The Pocketbook CAD Reader, that Android tablet with a 13.3″ screen, was present at CES in name only. Due to an unfinished firmware this device was restricted to only playing a slideshow but couldn’t do anything like load apps, display blueprints (its raison d’etre), or browse the web.
But even so, I got a chance to play with this tablet and I was surprised. It was much lighter than any of the tablets with a similar sized LCD screen (I’ve seen a couple here at CES 2014) and it was much lighter than any other mobile device that large. The shell was featureless aside from the power button and USB port (for charging, obviously) so don’t worry about not seeing the back or sides; there’s nothing worth seeing.
The laptop in the gallery below is my Lenovo U410; it has a 13.3″ screen. Yes, the CAD Reader really is that big.
The Pocketbook CAD Reader is the second device to launch with a 13.3″ E-ink screen. Along with the Sony DPT -S1, the CAD Reader is one of the 2 largest consumer devices to use an E-ink screen (though there is some signage that is larger).
The CAD Reader has a 13.3? screen with a resolution of 1600 x 1200, but rather than use the flexible Mobius E-ink screen (found in the Sony DPT-1) the CAD Reader instead uses the new. This screen tech replaces the plastic backplane with a glass backplane similar to the one used in 6? E-ink screens. According to the launch press release, the PocketBook CAD Reader is going to be running Android 4.0 Jelly Bean on a dual-core 1 GHz CPU with 2 GB RAM, 16 GB Flash storage, and an 8Ah battery.
It’s expected to launch first in Russia, but based on the English language promo video I would say Pocketbook is eager to launch in the US and other markets. I have no specific details on the launch date, but if the software isn’t done then it’s clear that the launch won’t be happening anytime soon.