Color e-reader: update on the new 2023 models

Author: Nicolas | Last update:

pocketbook inkpad color 2 e-reader with color screen

The color e-reader is now on the front of the scene and represents a viable alternative to black and white e-readers.

After the first models released since 2020, new models of color e-readers are regularly released in the world but in a confidential way.

After a pause in 2021 and 2022, the beginning of 2023 marks an increase in the number of color e-reader models released.

Some of them are interesting enough for me to dedicate this complete file to them.

The new color readers of 2023

This year marks a real renewal in terms of color readers since the democratization of the new technologies of color screen Kaleido 3 and Gallery 3.

Here are some very interesting new color readers.

Pocketbook InkPad Color 2

pocketbook inkpad color 2 ereader

This is a color reader with a 7.8 inch Kaleido Plus screen that is quite affordable.

As it is a model from Pocketbook, it has a great compatibility with file formats and the reader is also able to read audio books.

Here is a complete article about it: Pocketbook Inkpad color 2.

Pocketbook InkPad Color 2

pocketbook inkpad color e-reader

7.8" e-reader - 1404 x 1872 pixels (greyscale) 468 x 624 pixels (color) e ink screen - Ebook formats supported: EPUB, PDF, FB2, FB2.ZIP, TXT, DJVU, HTM, HTML, DOC, DOCX, RTF, CHM, TCR, PRC (MOBI), JPEG, BMP, PNG, TIFF + audio : M4A, M4B, OGG, OGG.ZIP, MP3, MP3.ZIP

One of the best color e-reader, but colors are not so good ⭐⭐⭐

Pocketbook Viva

pocketbook viva color e-reader

The Pocketbook Viva is a new model with a nice Gallery 3 screen and a more recent technology than the Pocketbook Inkpad Color 2.

Unfortunately, this innovation comes at a price (about $500)!

You can learn more about the Pocketbook Viva by reading this article.

Pocketbook Viva

pocketbook viva ereader

8" e-reader - 1440 x 1920 pixels e ink screen - Ebook formats supported: EPUB, PDF, FB2, FB2.ZIP, TXT, DJVU, HTM, HTML, DOC, DOCX, RTF, CHM, TCR, PRC (MOBI), JPEG, BMP, PNG, TIFF


Mobiscribe Wave Color

Mobiscribe Wave Color

The MobiScribe Wave Color is a new e-reader featuring a 7.8-inch screen with Kaleido Plus e-ink color screen technology.

The Kaleido Plus screen is a second-generation color screen similar to that of the Pocketbook Inkpad Color 2. So it's not the most recent technology (which is Kaleido 3), but it's not the oldest either.

The big advantage of this e-reader is the Android 12 system, which enables new applications to be installed.

👉 See the Mobiscribe Wave Color on

Readmoo MooInk Plus 2C

color e-reader by readmoo

The Readmoo MooInk Plus 2C e-reader features a beautiful Kaleido 3 screen. This is the latest version of this technology.

As for the Pocketbook Viva, we have a beautiful 7.8 inch screen but a price just as high. You can find out more on this page about the Readmoo MooInk Plus 2C.


TCL NXTPAPER 11 color tablet

The TCL NXTPAPER 11 is not quite a reading light! It is an Android touchscreen tablet that uses a new LCD screen technology to reduce its illumination.

If the rendering is not up to the level of an e-ink screen, this machine is interesting for comic book lovers.

Full article: TCL NXTPAPER 11.

Old color e-reader

Since 2020, many models of color readers have appeared. Here are some interesting reading machines.

Onyx Boox Nova Air C reader

Available in March 2022, this reading machine does not bring much new except a stylus and a well studied price for a 7,8 inches reading machine with color screen.

Pocketbook Color reader

Pocketbook has launched the marketing of a new generation color reader in many countries (including the USA and some European countries).

Pocketbook InkPad Color

This is a color reader released in 2021 in some (few) countries.

The InkPad Color has the particularity to have a 7.8 inches color screen with a second generation technology (the screen displays colors a little more defined than on the Pocketbook color).

There is a new version available since 2023 : Pocketbook InkPad Color 2.

iReader C6 color reader

The iReader color reader, "iReader C6" (for "C" color and "6" 6 inches diagonal) is the first to be released.

It is a rather classic color reader with a 6 inch touch screen that allows a display of up to 4096 different colors on the screen.

Onyx Poke2 Color reader

Onyx has released a color reader in a 6 inch format that proved to be a real hit (out of stock in less than 24 hours).

The reader works with the Android system and has been available only in small numbers in Asia.

iFlytek Reader color

This machine signed iFlytek looks like the iReader C6.

The machine also offers software and speakers that will allow text-to-speech.

Bigme S3

The Bigme S3 color e-reader is a new e-reader with a diagonal of 7.8 inches for the Asian market. The screen is identical to that of the InkPad Color and is therefore said to be of "second generation".

Unfortunately, this e-reader is marketed in a very confidential way.

Onyx Boox Nova 3 Color

The Onyx Boox Nova 3 Color is a reader with a diagonal of 7.8 inches with E Ink Carta HD screen (black and white) and color overlay Kaleido Plus.

As for the Onyx machines, it is a machine that runs on an Android system and can therefore accommodate new reading or productivity applications.

Smartbook V5 Color

The Smartbook V5 Color is another machine equipped with a 7.8-inch color screen with Android system and reserved for the Asian market.

The technology behind e-reader color screens

Kaleido: a revolutionary new color screen

E Ink and Wacom have worked together on the new color screens that equip these new color readers (for all manufacturers). They're called "Kaleido" and there is multiple version :

  • Kaleido
  • Kaleido Plus
  • Kaleido 3 (newer improved color)

pocketbook color e-reader kaleido e ink screen

The companies E Ink and Wacom are already well known to e-reading and dematerialization enthusiasts.

On the one hand, we have E Ink, a company that has been working since the early 2000s in the research and creation of low-power screens based on electronic ink technology.

On the other hand, there is Wacom, which specializes in pressure-sensitive touch pens and other input devices.

Contrary to what one might think, this is not the already known Advanced Color E-Paper (called "Gallery 3" now), but a completely new type of screen called Print Color ePaper.

Unlike previous E Ink screens, this one does not use electronic ink. It is based on an old technology called TFT which allows to display pixels of red, green, blue, black or white color.

These colors can then be mixed to obtain the other colors.

There are two screens: a first one in black and white (below) and a second one in color (above)

Even if it does not contain electronic ink, the new screen retains some interesting properties: lower energy consumption and a screen that produces a display close to that of paper.

For its part, Wacom has created a new "overlay" that allows touch functions.

We guess that this type of display will be rather useful for note taking and displaying color documents.

Why don't we have more color readers coming out?

It's been 3 years since the new color readers have been available and since the middle of 2021, we have had almost no novelty or technical advance.

This year, 2023, marks the beginning of a revival, but can it last?

There are several reasons for this and here are the main points to remember:

  • e-readers are coming out but only in Asia and in small quantities
  • factories can't produce enough color e-ink screens
  • there are two technologies that are competing and confusing: Kaleido and Acep
  • the COVID strikes China since February / March 2022 and strongly slows down the production and the delivery of the screens and the e-readers

Should you buy a color e-reader in 2023!

pocketbook viva color e-reader

We are going from surprise to surprise with this technology and the first devices that have been presented are very interesting.

The question to ask is: is it better to buy a color reader or a black and white reader?

We can start by saying that I've been dreaming for years about less dangerous tablet screens for the eyes.

It is therefore logical that we welcome these color readers with benevolence.

But, even if great progress has been made in recent years, I remain skeptical.

Today, I find it difficult to use one of these readers to comfortably read a magazine or a comic book - either because of the low number of pixels or because the machine does not display very vivid colors.

Of course, the new color e-readers available since 2023, change the game and offer a clear improvement. However, their price is quite prohibitive.

To sum up, I would advise to wait a little bit more if you are going to use your e-reader mainly for reading contents with colors.

In the same way, a black and white e-reader offers today a better display of characters than color screens.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


nicolas lorenzon

Recognizing the need for an informed and reliable source for eReader-related content, Nicolas created, where he currently serves as the lead writer. His well-crafted articles cover a wide range of topics, including eReader reviews, comparisons between various devices, tips for optimizing reading experiences, and discussions on the future of digital reading. Read more here

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