The Asus New Folding E-Book Reader

Sep 09, 2009 by Lin Edwards weblog

(PhysOrg.com) -- Asus has demonstrated a prototype of an e-book reader it is developing. Unlike its competitors, the device resembles a normal book, having two touch screens that will fold up.

E-book readers can store hundreds of digital books, and some of the later devices feature Internet access to download digital newspapers and magazines. The Sony Daily Edition and Amazon Kindle even include a 3G mobile phone Sim card.

The prototype was shown at the CeBIT trade show in March this year, and the device will probably be shown at the in Las Vegas in January 2010. According to the Sunday Times in the UK, the product, dubbed the Eee Reader after the cheap Eee PC netbooks, may be cheaper than Kindle and Sony e-book readers, with the budget version possibly costing as little as $165 in the UK. The launch is reportedly planned for late 2009, but there are no details yet on when it is likely to be released elsewhere, or how much it is likely to cost outside the UK.

There are many e-book readers on the market these days, such as those by Amazon (the Kindle series) and Sony, and new players Plastic Logic and iRex plan to launch large-screen readers either late in 2009 or early 2010. All these readers are black and white, but the Asus Eee Reader is expected to feature color touch screens for the first time.

While details are still sketchy, it appears the product will be released in two versions: a cheaper budget version, and a more expensive, but still reasonably priced, premium version with more features, such as a webcam, microphone, speaker, and the ability to make calls via Skype. The Eee Reader will have two touch screens joined by a hinged spine, but it is not yet clear whether both budget and premium versions will be and full color, or just the premium product.

The new device could use the two screens to simulate a normal book, or the second screen could be used as a web browser or a touch-based keypad to allow it to be used like a netbook or laptop.

With e-book readers enjoying a growing consumer market, the new product may be just what Asus needs to add an inexpensive to its cheap computer products.

The Taiwanese company Asus is already a leader in producing inexpensive computers, chips and netbooks, their cheap alternative to laptop computers. Asus products are often the cheapest available, and it seems they intend to adopt the same business plan for their Eee Readers.

© 2009 PhysOrg.com

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User comments : 9

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El_Nose
not rated yet Sep 09, 2009
i don;t know about you but i love the kindle ad placed in the middle of the page by google... it really sets off this article. HA HA
LariAnn
3 / 5 (2) Sep 09, 2009
I'm surprised it took so long for a company to come out with an ebook reader like this. If it can be used as a ebook reader, a netbook, or run a web browser simultaneouly with the book page on the opposite screen, this could be a product that would take over the ebook market. Imagine; you're reading a book or newspaper and you want to research something you just read, so you simply call up the browser and start researching, even as your book page is still on the other screen! Epic!
3432682
1.5 / 5 (2) Sep 09, 2009
Now we're talking. The price is right. [What's with the "Enlarge" which yields the same size view?]
ShadowRam
not rated yet Sep 09, 2009
This is exactly what I've been waiting for.

An eBook that folds and closes. (Nice leather soft outer cover would be nice)

Touch Screen

Color
viki
5 / 5 (1) Sep 09, 2009
Iam from india,iam waiting for this product soon to india.
dirk_bruere
4.5 / 5 (2) Sep 09, 2009
Asus is making some really excellent and innovative equipment these days. Their touchscreen PCs are fantastic.
RkeyTeq
4 / 5 (2) Sep 10, 2009
Making a decent product at a reasonable price is not a crime. Ebooks, just like smartphones and laptop computers, should not be the exclusive domain of wealthy Americans and Europeans. If these products can be made available for "the rest of the world" at a decent price, then Asus deserves all the credit.
This article really overstates the "cheap" in Asus products. I own several of their products, including a full featured laptop, DVD writer, and smartphone, and all are more durable and of higher quality than comparable products I bought from Lenovo, Nokia, HP, and even Apple.
CWFlink
not rated yet Sep 10, 2009
I like the idea of being able to turn it around and have the left screen become a touch screen QUERTY keyboard. The space is not wasted when browsing/emailing and keyboard space is not wasted when reading. Possibly one screen (the left one) should be the Kindle-like black and white screen for use outdoors (i.e. no backlight needed)... there is no reason for a "keyboard" touch screen having color.
Royale
not rated yet Sep 14, 2009
yea RkeyTeq.. they REALLY overstate it.. netbooks are cheap to begin with, but besides that they've won many awards for making the best motherboards in the business, and i've had 3 asus motherboards with not a single problem.
CWFlink, i'm not even sure if they can make e-ink touchscreens, if so i've never heard of one. I have a strong feeling that at about half the price of the others there's no way it'll be e-ink especially if it's color. The drawbacks to this are just like any other laptop/netbook. low battery life due to constant backlighting, a heavier product since the battery needs to be larger. I don't know how much sense it would make to buy an e-book reader that you can only read for 3 hours MAX before you recharge.

I'm going to go for e-ink myself when prices come down a bit. And for the record, i like ASUS's products for the most part, but if this is LCD technology, there's no way i'd buy one.

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