Marvell was bigging up its new e-reader technology yesterday, which promises faster screen refreshes and all the connectivity you could handle, but we’ve got word that it won’t cost the earth. Instead, next year it could see e-reader prices slashed, to as little as £60!
Maximum PC got a good hard look at the Android Alex e-reader this week in the flesh. It’s one of the first devices to sport Marvell’s system on a chip for e-readers, that will allow for faster refresh rates on E Ink screens, and conserve battery too. It’s worth a look in itself purely for the tantalising mix of “old-school” electronic paper display and toucscreen OLED with Google’s OS, but Marvell let something else slip in the demo too.
The semi-conductor company reckons e-reader prices will drop to near $100 (£60 at today’s exchange rates) next year as demand lifts off and its new Armada chip is integrated. Currently, a Cool-er costs around £190, meaning prices could tumble to less than a third of that. Marvell showed off a mockup of what we could see on the budget end of the line, identical to the prototype we saw a press shot of yesterday, and while it looks cheap, it still appears perfectly usable.
Could we be seeing e-reader this size for that cheap within just months? We wouldn’t expect Wi-Fi and 3G support to come as standard at that price point, but we’re getting more excited than ever to see what Cool-er and co have to show at CES in 2010 now.