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Thursday, January 07, 2010, 05:00 pm PT (08:00 pm ET)

CES: Skiff, Que, Notion Ink e-readers take spotlight

Three new e-reader devices — Skiff, Que and Notion Ink — have made their debut at CES, as Apple is rumored to introduce a multimedia tablet that will also offer print content.

Turning heads has been the Skiff e-reader, which features a massive 1,600 by 1,200 pixel resolution, which can fit the entire front page of The New York Times, including advertisements, on its display.

Engadget had some hands-on time with the hardware, and came away impressed with the device and its 11.5-inch touchscreen.

"The UI looked reasonable for skimming through large publications such as the Sunday edition of the New York Times and offers a search mechanism that works device wide or within the content you're viewing," the report said. "Finger swipes applied to the resistive touchscreen worked as expected: swiping a finger left or right results in page turns while swipes up or down will increase or reduce font size, respectively."

The Skiff is more than just a reader, though. Backed by Hearst, the publishing platform will bring an app to the iPhone, as well as a number of other devices, to allow reading on the go. A price for the hardware has yet to be announced.

Skiff


With a more unique approach is the Notion Ink Adam, an Android-based "smartpad" sporting Nvidia's new Tegra chipset and the Pixel Qi display which allows the backlight to be switched on or off. The device was seen only as a prototype at CES.

A traditional tablet is said to get about 40 hours of battery life, but with the Pixel Qi display, the Notion Ink Adam should apparently get nearly 400 hours of battery life with the backlight off. No prices were mentioned, though the company previously said it hoped to release the device for about $300 in June.

Earlier this week, the Notion Ink CEO admitted that his company hoped to beat Apple to the punch in debuting and releasing its tablet. Apple is rumored to unveil its own multimedia touchscreen device at an event Jan. 27.



In addition, Plastic Logic's long-awaited Que e-reader was shown at CES this week. Due to ship in mid-April, the device has a number of publications, including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and The Los Angeles Times, that have committed to provide content.

Priced well above the $260 kindle, and even its $490 big brother, the Kindle DX, the Que is set to cost $650 for 4GB of storage, while an 8GB model will cost $800. The Plastic Logic device has a large, shatterproof 8.5-by-11-inch black-and-white screen and is billed as a "pro reader," geared towards businesses and professionals.

Que