By Harry McCracken | Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 8:09 pm
When I first saw Plastic Logic’s big touchscreen e-reader aimed at businesspeople back at the DEMO conference last fall, I was impressed. When I saw it again at CES in January, I remained impressed. Today, the company’s founders showed off their brainchild yet again at another major launchpad for new tech gadgets, the Wall Street Journal’s D conference. If I was there, I’d probably be impressed all over again. But also maybe a little impatient.
When Plastic Logic first appeared in September, it was strikingly different than Amazon’s Kindle: larger and more corporate, with built-in tools for reading office documents. Then Amazon announced its Kindle DX earlier this month–a Kindle variant that’s larger and which includes PDF support, at least. It’ll also ship months before the Plastic Reader, which is at least seven months away (the company says it’ll show up in 2010). .
The Plastic Logic folks assured D’s Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher that their e-reader is different and better than Kindle’s DX–as well they would, and as it may well be. But I think you can only demo an unreleased product so often, over a certain length of time, before it stops feeling fresh and exciting and runs the risk of being perceived as vaporware. I’ll bet you we’ll hear more news about Plastic Logic as it signs up publishers to distribute their wares on its platform. But if the next major demo of the gizmo didn’t come until it was ready to ship, I wouldn’t object at all…