ASUS planning world's cheapest dual touchscreen Eee Reader

Back in March ASUS had shown us a glimpse of their dual panel touchscreen concept at CeBIT. Since then we had all forgotten about this little beast from the company. Just over a week ago, a rumor came up that ASUS may just push out an Eee-book reader this year. Jerry Shen, the company's president, said that it may not be only one device that they launch and said that the company plans to unveil the device before the end of the year, all this according to Times Online.

The company aims to launch two versions, a budget version and a premium version in the UK. The more expensive version is expected to be the prototype that had been made by the firms research and development team earlier this year. The Asus device is hinged on a spine and unlike other readers, reads like a printed book. Its other difference is that it will be a two-screen design and will be a touchscreen. This will allow traditionalists to read books the way they are meant to be read. The second screen can also be used for web browsing or to make notes on the text using a virtual keyboard.

The budget version is expected to retail for about $150 or £100, said the source. The low end model is based on the affordability of its Eee PCs. The makers have said that the Eee Reader could feature "speakers", a webcam and a mic for Skype. This would allow for cheap phone calls over the internet. This will lead the device into the laptop territory somewhat. The premium version could include inbuilt 3G , a web browser and expandable storage

Nothing official is known about the price or features but from the prototype shown in March it is pretty evident that Asus is going to set a precedent in the e-book market. Now with the Eee Reader being added to the list, Asus might be able to bite sharply into Amazon's and Sony's share in the e-book reader market.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Predictions: Apple's iPod/iTunes event

Next Story

Girls lost in drain rescued due to Facebook status update

16 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

The price point is right on. The two screens look like it would be very difficult to hold up and support for long-term reading.

I'll be getting me one of these. I want something that feels almost like a book and yet it can have some other functionality. I love reading but when I sit at the computer, I get a little unsettled and it's hard to sit and read for longer periods. Even lying in bed or on the couch with the laptop wasn't cutting it. This would fill that void and allow me to read my infinite ebooks that rarely get read now because of that issue.

It's good to see some competition. If you have not checked it out, the new ebooks (Amazon, Sony) have excellent screens that read like books (think of paper feel for the eyes). They are extremely comfortable for long read.

Definitely nice to see more offerings and competition in the world of ebooks. The reason I hesitate to get a Kindle is due to the closed eco-system of the Kindle system, which makes Amazon the gatekeeper in that case.

Another irony is that Amazon does have an awesome MP3 store that is DRM-free with a large selection and often good prices. Yet that is a completely open format, which is preferrable. I wish they did the same thing with their ebooks (Kindle).

On the note about Amazon, I recently came across an interesting table that details the discounts on Amazon.

It is at http://www.uberi.com

Maybe someone will find it useful too. While you are there, I would suggest checking out the "Amazon Filler Item" among other things there when you get a chance. It's quite amusing.

Why would you need dual screens? The only reason you see two pages is because of how books are constructed. So whats the point?

One screen should have been fine.

Well maybe to see more content at one time? Maybe to emulate the 'feel' of a book? Anyway, I guess it would be handy too as a keyboard.

Maybe to appeal to the magazine market. Many magazines use two page spreads nowadays. This could be ideal for those markets.
Ebook only magazines could use the left screen for an index and de right for the actual content which would make "page flicking" easier.

MiG- said,
Why would you need dual screens? The only reason you see two pages is because of how books are constructed. So whats the point?

One screen should have been fine.

So you can read a book and watch porn at the same time. Duh!

Don't get me wrong I think it's a great leap forwards in technology. But there is nothing like the feeling of a good old fashion book in your hands. Speaking metaphorically mind.

callum:mr said,
"world's cheapest dual touchscreen Eee Reader"
I didn't know there were any other dual touchscreen Eee Readers.

Ha, just what I was thinking :P "The world's largest tree from this garden!"

Still, pretty good prices.