Twin Screen Digital Book Reader Could Cost Just $165

Dennis Faas's picture

Asus is working on an electronic reading device that could change the digital book industry. Not only is the product expected to be much cheaper than those already on the market, but it will include two screens -- allowing books to be read in traditional two-page format.

The firm is reportedly planning two editions of the reader.

First, a budget version featuring two fixed screens, allowing users to see a left-hand and right-hand page. It might not sound like a big deal, but the idea could have a strong psychological effect by making the experience of reading on a machine closer to reading a printed book. It might be very useful for reference books or other non-fiction titles which aren't read in their entirety and where the eye flicks back and forth across the page more often.

Second, a premium edition is said to have a completely hinged spine, meaning it can fold shut or lay flat. This would allow one screen to be used for reading a book, with the other used for browsing the web. It could also be set-up so that one screen becomes a touch-sensitive keypad, turning it into something resembling a computer tablet.

High-Tech At A Low Price

Asus, which is known for its low-cost netbook computers, is said to be considering selling the budget version of the device for 100 British Sterling Pounds, equivalent to around $165 USD. That's about 15% cheaper than the Sony Reader, and only a little more than half the price of the cheapest Amazon Kindle. (Source:

Unfortunately, the low price point may not be enough to turn the e-reader into a mass-market device: recent research suggests prices would have to fall below the $99 mark to make it a mainstream success. However, it's certainly in the range where Asus could reach a deal with a publisher to partially subsidize the cost to in return for buyers subscribing to content such as a newspaper or magazine. (Source:

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