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Goodbye paper? A closer look at Sony's new £660 Digital Paper business slate

HardwareNews
by Stephanie Mlot, 01 Apr 2014News
Goodbye paper? A closer look at Sony's new £660 Digital Paper business slate

Sony is not done with the e-reader space just yet, but its latest endeavour is a enterprise-focused Digital Paper slate that trades e-books for business documents.

The portable Digital Paper replaces spiral notebooks, legal pads, and file folders with a high-contrast, reflective 13.3in e-paper display. It's housed in a 12.6-ounce body, which Sony said is the world's thinnest and lightest among 9-plus-inch mobile devices.

Digital Paper includes built-in Wi-Fi and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery for up to three weeks' use on a single charge. Additionally, users can convert Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel files into PDF format, then transfer them wirelessly or via USB connectivity to the device to view, annotate, and share.

And with enough storage space for about 2,800 PDF files (approximately 1MB each), plus an internal memory of 4GB and a micro SD card slot, you will be able to easily backlog notes and files.

"This is a true replacement for the vast amounts of paper that continue to clutter many offices and institutions," Bob Nell, director of Digital Paper Solutions at Sony, said in a statement. "The 'notepad' feature will have universal appeal, and notes can be shared with clients, colleagues, and co-workers. Digital Paper offers a simple, intuitive experience and gives professionals portability and flexibility."

Like the Amazon Kindle tablets and Pebble smartwatches that came before it, Sony's gadget takes advantage of electronic paper display technology for easy-to-read text and graphics, on a screen that renders full-page letter-size documents in PDF format.

Want to scribble some notes in the margins, or take handwritten notes during a meeting? The stylus operates like a pen, which can also highlight and erase text. An on-screen keyboard also allows for quick typing if your longhand is too hard to read.

Sony showcased Digital Paper at last week's American Bar Association Tech Show in Chicago, initially marketing the device toward professionals at law firms, financial institutions, and other legal enterprises. The company also plans to work with other companies to develop additional markets for the device.

Expected to go on sale in May, Digital Paper will be available for $1,100 (£660).

The slate's debut comes about a month after Sony announced plans to hand its struggling e-reader business off to Kobo. Starting in late March, U.S. and Canadian customers gained access to Kobo's content catalogue, which houses the Sony Reader Store and users' current e-book libraries.

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