the Asus eee-book reader

by fledgling otaku on September 8, 2009

I’ve swooned over the Kindle before, but still haven’t found myself willing to take the plunge. Sony has been going after Amazon’s Kindle with sexy new versions of its own e-book reader, but the main problem with the ebook market in general is that the readers are still just too expensive, not to mention stuck in a technology slow-lane with black and white text, no color support, and the non-intuitive physical form factor of a single slab.

Enter ASUS with the first real innovation we have seen in this market – a dual-pane reader with color screens, genuine computing/web surfing abilities, and most importantly a low price:

ASUS eeebook

ASUS eeebook

The world of ebooks is about to start a new chapter with the arrival of the cheapest digital reader on the market. Asus, one of the world’s biggest consumer electronics businesses, confirmed last week that it is planning to shake up the market in the same way it did when it launched the first netbook — the low-cost alternative to the laptop.

(…) Unlike current ebook readers, which take the form of a single flat screen, the Asus device has a hinged spine, like a printed book. This, in theory, enables its owner to read an ebook much like a normal book, using the touchscreen to “turn” the pages from one screen to the next. It also gives the user the option of seeing the text on one screen while browsing a web page on the other. One of the screens could also act as a virtual keypad for the device to be used like a laptop. Whereas current ebook readers have monochrome screens, the Asus would be full colour. The maker says it may also feature “speakers, a webcam and a mic for Skype”, allowing cheap phone calls over the internet.

The ability to read on one page and surf on the other is a big deal – imagine having Wikipedia, Google and Evernote handy while reading a book! You could really enhance your comprehension and note-taking that way, all on the same self-contained device. The key to success here is the connectivity, with both WiFi and 3G essential. ASUS is poised to transform the ebook reader market the same way they did the notebook market with the introduction of the EEE PC. It’s about time.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dave September 8, 2009 at 11:15 am

Hmm, it’s still a bit light on details, like battery life and the type of display they’re using. But it looks like these readers are getting better and better.

Too bad they’re causing some stupidity. Did you read that article about the US college that got rid of it’s physical book collection to go only electronic?

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Nina Aguilar April 7, 2010 at 3:43 pm

The Univ. of Phoenix already has a totally online school…and all the reading material is in their e-library, or in a textbook that is e-published. I hated that. I like holding a real book, high-lighting parts…..and you still have to PAY for the stupid e-books!

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