BenQ unveils new K61 e-reader with 6-inch touchscreen

BenQ put Wi-Fi and 3G wireless in the device, and users can take notes via the touchscreen

BenQ launched its second-generation e-reader on Friday, a device able to download e-books via Wi-Fi or 3G networks and take notes using the touchscreen.

The BenQ nReader K61 is on sale only in Taiwan, for $US319 including 200 pre-loaded e-books. The 6-inch touchscreen is made of e-paper, so it's not in color. But the company added touch technology to the screen so people can turn pages on the screen and even take down notes using a stylus.

The price of the new device makes it more expensive than some rivals, but BenQ hopes to make up for that by adding features people in Taiwan will like, such as Chinese, Japanese and English-language reading capabilities, as well as text-to-speech in Chinese and English. The company has also worked with content providers in Taiwan to offer newspapers and magazines on the K61.

People buying the K61 in Taipei over the next few weeks will also get a choice of a 1-month subscription to one of three local newspapers, free. The electronic newspapers will be delivered to K61s over wireless networks so that they're there every morning when the user wakes up. Taiwanese companies have entered the e-reader market with an eye to partnering with content providers.

The nReader K61 comes with 2GB of internal storage and an SD card slot that can handle up to an additional 16GB of storage. It has a mini-USB port, 3.3mm earphone socket so users can listen to MP3 music files and text-to-speech, and it supports several e-book standards, including ePub.

The device is on sale in Taiwan at FNAC stores, as well as online at eBook Taiwan, Yahoo Taiwan and PCHome Online.

A BenQ representative said the company has not yet finalized launch plans for the K61 outside Taiwan.

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Dan Nystedt

IDG News Service
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