Plastic Logic Brings E-Newspaper Closer to Your Doorstep

Driven by the same E-Ink technology that powers Sony’s eReader and Amazon’s Kindle, Mountain View California’s Plastic Logic will soon release a large-screen reader designed to carry your daily newspaper, according to Eric A. Taub in the New York Times. The screen will be twice the size of the eReader and Kindle and just about the same weight but two thirds thinner.

You’ll be able to buy it in summer of 2009, but the economics of newspaper subscription haven’t been worked out. It could be far more expensive than subscription to the paper version, not even counting the cost of the device itself. In time we may see the newspaper equivalent of Gillette’s “Give away the razor and sell the blades,” but too much remains to be settled about technology, economics, psychology and customs before the next generation is as comfortable with downloading newspapers as today’s aging populace is with ink on newsprint. But with magazines and newspapers dying, the lure of huge savings on downloads may prove overwhelmingly tempting. Though European culture may not be an accurate guide, the iRex’a iLiad newspaper and magazine reader may show us how an Old World society can adapt to a completely new way of reading the daily news.

The Plastic Logic reader (it doesn’t have a name yet – you got any suggestions?) also brings us a little closer to the tablet-sized device that will inevitably revolutionize the classroom.

– Richard Curtis

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