Amazon may have started the craze
, but nowadays it feels like anyone
is dabbling in the e-reader game. With the sector still blooming, companies are seemingly erupting from left field in order to toss their own Kindle rival
into the ring, and one of the most promising we've seen is being crafted courtesy of Plastic Logic. The aforesaid company has been toiling away on its own reader for years now, and with "early 2010" just around the bend, it seems the ship date that digital bookworms have been yearning for is finally within sight.
Just today, Plastic Logic has both confirmed the rumored time table and delivered the news that its 3G-equipped reader will be able to download new books and material via AT&T's network. If you'll recall, Amazon managed to include unlimited EV-DO on Sprint's network for its Kindle, and when launched, Plastic Logic's simply-titled 'Reader' will be the first in America to use AT&T's GSM network. From the tests we've seen, AT&T's 3G network is as speedy, if not the most speedy around, but finding 3G spots is pretty difficult. Still, AT&T's EDGE (2G) network is pretty expansive, so we figure downloads should go well just about anyway--they just may be slower than expected if not near a city center.
The company also took this opportunity to clarify a few other specifications. For starters, the entire Reader is about the size of a standard 8.5" x 11" pad of paper, less than 0.25" thick and lighter than most print magazines. According to the company, it features "the largest screen in the industry and an intuitive touch screen user interface." The unit will also feature Wi-Fi, so if you're within range of a hotspot (like at Starbucks), you'll be able to surf the book store and download new titles in a flash. Also of note, this Reader will differ from most competitors by sporting a plastic screen, which uses E Ink and should last days rather than just hours. It even supports Word, PDF, PowerPoint and Excel documents. Richard Archuleta, CEO of Plastic Logic, had this to say about the newfound partnership:
"We're extremely proud to be able to offer the Plastic Logic Reader with the nation's fastest 3G network through AT&T. This alliance is a pillar in our strategy to provide mobile business professionals with a device that delivers a great reading experience, and is fully connected through 3G and Wi-Fi to deliver easy access to digital content."
The company still maintains that pricing and availability of the Plastic Logic Reader will be announced when the product begins shipping in early 2010.