Price Is Right? Asus To Launch Low-Cost E-Reader


Netbook pioneer Asus, aka ASUSTeK Computer, is reportedly readying an e-reader that is cheaper than the pricey Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader. Reports indicate that it will sell for $164.

DigiTimes , which first broke the story last month, said that Asus CEO Jerry Shen confirmed that the Eee Reader will hit store shelves by the end of the year.

The Eee Reader mimics an actual book and features a hinged spine, according to a report in Tuesday's UK Times. The device opens like a tablet. Using a touch screen, readers would be able to turn full-color pages from one screen to another.

The Eee Reader also will enable users to browse a Web page on one of the screens and use one of the screens as a keypad. The Eee Reader also will reportedly have speakers, a Webcam and a mic for making Skype calls.

The Eee Reader will be available in a premium and budget model, according to a company spokesperson in the U.K.

The low-priced Eee Reader joins the increasingly crowded market once dominated by Amazon.com's Kindle, and more recently Sony, which launched three updated e-Readers last month, including a 3G version.

Trailing the pack, Barnes & Noble also offers an e-reader from its partner Plastic Logic and in July, Samsung unveiled its entry-level e-reader, the SNE-50K .