It should really come as no surprise that Asus is entering the digital reader arena due to their huge success with the compact laptops which are priced so that the ‘average Joe’ can afford them.
The close-up peeks we’ve been given of the Asus DR-950 are quite impressive and the very first thing that jumps out at you is how incredibly thin this device is. It is wafer-thin as a matter of fact, at just .35 inches thin.
The DR-950 features a big, 9 inch display screen with a 1024 x 768 resolution. This device does not make use of e-ink but rather uses something that Asus claims is more energy efficient, SiPix Microcup electronic paper.
The Dr-950 offers 4GB of storage capacity, a USB port, SD card slot, Wi-Fi ability and HDSPA. Also on board is a a text to speech engine that supports 26 languages, a web browser that offers both portrait and landscape modes and an in-built board RSS reader. The DR-950 will also feature a virtual keyboard and handwriting input as well as a dictionary with a translation function.
We still do not know (for sure) the price of this great looking large electronic reader although there are a few rumors out there that it will sell for around $160 which if true, is much below the cheapest e-book readers available-the Amazon Kindle 2 that sells for $300 and the Cool-er Reader that goes for $250. We have not been told when it will be released.
Considering the fact that Asus pioneered the netbook frenzy, it will be interesting to see if they can rock the electronic book readers world as well. Last fall, Asus released a view of a prototype digital reader that features dual color touchscreens that looks nothing short of amazing. It is obvious that the Asus team is very busy these days trying to get a big jump on the e-reader leaders and we’re anxious to see what the tell and show us next.
The other Asus entry into the ereader market is the DR-570 which has specs that may force Kindle and Sony to upgrade. The OLED screen offers full color support which is what we have been anticipating for a while now. It is rumored also that it also offers Flash Video, Wi-Fi as well as 3G. It runs an amazing 122 hours on one charge and the page turns are supposedly lightening fast. Included too is an RSS reader, 4GB of memory and an audio/video player as well as text-to-speech functioning. The DR-570 is said to be released after the DR-950 makes it debut.
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