Sony's $1100 13.3" e-ink tablet is coming in May

Sony will release a new 13.3" e-ink tablet aimed at the professional market. While more and more people have gravitated towards a full color tablet due to its overall capabilities, Sony believes that there is still a segment that wants an alternative solution. Digital Paper is that solution with an improved approach to using e-ink on a tablet; Sony's Digital Paper is a tablet that allows users to read, write, and share their creations electronically. 

The large 13.3" display with a resolution of 1200x1600 allows documents to be presented in their natural form. By utilizing the large space, documents can be viewed natively (8.5" x 11") on the tablet without the need to zoom. The Digital Paper also has a touch-enabled surface that allows for easy menu selection or can be used to simply turn the page. Lastly, the included stylus can be used to write, erase, and highlight just like a standard paper document.

The unit has 4GB's of onboard storage with expandability via microSD. Sony is betting big that the professional segment will find Digital Paper as a useful tool and is targeting legal, higher education, governmental agencies and corporate boardrooms. 

The Digital Paper specifications: 

  • World’s thinnest, lightest body among devices with comparable screen sizes (approximately 9/32” and 12.6 oz.); slightly thicker than 30 sheets of paper
  • 13.3 inch (screen size measured diagonally) electronic paper display
  • High contrast display (1200 x 1600 dots), 16-level grayscale, incorporating “E Ink Mobius” technology from E Ink Corporation
  • No backlight enables text to be read clearly, even in bright sunlight
  • Built-in Wi-Fi functionality allows file sharing over a wireless network
  • Rechargeable thin lithium-ion battery – up to 3 weeks use on a single charge‚Äč
  • AC adapter or USB rechargeable (computer-based charging)
  • Storage – approximately 2,800 PDF files; internal memory of 4 GB coupled with micro SD card slot for additional storage
  • Touch panel (IR touch) compatible with electromagnetic induction-type touch pen input
  • Dimensions – Approximately 9 1/4” width by 12 1/4” height by 9/32” depth (thickness)
  • Weight – Approximately 12.6 ounces

The Sony Digital Paper will be available in May for $1100 at Worldox, if you are willing to splash that kind of cash on a device that has a narrow band of uses.

Source: Information Week via SonyImage via Sony

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19 Comments

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Sony has got to be on crack with this one. 1100 bucks? You can buy a better tablet that has much more functionality than this, I think if someone just wants to read something on a E-Ink reader they wouldnt want to spend a grand.

$110, sure, but $1100? Good luck with that. Crappy refresh rates make e-ink lousy for everything other than book reading, thus far -- though I love my kindle for that.

Hello,

This sounds like a good replacement for manuals in things like planes where space and weight are at a premium.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

I don't care much for colour on eink displays. I wish they could up they could up the refresh rate so that things like scrolling and pinch to zoom won't look so jarring.

Consumers may balk, but professionals in a great many fields would welcome this. If they can legitimize digital the same as paper more effectively, they'll really have something.

Eink is dead for the customer. Its 10 years too late. Unless we can see eink act like touch screen then I don't see it going anywhere beside small custom things.

It's dead if you want to use it like a tablet. E-Ink is perfect for reading, much better than any tablet could. This is only the beginning for E-Ink.

ACTIONpack said,
Eink is dead for the customer. Its 10 years too late. Unless we can see eink act like touch screen then I don't see it going anywhere beside small custom things.

If you think this is 10 years too late and not useful, I think you're not the target audience.

This tablet would be ideal for students (except for the price atm). Me and many others download pdf files of textbooks instead of dishing out literally hundreds for hard copies of them. It's still a bit tricky reading them on a tablet (e.g. Surface) but generally ok, but with E-Ink things will be so much better.