Asus confirms e-book reader trio
Blighty to get 9in and two 5.7in models this year
Updated Asus has clarified plans for an e-book reader rollout, telling Register Hardware that it will launch three models in the UK this year.
The DR-950: Asus' first and largest e-book viewer
Details of a 5.7in colour-capable Asus e-book reader – the DR-570 – appeared earlier today. However, Asus has since told us that a 9in model – the DR-950 – and monochrome 5.7in model - the DR-750 - will be launched on staggered dates throughout 2010.
Set to appear here during March/April, the DR-950’s E Ink touchscreen will display 16 shades of grey and sport a 768 x 1024 resolution.
Asus has equipped the e-book reader with text-to-speech functionality - there's a 3.5mm headphone socket on board too - web browser, handwriting recognition, dictionary and either 3.5G or 802.11g connectivity. Data will be stored on SD memory cards, Asus said, though the device will have 4GB of built-in storage too.
The DR-950 will hit Blighty in March/April
The DR-950 measures 222 x 161 x 9mm and weighs in at 370g. A full battery charge – which Asus said takes 3.5 hours - will let owners read for up to four days. Recharges over USB 2.0 will be possible.
The machine will support PDF and ePub file formats, Asus said.
Asus has not yet set a launch date for the monochrome 5.7in e-book viewer, but the company told us the machine will appear ahead of the colour DR-570 – set to launch in Blighty during Q4.
Software and battery life tweaks are apparently holding back the DR-570’s launch, Asus admitted.
Asus will launch the monochrome DR-750 and colour-capable DR-570 - both 5.7in models - later this year
Asus would say nothing about 5.7in e-book reader’s features, but we believe its features will mirror the DR-570's.
Prices for all three Asus e-book readers remain a mystery. ®
Let's hope Asus chooses to seriously undercut the competition to get market share. Hopefully this will drive the price of this type of device down.
Then all we need is the publishers to stop being greedy and eBooks might finally take off. This is likely to be the huge fly in the ointment. It doesn't matter how many manufacturers start producing readers, if the eBooks themselves remain at their current prices then people just won't go there.
According to one of El Reg's CES reports, it's an OLED screen
Which goes to show that the DRM doesn't work
No, they should make the e-books readily available at a reasonable price, and then the punters will actually -buy- them. DRM certainly hasn't stopped the books being wildly available as you observe. While I hate the Kindle and everything it stands for, the reasonable price of Amazon ebooks is what has gotten this thing off the ground in the past year.
Also, with your grizzling about music downloads, aren't there statistics that show music purchases on the the rise, if you include MP3 purchases? The only thing that's "killed" record companies (and how many have gone bust lately, hm?) is their refusal to acknowledge that the CD is no longer king. Simple.