updated 09:35 am EST, Tue March 2, 2010
ASUS touts high res, apps in first e-reader
ASUS on Tuesday held its customary CeBIT introductions but headlined these with the official debut of its first e-book reader. The DR-900 centers almost all its interface on a 9-inch, 1024x768 touchscreen and has only minimal buttons on its sides. It's also treated as more than just a book device as it can go online to get news and even supports non-traditional apps.
Networking is one of its specialties of the pencil-thin e-reader as it has both Wi-Fi as well as optional 3G for downloads; battery life is also unusually long as the device can last for 10,000 page turns with wireless off, or enough to get through about 20 typical novels. Only 2GB to 4GB of storage is built-in, but an SD card slot provides room for more.
The DR-900 will support ePub, PDF and raw text for documents but will also have a headphone jack for improved text-to-speech and MP3 listening.
As with most ASUS launches, the company hasn't said when or at what prices it will ship the device, though much of the ASUS lineup normally makes it to the US. Pricing is likely to be low relative to the actual feature set and will potentially help the DR-900 survive against competition like the iPad, which threatens to steal high-end share from the e-reader market.