updated 08:35 am EDT, Tue October 27, 2009
MSI reader due first half 2010
MSI is developing an e-book reader that would use NVIDIA's Tegra processor at its core, the company's chairman Joseph Hsu says today. Confirming an earlier rumor, the executive admits that a device with the fast graphics and ARM chip combo is in progress but has "some problems" that have pushed a formal unveiling back until sometime in the first half of 2010. Other details will likely only be supplied closer to the actual release.
The choice of Tegra would be unusual for an e-book reader. As most use grayscale displays, the MSI reader wouldn't have need for the graphics performance of a Tegra, which in its basic form can handle 720p video and reasonably modern 3D technology. It points to MSI either using a non-e-paper display to enable more visual features or else simply wanting the overall performance and small footprint of the Tegra.
An MSI reader will represent one of the first e-book readers from the Taiwan area but won't be the first, as ASUS is planning an Eee-branded reader with a 9-inch, grayscale display that should ship before the end of the year. The additions will heat up an increasingly competitive market that is publicly led by the Amazon Kindle but has been joined by the Barnes & Noble Nook and may soon include Apple, albeit through a touchscreen tablet whose e-book features may be secondary.