New entrant in the e-newspaper reader field

Just as we’re discussing the Kindle and other existing e-book readers as newspaper reading devices, along comes word (in a New York Times story today) of a new entrant in the field, an e-reader as yet without a brand name, from the firm Plastic Logic of (where else?) Mountain View, CA. The screen is about 8.5 by 11 inches, around twice the size of the Kindle, Sony and Iliad screens, and its E-Ink screen is backed by a new plastic substrate developed at Cambridge University’s Cavendish Laboratory. It’ll be on sale early next year at a price not yet announced.

It’s good news that this “space” is getting more crowded—this will drive more newspaper publishers (and other news content producers) to get serious about publishing for e-readers, and price competition will attract more buyers.

Also, this will apparently be Plastic Logic’s first and principal product, making the company a “pure play.” (See the company’s products page for links to video demos.) Their real aim is to get to market with a flexible screen, which has been the holy grail of e-paper—reusable electronic paper you can “roll up and put in your pocket.” The Cavendish substrate will have this capability in future editions.