A few weeks back I brought you news of PlasticLogic and their new Russian ebook reader, and today I can finally show you what it looks like. Unfortunately, it's rather boring looking.
Update: There's a hands-on video at the end of the post.
The PlasticLogic 100 is going to be used in a pilot program in 4 Russian schools. It's based on a 10" capacitive touchscreen, and it's running WindowsCE on an 800MHz CPU. It comes with 4GB Flash storage, but there's no mention of wifi, a camera, or a card slot. This really is a limited device.
The screen was developed by PlasticLogic and it's based on their proprietary technology.This 10" model has a resolution of 1280 x 960. It's low-power and based on a flexible plastic substrate. Hopefully that means that it will be durable enough to survive children.
It's scheduled to hit Russian store shelves I'm told that the Russian Ministry of Education will be buying them for $400 each, as had been quoted previously. There's no word on when or if this will ever be available in the US.with a retail of around $800, but
I have to say that this is rather disappointing. The listed specs fall far short of any other $800 tablet on the market. To be honest, I think an iPad would be a better value. Even if you factor in the insurance cost, I bet it will cost less.
Do you know something that bothers me? All these schools wasting money on expensive screen tech. This is an $800 device because the screen is ridiculously expensive. Ideally, an epaper screen like PlasticLogic 100 will increase battery life and improve outside readability, but will that really matter in a school?
Probably not. Any school that has the infrastructure to support an ereader will probably also have enough outlets to keep the devices charged. And how often do you expect the students to take their devices outside? That will be rare, I bet, and I don't think it justifies the extra cost.