We're at Plastic Logic's CES press event, where they're at last showing off the finalized, market-ready QUE e-reader. The idea is to create a whole "new" device type for business professionals. There's a fullscreen touchscreen interface, with no touchscreen, and the device can work with email, calendar (including Outlook support) and other information outside of documents. "We're not just developing an e-reader, we're developing a complete solution space." The device design was based on the look of black and white print, and wanted to avoid metal in materials to drive home the "plastic" element. It's supposed to look like a glass container with ink. The only physical button on the frame the home button on the top right corner. The device controls with taps but also gestures. You can "swipe" through calendar days, for instance, and screen refreshes look very fast. The device can view and annotate Powerpoint, Word, Excel and PDF documents. You can create your own pre-defined searches for sorting devices, and the interface looks closer to an AJAXY website than an e-reader. With a finger you can draw directly on the screen for annotations, but while there's a touchscreen keyboard for annotations, it looks slow as sin. As previously announced, the device uses the Barnes & Noble web and device-based e-book store for a business-target selection of titles (and regular books as well), and B&N claims the QUE is a complementary and differentiated product from its own Nook -- and it's hard to disagree.

One surprise of the presser is the new truVue format for publications that Plastic Logic supports. The standard was developed in conjunction with Adobe, and it preserves some of the style and layout (though certainly not all) of a print publication, with publishers such as Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Huffington Post, Thompson Reuters and more on board.. To get documents onto the device you can print to a "QUE it" printer, as well as drag and drop documents to a "QUE it" droplet on the desktop for automagical document transfers. There's also a QUE application for the BlackBerry, which can bump any email or attachment from the BlackBerry to the QUE over Bluetooth. QUE has partnered with Good for "QUE Mail" and "QUE Calendar," with support for Exchange, Gmail, Windows Live and other email accounts. The device has Bluetooth, WiFi and 3G under the hood, with AT&T providing the wireless data.

The proReader ships in mid-April, with pre-orders starting today. The 4GB model without 3G goes for $649, while the 8GB model retails with the AT&T onboard is $799. Wowsa. Naturally, this is just the start for Plastic Logic, and we should be seeing plenty more devices from the company, and PL also promises to extend the functionality of the proReader on an ongoing basis. There's full PR after the break.
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Plastic Logic QUE proReader press shots




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Introducing the QUE™ proReader by Plastic Logic

More than an eReader, QUE is uniquely designed as an essential tool to lighten the workload of mobile professionals

Sleek industrial design, intuitive user interface, powerful applications and QUE Store define a premium business reading experience

2010 International CES
LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Plastic Logic today unveiled QUE™ (pronounced "Q"), the world's first proReader. More than an eReader, QUE is designed specifically to provide a premium reading experience and access to content anywhere anytime, while simplifying the multi-faceted lifestyle of business professionals –and to literally lighten their workload.

"The QUE proReader was built from the ground up for people who need to read. Starting today, mobile professionals can look forward to a paperless briefcase, a lighter load, and a better way to work."

With its sleek 8.5 x 11 inch form factor, crisp large touchscreen display, intuitive user interface and powerful tools, QUE stands out in the crowd. QUE is currently on display at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (Central Hall of Las Vegas Convention Center at Booth 11840 anchoring the e-Book Techzone).

"Today we are introducing two major advancements: the birth of a new market category, the proReader, and a milestone in the evolution of plastic electronics," said Richard Archuleta, CEO of Plastic Logic. "The QUE proReader was built from the ground up for people who need to read. Starting today, mobile professionals can look forward to a paperless briefcase, a lighter load, and a better way to work."

Like paper, only better

The inspiration for QUE was an age-old but perfect business tool: a simple sheet of paper. QUE was designed to have the benefits of paper, but without the weight and clutter. Just like paper, QUE is easy to hold and feels good in your hands. But it's easier to search and find exactly what you're looking for.

The size of a pad of paper, about 1/3 inch thick, and weighing less than many periodicals (about a pound), QUE features a 10.7-inch shatterproof plastic display - the largest display in the market.

Exclusive plastic display technology

The patented plastic display technology in QUE has been 10 years in development, since Plastic Logic's founding by researchers from the renowned University of Cambridge (UK) Cavendish Labs. The unique plastic displays are produced in Plastic Logic's world-first commercial scale plastic electronics manufacturing facility in Dresden, Germany. Combined with E Ink Vizplex® technology, this produces an outstanding reading experience that looks and reads just like paper, even in direct sunlight.

QUE design: A celebration of black and white

Designed through a unique collaboration between Plastic Logic and IDEO, the QUE design was inspired by black and white print-a communications standard that is both classic and timeless. In addition to being the easiest to read, black and white is often the most visually striking combination.

"We wanted to highlight the optical qualities of plastic," said IDEO's Caroline Flagiello, who serves as Plastic Logic's acting creative director. "Think of pools of black ink captured in a glass inkwell against a crisp sheet of white linen paper."

Plastic Logic created QUE to feel as natural in your hand as a pad of paper, while conveying the level of premium quality craftsmanship of a fine pen. Its proprietary user interface is as intuitive and easy as paper and ink.

The simple, but powerful QUE user interface is uniquely designed for functionality in the day-to-day world of the business professional. Its signature home view provides your appointments for the day and all of the information you need, including a customized view of your content – your daily newspaper, magazines, and other essential materials – as well as immediate access to the QUE Store to get what you need, whenever you need it.

All your content, all the time

Designed for more than good looks, QUE provides instant access to the content busy professionals need at their fingertips all day long – all their content anywhere any time: Read a newspaper over morning coffee. Review your appointments imported from Outlook. Have every document you need when you need it. And at the end of the day, relax with a good book.

In addition to highly valued business and professional newspapers, periodicals and eBooks, QUE supports reading and annotating document formats business users need (including PDF files, Microsoft Office, ePub documents and more). With the QUE software, it's easy to quickly transfer content from your PC, Mac® computer or BlackBerry® smartphone to your QUE. The standard 4GB QUE model can hold up to 35,000 documents or the equivalent of up to 35 filing cabinets worth of documents. If your paper-laden briefcase and file cabinets are bulging at the seams, the 8GB model holds up to 75,000 documents or the equivalent of the contents of up to 75 filing cabinetsi.

Powerful tools for interacting with your content

Storage means nothing if you can't easily access your documents. Thanks to its proprietary touchscreen interface, QUE makes it simple to find reports, spreadsheets and presentations with just a few taps of a finger. And QUE is always on when you need it: its battery can last days, instead of hours.

QUE has integrated reviewing tools and features that maximize efficiency. Add a note and use the virtual keyboard to include your comments, highlight text, scribble free form, and even add a stamp to emphasize a point. No stylus needed. And if that massive spreadsheet with the tiny font is too small, just zoom in for a close-up view. With QUE, it's easy to instantly go back and forth between documents.

Wireless access to leading publications, professional content on the QUE Store

The QUE Store offers a rich collection of reading material especially geared to the business professional. QUE users will be able to connect to fresh content on-the-go, on the QUE Store: to search, purchase and download wirelessly via Wi-Fi and AT&T's 3G networkii.

Powered by Barnes & Noble, the QUE Store offers instant access to the world's largest eBookstore in addition to many business and professional newspapers, books and periodicals. Additionally, Plastic Logic is partnering with Olive Software and premier publishers to give QUE users a richer content and reading experience that is optimized for QUE.

Today, Plastic Logic is announcing new content partnerships with some of the leading business, news and sports publishers and publications, including news publications from the Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, the San Jose Mercury News, the Contra Costa Times, the Oakland Tribune, the Huffington Post and The Sporting News Today, along with magazines from Barron's, Fast Company and Forbes.

These publications join previously announced strategic partnerships with USA TODAY, the Financial Times, the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News, MIT's Technology Review, Popular Science, and IDG publication titles, including Macworld, PC World, CIO, Network World, and Computerworld. Rounding out the QUE Store are major web publications and scores of other magazines and newspapers available on http://www.QUE.com.

Publications on the QUE Store are available ranging from one-time use to ongoing subscriptions.

EXCLUSIVE: QUE truVue - Setting the standard for eNewspapers

The QUE proReader enables newspapers, magazines, and other types of content to have a richer reading experience that is symbolic of their print editions, complete with photos and formatting. The QUE truVue standard, enabled by the Adobe® Reader® Mobile SDK, provides the familiar look and feel of print publications, and makes eReading easier and more enjoyable.

"Since our inception 27 years ago, USA TODAY has offered a reading experience that millions of people rely on and enjoy, so it's really exciting that there is an eReader platform that delivers our content the way it's supposed to look and feel," said Dave Hunke, president and publisher of USA TODAY.

"Forbes has always been at the forefront of embracing and adopting new media and new platforms; eReaders represent that next generation platform to deliver our content," said Nina La France, vice president consumer marketing for Forbes. "The QUE proReader caters to our audience: people who are busy, active, mobile, time-starved, and consume content at a great clip. The proReader gives them the full content experience and new capabilities to stay ahead."

The QUE starts here

Beginning today, preorders for the QUE proReader may be placed at the QUE Store (http://www.QUE.com). Beginning in mid-April 2010, QUE will be available for shipping. Later in 2010, QUE will be available through the Barnes & Noble stores nationwide and online at Barnes & Noble.com (http://www.bn.com).

The price for QUE will range from $649.00 for the 4GB QUE model with WiFi that holds up to 35,000 documents, to $799.00 for the 8GB QUE model with WiFi and 3G that holds up to 75,000 documents.

To complement its iconic look and profile, Plastic Logic has also designed an entire line of QUE premium accessories, including three carrying cases to match any busy lifestyle. In addition to their classic elegance, the cases protect your QUE from dust, scratches and everyday wear and tear. QUE accessories are available on the QUE Store at http://www.QUE.com.

Additional information, including high-resolution product images, is available at http://www.plasticlogic.com/news/QUE/presskit.html