Brother Industries Ltd will release the "Brother Document Viewer SV-100B," an information terminal equipped with an electronic paper module, in Japan June 1, 2009.
The company highlights the product's ability to "allow users to carry around information equivalent to 10,000 sheets of A4-size documents."
Brother expects the product to be used to display manuals for field maintenance services and by home-visit nurses, layers and tax accountants, who carry a large amount of documents. As the product is basically targeted at corporate users, there is no suggested retail price. But it will be sold at ¥139,800 (approx US$1,423) through Brother's direct shopping Website.
The SV-100B is 15.5mm thick and weighs about 600g. Document data is stored in a 2-Gbyte microSD card. Its battery can run the terminal for about 83 hours (which corresponds to roughly 5,000 pages if displayed content is replaced at one-minute intervals).
It features a 9.7-inch electronic paper module with a resolution of 1,200 x 825 pixels. The black-and-white display shows four shades of gray. It takes less than a second to replace displayed content, according to Brother Industries. E Ink Corp's electronic paper is employed.
Document data can be transmitted to the terminal in a way similar to using a printer. First, users install the included printer driver on a PC. And, when they connect the terminal to the PC via a USB port and "print" the desired document on the PC (almost the same operation to actually print the document), the data is transferred to the terminal.
The dedicated printer driver converts data into a proprietary format that can be displayed on the terminal. Hence, users can transmit documents from any application as long as they are printable.
As differences from Amazon.com Inc's electronic book, "Kindle," and other existing electronic paper terminals, Brother cited the larger screen size of the electronic paper, the longer battery life and so forth. The electronic paper's screen size, 9.7-inch, is almost as large as A5 size. Furthermore, when the display orientation is rotated by 90°, the document's width becomes almost equal to that of A4 size. These features contribute to a better visibility of documents, the company said.
To extend the battery life, Brother limited the product's functions to simple ones. So, it is not equipped with communication capabilities or a touch panel, which are seen in other companies' products.