Asus has entered the increasingly crowded eBook reader market with several models set to appear this year. The first, the monochrome DR-950, should ship in April.
The DR-950 has a 9in. screen with minimal framing, making it fairly convenient to carry. It measures 161mm wide by 222mm deep by 9mm thick and weighs 370g.
The screen technology, from Sipix, supports touch, minimising the need for control buttons around the DR-950's edges. The 16-greyscale screen has a resolution of 1,024 by 768 pixels, and will display in both portrait and landscape formats. This makes the DR-950 appropriate not only for eBook reading, but also for viewing web pages. As well as a bowser, the DR-950 includes an RSS reader.
The touchscreen incorporates a virtual keyboard and supports handwriting recognition, while a built-in dictionary offers real-time translation of words that you touch. It will even tell you how to pronounce words. Users can expand this functionality by importing dictionaries from the internet.
The DR-950 will come in versions with 2GB and 4GB of internal memory, with SD card support for storage expansion. Wi-Fi (802.11b/g) and mobile broadband (HSPA) are integrated, and the device's battery should keep it going for four days with Wi-Fi on, or two weeks with Wi-Fi off.
Other features include a Micro-USB port for power and PC/Mac connection, a 3.5mm headset jack and a pair of integrated stereo speakers.
Later in the year Asus intends to release two further models, both featuring 5.7in. displays. One of these will have a colour screen, and yet still offer five days (122 hours) of battery life, according to the company. It will support Flash and so will be suitable for more advanced tablet-style multimedia applications.
We have no information on prices at the time of writing.