The QUE is a stunning eReader. If I had the resources, I’d pick one up today. But if you’re on a budget like me, it is so not for you. Price point for the 3G version is $799. Absolutely crazy for a personal eReader, but it’s not built for personal use; it’s built for high-powered business. For that purpose, I think the QUE has dug itself a solid niche.
The person standing with me as I was checking it out nailed the purpose of the QUE with one statement: it’s like a PDA. It syncs with your PC calendar and documents via USB and ActiveSync, delivering them in digital ink. It’s also Mac-compatible but has some issue with calendar sync. Wireless connection is for eBooks and periodicals. Seems quite limited in that respect, but I would expect expanded functionality in future software updates. Yes, you could get that and more in a handheld, but as a paper substitute, as they put it “QUE documents instead of printing” (basically printing to PDF and loading on to the QUE), it’s a feasible if pricey solution.
The price tag is reflected in the build quality. The unit felt amazing. In hand, it feels like it could blow away in a stiff wind, which is a good thing for a paper substitute. I don’t think anyone would have a problem fitting it in their business case. If it replaces a stack of papers, it saves space. The touch screen is capacitive and appeared very responsive. There’s no bezel so reaching the edges is easy. It can save short notes, but without pen input, it’s not a writing pad substitute. It also is a fingerprint magnet, as easily seen in the video, and I get the feeling it will pick up its share of scratches in regular use.
Bottom line: it’s a slick package. If I was trying to impress people, this is the eReader I’d use. I also commend them for promoting the paperless angle. But if I just wanted to read ebooks… no.
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