PaperTab: the flexible tablet PC that replaces paper?

British firm Plastic Logic shows off PaperTabs: flexible, monochrome PC screens

Dave Stevenson
7 Jan 2013

Cambridge-based Plastic Logic will this week demonstrate a thin, flexible computing device that according to the company "looks and feels just like a sheet of paper".

The 10.7in touchscreen devices, which currently exist only as greyscale prototypes, are designed to be used a few at a time, with different applications or windows running on each PaperTab, as opposed to running multiple applications in different windows on the same display.

Different PaperTabs will be aware of each other, and tapping two separate PaperTabs together will trigger different events. A PaperTab displaying an image can be tapped against another being used to write an email, for example, attaching the image to the outgoing message.

The PaperTab’s flexibility is also part of the user interface, meaning you can bend a PaperTab’s edges away from you to turn the pages in an electronic publication, for example.

The computational power is provided by second-generation Intel Core i5 processors - a far cry from the low-power ARM chips of tablets such as the iPad or Google's Nexus 7.

Plastic Logic’s promotional video - which appears to show working prototypes - shows PaperTabs trailing long cables, presumably to allow inflexible CPU units to work away from the flexible display; it can also be presumed that the displays in the video don’t include battery units.

Plastic Logic and Queen’s University will demonstrate the PaperTab at CES 2013 on 8 January. Stay tuned.

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