However, writing on the devices remained sluggish compared to writing on paper.
The iRex 1000, however, is said to offer optimal page loading and pen input, according to Brons, by virtue of an ASIC that performs all background processing steps faster than users can perceive.
"We have put much more horsepower behind the system environment to insure that everything that needs to be done to update the display is done extremely quickly," Brons claimed.
The device's open platform also supports formats similar to other digital readers, giving users the same access to the Mobipocket library of over 49,000 e-books. In addition, iRex also supports PC-oriented formats like PDF, HTML, JPG and Powerpoint.
"Our device is not intended to go into head-to-head competition with the Sony's eBook or the Amazon Kindle, but is instead [targeting] business professionals who want to use e-paper for day-to-day interactions with a lot of documentation--most of which are letter-sized PDFs," said Brons. "We support newpapers and books on the iRex 1000, but our primary focus is day-to-day interactions with paper."
He added: "We have designed the iRex 1000 specifically to address the legacy of digital print, which is PDFs."
The iRex 1000 weighs 1.25 pounds, is less than 0.5 inches thick. It displays 16-levels of grey, comes with a 1-Gbyte SD card installed (enough for 20,000 documents) and uses a lithium-ion battery. The reader also synchronizes with documents stored on a PC via USB, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
The company is working on a fourth-generation display using a larger, flexible polymer substrate. In parallel, iRex is also developing color versions, but has yet to decide whether to offer it as an option to the current 10.2-inch model or wait until the fourth- generation device arrives with a flexible substrate.
IRex said it is close to deals with several business-to-business customers, which it said will be announced soon.