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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 63
    bartfatbartfat Posts: 432member
    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...
  • Reply 2 of 63
    mactrippermactripper Posts: 1,328member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 63
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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 8.5?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.
  • Reply 4 of 63
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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??.
  • Reply 5 of 63
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post


    Yea, it will flop at that price.





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



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



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



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



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



    Also one can 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 be awesome and certainly have much more storage, including MobileMe.



    You seem fairly certain about a product that doesn't exist yet.
  • Reply 6 of 63
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    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.
  • Reply 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.
  • Reply 8 of 63
    roos24roos24 Posts: 170member
    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
  • Reply 9 of 63
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,153member
    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.
  • Reply 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.
  • Reply 11 of 63
    asciiascii Posts: 5,779member
    When will they make screens that look like an actual piece of paper, instead of having light coming out of them?
  • Reply 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.
  • Reply 13 of 63
    bugsnwbugsnw Posts: 706member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 63
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,576member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 63
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    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
  • Reply 16 of 63
    mactrippermactripper Posts: 1,328member
    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*
  • Reply 17 of 63
    mactrippermactripper Posts: 1,328member
    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...
  • Reply 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.
  • Reply 19 of 63
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    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.
  • Reply 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.
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