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E Ink begins sampling color and capacitive touch displays, on track for late 2010 launch

E Ink Holdings, the company behind the power-sipping screens contained within Amazon's Kindle and Sony's Readers, is keeping to its schedule for the biggest overhaul of its display technology yet. Color panels are reportedly now sampling out to device vendors and China-based Hanvon has already answered the call -- it promises to deliver color E Ink readers by the end of this year. Two varieties of touchscreens are also being prepared: the first is a capacitive panel to sate the kids' need to flick and swipe everywhere, while the second will include a pen-friendly digitizer that should make annotations a doddle (or should that be a doodle?). Better response times and reflectivity are also being touted, though the big question is obviously when this good stuff will make its way into mainstream devices like the Kindle. If you believe Jeff Bezos, that won't be any time soon.