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ASUS to take on Kindle with the Eee Reader. - 9/7/2009 4:52:03 AM   


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Regular readers might recall the Dual Panel laptop, shown off by ASUS in March as a prototype reader/notebook and at the time, not planned as a retail launch. Well, a few months is a long time in the world of tech and just as we had forgotten all about it, ASUS pitches that very same device as the ultimate Kindle killer. Or if you like, the Eee Reader.

ASUS claimed its prototype device was more than just an ebook reader and according to the company, the finished product will offer much more versatility and functionality than the current Amazon and Sony offerings. After all, it's got an extra screen to play with. Indeed, it might not be just once device, with ASUS considering the option of 'budget' and 'premium' units, the latter no doubt similar to the prototype's concept of mixing web browsing and reading on its colour (yes, you read that right) screens, ASUS adding that it might also feature 'speakers, a webcam and a mic for Skype' for cheap phone calls over the internet.

How much for all this? Well, as this is ASUS, you just know we're at the budget end of the market. According to a company spokesman: 'Our ethos is innovation - as our brand is less well known, we have to run faster than the competition to develop new types of products. Any such product - including an ereader - has to have the right combination of functionality and price. No one is going to buy one for £1,000.'

But they might buy at £100, which is the price being pitched for the budget model, just over half the price of the Cool-er, currently the cheapest option on the market. With Kindle still not confirmed for the UK, ASUS could clear up in what's still a developing market. Look out for it in one way or another before Christmas.

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