Will be available in a budget version and premium version
Last month end, it was reported that Asus had plans to enter the eBook reader market and now, more details emerge about Eee Reader. London Times reported that as per Asus UK spokesperson, a budget and a premium version of eBook reader would be unveiled before the end of this year. This clearly means that Asus is all set to take on Sony eReader and Amazon Kindle by the end of this year.
Considering the Asus Eee Family of products, we presume that the eBook Reader would be referred Eee Reader.
At the CeBIT 2009 Expo in March, Asus had showed off Dual Panel Touchscreen PC concept and obviously it was a prototype with nothing much shared about it. This is said to be the prototype of Asus Eee Reader, what we presume that it might be called. Asus' eBook reader will have a hinged spine in center just like a regular book. Two flat touchscreens will be on each side of spine which would be used to perform "turn" gesture to turn pages of the eBook.
One of the advantages of the dual-panel touchscreens would be that user can read eBook in one panel and browse in other panel. Either of the dual-panel touchscreen would also have virtual keyboard so that the Eee Reader could also be used as netbook. Current generation ebook readers from Sony and Amazon have monochrome screen while Asus Eee Reader will support full colors. Asus also boasted of including entertainment features like webcam, Mic and speakers for VoIP functions.
Just like the cheaper Asus Eee PC netbooks, Asus is planning to introduce budget version of Eee Reader at about $163 (Rs. 7,800 approx.) in order to beat the existing Sony eReader and Amazon Kindle. The premium version of Eee Reader will have 3G capabilities, web browser and expandable storage.
As reported earlier, MSI too was planning to come out with eBook Reader and we suppose they too will launch it by the end of this year. However, there's no official or unofficial information on it.