CES: Skiff Bends eReader Rules

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Another auspicious CES 2010 debut is likely to be the Skiff eReader, a product backed by Hearst, the newspaper publisher, previously known as FirstPaper. (“Skiff”? Where are they getting these ugly names?) It’ll have a wildly flexible 11.5″ black and white screen, as the photo above shows, differentiating it significantly from Kindle and its other thick-skinned competitors.

Here’s more on Skiff’s flexibility from PCWorld: “How does it pull off this contortionist’s trick? The Skiff’s 11.5-inch touchscreen, unusually large for an e-reader, utilizes a thin, bendable sheet of stainless-steel foil rather than glass-based displays favored by other e-readers. Designed by LG Display, the Skiff screen is built to take the wear and tear that portable tablets would likely endure–in the car or classroom, on the train or bus, at an airport terminal, and just about anywhere else you’d take a newspaper or magazine, including the john (but please wash your hands).”

And here’s what Skiff itself has to say.

Sprint will sell the device at its retail locations, as well as provide the wireless service, though PCWorld says pricing is still unknown. The larger format and Hearst backing mean this device is clearly targeted at periodical readers more than book lovers, though books will be available. But aside from its likely resistance to wear and tear, why do we need a slightly bendable eReader? What do you think? Should we hold out until our screens are as floppy and pliable as fruit roll-ups?