updated 12:50 pm EDT, Mon September 7, 2009
ASUS reader to get two screens, color
ASUS' promised e-book reader debut should not only involve more than one model but could represent a number of rarities or even firsts for the technology. While the mentioned Eee-branded reader would be basic and trade on its price -- an estimate has it costing as little as $164 -- ASUS chief Jerry Shen told the Times a second upscale model would have two color touchscreens and fold like a real book to give users two pages of content at once. It may also have basics like speakers and a webcam to provide simple audio and video conversations online.
This last mention implies Internet access, though whether this would involve just Wi-Fi or a 3G connection isn't stated. Amazon and Sony both have free 3G on at least one model each for buying and downloading books. However, the reader may share its roots in the dual-screen device shown by ASUS as one of the results of its WePC user-designed hardware contest.
The first reader is due by the end of the year, but the more advanced version doesn't have a specified release date.