Superslim Skiff Reader features LG's 'metal foil' e-paper tech

At CES 2010, Sprint and Skiff are previewing a new, superslim, 11.5-inch e-reader that has built-in wireless service via Sprint's 3G wireless network. Skiff says it's the first device to feature "metal foil" e-Paper Technology from LG Display.

David Carnoy Executive Editor / Reviews
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Kobo e-books and audiobooks.
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David Carnoy
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The Skiff Reader features an 11.5-inch touch-screen display and both 3G and Wi-Fi wireless connectivity options. Skiff

With plenty of e-readers expected to be trotted out at this year's CES, Hearst Corp.-backed Skiff and Sprint are hoping to attract attention with a reader that's thinner and larger than anything currently out there. In Las Vegas, the companies will be previewing the Skiff Reader, which features an 11.5-inch touch-screen display (1200x1600 pixels) that's just over a quarter of an inch thick and is designed for reading newspaper and magazine content along with e-books and personal documents.

Company reps say the Skiff Reader is the first consumer product to feature LG's "metal foil" technology, a next-generation e-paper display that's based on a thin, flexible sheet of stainless-steel foil. The new technology is less vulnerable to breakage than "the fragile glass that is the foundation of almost every electronic screen," the press release notes.

Other than dimensions and the fact that the e-reader will have built-in wireless 3G capabilities, as well Wi-Fi, details about the Skiff Reader are scant at the moment. While there was no word on availability or pricing, there was some talk about how the device's large screen would showcase print media in "compelling new ways."

"This is consistent with Skiff's focus on delivering enhanced reading experiences that engage consumers, publishers, and advertisers," said Gilbert Fuchsberg, president of Skiff, which has offices in New York and Palo Alto, Calif.

The release says a full touch screen enables users to intuitively navigate and engage with newspapers, magazines, books, and other digital content they purchase through the Skiff Store, as well as personal and work documents. According to Skiff, the device weighs just over 1 pound and offers more than a week of average use between charges.

After we test-drive the device at the show, we'll let you know our thoughts. We're most curious to learn how responsive the touch screen is, how sharp it looks, and whether the Skiff platform (yes, the company appears to selling its service as a platform) is more compelling than what Amazon or Barnes & Noble has to offer. (See Skiff's Web site for more info).