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Plastic Logic challenges Amazon's Kindle with QUE proReader for business

Plastic Logic launched the QUE proReader, a competitor to Amazon's Kindle, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. The company will roll out the product in the US in April.

The A4-size device sports a shatter-proof plastic display unique to the e-reader market, which is dominated by glass-based screens. The proReader is aimed at business users and connects to various professional publications.

In the US, customers will use Wi-Fi or AT&Ts' 3G network to download from Barnes and Noble's database of digital books; from newspapers including the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times; and from magazines, periodicals, and online publications. It also supports PDF, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents.

Prices for the e-reader range from $649 for a 4Gbyte model to $799 for an 8Gbyte model. It uses technology called e-Ink, which optimises its battery life of over a week; the device's screen also requires no power to maintain an image.

The proReader joins the tussle for a share in the growing e-reader market, currently dominated by Amazon's Kindle. More than half a dozen e-readers were introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show alone.

Plastic Logic is a spin-off from Cambridge University's Cavendish Laboratory, which began developing the plastic screen technology more than 10 years ago. Despite its British roots, the company has yet to announce a UK launch date.


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