Trendwatch: 2010 will be the year of new e-readers

Click to follow
The Independent Tech

2010 is shaping up to be the year of the e-readers, with new and established companies pouring money into eReader research and development in order to produce the latest and greatest electronic reader for the quickly developing market.

European-based electronics company, Plastic Logic, will release its first product in 2010 -- and mark their entrance into the e-reader market with the unveiling of a new device tailored to the needs of business users. The slim, 3G-connected e-reader hopes to provide users with the "most significant collection of business reading available on any eReader."

On October 19, Plastic Logic announced they would show their "proReader" to the public at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show that will be held in Las Vegas on January 7, 2010.

The 8.5 x 11 inch QUE diverges from the mostly leisure-centric e-readers available in today's market, offering its users the ability to read PDF, Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents as well as providing them with many other business-centric features. Users will also be able to interact and manage content on the device using the "largest touchscreen in the industry."

"The QUE brand stands for a premium reading experience," said Richard Archuleta, CEO of Plastic Logic. "The QUE proReader enhances business performance and gives you a competitive edge. More than an e-reader, QUE means business."

The QUE will enter into a market that is quickly filling with new devices. Amazon's Kindle is widely believed to be the current market leader with access to around 350,000 English-language books. An international version of the wireless Kindle device went on sale on October 19 in over 100 countries worldwide -- with more to follow. Sony's range of touchscreen and pocket-sized devices follows closely behind.

Newer companies such as IREX and Polymer Vision are experimenting with advanced technologies for their upcoming entries into the market -- such as roll-out screens and touch sensitive screens.

Barnes & Noble's hotly anticipated e-reader was revealed on October 20. The first to allow readers to lend books to their friends, The device sports both a main black & white e-ink screen and a smaller 6-inch color touchscreen underneath and offers consumers the option of a 3G or WiFi connection for eBook downloads from the available collection of over one million titles. The e-reader will go on sale at the end of November for $259.

Apple and Microsoft are both rumored to be working on tablet devices that will target the eReading market while offering multimedia and compact computing functionality. Both devices are tipped to be released sometime within 2010.

QUE availability and pricing will be announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on January 7, 2010.