The Plastic Logic Reader appears to be a marked improvement on the current set of electronic books, with a large flat display measuring 8.5 x 11in making it suitable for reading A4-sized documents. Despite this large display, the device is just a few millimetres thick and has a much more stylish form factor than eReaders on the market today.
The technology behind the new display is an organic material developed by Cambridge University Cavendish Laboratory, and $200m of development funding looks set to bring the new display to market in 2010.
Plastic Logic's display replaces traditional glass silicon with a plastic substrate that enables it to be much thinner than other eReaders on the market.
We used a demonstration model of the technology and it certainly had a much higher visual quality than the range of eReaders we've tested recently.
The plastic substrate technology behind the display has a wide range of uses. We caught up with one of Plastic Logic's partners, Betty Taylor, who told us: "The organic plastic display is physically flexible, you can wrap it round products. It's a whole new manufacturing process and we're building a high-volume manufacturing facility in Dresden, Germany."
While eReader technology has hit the high street this year, thanks to products such as Sony's Reader, the BeBook and Amazon's Kindle, it's fair to say that the first generation of these devices has left much to be desired. With their small screens, chunky designs and old-fashioned aesthetics, eReaders haven't yet had the visual flair to appear to a mass market obsessed with iPods and Netbooks. But Plastic Logic may change that with this new product.
The Plastic Logic eReader is set to go on sale in 2010 and no price has been announced yet.