Skiff Reader Solves Apple Tablet Problems

The Skiff Reader is a new e-book reader just announced by Sprint and Skiff. The device's screen is 11.5 inches diagonally and the device is just .25 inches thick, weighing just one pound.


(Skiff Reader)

The Skiff Reader, the initial dedicated device to integrate the upcoming Skiff e-reading service, is remarkably sleek and easy to use. At just over a quarter-inch in overall thickness, the device is the thinnest e-reader announced to date. It features the largest and highest-resolution electronic-paper display yet unveiled in a consumer device, at 11.5″ in size (measured diagonally) and a resolution of 1200 x 1600 pixels (UXGA). A full touchscreen enables users to intuitively navigate and engage with the newspapers, magazines, books and other digital content they purchase through the Skiff Store, as well as personal and work documents. The device weighs just over one pound and lasts over a week of average use between charges.

“The Skiff Reader’s big screen will showcase print media in compelling new ways,” said Gilbert Fuchsberg, president of Skiff, LLC. “This is consistent with Skiff’s focus on delivering enhanced reading experiences that engage consumers, publishers and advertisers.”

The Skiff Reader is designed not just for sleekness but also for durability. It is the first consumer product to feature the next-generation of e-paper display – one based on a thin, flexible sheet of stainless-steel foil. This contrasts with the fragile glass that is the foundation of almost every electronic screen – and a primary source of vulnerability and breakage risk in the devices that incorporate them. Skiff has worked closely with LG Display (NYSE: LPL), one of the world’s leading display manufacturers and the innovator of the foil-display technology, to optimize and implement this first-of-its-kind non-glass display uniquely for the Skiff Reader.


(Skiff Reader flexibility)

Skiff has signed a multi-year agreement with Sprint (NYSE:S) to provide 3G connectivity for Skiff’s dedicated e-reading devices in the United States. Plans are underway to have the Skiff Reader available for purchase later this year in more than 1,000 Sprint retail locations across the U.S.

Since the Apple table computer has not been announced yet, I guess I'm going out on a limb by predicting its problems, but here goes. If the Apple tablet is in color and plays full-screen videos (possibly HD), it's going to weigh at least three pounds, be fairly thick and get pretty hot in places. Try holding up a MacBook Air in front of you for five minutes and see what I mean.

Update: The iPad has been announced and shown (but not purchased yet), and here are the official specs. It weighs just 1.5 pounds, but you'll note that Steve Jobs never held it out in front of himself; he was alway pictured reclining, with the iPad on his knee. Also, Apple has made two accessories available immediately, and they are both add-ons that prop it up. I'm still wondering how it handles heat, but I'll guess we'll soon find out. Not that I'd mind having one myself...

End update.

The Skiff Reader, on the other hand, will weigh a lot less, is thin like a magazine or newspaper section, and won't ever get hot.

SF fans may find themselves thinking of devices like Clarke's newspad, or Vernor Vinge's browser paper

This family was effectively illiterate. Sure, Miri bragged that many books were visible any time you wanted to see them, but that was a half truth. The browser paper that Reed had given him could be used to find books online, but reading them on that single piece of foolscap was a tedious desecration.

From Skiff press release.

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