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Going to upgrade your Kindle with a Plastic Logic? May 27, 2009

Posted by stewsutton in D7 All Things Digital.
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Plastic-LogicWas at the “demo booth” checking out the new “business-focused” eReader device from Plastic Logic (see the earlier post for details).  Martha Stewart was there also.  “Are you looking for a Kindle upgrade?” I asked.  No, actually I want to talk to them about putting my magazine on that device.

Looks like the “business-focused” eReader device is also going to be a hit with the consumer market also.

After playing around with the “beta” device I have the following observations:

  1. The screen quality is similar to the 1st generation Kindle but it is much larger
  2. The delay between operations is quite slow (slower than the original Kindle) but that is because this is a prototype and the software and hardware are not yet optimized (so says the developer)
  3. The ability to annotate with a software keyboard (that is a pretty good size) is available in the form of “notes”
  4. You can also draw annotations onto the screen with “digital ink”
  5. Another form of annotation is the “stamps” pallet that allows you to place arrows, stars, or other simply drawn graphical symbols onto the screen
  6. The unit will doc to your computer with a USB interface
  7. The unit will also have a “WiFi” connector for network connection to an e-commerce store for content
  8. The unit imports content while respecting the original pagination of that content (it does not “reflow” content unless you make a change to “font size” and that is only on “text-only” content
  9. The unit will import PDF, Word, PowerPoint, RTF, and other common formats.
  10. The device will be priced in the neighborhood (estimated) of around $500

The developer seemed to be eagar to incorporate the healthy stream of suggestions coming from those playing with the demo units.  Looking forward to the first production later in the year.

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Martha Stewart on Laptops May 27, 2009

Posted by stewsutton in D7 All Things Digital.
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martha-stewartI was having a nice cup of tea and looking at the new HP netbooks (they are thin and quite colorful) when Martha Stewart walked up to the counter and we began to chat.

Martha: Why don’t the manufacturers cover laptops like this with a surface that shows a little quality and style? What about fo-leather or other type surface.

Stew:  I got a leather cover for my little Sony VIAO here.  See… (I pull out the laptop from my “man purse”)…

Martha:  That’s nice.  Why does it wrap around in such a strange way around the back of the unit?

Stew:  Oh, that’s my big battery.  The cool leather case is not big enough to nicely wrap around that bigger battery.

Marltha:  Sort of messes up the entire look don’t you think?

Stew: Yes.  But there are worse cases out there.  Like the sort of cases that come with products like the Amazon Kindle

Martha:  Oh don’t get me started.

Stew: You have a kindle?

Martha: Right here (pulls it out of her “girl purse”)

Stew: Oh the new model

Martha: Yes, but look at this “huge” case.  It’s just so big!  Can’t they make it form fit around the device?  I mean, you open it up and inside you have this really sleek but fragile device.  Then you wrap it with this cover that gets in the way and does not look very good either.

Stew: I agree. But it’s an improvement over the version-1 case.

Martha: A big improvement, but still needs a lot of work

Stew: The first case was “free” but this case is something that you have to buy.  It’s an extra.

Martha:  So what do you think of this little laptop here?

Stew: Rather bright colors don’t you think.

Martha:  That case is…  You know what… (she opens the case and looks around the unit – opening and closing the screen top to see from every angle) – I don’t like this… I would not buy one of these in a million years!

There you have it!  For those that want to use this quote (or put a different spin on it) you can say that you carry a laptop (a netbook) that Martha Stewart would never own in a million years.