If it seems like everybody and their second cousin is making an eReader device, it's because they pretty much are. Beyond the industry-leading Amazon Kindle and the Sony Reader, a veritable troupe of newcomers are taking the stage to challenge the digital reading device market: the Barnes & Noble Nook, Plastic Logic Que, Spring Design Alex, LG's solar eReader and more will be vying for a share of the digital book market along with the now official Skiff Reader from Hearst.
In partnership with Sprint, who will supply 3G connectivity to the device, The Skiff Reader plans to come out swinging with a large 11.5-inch size and a high 1200 x 1600 pixel screen resolution. It will also be on the svelte side at just over a quarter-inch thick and just over a pound — the thinnest eReader on the market to date.
The Skiff Reader is also notable for using an entirely new technology to power its display. Unlike the glass screens that are the hall marks of the current generation of eReader devices, the Skiff uses a flexible display based on a thin sheet of stainless-steel foil. LG is the manufacturer behind the new screens, which help the Skiff stay slim and carry less risk of breakage.
Like Barnes & Noble with their Nook, Hearst wants to control its own distribution chain with a dedicated device. They'll have their own digital storefront to sell content for the Skiff, and we know they're also very interested in if not actively working on developing a Hulu for magazines as well. In other words, publishers are stepping up to the plate as they try and take back the control that Amazon and Apple currently wield in the still nascent digital publishing space.
Unfortunately, there are no pricing or release date details yet for the Skiff, but it will be on display at CES this week so we'll be able to take a look very soon. Check out some new photos of the Skiff Reader below and let us know what you think. How does this device stack up against its competitors in the increasingly crowded eReader space?