Asus is reportedly planning to launch a dedicated eBook reader by the end of the year. DigiTimes reports that Asus CEO Jerry Shen has confirmed plans to launch an eBook reader as part of the company’s Eee line of products.
Digital books have been around for ages. But the relative success of the Amazon Kindle has led to some real growth in the market recently, and Sony’s new eBook readers have some pretty slick features like touchscreens and the ability to check out digital books from your local library. If the market continues to grow, this could become a whole new category of consumer electronics for PC makers to explore.
DigiTimes also quotes industry sources saying that MSI is looking at the eBook space.
But I’m still curious about whether people want or need single-purpose devices like eBook readers? We’ve already seen that you can turn a netbook into an eBook reader that also happens to have WiFi, in some cases a keyboard, and the ability to do more than just read books.
On the other hand, dedicated eBook readers are typically smaller, lighter, easier to hold in one hand, and have batteries that last for weeks, not just hours. They also tend to have higher contrast displays. But I’d love to see a device that combines some of the features of netbooks and eBook readers with a Pixel Qi screen that works in high contrast eBook mode and which is also capable of displaying videos with full color saturation. On the other hand, I doubt you’d be able to pick up such a device for less than $199 anytime soon.
What do you think? Would you buy a dedicated eBook reader? How much would you be willing to pay for one? Or do you already own one? Sound off in the comments.