Sony was one of the pioneers of e-ink/e-paper displays and it continues to back the technology to this day. The latest addition to the line-up of freakishly real-looking recreations of the printed page is the 10-inch DPT-CP1.
Monochrome and made for reading and – more to the point – annotating books and journals, it's a bit like what a sci-fi writer of the 1950s might have predicted the iPad Pro would look like. Or you could think of it as a very expensive Kindle with a PhD, that you can write and doodle in the margins of.
The slimline, “notebook-sized” 10-incher joins its older, 13-inch cousin to service all of your reading, annotating and note-taking needs.
It's less than 6mm thick and weighs only 240g (the 13-incher is the same depth but weighs in at 349g.
Sony's Digital Paper feels like writing on paper, with the included stylus having a choice of two tips – a pen-like one and an e-pencil.
Bob Nell, director of Digital Paper for Sony Electronics – yes, that's a thing – says, “Now, with a choice of two models, more people can experience what we refer to as ‘paper perfected,’ enjoying the easy readability of the glare-free screen and precision handwriting associated with the paper-like look and feel of Digital Paper.”
And that really is it. A tablet may be more versatile, but using an e-ink display like this looks and feels much more like using paper. In Sony's native Japan, where calligraphy is still a widely respected art form, this probably seems more normal.
You can transfer files for annotation via USB or from Sony’s free mobile app for Android and IOS, or from PC or Mac. Then, 'on-the-go professionals and students' can scribble away to their heart's content. 11GB of usable storage (16GB in total), is enough for 'up to 10,000' PDF documents.
There's support for interactive PDF and Smart Forms, with forms easily filled out using drop down menus and checkboxes. The usual tools – auto-save, page jump, pan and zoom and automatic page rotation based on the aspect ratio of each document – are on hand.
As ever with e-ink displays, there's no glare and it's easy to read even in sunlight, making the tablet suitable for very extended use. Also helpful in that area is a battery life of up to a week with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on, and up to three weeks with them off.
• 10-inch DPT-CP1 is available for pre-order now, priced $599.99 (no UK pricing to date). The mobile app will be available in June 2018 from Google Play and Apple App Store.