Friday, September 12, 2008

Plastic Logic's E-Book Reader -- Perfect For PDFs?

I've written several times before about how the perfect e-book reader for me would be able to natively read PDF files. I have to read many academic articles and legal cases which typically come in PDF format. It looks like someone is finally listening:
The kids at tgdaily have a hands-on video of Plastic Logic's biggie e-reader unveiled at DEMO earlier this week. With it, they've also nabbed a bit more information on this potential subscription-based, Kindle killer. The 7-mm thin reader connects via micro-USB to a PC to charge the unit or transfer documents. Documents can also be transferred over WiFi or Bluetooth (no cellular radio?) -- the reader can even communicate wirelessly with other readers to transfer documents.

The 8.5- x 11-inch touchscreen allows for gesture control, as we heard, with the added bonus of quick and easy on-screen annotation of any supported media type such as Word docs, PowerPoint slides, or PDFs. Plastic Logic says they don't plan to compete with Kindle directly, instead, it's targeting business mobile professionals with "a lot of documents already," not those who will get all their content from the Amazon store.
Read more about this on TGDaily and in The New York Times.

I really like the thought of being able to annotate documents on the screen and wirelessly share files between devices at business meetings. When I was working out in industry, I'd frequently convert documents into PDF format for easy distribution while preserving formatting and inhibiting the ability of others to modify it. (Particularly important when e-mailing price quotes to others.) I've also made my own spiral-bound travel books that I've printed at Kinko's for trips I've made overseas. This would be a wonderful way to create personal reference material like that. The size and resolution of this device looks like it hits a sweet spot. (Although I could see eventually having two e-book readers -- one for reviewing documents and another like the Kindle for reading actual books; ideally being able to share files between the two devices.)

See more in the video below:

In other e-book news, it looks like Sony is coming out with a new reader early next month. (HT Chris) I can't wait to see what else is around the corner. I expect these types of devices to eventually replace college textbooks and can't wait for the day when legal casebooks come in electronic format. If/when this finally happens, my back will be forever grateful.

1 comment:

thinking said...

I still think the Kindle overall is superior for most people, simply due to the cellular radio.

It seems to me that being able to download books and even newspapers and magazines and blog feeds wirelessly pretty much anywhere is indeed a killer app in this industry.

Even on the iPhone, it's so nice to be able to download those cool new apps without having to tether to a computer first, or wait to access a WiFi network.