Kindle DX Vs Plastic Logic Reader

This is a preliminary, rough comparison – there is currently neither a Kindle DX review available (summer release; US only), nor a Plastic Logic Reader review (January 2010 release date; US only). 

With that disclaimer, and the promise of cool new information, let’s start our Kindle DX Vs Plastic Logic Reader comparison -

Kindle DX Vs Plastic Logic – Videos

First, Plastic Logic’s Reader –

Next, the Kindle DX. There is a better Kindle DX Video at Amazon –

Plastic Logic Vs Kindle DX – Features

Credit for a lot of the information in here goes to the MediaShift Blog at pbs.org.

Feature   Kindle DX  Plastic Logic Reader
Screen 9.7″ Between 10.5″ and 11.5″
Price $489 Not disclosed
Controls Keyboard. Home, Menu, Next Page, Previous Page buttons. 5 way controller. TouchScreen, just 1 button, Gesture Based User Interface.
Operating System Linux Based. WinCE Based.
Weight   18.9 ounces. 12 ounces (perhaps; definitely <16 ounces).
Dimensions 10.4″ x 7.2″ x 0.38″. 8.5″ x 11″ x 0.28″.
Web Browsing In-built Web Browsing. Free Wireless Internet aka WhisperNet. No Web Browser. Undisclosed Wireless Options – potentially WiFi, 3G, and BlueTooth.
Storage 3.33 GB available for Documents. 6 GB available for Documents. Additional storage for applications.
Supported Formats Kindle (AZW), PDF, TXT, Audible (formats 4, Audible Enhanced (AAX)), MP3, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML, DOC, RTF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion. Word, Excel and Powerpoint (including 2007 versions) – DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PPT, PPTX. PDF and Adobe DRM/eBook. ePub, eReader format, RTF, HTML, JPEG, BMP, PNG.
Available Summer 2009 – U.S. only. Jan 2010 – Initially U.S. only.
eInk Technology Kindle uses eInk, developed and owned by PVI and eInk. Take a look at how eInk works. Plastic Logic uses its own proprietary technology and their site has details.
Flexible, Unbreakable Display? No. Flexible and Unbreakable Display as there is no glass.

Neither offers a color screen. Plastic Logic says they are working on it. PVI and EInk (developers of the EInk screen Kindle DX uses) say 2010 or later.

Kindle DX Vs Plastic Logic – Content + Publisher Support

Plastic Logic has already announced a few partnerships -

  1. Financial Times and USA Today – although they’d like to have 25-50 newspapers available at launch, they might start off with 3-5.  
  2. Ingram Digital for eBooks.  
  3. Libre Digital for eNewspapers.
  4. Zinio for eMagazines. Zinio claims over 1000 digital magazines in their stable.
  5. Fictionwise – No idea how this changes given that Barnes & Noble have acquired Fictionwise.

Amazon has 37 newspapers (27 American ones), 29 magazines, 1,500 blogs, and 275,000 books currently available at the Kindle Store. For the Kindle DX, Amazon has tied up with 3 of the major textbook publishers that have 60% coverage of the market. 

Kindle DX Vs Plastic Logic – the Companies

Plastic Logic -

  1. Founded by Professor Richard Friend, Professor Henning Sirringhaus, and Stuart M. Evans out of Cambridge in 2000.
  2. Over $200 million in backing from Amadeus Capital, Oak, Intel Capital, Siemens, Bank of America Equity, Dow Venture Capital and 7 more VC firms.  
  3. Over 300 employees spread across Cambridge, Mountain View, and Dresden – as of May 10th, hiring at all locations.
  4. Contrary to rumors, Hearst is not invested in PL – they’re invested in FirstPaper LLC.  
  5. Plastic Logic had a content partnership with Fictionwise before the latter got bought by Barnes & Noble.

You can find out more, such as their mission, at their website. Their reader will be available Jan 2010.

Amazon -

Lab 126 is the Amazon division that designs and makes Kindles. Check out my Kindle DX Review for details and analysis.

Kindle DX Vs Plastic Logic – Who Wins?

 While Amazon DX has a few clear advantages -

  1. It’ll be available sooner. You can preorder the Kindle DX at Amazon
  2. The $489 price might be cheaper than Plastic Logic’s Reader.
  3. WhisperNet is a huge advantage.  
  4. More content.
  5. The Amazon brand name and reputation.

Plastic Logic’s Reader packs quite a punch itself – it has a larger screen size, a flexible, unbreakable screen, and its support of ePub makes it a more open platform.

At the moment my recommendation would be to either get a DX or wait for the first few Kindle DX Reviews from actual owners.

When DX and PLR are out I’ll add a comprehensive Kindle DX review and a detailed Plastic Logic Reader review.

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