RealTime IT News

First Plastic Logic eReader Means Business

The wait is almost over for Plastic Logic's eReader. Today the company announced the name for its first device, its rollout plans and a surprise market approach.

Ironically, Plastic Logic said its new QUE proReader won't target the same consumer market that Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), Sony and others are going after, but it will be unveiled at the giant Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on January 7, 2010 in Las Vegas.

The final specs will be announced at CES. Plastic Logic was supposed to rollout its first device this year, but that date was later pushed back to 2010 and a release announcing the QUE reiterates it will be released in 2010, nothing more exact.

Some details are already known. Plastic Logic said the QUE proReader will be "extra thin," lightweight and wireless-enabled. The eReader is the size of an 8.5 x 11 inch pad of paper, less than a one-third of an inch thick and weighs less than many magazines. The company is also promising battery life that lasts for days. The plastic display is said to be shatter-proof.

The news comes at a time of frenetic activity in the eReader space with Amazon and Sony releasing new models and new vendors entering the fray as the holiday shopping season fast approaches.

Plastic Logic said the online QUE store will offer the most significant collection of business reading available on any eReader. The store is powered by Barnes & Noble, which already lays claim to offering the world’s largest eBookstore.

Users will be able to connect to content and download wirelessly via Wi-Fi and AT&T’s 3G network.

The business angle

Among features that should appeal to its target market, QUE users will be able to access the business and professional newspapers, books and periodicals they want in a variety of formats including PDF, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. The system will also include a range of tools for interacting with and managing the content.

In addition to connecting its users with their business and professional newspapers, books and periodicals, QUE supports the document formats business users need (including PDF, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents) and features powerful tools for interacting with and managing the content.

Analyst Roger Kay thinks the features sound appealing for business users, but isn't sure many companies are likely to buy them for their employees in these cash-strapped times.

"Most people buy these things for their own use and they get used for business that way," Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies Associates, told InternetNews.com. "If they come out with a standout device and great content, which it sounds like they have via Barnes & Noble, that will help them a lot.

"But these eReaders are being adopted surprisingly fast. They are going to have to show there's a compelling reason to switch from Amazon's Kindle to make headway there."