Yesterday at the International Electronics Forum in Dresden Germany, Plastic Logic Director Achim Neu cited delays in the manufacturing pipeline. He went on to mention “process stability” and “volume production problems” had delayed the Que. “We have had less than a year bring in the equipment and transfer the process,” he said. He added that some significant process steps had been changed.
Plastic Logic claims that the Que will now ship at the end of June 2010, but we are not holding our breath.
Originally developed by scientists at Cambridge University’s Cavendish Laboratory, the Plastic Logic uses flexible plastic technology that has been in development for 10 years now. The company plans to introduce two different models: one with a price tag of $649 and featuring Bluetooth, Wi-Fi capability and 4 GB memory and another priced at $799 having Wi-Fi, 3G wireless and 8GB memory. Both models don’t have memory card slots. QUE is slated to be sold through Barnes and Noble’s retail stores, and will have access to the E-Book Store. Plastic Logic claims that they will offer the most significant collection of business reading available on any eReader.
A recent breakthrough is using Solid State Memory instead of a traditional internal hard-drive. SSDs are based on volatile memory such as DRAM and are characterized by ultrafast data access, generally less than 10 microseconds, and are used primarily to accelerate applications that would otherwise be held back by the latency of Flash SSDs or traditional HDDs.
Positioned as a paperless briefcase, the Plastic Logic Que is one of the largest e-readers in the market. Less than 1/3″ thick, Que has a width of 8.5″ and a length of 11″ with a weight of 17.2 ounces. Screen measures 10.7″ diagonally, with a display resolution of 960 x 1280 at 150 ppi. Strangely, it supports only 8 levels of greyscale in comparison to many of the newer e-book readers that support 16.
Now for some good news, Plastic Logic announced at the same conference in Germany that they are now developing a full color edition of the Plastic Logic Que to debut in prototype hopefully for the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Achim Neu went on to elaborate “there is nothing stopping the application of color on a rigid substrate. “We have built a colour display and it is working at our Cambridge laboratory”. He added “Plastic Logic wanted to retain the advantage of working with flexible substrates, even though it is not shown off to great effect in the fixed-frame Que e-reader” He ended with the statement “that finding color filters that adhere to a plastic, flexible substrate, and are reliable under repeated flexing was not trivial”.
Plastic Logic is nothing short of innovative in the respects of having one of the premier hardware electronic readers to debut this year in the market. Their technology to display e-ink is the pinnacle of resolution. The hefty price may hinder its eventual success in the market place, but if you are looking for a top of the line E-Reader, the Plastic Logic Que is it.
For more information on the color version of the Que, check out our Good E-Reader Magazine!
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.