Despite our rumor-based hopes, Kindle DX turned out to be just a big Kindle 2, giving Plastic Logic plenty of room to maneuver to the top of the big e-readers list. More details have surfaced about this product, and it's plenty cool.
Plastic Logic has been touting its large-screen e-book for a while, and the product is still--frustratingly--in development. But at the All Things D conference the company showed a properly-functioning prototype and revealed some new specs. The device surpasses the DX at a mere 0.27-inches deep versus the DX's 0.33-inches, and it has an 8.5-inch-by-11-inch screen that's basically the size of a sheet of notepaper. It's also a touchscreen, with a virtual QWERTY keypad--ditching the nasty physical keypad of the DX that messes with its design so much. That touchscreen also brings on-screen scribble-style annotations, which should be good for filling in the crossword in your favorite paper: Plastic Logic revealed that it's in negotiations with a number of titles. Check out the hands-on video made by the guys at Gizmodo for a look at how it works.
The device will also feature 3G broadband connectivity, and built-in Wi-Fi when it ships--along with a faster e-ink screen. It will even be supported by an online book store, which, mixed with the wireless connectivity, sounds like Plastic is building a bit of an ecosystem for the e-reader. Overall, the hardware looks good, and the launch date is set for January 2010. If the price is right it could steal the DX's crown. Even if it turns out to be expensive, it's most definitely an indicator of the form and function of future e-readers.