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Sony’s 13.3″ eReader to Ship in the US in May, Will Cost $1,100

When Sony1blue_box2-image[1] released their 13.3″ epaper writing slate in Japan in November, there was no indication that this 98,000 yen white elephant would ever see a wider release. Sony is well-known for releasing a product in single market, so I was surprised today when I learned that Sony had found a reseller partner who plans to release the Digital Paper DPT-S1 in the US later this year.

Worldox, a legal and financial document management company based in New Jersey, announced yesterday that they will be distributing the Sony Digital Paper DPT-S1 in North America in May. Worldox isn’t a retail distributor, so this device is unlikely to show up in stores, but business and institutional customers will be able to buy it direct from Worldox.

1blue_box3-imageAssuming, that is, that they would want to waste $1,100 on a device which only supports PDFs and cannot be used for any related office tasks.

The DPT-S1 has simply amazing hardware, including a flexible screen which is to die for, but it’s severely hindered by the limited software running on it.

In addition to Wifi, a touchscreen, stylus, 2.8GB Flash storage, and a microSD card slot, the DPT-S1 has a 13.3″ Mobius screen, with a screen resolution of 1,600 x 1,200. E-ink announced this flexible plastic-backed screen tech last year, and while it has shown up on a couple smartwatches and smartphone cases, the DPT-S1 is the first product to use the screen (the Earl back country tablet should ship with a 6″ version later this year).

1blue_box4-imageThanks to the new screen tech, the DPT-S1 is both lighter and more durable than most of its brethren. It weighs in at 358 grams, less than many tablets. This writing slate also has 2 touchscreens, one (optical) designed to work with touch and the other (active digitizer) intended to work with the stylus.

That is an amazing screen and touchscreen, but I can’t make similar statements about the software. According to the English-language product page, the DPT-S1 is just as limited as it was when it shipped in November. It only supports viewing, editing, and managing PDFs, but no other formats.

Just to give you an idea of how limited it is, the DPT-S1 doesn’t even have an email client. And no, you can’t install apps and add abilities.

With that in mind, I predict that Worldox isn’t going to sell very many, and that’s probably a good thing. Buying $1,100 worth of tablets presents a much better return on your money.

But oh, how I want one.





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Javi March 27, 2014 um 12:21 pm

This devide with color screen and a better software would be perfect.

aa March 27, 2014 um 4:06 pm

A screen with such a low pixel density does not excite me, considering that you will use it in close distance to the eye. Sony should have chosen at least 200 dpi for such a device. Anybody willing to pay more than 1000 USD would probably be happy to pay 500 more for a decent device. Instead, this scrap is thrown into the world.

Void March 27, 2014 um 4:21 pm

This is obviously a proof of concept that they decided to sell to get so me small return on the R&D money. Hopefully it will lead to a more useful and usable device actually designed for real use in the near future.

Walker N. Picker March 28, 2014 um 8:48 am

What do you mean "cannot be used for any related office tasks"? Isn’t marking up PDFs an office task?

Whateveragain March 28, 2014 um 10:06 am

PDF only support is dumb. Sony is stupid. It’s interesting to see how such large companies can make such obviously terrible decision. The blame must lie with management. It’s like B&N I suppose. **** floats to the top.

go March 28, 2014 um 3:46 pm

I’ll repost the comment I made over at liliputing: the device should be dumbed down. "Wait what?" some might say, wasn’t the problem that it only could process pdf files. Well, exactly. The problem is that it tries to natively process the files. That is not needed since I have a much better processor in my pocket already: a smartphone. With low energy bluetooth support. All I need from the device is a large eink screen, a chip with bluetooth that takes whatever image the phone sends and displays it. Chromecast for eink, sort of. But it also has to detect raw touch input and send it back to the smartphone, for processing.

aa March 28, 2014 um 9:16 pm

So you basically want a less powerful CPU and less RAM and less storage space. That might cut Sony’s manufacturing costs fifty dollars down but probably would not affect the company’s desire to charge a premium price. The real problem is that the device with its current specs is simply lousy and an affront to people who yearn for a decent working device with a large epaper display.

Go March 29, 2014 um 3:08 am

What is nowadays the manufacturing cost of a large size (A4) rink screen, similar to Kindle papwrwhite in quality? Isn’t that technology mature by now? It wouldn’t have to be flexible. A dumb such screen that takes input from a smartphone would be a smak hit if priced right. I’m puzzlef why there are so few larger size when so many of us spend our days reading and handling black and white text documents in that format already.

Curtis Broderick May 4, 2014 um 5:58 am

Hmmm… chromecast for e-ink? Excellent idea. One spends so much time reading text with accompanying images, and the scrolling and panning (even on my large Samsung Note) just does not cut it. There is a reason humans prefer that nice big A4 paper size.
OK, that is the "dumb" terminal end of the spectrum. On the smart end of the spectrum, is it so difficult to throw on Android? C’mon, where is the logic in a machine that can only run one application? I agree with aa, the current software specs are lousy. The hardware specs are acceptable, and the screen specs impressive even if the dpi value is on the low side. You have a great general purpose A4 tablet waiting for hundreds of uses. Why waste it on one single application?

Ashish November 18, 2014 um 8:39 am

Go and design something like that than just criticizing one’s work. Look at the bright side of it. Its battery lasts long, display doesn’t affect eyes and it’s full size 13.3 inch. You don’t have to resize the display in an awkward looking layout to read PDFs containing tables and stuffs.
P.S. Please, let me know if you did make something like that. My email is [email protected].

lesehest March 31, 2014 um 12:33 am

The english language user guides are online now, can be found here: and

Nate Hoffelder March 31, 2014 um 7:39 am

Yep. They were available from the page I linked it.

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Tom October 1, 2014 um 5:43 am

It would be perfect for my use. I’m a classical musician and will buy one or two to hold thousands of scores for practice and use in concerts when I travel.

Carlos October 22, 2014 um 10:03 am

Double the size, double the price, not six times more!

Chris Harries January 2, 2015 um 7:49 pm

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pc tablet June 16, 2020 um 5:09 am

this device so expensive just for a digital paper reader

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