Asus to launch cheapest ebook reader

Credit: Times Online
Credit: Times Online

And this isn’t just like any other reader too.

Asus, the company who first launched netbooks, is doing it again and is now planning on releasing a low-cost gadget alternative for electronic book readers they’ve dubbed the Eee Reader.

According to Jerry Shen, Asus president, two versions are set to be available in the market by the end of the year: a budget and a premium version.

The premium version is the most interesting though. Unlike current ebook readers (and yes, I mean Kindle and Amazon 😉 ) Asus claims that this one will have two screens connected by a hinged spine that can open like a traditional book. One screen can be used for viewing ebooks (pages can be “turned” through the touchscreen) while the other page can be used for browsing web pages. One of the screens can also be used as a virtual keyboard, according to a Times report.

Other features on the Eee Reader has that are not found on typical ebook readers include full color screens and may also include speakers, a webcam and a mic for Skype.

“Our ethos is innovation — as our brand is less well known, we have to run faster than the competition to develop new types of products,” said Asus. “Any such product — including an ereader — has to have the right combination of functionality and price. No one is going to buy one for £1,000.”

The budget version of the Eee Reader would not be as high-tech as its premium sibling though and would “take on the competition on price rather than features”, according to Times.

No word yet as to how much the readers will be priced, but expect it to be lower than the competitions. 🙂