The cheapest portable ebook reader yet is set to arrive soon.
The Asus Eee Reader has finally been confirmed for a
2009 March 2010 release. Many sources are speculating that this not-yet-released eReader will dominate the market, and that Amazon better watch their back. There’s also rumors that there’ll be two versions of the “Eee”: a budget unit priced at $164 and a higher-end device ($200).
Here’s a glimpse at the higher end Asus Eee Reader:
The Eee Reader reportedly will have features not typically found in traditional eReaders:
- A webcam and microphone…for using Skype (a book that makes phone calls? Wow)
- A hinged spine, as shown in the picture above
- Two color screens, one of which could act as a keyboard! This second screen could also be used to surf the Internet while reading a book on the first screen.
Because the Eee Reader will have full-color screens, it’s safe to assume that eInk technology will not be used. That being said, hopefully Asus has come up with a way to reduce problems like glare and readability that other companies like Sony faced when not using eInk.
It’s hard to predict how successful these new devices will be, but I for one think it’s exciting to see companies thinking “outside the box” and trying new things. On the other hand, critics have complained that the Eee Reader has too many features that are distracting from the primary purpose of an electronic reading device…READING