Those clever folk at Orange have a trial ongoing in France involving 150 people using a Beta version of their new Read&Go ePaper platform.
The 3G and wi-fi enabled tablet, roughly A4 in size, has around a GB of storage and comes pre-installed with a select range of books.
More importantly, it also comes with newspapers including Le Monde, Telerama, L’Equipe, Le Parisien and Les Echos.
So what, you may ask?
Well, because it is a prototype of how companies expect us to be reading our newspapers of the future.
Content will be updated every hour between 6am and Midnight.
My French is appalling, but this demo on YouTube gives an indication of how it looks.
But then again, doesn’t it look just a wee bit like, like…..
Orange for their part are very proud of the new gadget which they say is “in competition with paper, not with the internet.”
Of course, that might just be a fancy way of saying laptops will kick its ass unless it gets the pricing right.
Either way, while not the finished article, there must be legs in such devices if they can be adapted in the correct way for a potentially mass market – maybe as some kind of hybrid.
The all-powerful mobile phone, however, would still be my best bet for an eventual final solution now that developers have the likes of iPhone to play with in developing a new platform.
Although, that could just be me being biased….