Sony unveils new Digital Paper office-based tablet
Sony has unveiled a new office-orientated tablet which utilizes the E-Ink display to mimic a piece of A4 paper. The electronics giant believes that its Digital Paper will be an instant hit with professionals who are often overwhelmed by the sheer mass of physical paper thrown on their desks each day.
The Digital Paper tablet is being targeted at desk-bound professionals such as lawyers and government officials, offering them a rare chance to streamline an office setting which, in most instances, is still a paper-based environment. The device will be able to convert Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel files into PDF format, and with its USB and Wi-Fi connectivity, said files can be easily shared with colleagues, expediting the work process.
Bob Nell, director of Digital Paper Solutions of Sony Electronics, stated that, "This is a true replacement for the vast amounts of paper that continue to clutter many offices and institutions." He went on to espouse the virtues of the new tablet saying, "It is very easy to use and optimized for reading and annotating contracts, white papers, scholarly articles and legislation."
The Wi-Fi-enabled tablet has 9.25 x 12.25 x 0.28 in (23.5 x 31 x 0.71 cm) dimensions, and weighs in at around 12.6 oz (357 g). The Digital Paper boasts a 13.3 inch E-Ink Mobius screen, which will allow users to annotate a document whilst resting their hand on the tablet, encouraging a natural writing style. The tablet hosts 4 GB of internal storage and features a microSD card slot for additional storage.
The Digital Paper tablet offers a display resolution of 1200 x 1600 dots and runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which Sony says will last for three weeks without charging. Overall the device promises to be one of the world's slimmest and lightest tablets when competing with those of a similar screen real estate, while being only as thick as 30 sheets of A4 paper.
The new office buddy is due to be available in May, initially through select Worldox agents, and has been given a suggested price tag of $1,100.
Product page: DPTS1 Digital Paper
Please keep comments to less than 150 words. No abusive material or spam will be published.
Apart from the price being a bit steep, especially when one considers the price of a Kindle and the like.
I imagine these could prove very useful in achieving the world's seemingly endless quest for offices to become paperless. However, their introduction will require a disciplined approach to backing up all important correspondence. Otherwise hackers and virus writers could have a field day wiping clean vast swathes of vital data.
Regarding backup, I wonder if micro SD cards aren't physically too small for office use as they can be easily lost. Even the full size ones are rather small. (Once again we are forced to accept that size matters!) Perhaps Sony might like to take the opportunity to develop a system for storing actual SD cards for back up purposes, together with a sensible indexing system, of course, which could be tied to built in software (the opportunities are legion).
At first glance I like this device very much; it's what I've been waiting for, an e-reader in A4/Letter format. You can read structured documents with illustrations on it; Kindle-sized e-readers are nearly useless for anything other than novels or other text-only paperbacks. And you can even annotate.
But it has several very serious shortcomings; outrageous price, first of all. This thing costs as much as a decent notebook, but is vastly less capable. I suppose Sony is pitching it at corps, not the common man, and they are gouging accordingly.
Second, there is no mention of it accepting normal e-reader formats; and I've learned from experience that if they don't mention a feature, the product definitely doesn't have it. Also, I hear weasel words in the wording: ". . . will be able to convert [office docs] into PDF. . ." By the same logic as above, this actually means: "will not be able to display them in native format".
Third, there is no mention of any sort of backlight or similar feature for reading in the dark; and if they don't mention . . . you get the idea.
So, I will skip for now, and wait until Amazon releases a large-format Kindle again.
It does seem though from what I read on Sony's site that it's Letter for North American use only and not A4 for the rest of the world. They have a Facebook page, but aren't responding to questions from non-Americans.