A new professional level e-reader from Sony has been announced, called Digital Paper. The Digital Paper has a generous 13.3 inch display which is able to show full-screen views of letter-sized documents. Suprisingly, it only reads PDF format files, no EPUB or Mobipocket support and, predictably, no Kindle file support.
Of course, the big screen is probably the main selling point, as it gets rid of the need to zoom or scroll when reading a page. The Digital Paper reader gives you access to the context of a whole page, and it’s sharp, easy-to-read text and graphics are touted to be almost indistinguishable from printed documents or full-size notepads.
Is there really a market for this thing? You could get almost as good readability from a big tablet like the Galaxy Note Pro 12, with way more functionality.
New E-reader Niche?
The e-reader is intended to help organizations reduce or abolish time-consuming and costly processes like printing, copying, sharing, transporting and discarding paper corporate documentation, teaching materials, and reports.
Research firm InfoTrends reports that as recently as 2011, local, state and federal offices used 122 billion sheets of paper per year. That is equal to roughly 400 sheets for every person in the United States. Maybe Sony is onto something here after all.
Instead of printing out all those documents for meetings, classes, technical bulletins and lectures, they can be converted to PDF files, uploaded to a server, and distributed over a wireless network to the Digital Paper devices of colleagues or students in multiple locations.
Obviously the time savings has the potential of making meetings and classwork more efficient. Individual users have the capability to access the server and easily search for documentation, and even upload handwritten memos to individual folders on the server.
Legal Profession Applications
Worldox, which serves more than 5,500 law firms, financial institutions, and other enterprises, is currently integrating Digital Paper with its Document Management Solution. The intent is to allow legal and other professionals to easily and securely access documents, upload handwritten notes and annotated documents, and share with other individuals or groups.
The Sony Digital Paper e-reader has a very thin, light body for its screen size, coming in at 12.6 oz and about 9/32” thin, which is slightly thicker than 30 sheets of paper.
The 13.3 inch non backlit display has a resolution of 1200 x 1600 dots, 16-level grayscale, and uses the E Ink Mobius technology.
Other features include built-in Wi-Fi, a rechargeable thin lithium-ion battery that is claimed to get up to 3 weeks use on a single charge, 4 GB memory (approximately 2,800 PDF files), micro SD card slot for additional storage and an IR touch panel compatible with electromagnetic induction-type touch pen input.
Sony’s suggested list price will be $1,100; the device is planned for release in May.