Plastic Logic officially unveiled its business-oriented Que, which has a screen the size of an 8.5x11-inch piece of paper and integration with Barnes & Noble's e-book store. The big issue is how expensive it is. A version with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth will cost $649, while a version that adds 3G wireless is $799. It's available for preorder now.
The Orizon is an upcoming 6-inch e-reader with a touch-screen display that uses new "In-Cell touch capacitive sensing technology." It offers much smoother operation than Sony's PRS-600 Touch Edition with no glare or contrast issues (we were impressed). The Orizon is due to ship this spring and should cost about $250.
The Demy has a protected touch-screen LCD that's designed to repel spills in the kitchen (yes, you can wipe it off). The Demy actually came out last summer, but the company recently sold out of the product. It will start shipping again in a few months for $199 (it originally cost $299).
Iriver is about to start shipping a $290 e-reader with a 6-inch screen that has 2GB of internal memory and an SD card slot. It has a built-in voice recorder and audio player and natively reads ePub, PDF, TXT file formats along with Microsoft Office files (XLS, PPT, DOC).
A company called Mirasol, which is backed by Qualcomm, was showing off an interesting color LCD technology that's energy efficient and highly reflective (it doesn't get washed out in direct sunlight). Unlike e-ink e-readers, it can show full-motion video, which is very cool. Mirasol hopes e-reader manufacturers will build e-readers with it.
The Skiff e-reader, which uses Sprint for a 3G wireless connection, is one of the largest e-readers (11.5-inch touch-screen display) and is appealing for viewing newspaper and magazine content. The company is being very secretive about launch dates and pricing.
A global company called DMC is gearing up to launch a line of six new e-readers this Spring along with its Copia e-book portal, which has a strong social-networking element (the site seems pretty impressive, based on an early preview we got).
The Ocean line will have models ranging in size from 6 to 9 inches; all of them will feature touchscreen ePaper displays.
Meanwhile, the Tidal line has three models with 6-inch screens, with an entry-level unit that features a built-in keyboard (and no touch screen). The two higher-end models have touch-screen interfaces.
The company says prices will range from $199-$299.
According to Samsung, unlike other e-book devices, E6 (6-inch screen) and E101 (10-inch screen) enable handwriting directly onto the display, allowing users to annotate their reading selections, calendars, and to-do lists with a built-in electromagnetic resonance stylus pen. This dedicated pen prevents mistypes caused by hands and other objects that may graze the screen's surface, according to the company.
Both e-readers feature built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The E6 and E101 will be priced at $399 and $699, respectively, which is probably too high to make them a significant factor in the marketplace. They will be available in early 2010.
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