Asus unveils its first e-reader, the DR-900

The device has a thin, 9-inch screen and includes Wi-Fi

Netbook pioneer Asustek Computer unveiled its first e-reader, the DR-900, at the Cebit electronics show in Hanover, Germany.

The DR-900 comes with a thin, 9-inch e-reader screen and includes Wi-Fi and optional 3G wireless connectivity, the company said. The e-reader is designed to ensure the batteries can last through 10,000 page turns, or around 20 or 30 novels, on a single charge.

"We deeply researched the habits of people who use e-readers and believe reading comfort and battery life are the two key factors," the company said.

Asustek has not yet decided a price for the e-reader, nor when it will begin global sales, a company representative said.

Asustek CEO Jerry Shen said the e-reader will likely be launched to the market during the Computex electronics show in Taipei this June. He said Asustek planned to work with content providers in launching the e-reader.

The DR-900's touchscreen is from SiPix Imaging, which sells a rival to E-ink technology, and includes handwriting capability similar to the e-reader revealed by Samsung Electronics at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January. The screen is thin, at 9mm, and is monochrome with 768 x 1024 resolution.

The e-reader comes with 4GB of flash memory for storage in addition to an SD card slot for more books, music and more. The device supports a variety of e-book formats, including ePub, PDF, and TXT, as well as audio in MP3 and Audible. It can also be used for JPEG photos, GIFs, BMP and PNG.

The DR-900 has built in speakers and a 3.5mm audio jack.

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Dan Nystedt

IDG News Service
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