Asus eReader

The Asus eReader has been confirmed for a 2009 release. There are more updates, including the news that there are actually two Asus eReaders.

The news actually hit #1 on TechMeme which means a lot of people are writing about how Asus’ not yet released eReader will take over the market.

Here’s what the higher end Asus eReader looks like – Asus eReader - Premium Version

Only problem is, from the definition (courtesy Times Online), it doesn’t exactly sound like an eReader. Let’s take a look –

the Asus device has a hinged spine, like a printed book …
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.

… the Asus would be full colour … may also feature “speakers, a webcam and a mic for Skype”, allowing cheap phone calls over the internet.

That sounds like a split screen netbook to me.

The features make it unlike any other eReader –

  1. Color screens, and two of them, rules out eInk.
  2. A second screen you can surf on while reading. Asus have got to be joking.
  3. Webcam and Skype.

It seems like Asus is trying to kill ebooks.

All those people focused on reading – That’s terrible. Lets create a device that not only distracts them with web surfing and phone calls, it actually has a second screen to remove any possibility whatsoever of them actually reading.

We had reviewed the threat of an Asus eReader a week ago. However, an Asus netbook pretending to be an eReader is hardly a threat.

The budget version, named the Asus Eee Reader, sounds more interesting as it will compete on price rather than features. It will retail at 100 pounds ($164).

To complicate matters a lot of news sources are confusing the two models and pushing the notion that Asus’s premium model is $200, which would be a minor miracle.

Times Online also claim that eReaders sales in UK have been depressingly low –

to date fewer than 80,000 ereader devices have been sold in the UK, according to GfK, the retail analyst

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