2 New E-Readers on the Block: One Cheaper, One Touchier

Two upcoming e-readers demonstrated Wednesday could force changes in the market. They are Plastic Logic’s reader and British firm Interead’s Cool-er.

Plastic Logic’s reader, which has a much larger screen than the Amazon Kindle, targets business readers. The Cool-er has the same 6-inch screen size as the Amazon Kindle 2, but it’s priced at almost $100 less. Both devices were among the items demonstrated at the D: All Things Digital conference held by The Wall Street Journal.

Plastic Logic’s Reader

Plastic Logic’s reader has a screen measuring 6.4 by 8.53 inches with 960 by 1,260 pixel resolution. Overall, it measures 8.5 by 11 inches — the same size as a sheet of A4 paper. It weighs less than 16 ounces.

Aimed at the business reader, it offers a touchscreen interface and lets users directly load and manage Microsoft Word and Excel documents and PDFs.

The device is charged through a USB port, and Plastic Logic is building proprietary software for it, spokesperson Jonelle Hester said.

Plastic Logic is partnering with Ingram Digital and publications like the Financial Times and USA Today, whose content it will offer, Hester told TechNewsWorld. Other target partners are The New York Times, Fortune and Forbes. It does not employ digital rights management.

Later this year, Detroit Media Partnership, which manages the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News, will pursue a test program in distributing content to readers using the Plastic Logic device and the Amazon Kindle.

So Clean, So Green

Plastic Logic’s device will be made entirely of — what else? — plastic. Its manufacturing plant in Dresden, Germany, will work on the electronics.

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