E-reader perspectives from Steve Wildstrom, who is transitioning from 15 years as the BusinessWeek “Technology & You” columnist to an independent/freelance mode (this post is part of a CES series supported by NVIDIA). Check his blog for more details and perspectives.
The most interesting new entrant is the Que Pro from Plastic Logic, announced Jan. 7 at the Consumer Electronics Show. It’s a large-format (10.7 in./267 mm diagonal) but very light reader aimed at the business and professional market. Although the display is based on the same E Ink “digital paper” used by the Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader, Amazon Nook, and others, the technology literally underlying the display is radically different. The electronics driving the display are printed on a flexible plastic substrate and the entire display module, which is no thicker than a few sheets of paper, contains no glass. The Que Pro is not cheap, but not prohibitive for the professional target market. A 4GB version with Wi-Fi only costs $649, while the 8 GB model with both Wi-Fi and AT&T 3G wireless fetches $799. (The Que will be introduced in the U.S. only in April, but other countries will probably come along soon.)