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Plastic Logic QUE proReader official; we go hands-on

updated 01:40 am EST, Fri January 8, 2010

QUE centers on its massive e-paper screen

Plastic Logic as expected used CES to launch the QUE proReader as its own entry into e-book readers. The device promises a very large 8.5- by 11-inch display, 3G, Wi-Fi and software that doesn't normally find its way into e-book devices. We had the opportunity to try the QUE this evening and have our own early opinion.

The screen is as much the centerpiece of attention as you would expect: besides feeling much more natural, it also displays a surprisingly large amount of content; we saw a whole article from USA Today displayed on a single page. It's a capacitive touchscreen as well and has a surprisingly natural interface: the front page is laid out almost magazine-style and makes for a more visual process of opening books, magazines and websites from the home screen. The one caveat is the lack of multi-touch, though it does support gestures even with the slow-to-draw e-paper slowing things down.

The ostensibly business-heavy focus of the QUE actually helps make a more convincing case for it as a home device simply because it can be used to open files you'd read anyways, like PDFs, presentations and spreadsheets. Internet features are still fairly basic like the Kindle and are largely limited to RSS feeds, though the extra size means you can see more of these at once.

We also have to give credit to Plastic Logic for a good first design. The QUE borrows a certain Apple-like quality as it's both extremely thin and very minimalist; the only button on the front is the home button. In practice, it's more like a very slim digital photo frame than an e-book reader, which we think will go a long way towards easing avid readers into digital books.

The only obstacles that we can see are ship dates and pricing. Although it goes on pre-order today, it won't ship until mid-April and will cost $649 just for a 4GB model with Wi-Fi, which puts it well over the prices of the Kindle and Nook; an 8GB model that adds 3G costs $799. But if you're an avid reader or even just want a companion device to review documents away from an LCD, the raw size and ease of use could be worth the price.











By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008

    +1

    I'm hoping the Apple iSlate will...

    look something like that as far as the dimensions are concerned. Hopefully, the Apple slate is slightly smaller and has a little less bezel. I don't mind if the Apple product is a big thicker. I just want it to be sturdy.

  1. danviento

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2005

    +1

    Need for Bezels

    Actually, on ereaders, you do want a decent size bezel. Nor for looks or protection, but so you've got something to hold on to, especially with these larger devices. Think of how you hold the paper or a sizable book, or even a paperback; typically two-handed at the right and left sides.

    This isn't a little iPodTouch here which is one-handable, even for someone with small hands. A Tablet is something you'll want to be able to get a grip on.

  1. terence1957

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2010

    +1

    Yikes! No SD Card

    Not having user interchangeable memory is a big negative, even at 4-8 GB. Not sure why they dropped the ball here. And the heavy premium the consumer pays for the higher capacity is, well, a bit of a cheek. 8 GB SD cards are no biggy on the wallet these days. I was hanging back waiting to check this thing out, but will still go with the Sony PRS-900 at $400 USD. Purely as a reader its got the best spec on the market and a 7 inch screen, reads most paperless formats and is quite a chunk lighter in weight. Also, I see no mention of being able to scribble notes on pages - an important facility for most readers. If I really want to see spreadsheets etc I'll use my laptop where I can work on them properly. Horses for courses I guess.

  1. facebook_Tom

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jan 2010

    +1

    Expensive

    I have seen it myself at the CES and I must assume it is a great product it looks nice! But it is too expensive for me and to big to carry. So I found another device, the Onyx Boox 60 at CES that I really like and which is really affordable. Unfortunately they didn't provide me a sample. So I ordered it online at http://www.ebookreaderdiscounter.com/onyx-boox-60-wifi-ereader.html, which took only two days to receive it here in LA!

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