Hands-On With Plastic Logic Reader

pl7leadBack at CES we got to spend some time with an early version of  Plastic Logic’s eBook reader, and the company is out in full force here at the  D7 Conference showing off the device after a few more months of work, especially on its user interface.

We went hands-on with the e-reader for a bit of time this morning. Check out our original impressions and stay tuned for a video.

We continue to be impressed by the Plastic Logic Reader’s thinness.  The .27-inch thin, made from plastic reader is thinner than a rail and the Kindle 2.

Where Plastic Logic has been hard at work is on the user interface that appears on the the 8.5 x 11-inch e-Ink touchscreen display. Aimed at business users, the software features a home screen (which you can easily get to by pushing the only physical button on the device in the upper right hand corner) that is tabbed and allows for accessing what they call binders. These binders allow you to organize  content into different folders.

We lightly tapped on a binder icon and opened a multi-page document.  The touchscreen was responsive at most times, but the e-ink display took about four seconds or so for the content to adjust or page to turn (Plastic Logic expects this to be sped up in production units). In the document, you can turn the pages by either swiping a finger, tapping the arrows in the bottom left corner or by selecting the page numbers lining the right hand side of the screen.

As with the Kindle, you can search through a document or e-book by selecting the Search button and using the on screen keyboard. Searching for the word “Lord” while reading Hamlet was speedy and the searched word was highlighted throughout the text.


Another neat feature is the annotate key that lets you mark up different parts of the on screen text. You can select the circle button and then tap on the text and it will circle the designated area. You can also use the pen tool to sketch a note or underline some text. Lightly scribbling on the screen was responsive.

We were pretty impressed with the Plastic Logic Reader, but we’ll see how impressive it looks when it finally ships in January 2010.

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  1. Gill Jones Says:

    Is it 8.5×11, or A4? Please say the latter…

  2. Fanfoot Says:

    A touchscreen seems like the obvious interface for everything hand-held now, especially eBook readers. The hard-to-read screen on the Sony PRS-700 however, makes me wonder if adding the extra touchscreen layer over top of the non-backlit e-ink display is inherently problematic. What did you think about the readability of the plastic logic screen, and how would you compare it to say the Kindle?

    Did they make any commitments to offering magazines (hint, hint) on the plastic logic device? Its certainly one of the things missing on the Kindle, perhaps because of the large investment to rework pages for the smaller format…?

  3. Ferridder Says:

    The device is 8.5×11; the screen is only 11.7 inches (30 cm) diagonally. I hope they have automatic cropping.

  4. Arie Schlesinger Says:

    Can the documents fonts be increased ?

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