Plastic Logic still ain't got a Que
Great PR, cool technology, but no e-reader
The Que e-reader from Plastic Logic has been postponed, again, as the company struggles to get a product out while there's still a market for it.
Those who had pre-ordered the device, which was originally scheduled for April but had already slipped to June 24th, were sent an email (posted by Wired) explaining that shipments have been delayed until "sometime this summer", and the company won't be drawn further than that.
Plastic Logic got great PR for its device, which is aimed squarely at the document-or-newspaper-reading user who wants a touchscreen too, and is prepared to pay upwards of $650 for it. But despite demonstrating the device, and impressing journalists with its huge, flexible, screen and responsive performance, Plastic Logic has still not managed to ship anything.
The company had boasted a deal with Barnes & Noble as well as a shatter-proof screen which promised to differentiate its offering, but it was caught unprepared when Barnes & Noble launched the Nook (its own device) and came to understand that its deal with the retailer wasn't the exclusive for which one might hope.
Plastic Logic has been working to create a content catalogue, including magazines and books, and at the launch of the Que the company made much of its potential as a businessman's notepad rather than an e-reader, but it remains an expensive device in a world that now judges everything in comparison to the iPad.
E-book readers using electronic ink have huge advantages in power consumption and daylight reading, but in every other aspect a tablet like the iPad is superior; which isn't what you want to hear when your device is still not shipping. We'd love to be optimistic about the future of the Que, but can't help feeling that it could end up joining the Readius and Skiff in the good-ideas-that-never-happened file. ®
This device is ideal for technical manuals in industry. Multimedia is the last thing you want there, but you do want complete pages at a time without having to use a magnifying glass. Also the battery life is very important as well as being able to read the screen in any lighting conditions.
I am the dissapoint.
I really thought this was among the better offerings. I rather want one.
Not comparable to ipad
The advantages eBooks have over the iPad in terms of longevity are ridiculous--measured in weeks, not hours.... They are also much easier on the eyes and viewable in more conditions. So for the price of an e-ink device, which is *usually* less than an iPad, I'd say there is a niche.
This device justifies its iPad-like price, on the other hand, by adding something the iPad *doesn't* have--stylus input. This is really something where there is no contest with the iPad--if you want to not only read, but also annotate stuff and take notes, there is no contest--this is the better device.
The main thing the iPad has over this device for the foreseen use cases (reading and taking notes) is the ability to present the internet in all its scrollable, messy glory. On the other hand, the scrollable, dynamic nature would be a challenge to integrate with annotation anyway, so in that sense it's not a huge loss...
It's a wonderful device for technical documentation which you can annotate. Has it got past the stage of technology demonstration? Does PlasticLogic have enough people for this kind of end-user product development beyond the cool technology which is eminently licensable? The second generation of plastic is in the works and colour is in the offing. I can happily live with a device that doesn't do video if I can effectively forget about having to charge it for a few days.
Needs colour to escape a niche market
Rightly or wrongly people want colour and multimedia on these portable tablet devices. Sure they will be a niche market for avid readers who like to read outside but that will not include many business users .. they will read inside and want full multimedia and colour output .. for them the iPad or one of the mythical Android tablets will be most suitable.
[posted inside from an iPad 8-]