Misc E-ReadersSkiff Reader

Skiff Reader

Skiff Reader ereader reviewsThe Skiff Reader has been the big head turner at the CES 2010, and rightly so. It’s flexible, great to look at and probably has the most intuative user handling we have ever seen. Just think interactive newspaper and you get the picture. Here is a review, mostly from engadget, which gives you an idea about just how beautiful it is. We had a chance to sit down with the team to go hands-on with the 11.5-inch e-Reader. As a device, the near final prototype was big pushing an impressive 1,600 x 1,200 resolution — enough to stuff an entire page of the New York Times up front including advertisements and still maintain readability. Mind you, it’s not an exact reproduction, content has been modified to account for advertisements which, for better or worse, are part of the Skiff publishing model.

Skiff Reader ereader reviewsFortunately, we found it impossible to differentiate between the locally served ads and those you’re already accustomed to seeing inside your favorite newspaper. But as far as competition goes, Skiff isn’t hedging its bets on a single device — this is a publishing platform. As such, Skiff showed us a total of four different devices accessing its content: a color e-reader prototype as well as Skiff apps running on a Palm Pre, Viliv MID, and of course the Linux-based black and white e-reader launching sometime this year. They even promised an iPhone app as you’d expect with synchronization across all your devices (at least as many as the DRM will allow). Skiff tells us that an Android device is also in the works.

Unfortunately, as a Kindle competitor, Skiff was not willing to discuss the extent of their content partners nor the number of publications (blogs, magazines, newspapers, and book categories are listed on the store) that will be available at launch. Nevertheless, the Skiff Store, we’ve been assured, will be full with plenty of subscription content and even a few apps like Sudoku and crossword puzzles. A la carte access to content will be available as well.

Multimedia is also a differentiator with content augmented by full motion video available in the Skiff apps (seen running on the Viliv). In fact, the app immediately reminded us of those iSlab content demos seen floating around the intertubes. Even the black and white e-reader was capable of playing back audio embedded in an issue of Esquire. Skiff was not willing to discuss their plans for text to speech with us today, however, we did learn that you can print documents to the Skiff over the network as a quick and easy way to move content to the device.Skiff Reader ereader reviews

The navigation buttons on the Skiff e-reader are not yet final and Skiff is still tweaking the touchpanel. Nevertheless, a small round dimple flanked by a pair of buttons and side-mounted “big wheel” coupled with the touchscreen interface were up to the task. The UI looked reasonable for skimming through large publications such as the Sunday edition of the New York Times and offers a search mechanism that works device wide or within the content you’re viewing. Finger swipes applied to the resistive touchscreen worked as expected: swiping a finger left or right results in page turns while swipes up or down will increase or reduce font size, respectively.

The launch will be US only at this point although international content will be available. Unfortunately, Skiff wouldn’t allow any pictures or videos, we’ll get those when we can.

Skiff Reader ereader reviews





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Thomas Jefferson

Thomas is a technology professional with an incredible interest in E-Readers and how they change the way we read. He has been involved in the development of E-Ink, as well as having reviewed hundreds of different devices over the years.


  1. floyd swanson
    September 30, 2011 at 6:16 am

    They purchased the product and are limiting it’s content to major news companies only… sorry, they do not want this being open.

  2. July 18, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    Sorry guys but skiff was purchased by news corporation this week. not sure because the product was great or that their are lack of money.

  3. angelboy
    March 30, 2010 at 12:53 am

    I cannot wait for this!

  4. Michael
    February 1, 2010 at 8:08 am

    I wonder if it will be subsidized, and therefore tied to a contract, or unsubsidized and still able to use Sprint’s 3G network (e.g. the Kindle).

  5. Daniel M
    January 31, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    What an amazin piece of technology, I cannot wait until it comes out! Finally something out of a scifi movie that becomes reality! How long until we go all minority report on our walls??

  6. Kobold
    January 31, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    TOO BIG.

    The nice thing about the Kindle is that it’s quite portable, and fits in a purse, coat pocket, or backpack easily. This thing’s huge. It’s not going to replace the Kindle for people who are primarily interested in novels.

    For tech manual fans, periodical fans, and comic book fans, it MIGHT be worth it.

    Good luck finding non-pirated, non-DRM content to put on it, though.

  7. Godman
    January 31, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    Why do all these new ereaders have to be tied with some certain content provider? It seems Amazon sets a trend and everybody else cannot think outside of it. I’m looking for a large screen ereader with eInk that can read my PDFs and other formats in plain files. Simple as that. I’m happy to transfer those files by SD cards and don’t care if it’s got this or that wireless connections or listening to music or watch videos. I just want a simple reading device that can replace some of my paper book reading. Can’t the ereader producers just focus on improving the reader itself and sell it as it is?
    Anyway, still gave it 4 stars as its just kickass beautiful! :-)

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