Sony’s Yoshitaka Ukita is passionate about his work and, as general manager of the electronics giant’s ebook business department in Japan, he has every reason to be a fervent believer in the brave new world he’s planning to bring to the Japanese public. The latest development in Ukita’s division is arguably the first successful attempt at a proper electronic book with a display that approximates the look of traditional paper.

Whisper it quietly, but first impressions of the ¥41,790 (£220) Librie are that it looks a little dowdy. Its grey plastic case is vaguely reminiscent of an old-school PDA, albeit a slim one. Any disappointment vanishes the instant Ukita flips the power switch to bring his baby to life.

The quality of the display will come as quite a shock to any seasoned user of mobile devices; it looks more like paper than the computer screen it is. The closest comparison is to think of old-fashioned ink on pulp you’re likely holding now, unless you’re reading this online, in which case the Librie looks far better.

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