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Bambook Sunflower and Kyobo e-readers remind us the Mirasol dream isn't reality yet; hands-on

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We examine the Mirasol displays on the Kyobo e-reader and the Bambook Sunflowers. Both e-readers are confined to the asian market and both are not especially powerful, serving more as examples that Mirasol hasn't yet broken into the mainstream.

Gallery Photo: Bambook and Kyobo e-reader hands on pictures
Gallery Photo: Bambook and Kyobo e-reader hands on pictures

We have to admit it, we're still holding out hope that we will see a display the combines the readability of e-ink with the speed, clarity, and color of an IPS LCD display. Mirasol, theoretically, could achieve that dream yet no matter how hard we wish, it never seems to pass into the usable range, much less into the platonic ideal in our heads. Still, we don't want to take our disappointment out on the Kyobo e-reader or the Bambook Sunflower e-reader, two virtually identical tablets that Qualcomm was touting here at CES today.

They each run variants of Android 2.3 that have been customized for their local e-book sellers (Kyobo for Korea and Bambook in China), along with a Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 processor clocked at 1GHz. Each has a 5.7-inch 1024 x 768 Mirasol display that's front-lit and displays decent colors by Mirasol standards — which is to say that they're a little washed out. Performance, likewise, was poor even by e-reader standards (and perhaps a reason that Qualcomm took a "don't call them tablets" stances to both). Maybe next year Mirasol will become more than an intriguing curiosity, but until then, take a look at the images and video below.

The Kyobo is available now for around $265 US while the Bambook will be available in China in the coming weeks.