More on Plastic Logic’s Reader

By  |  Monday, September 8, 2008 at 4:31 pm

I popped by Plastic Logic’s booth here at DEMO to get a closer look at its thin, full-sized e-reader and ask a few questions. What we saw this morning was unquestionably a very early sneak peek at a product that’s still under development: The Plastic Logic folks haven’t named the reader, won’t say how much it will cost, and aren’t disclosing anything about its price.

Once of the nice things about DEMO is that attendees usually have the opportunity to try out the new stuff for themselves. But the Plastic Logic reader was sitting inside a glass case where neither attendees nor Plastic Logic staffers could touch it. I can’t think of another instance of product at DEMO being presented in such a hands-off manner, though it did remind me of the iPhone’s unveiling at Macworld Expo in 2007.

With the reader cased away, I could get a sense of the general form factor–it’s nice and thin. But I couldn’t hold it and gauge its weight. And the exhibition wasn’t of much use at all for judging the screen quality, since the reader was sitting under lighting in what was presumably an ideal setup. (One of the issues with the e-ink technology used by the Plastic Logic reader and the Kindle is that the grey-on-grey text becomes hard to read in less-than-optimal lighting.)

The Plastic Logic reps I chatted with talked about business people being excited about doing presentations on the reader. I can see the form factor appealing, but I’d think that the grainy black-and-white graphics would discourage most people from doing that in most instances.

Oh, and they said that the reader will have Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and built-in software for converting documents into the appropriate format for reading on the device.

It seems inevitable that it will someday be possible to build a reader in a size similar to the Plastic reader with a really good color screen and marathon battery life–I just don’t know if it’s a year or two away, or a decade or two. I do know that I’d like to have one right now…



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