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CES: Skiff, Que, Notion Ink e-readers take spotlight

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
Three new e-reader devices -- Skiff, Que and Notion Ink -- have made their debut at CES, as Apple is rumored to introduce a multimedia tablet that will also offer print content.

Turning heads has been the Skiff e-reader, which features a massive 1,600 by 1,200 pixel resolution, which can fit the entire front page of The New York Times, including advertisements, on its display.

Engadget had some hands-on time with the hardware, and came away impressed with the device and its 11.5-inch touchscreen.

"The UI looked reasonable for skimming through large publications such as the Sunday edition of the New York Times and offers a search mechanism that works device wide or within the content you're viewing," the report said. "Finger swipes applied to the resistive touchscreen worked as expected: swiping a finger left or right results in page turns while swipes up or down will increase or reduce font size, respectively."

The Skiff is more than just a reader, though. Backed by Hearst, the publishing platform will bring an app to the iPhone, as well as a number of other devices, to allow reading on the go. A price for the hardware has yet to be announced.



With a more unique approach is the Notion Ink Adam, an Android-based "smartpad" sporting Nvidia's new Tegra chipset and the Pixel Qi display which allows the backlight to be switched on or off. The device was seen only as a prototype at CES.

A traditional tablet is said to get about 40 hours of battery life, but with the Pixel Qi display, the Notion Ink Adam should apparently get nearly 400 hours of battery life with the backlight off. No prices were mentioned, though the company previously said it hoped to release the device for about $300 in June.

Earlier this week, the Notion Ink CEO admitted that his company hoped to beat Apple to the punch in debuting and releasing its tablet. Apple is rumored to unveil its own multimedia touchscreen device at an event Jan. 27.



In addition, Plastic Logic's long-awaited Que e-reader was shown at CES this week. Due to ship in mid-April, the device has a number of publications, including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and The Los Angeles Times, that have committed to provide content.

Priced well above the $260 kindle, and even its $490 big brother, the Kindle DX, the Que is set to cost $650 for 4GB of storage, while an 8GB model will cost $800. The Plastic Logic device has a large, shatterproof 8.5-by-11-inch black-and-white screen and is billed as a "pro reader," geared towards businesses and professionals.

post #2 of 63
The Que costs 800 for 8GB?! What insane businessman would pay that much for that little storage.. plus it's just an e-reader. I say it'll flop in no time...
post #3 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by bartfat View Post

The Que costs 800 for 8GB?! What insane businessman would pay that much for that little storage.. plus it's just an e-reader. I say it'll flop in no time...


Yea, it will flop at that price.


Apple's device will be so much better, I suspect it's a computer too, of a sorts.

It will most likely do all the needs of most computer users except the Pro's.

Also it will have the App Store, the web and all sorts of other goodies for about the same amount of money. Much easier interface.

Apple's iTablet should replace the MacBook line and people will look strangely at normal laptops, like it's 1950's technology I assume.

And with Apple's device, the finger swipes and pointer will track without the user even touching the screen, I suspect.

Also one should get content from multiple sources and transfer it too. Unlike these e-readers who lose your stuff or delete it or something else.

Apple's device will certainly be awesome and most likely have much more storage, including MobileMe.
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post #4 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by bartfat View Post

The Que costs 800 for 8GB?! What insane businessman would pay that much for that little storage.. plus it's just an e-reader. I say it'll flop in no time...

People are wanting 64GB to 160GB in an Apple tablet with full 1080p video for under $500 so the Que seems to be failing right out of the gate.

I can see how the 8.5x11 display might work at first thought since that is what notebook paper is, but that is only B/W, seems to have no video and not only doesnt count for the margins on an 8.5x11 piece of paper it has very large frame around it. For exclusively newspaper reading it looks to be nice, but I dont think well be hearing about the Que by the summer.
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post #5 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

Apple's device is so much better, it's a computer too, of a sorts.

You might want to qualify your posts with I speculate.
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post #6 of 63
Even though most of these look pretty bad I'm getting a bit worried about how crowded the market is. Apple's device will really have to be good to stand out.

I think the Notion Ink reader looks spectacularly bad though. Very clunky and slow. They are also going to have a big problem with the touchscreen on the back too since Apple's patent on the same tech completely covers the concept. If they ever bring it to market Apple could shut them down with a lawsuit.
post #7 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Even though most of these look pretty bad I'm getting a bit worried about how crowded the market is. Apple's device will really have to be good to stand out.

Which is why I'm so excited. We've seen these "e-readers" and "tablets" introduced all week at CES. You have to think Jobs anticipated this and is just waiting his turn.
post #8 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...the device and its 11.5-inch touchscreen...


Given the fact that the rest of the world uses the A4 format, the manufacturer limits its sales area to the US-market only.

Oops, correction: 11.5" would allow the A4 format... Still having trouble with the measurements system here
post #9 of 63
Have any of you critical folks even used an e-reader let alone even seen one in person? I have and let me tell you, they are great for the purpose they are designed for. Reading books. Obviously, reading books removes a majority of the posters here.

The "e-ink" is so incredibly easy on the eyes. Almost zero eye-strain. It is almost like reading on paper itself. If you enjoy reading and prefer not to have books lying around taking up space, these are something to seriously consider. That Skiff looks really slick. I hope the price get competitive.

I cannot use my iPhone for extended reading. I love my i7 iMac but again, extended reading on a brightly lit screen can get a bit much.

Stop applying that PC-mentality to e-readers people. They are not for playing video games or watching video. They are not for talking into, and they should not be considered handheld computers in literal sense. They are toasters, meant to do one thing very well.
post #10 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by cliphord View Post

Which is why I'm so excited. We've seen these "e-readers" and "tablets" introduced all week at CES. You have to think Jobs anticipated this and is just waiting his turn.

I wonder how many of these unannounced prices are waiting to see what Apple comes out with and how much it costs.
post #11 of 63
When will they make screens that look like an actual piece of paper, instead of having light coming out of them?
post #12 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

People are wanting 64GB to 160GB in an Apple tablet with full 1080p video for under $500 so the Que seems to be failing right out of the gate.

I can see how the 8.5”x11” display might work at first thought since that is what notebook paper is, but that is only B/W, seems to have no video and not only doesn’t count for the margins on an 8.5”x11” piece of paper it has very large frame around it. For exclusively newspaper reading it looks to be nice, but I don’t think we’ll be hearing about the Que by the summer.

People won't get that for $500. Try $1,000.
post #13 of 63
This has to be one of the more disappointing CES shows I've seen. I'm always excited to see new TV technology, improved displays, some new innovations in GUI or hardware. The detachable laptops are worse than a joke. Thurrott posted like they were the 2nd coming. So I wasted time wading through youtube videos. When I saw the plastic junk with the GUI that lagged far behind the finger input, I was........stunned. This year is flooded full of mediocrity. I don't think Apple will have any trouble beating these uninspiring and tasteless companies.
post #14 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Even though most of these look pretty bad I'm getting a bit worried about how crowded the market is. Apple's device will really have to be good to stand out.

I think the Notion Ink reader looks spectacularly bad though. Very clunky and slow. They are also going to have a big problem with the touchscreen on the back too since Apple's patent on the same tech completely covers the concept. If they ever bring it to market Apple could shut them down with a lawsuit.

The market is always crowded in the preliminary stages of any new product. Think how many PC manufacturers there were in the early 80s. Or how many brands of MP3 players there were before iPod consolidated. It'll be the same thing with tablets. I would be surprised if any of these three are still in the market in couple of years.
post #15 of 63
Has anyone else noticed that nearly every new notebook at CES is using Apple's chicklet keyboard design. Appears its becoming the standard keyboard design. MS is even using it for their new Arc keyboard.


Lenovo Skylight



MS Arc Keyboard




HP Envy 15




Sony Viao



LG
post #16 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

The "e-ink" is so incredibly easy on the eyes. Almost zero eye-strain. It is almost like reading on paper itself.


Well matte screen LCD's do the same, easy to read.


Except someone had the bright idea at HP to save money and not apply the matte film anymore, conning people in their lust to own shiny objects.

So now nearly all computer screens are glossy and we have to pay more for a device to read on.



Dam! It's been THEIR plan all along.... *smacks head*
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post #17 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

You might want to qualify your posts with “I speculate…”.


Yes, what you said.

I like to envision things...
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post #18 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

Well matte screen LCD's do the same, easy to read.


Except someone had the bright idea at HP to save money and not apply the matte film anymore, conning people in their lust to own shiny objects.

So now nearly all computer screens are glossy and we have to pay more for a device to read on.



Dam! It's been THEIR plan all along.... *smacks head*

My wife's Kindle is actually impressive for reading, yet I did spend some coin to buy that thing. If you haven't ever seen the e-ink in person, you are truly missing out. The Kindle is an excellent book replacement, and not anything like reading an LCD/LED/OLED (or anything lit up for that matter.)


The thing about pricing, I'm guessing the Tablet will sit just below a Macbook, probably only $50-$75 cheaper. If it has cheap 3G coverage or even free, then it will cost more than a Macbook.
post #19 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

... "e-ink" is so incredibly easy on the eyes. Almost zero eye-strain. It is almost like reading on paper itself. ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

When will they make screens that look like an actual piece of paper, instead of having light coming out of them?

I'd just like to point out that while people say this kind of thing all the time (eyestrain from reading a screen instead of paper), there is actually more or less zero serious scientific research that indicates this to be a factual thing. It's more or less just a popular misconception that reading from a screen causes eyestrain. You may believe it to be so, you may even experience it yourself, but that doesn't make it a scientific fact by any means.

In the early days of television when TV's put out significant light and radiation and especially in the case of watching television in the dark, you would certainly get some sore eyes. But "eye strain" would actually be the wrong word for that anyway. There's no "straining" involved at all. In fact it's the same effect you get from walking around in the sun all day without sunglasses.

As long as your not one of those people that uses a computer with the lights out, or stick your face right up on the screen, there is no reason that reading from an LCD would be any different or cause any "strain" on the eyes at all relative to other things like ePaper or eInk.
post #20 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Has anyone else noticed that nearly every new notebook at CES is using Apple's chicklet keyboard design. Appears its becoming the standard keyboard design. MS is even using it for their new Arc keyboard.


Lenovo Skylight



MS Arc Keyboard




HP Envy 15




Sony Viao



LG

Those Sony VAIO laptops pionnered chiclets keyboards way before the Apple laptops.
post #21 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

Well matte screen LCD's do the same, easy to read.

Let's not inject that Teckstud matte-screen drama back into these threads.

Having a matte-screen is not the issue. The e-ink (like regular paper-ink) requires no real backlighting so it's different than constantly watching a brightly-lit (regardless of adjustment) panel with black fonts. And like a regular book, if you want to read it at night, simply turn on a nice lamp somewhere and read away. The light source is better if it comes from somewhere else than shining at one's face.

And because it does not need backlighting, battery life is greatly improved. Power is only used to switch the "dots" to black or white. Once switched, no power is needed for it. Since these new readers are touch-aware, I would think some more juice will be used simply to sense for fingers but I think that is still minimal compared to having to run a light source.
post #22 of 63
I think this is the most pertinent point - e-readers are toasters. They are specific to one task only, and yes, I'm sure a lot of them do it well. But would you really spend hundreds of dollars to avoid carrying round a newspaper, for goodness sake? It's got to be heavier than or as heavy as a newspaper, doesn't fold up and it matters if it gets damaged. Yes, you can have multiple newspapers on it, but honestly, $500 - $700 for a newspaper replacement????

A kindle-type thing - one designed to replace normal books is perhaps more relevant - carrying a lot of books can be heavy and bulky, but again - it's very specific. Isn't there more utility in an approximately similarly sized device that allows you to read books, read newspapers, listen to music, surf the web, send and receive emails, watch movies, play games, catch up with 'social media' and produce documents???

Granted not everyone wants or needs all of that, and for those that just want to reduce the weight in their luggage for when they want to go on holiday the Sony eReader or Kindle are just great.

Me, I'm an 'everything in one package' kind of guy - and a techno-geek, lol - so I'm all up for an Apple uber-mega-slate-tastic device. Plus, you absolutely KNOW it's going to be very very cool.
post #23 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

People are wanting 64GB to 160GB in an Apple tablet with full 1080p video for under $500 so the Que seems to be failing right out of the gate.

I can see how the 8.5x11 display might work at first thought since that is what notebook paper is, but that is only B/W, seems to have no video and not only doesnt count for the margins on an 8.5x11 piece of paper it has very large frame around it. For exclusively newspaper reading it looks to be nice, but I dont think well be hearing about the Que by the summer.

Just a thought, but the size might preclude it from the world market... The rest of the world is metric (what happened to the progress in the US towards this?) and standard paper is A4.

 

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post #24 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by technohermit View Post

My wife's Kindle is actually impressive for reading, yet I did spend some coin to buy that thing. If you haven't ever seen the e-ink in person, you are truly missing out. The Kindle is an excellent book replacement, and not anything like reading an LCD/LED/OLED (or anything lit up for that matter.)


The thing about pricing, I'm guessing the Tablet will sit just below a Macbook, probably only $50-$75 cheaper. If it has cheap 3G coverage or even free, then it will cost more than a Macbook.

There is no viable market for a tablet costing as much as an Apple laptop. A very select few would be interested and despite Apple being a premium brand, I don't imagine the company is thinking niche market right now.

There is no reason for Apple to have to charge such outlandish amounts if they are smart about this. Stay away from a large device with limited appeal and all Apple has to do is follow up the wildly successful Touch with a similar unit that takes the whole form factor up a notch or two in size, with a modest jump in price, not a huge leap.

The way I see it, there is a market for a device costing closer to $500 which amounts to a larger version of the Touch. As such, if such a demand exists, why would Apple ignore that space and instead bring out a niche product with the potential to fail? Down the road, with the more obvious untapped market covered, sure, expand with a more expensive niche item. But with so much potential for a Touch with a screen in the 5-inch to 7-inch range, that can't possibly be a category that Apple would put aside to build a pricey, large tablet, I mean slate, for a select few. The larger slate would be something like a halo project that you'd build to up your brand's rep. But what good is a halo product if there is no mass-appeal item to go right along with it? It would be as if Apple had decided to build the MacBook Air but not the other laptops. There is a reason why the Air came later. Besides, if everybody jumps on the touchscreen band wagon, look for prices to steadily decline which means a couple of years from now the cost of making a larger slate will be significantly reduced. While Apple is innovative, it has also been prone to letting other manufacturers take a stab at a category first, stumble around, and then step in with a better product. It's not as if Apple invented the smart phone but it does make arguably the best smart phone.

A rational follow-up to the Touch is what I think we'll see next from Apple and a large, pricey slate isn't it.
post #25 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Has anyone else noticed that nearly every new notebook at CES is using Apple's chicklet keyboard design. Appears its becoming the standard keyboard design. MS is even using it for their new Arc keyboard.


Lenovo Skylight



MS Arc Keyboard




HP Envy 15




Sony Viao



LG

wow the hp envy looks exactly like a macbook pro
post #26 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

You might want to qualify your posts with “I speculate…”.

I speculate he is just about hit the nail on the head
Except the price .. I am totally unable to guess myself ... other than 799-999 range I suspect.
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post #27 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

There is no viable market for a tablet costing as much as an Apple laptop. A very select few would be interested and despite Apple being a premium brand, I don't imagine the company is thinking niche market right now.
.

I recall lots of people saying how the MacBook Air was not going to sell, among many other less than positive statements. It sold very well. I also recall how people complained that the iPods and iPhone were overpriced, etc, but they seem to have sold quite well, too.

I think the Apple Pad or whatever they choose to call it will sell very well. I know I'll buy one.

 

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post #28 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by doyourownthing View Post

wow the hp envy looks exactly like a macbook pro

Yep. The 'Copy Apple' folks simply have zero pride these days.
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post #29 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by bugsnw View Post

This has to be one of the more disappointing CES shows I've seen. I'm always excited to see new TV technology, improved displays, some new innovations in GUI or hardware. The detachable laptops are worse than a joke. Thurrott posted like they were the 2nd coming. So I wasted time wading through youtube videos. When I saw the plastic junk with the GUI that lagged far behind the finger input, I was........stunned. This year is flooded full of mediocrity. I don't think Apple will have any trouble beating these uninspiring and tasteless companies.

I suspect the dilemma for them all is trying to anticipate Apple in so many areas yet not go too far out on a limb so as to be seen to have gone in the wrong direction if they have. I can imagine the tech spies must all have one mission these days, they're probably as numerous as Washington lobbyists around Infinite Loop. I chuckle imagining massage therapists, sushi waitresses etc. all undercover spies there for HP, Dell M$ and the all non-inovative companies. There must be a movie in this somewhere ...
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post #30 of 63
I hope it has an e-ink to color display with a kindle app. Then I ebay my Kindle 2 and say hello to iSlate.
Hard-Core.
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Hard-Core.
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post #31 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

I recall lots of people saying how the MacBook Air was not going to sell, among many other less than positive statements. It sold very well. I also recall how people complained that the iPods and iPhone were overpriced, etc, but they seem to have sold quite well, too.

I think the Apple Pad or whatever they choose to call it will sell very well. I know I'll buy one.

Yep you are correct I think. To all the morons that claim we Mac fans would buy anything Apple make, this is not true we are very discerning and it is simply because the products are insanely great that we do.
BTW, I dropped my beloved iBook G4, used for web and mail when not on my Mac Pro last week . It is kaput ... my wife refuses to believe this wasn't timed to justify a new Tablet! It is pure coincidence I tell you, really.
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post #32 of 63
A ghost must have shoved it...

I had seemingly endless debates here with anti-MBA bashers; am prepping for endless debates with iSlatePodTabletWhatever.

 

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post #33 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

I hope it has an e-ink to color display with a kindle app. Then I ebay my Kindle 2 and say hello to iSlate.

I've never seen e-ink in action. Reading about it I see it claims to give a reading on paper experience. Is it really better? Given I find reading a Mac computer screen preferable to paper I wonder if this is the case. You seem to be a fan, I obviously will have to see for myself.
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post #34 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

A ghost must have shoved it...

I had seemingly endless debates here with anti-MBA bashers; am prepping for endless debates with iSlatePodTabletWhatever.

LOL. I am actually trying to buy a another defunct 12" iBook G4 to cannibalize for parts but they are bastards to open up so I dread the process.
Anyone have one out there? I will need a working keyboard and HD - hopefully that's all.

I suspect the debate won't be too harsh, like the iPhone I have a feeling sales will be pretty good and the debates will be from the dark side as usual as to why their Windows 7 slates are superior. I doubt any Mac user will doubt it, although many will probably struggle mightily to justify one if they have a MacBook.
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post #35 of 63
The 19th Century called and want their Black & White back. I'm not paying hundreds of dollars if I'm not even ***** getting a color screen. WTF?

*Sigh* looks like physical paper/ magazine/ books as well as laptops and netbooks will still be around over the next few years.

This eReader stuff is garbage. CES has been a big letdown for me. Not that I was expecting much in the first place! Sure, call me an Apple zealot, I'm typing this from a Windows PC with a Samsung 21" screen and Microsoft wireless keyboard and Logitech mouse, so whatever.
post #36 of 63
These publications still don't get it, do they. Taking your newspaper and putting it onto an eBook thing does not a better publication make.

And they're all contributing to even more different, competing standards and DRM of e-publications...!!! ???
post #37 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by doyourownthing View Post

wow the hp envy looks exactly like a macbook pro


and unlike MBP's it's using the new i5 laptop CPU's at a very nice price

downside is that no internal optical drive
post #38 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

and unlike MBP's it's using the new i5 laptop CPU's at a very nice price

downside is that no internal optical drive

I'm pretty sure the MBP's will be updated soon. CES is just out of Apple's cycle.

 

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post #39 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

And they're all contributing to even more different, competing standards and DRM of e-publications...!!! ???

And if the fabled Apple tablet functions as an e-reader with content available from iTunes, you don't think it's going to be wrapped in Fairplay DRM or some other Apple-specific DRM that renders it incompatible with every other e-reader device on the market? If you going to complain about this, at least admit that Apple WILL be contributing to the problem as well.
post #40 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

And if the fabled Apple tablet functions as an e-reader with content available from iTunes, you don't think it's going to be wrapped in Fairplay DRM or some other Apple-specific DRM that renders it incompatible with every other e-reader device on the market? If you going to complain about this, at least admit that Apple WILL be contributing to the problem as well.

Apple is at least a completely different platform. It's amazing to see the Windoze world work against itself so hard.

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
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