When Sony 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.
Assuming, 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).
Thanks 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.