E-readers Gain Momentum: More Large-Screen Products Launched
Last week IDTechEx covered Plastic Logic's opening ceremony in Dresden, Germany, where they previewed their large, thin and lightweight e-reader, aimed at the business market. Their impressive e-reader has the largest display of all commercially available e-reader products (the device is the size of an 8.5 x 11-inch piece of paper - although this includes the frame so the screen is slightly smaller). Now two more e-reader products have been launched with similar size screens.
Brother Industries, Japan
The first is from Brother Industries, Japan. The device has a 9.7" diagonal screen and is just 12.4 mm thick (the thinnest point is 8mm) and weighs 380 grams. The display resolution is 1200 x 825 with four levels of greyscale, with a 150 dpi definition. Brother Industries has not stated who the supplier of the e-paper front plane technology is, which they confirm is sourced externally, but looking at the images shown IDTechEx expect that the supplier is E ink, who supply front planes for other e-readers.
Brother trialled these units at a conference in Japan in June, putting the conference presentation papers on the e-book rather than have attendees carry around a voluminous report. Brother report that they developed this product because the current e-readers are too small and the need is for readers which can view an A4 page. The device they developed is A5 sized, which they claim allows for an A4 document still to be easily read when it is scaled down.
Brother report that after further consumer tests they will start to sell the device in 2010. In particular, they are working on the software and content.
iRex Technologies, The Netherlands
Yesterday iRex Technologies, a spin off from Philips Electronics, launched a new e-reader product with a 10.2" diagonal screen - called the iRex 1000 series. The device is 12mm thick and weighs 570 grams. The display has 16 grey tones, where most current e-readers only have four to eight. It has the highest resolution display of any e-reader so far: 1024 x 1280 160dpi.