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Innovation

CES 2010: Plastic Logic Que ProReader e-book reader in action [video]

I spent some time at CES 2010 with the Plastic Logic Que ProReader, a business-specific, capacitive touchscreen e-book reader. Here's a video walking through the device.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor on

I spent some time at CES 2010 with the Plastic Logic Que ProReader, a business-specific, capacitive touchscreen e-book reader that brings the content diversity and compatibility of a traditional laptop to an e-Ink e-book reader interface sized to a standard 8.5 in. by 11 in. piece of paper.

I asked a company representative to walk through the device for ZDNet readers. The video and my impressions, after the jump:

My impressions? It's an incredibly thin e-book reader, owing to Plastic Logic's innovative plastic microprocessors and display (hence the company's name) that allow the company to build things at the thickness of a sheet of plastic. I enjoyed the ability of the ProReader to support Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and (in the Pro model) 3G as well as bring in business-focused content, such as BusinessWeek bestselling books versus New York Times bestsellers.

I also thought the "standard sheet of paper" sizing was fantastic, not feeling scrunched horizontally or vertically.

The problem? Price. Plastic Logic wants $649 and $799 for the two versions of the Que, an unthinkable sum of money for a black-and-white e-book reader.

Aside from the general shock of the pricing in general, my problem is that the prices bump against those of the ULV notebook and tablet PC market. Sure, the Que and a true laptop aren't comparable, but do you really need to bring both on a business trip? E-readers tend to be secondary companion devices -- complements for a laptop. I don't see why you'd pay just as much as a laptop if you must bring one on a trip anyway.

Still, the development bodes well for the capabilities of the unproven, overcrowded e-book reader market. What do you think?

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