Asus’s New E-Reader Looks More Like a Real, Live Book

The company's forthcoming reader sports a dual-screen, two-page layout and (yes) color

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For a lot of people, e-book readers are a long game of “I’ll buy it when…” For some, the rest of that sentence is “it has a color screen,” and for others it’s “it’s cheaper.” Asus’s upcoming Eee Reader (due by the end of this year) delivers on both counts. Oh, and it will have two screens, too.

More a mobile internet device than an e-book reader, the Asus has a second screen that allows it to have a book open on one page and a browser on the other, or pull up a virtual keyboard on the lower screen to give the feel of a netbook when in landscape mode. It will also have a speaker, Webcam, and microphone for Skype.

The prototype, which Asus showed off at CeBIT earlier this year, has a hinged spine between its two color touchscreens, making paging through text feel more book-like than on the Amazon Kindle or Sony Reader.

Also very unlike its most direct competitors is the Eee Reader’s price tag. The Times Online reported over the weekend that Asus is shooting for $160 (100 Euro)