The growing popularity of ebook readers, especially Sony’s Reader and Amazon’s Kindle, shows that a larger number of consumers than ever is willing, at least in part, to trade the paperback in for a digital reading experience that saves on numerous trees being cut down for printing of pages. The ebook reader could also prove to be a boon for the failing publishing industry, as newspapers and magazines seek new avenues to keep readers paying for content.
One ebook reader being singled out this week at the Consumer Electronics Show as targeting consumers seeking to read newspapers and magazines in a quasi-traditional looking format on a digital screen is the new Skiff Reader. This device sports an 11.5-inch e-paper display, making it the largest screen size ebook reader to date. It is also extremely thin, measuring just 0.268 inches in thickness.
The highlight feature of the Skiff and its touchscreen display is the ability to wirelessly access over a cellular network, much like the Kindle, an online store which hosts a variety of reading content available for purchase. The 3G connectivity for the Skiff to access this downloadable material is being provided by Sprint and will allow one to wirelessly purchase and access a wide variety of newspapers, magazines, books, blogs and other content from multiple publishers.
This content, particularly the newspaper and magazine content, is said to “feature visually appealing layouts, high-resolution graphics, rich typography and dynamic updates.” Looking at the New York Times on the Skiff for example, will look in some ways just like you are actually browsing the newspaper – albeit in a digital format.
Other key features of the Skiff will include the ability to load and access personal and work documents, a rechargeable battery which lasts on average up to a week between charges, a first-of-its-kind non-glass display, wireless connectivity via WiFi, 4 GB of internal memory which can be expanded and a weight just under 18 ounces. Specific pricing and availability are set to be announced later.