After months of teasing, Plastic Logic finally unveiled its vaunted Que proReader. It's not strictly speaking an e-book reader, although it is. With a large-format 10.7-inch diagonal touchscreen, Que is designed for the business user. It displays Microsoft Office documents, PDF files, magazines and newspapers, maintaining their font/layout look-and-feel. The idea is you can leave that pile of papers in the office while you're traveling. You can also write notes right on a document, which you can then share with co-workers.
Que is available in two flavors, a 4GB model that'll hold 35,000 documents ($650), and an 8GB version with Wi-Fi and an AT&T 3G connection to Barnes & Noble and will store 75,000 documents ($800). Both will be available in mid-April at B&N stores and online, but can be pre-ordered now from the Que site.
How the Que works — and how it compares to the Kindle — after the jump.
The conceit behind Que is its use of proprietary plastic transistors, invented by the co-founder of Plastic Logic. As a result, the Que is all plastic and so is lighter than you'd think — just 17.2 ounces (the Kindle is 10.3 oz.) and is less than a third of an inch thin (Kindle is twice as thick).
Que has one button, home. On the home screen are icons for all the varying content — yours and publications — you can access, including the prominently displayed calendar in the upper left-hand corner. Everything else is done on the touchscreen; a gentle finger swipe left or right moves you through a document.
You can view pages in either landscape or portrait mode, which I believe you have to switch manually. You can drag-and-drop documents onto it from a PC, or choose "print" — a PC sees the Que as a printer for some reason. You can also use Bluetooth to move docs from a BlackBerry. Que comes with QueMail and Que Calendar, both of which work with Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo! and Windows Live, and ii's Mac-compatible as well, although to what extent wasn't discussed. You search or input text via a pop-up keyboard.
My first impression is the pages load a little slower than on other e-readers I've seen. Plus, they decided on a rigid bezel rather than the flexible, twisty device they've been demonstrating for months, which I thought was a huge selling point for suits jamming stuff into an over-packed attache or overnight bag. The 8GB model also will be priced similarly to Apple's impending — and likely far more versatile — tablet, which may make it to market before the Que.