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Kindle rival finally makes an appearance
It's taking awhile to get here. But the thin Plastic Logic eBook reader initially unveiled at a Demo conference in September 2008 is progressing, however slowly.
At the All Things Digital conference in Carlsbad, Calif, this week, Plastic Logic is providing a sneak peek of its prototypical electronic reader for business. It's the first time the touch-screen user interface was unveiled publicly.
It features content from Fortune Magazine, the Detroit Free Press (in a real newspaper and magazine-type layouts), and other business documents. Professionals are the target customers.
On the left side of the screen are tabs representing the most recent documents you looked at. You can turn pages with "swipe gestures" and jump ahead to pages in a document by tapping on tabs on the right edge.
You'll be able to read bestsellers too, and Plastic Logic plans to offer a wireless store (through a combination of Wi-Fi and 3G cellular), to offer an experience somewhat similar to what Amazon has done through the Kindle Store.
Plastic Logic has not revealed the prices yet.
I was certainly impressed by how the thin the reader is. It's about a 1/3 of an inch thick and weighs less than a pound. The core technology is made of transistors made out of plastics.
Alas, you'll still have to wait awhile though -- the reader isn't likely to be available until early 2010. Color is also on Plastic Logic's roadmap too, eventually. But that's a lot further out.
Full disclosure: Plastic Logic has a content deal with USA TODAY.
By Ed Baig
Photo: Plastic Logic