BenQ e-readers hit Taiwan, writing to be added in April

BenQ's parent company teamed up with Ebook Japan on a new Web site to distribute content

The new nReader by BenQ launched in Taipei on Wednesday as part of the Taipei International Book Exhibition (TIBE) 2010, and the company is already planning note-taking capabilities for its next generation model due out in April.

The nReader is on sale for NT$8,990 (US$280) from several stores, including Fnac bookstores, Carrefour department stores and Taiwan's Tsann Kuen 3C electronic stores. BenQ teamed up with EbookTaiwan.com.tw for e-book sales and other content, which is offered at a 25 percent to 60 percent discount to the price of a paper-made book. The nReader comes with 40 books pre-loaded.

EbookTaiwan.com.tw is a cooperation between Ebook Japan and BenQ's parent company, Qisda. The nReader will be on the market in Japan soon, a BenQ representative said.

The nReader has a 6-inch touchscreen and plays music in addition to displaying e-books. The device is thin and light with digital ink quality similar to that of Amazon's Kindle. Users can download e-books and music wirelessly via 3G mobile technology and Wi-Fi. The nReader can store around 4,000 books in its 2GB of flash memory.

BenQ's nReader is made by SiPix Imaging. SiPix's digital ink technology competes with that of E-ink Corporation of the U.S., which has agreed to be purchased by Taiwan's Prime View International, the manufacturer of Kindle.

The device is being offered in Chinese, English and Japanese initially, and supports a number of e-book formats, including EPUB as well as MP3 audio. The device has an audio jack to plug in headphones.

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Dan Nystedt

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