Book and Reading News

Plastic Logic: And it shall be called “QUE”

"Call me 'Q'"
"Call me 'Q'"

Plastic Logic set the unveiling of its oft-discussed e-reader device at the Consumer Electronics Show on January 7, 2010. The device will be called QUE proReader. Interested readers can sign up for updates here. No word on whether the device name is an homage to the Star Trek character “Q,” which is how the press release explains “QUE” is pronounced, but I get the feeling John de Lancie may be on hand. He used to hang around Apple announcements in Vegas, too.

As we already know, the QUE proReader is aimed at business users and will emphasize portability of Microsoft Office and PDF documents as well as periodicals and books users can purchase from the Barnes & Noble online store. Connectivity includes Wi-Fi and AT&T wireless service.

For those of you eager for product porn, a few tantalizing details are added by the press release, as well as the side view of the product below. The 8.5-inch by 11-inch device will be “less than a 1/3 inch thick” and appears to be metal-backed with a black plastic frame on the “shatterproof” Plastic Logic E-Ink display. Que

The CES venue suggests that QUE will probably ship later in the Spring, as the event is the setting for summer and winter retail product promotions to retailers.

I’m wondering how many new e-reader devices can launch simultaneously without creating a glut in the marketplace. Pricing for the QUE proReader hasn’t been revealed, though it has been positioned as a premium product that isn’t likely to be deeply discounted. If, however, two dozen other e-readers hit the market within a few months, like the $400 iRex announced today, mark-downs are sure to be the order of the day.

It would be good to hear what Plastic Logic will consider a success in terms of units sold by December 31, 2010.

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