Latest e-reader has appeal for newspaper, magazine fans

Plastic Logic's larger-screen device will compete with Amazon's Kindle and Sony's eReader

Plastic Logic Ltd. today announced an e-reader that's the size of a sheet of paper, making it suitable for reading newspapers or business reports.

The product won't ship until early next year, and no pricing was announced, but the Mountain View, Calif.-based company said in a statement that the 8.5- by 11-in display will be thinner than a pad of paper and "lighter than many business periodicals" with a "high-quality reading experience."

At that size, the Plastic Logic device, which still has no name, would offer more than twice the reading area of the Sony eReader and the Kindle, which are primarily designed for book readers. Plastic Logic CEO Richard Archuleta said his company's research showed that professionals read much more business content than recreational content and need large, readable screen.

The Plastic Logic e-reader will support Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents, and Adobe PDFs, as well as newspapers, periodicals and books. Users will be able to connect to their content either wired or wirelessly and store thousands of documents, the company said, without releasing details.

Whether the device and others like it can help flagging newspapers printed on paper is an open question. The Hearst Corp., which owns 16 daily newspapers, is interested in distributing newspaper content on larger devices and already distributes some papers via the Kindle, according to comments by Kenneth Bronfin, president of Hearst Interactive Media, in an interview with The New York Times.

Plastic Logic e-reader
The e-reader from Plastic Logic is the size of an 8.5 by 11-inch sheet of paper, making it larger than competing devices from and Sony Corp. (Photo courtesy of Plastic Logic)

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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