside of Korea at present, could be just the start of a Mirasol based ereader revolution though.

"We have a really interesting roadmap - we're starting out on ereaders because we figured having E Ink as a competing technology was a good way to get started," stated Jacobs earlier this year.

"But if you think about the power consumption of the screens that are out now [on tablets], they're very bright OLED screens that use up a lot of the power of the battery.

"We don't today have as vibrant colour as an OLED display - but we have a roadmap that gets us to a much brighter colour."

Kyobo’s e-Reader is now available in Korea for KRW349,000, which is just shy of £200.