Sony's new ‘notepad' prototype aims to banish paper from the classroom and the office.
The super thin device is the same size as an A4 piece of paper, though, at 6.8mm is marginally thicker than an individual sheet, though thinner than a notepad. Also unlike actual paper, the Sony device offers 4GB of built-in storage plus a Micro SD slot for further expansion.
By using an electric ink touchscreen display, the device captures the same look and feel as writing or sketching on paper and supports stylus input. It also has built-in wi-fi for connecting to networks and surfing the web. Notes, doodles and sketches can be saved as pdf files so that they are compatible with all other devices from desktops and laptops to tablets and smartphones. The prototype weighs just 385g and, with the wi-fi turned off, can go for three weeks of constant use on a single charge.
Sony envisions the prototype as a replacement for both paper and for textbooks in the classroom and is currently field-testing it in Japanese universities with a view to launching the finished product before March next year.