PAPER WEIGHT

Sony wants you to pay $600 for a never-ending piece of paper

The Sony DPT-CP1.
The Sony DPT-CP1.
Image: Sony
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Sony announced a slimmed-down version of its “Digital Paper System” tablet today (May 21), called the DPT-CP1. It’s an e-ink “electronic notepad,” as Sony calls it, meant to replace all the notebooks and printed books in your life, for a cool $600.

The 10.3-inch, 8.5-ounce tablet uses a similar type of display technology found in e-book readers, like Amazon’s Kindle products, which effectively replicate the experience of reading physical paper on a digital screen. But unlike a Kindle, the CP1 is also meant to be drawn on, and comes with a stylus designed to replicate the feeling of writing on paper with a pen and a pencil. The new model also lets users fill out interactive PDF forms, and Sony has built a new app (for iOS and Android) that lets users port over documents to read, notate, or sign on the CP1. (If those users had a Samsung Note 8, however, they’d be able to do all that without this tablet.)

The tablet boasts a battery with a three-week lifespan, but it’s unclear whether replicating the look and feel of paper and pen is enough to attract users away from other tablets (or e-readers) that do far more for less, or just taking notes the old-fashioned way. (Reviews of the older 13.3-inch model were mixed at best.)

You could buy 5,000 sheets of paper from Staples and absolutely splurge on a classic Mont Blanc “Meisterstück” ballpoint pen, and you’d still come in about $130 below the cost of this tablet. Of course you wouldn’t be able to carry all that paper around in your messenger bag.

The CP1, and its 13.3-inch bigger brother, the S1.
The CP1, and its 13.3-inch bigger brother, the S1.
Image: Sony

Perhaps if you’re attending Harvard Law School, as the person notating the tablet in Sony’s preview images appears to be, then amortizing the cost of the single-use tablet over the course of whatever you’ll make with that lucrative law degree after you graduate isn’t such an outlay. But for everyone else: The new iPad, which starts at about $465 (with a stylus), is probably a better bet. You could even throw in a $80 Kindle if you had your heart set on reading on an e-ink display, and still come in under the cost of Sony’s tablet.