The e-reader market hasn't exactly been a hotbed of competition yet. The Kindle, the Sony Reader, and most of the other entrants to the market have been very similar products launched at very similar price points. That's all about to change thanks to Asus. They're finishing up work on a brand new e-reader that's going to blast the status quo and leave the competition gasping to catch up.
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The Times Online reports that this new Eee Reader is going to feature a unique hinged design, so that the pages will be able to turn like a real book. Asus is likely to release a budget version, and an enhanced version with more features. No hard information on price is out as of yet, but current rumors place the cost of the budget model at well under $200.
To hear the Times tell it, this new Asus machine will have some almost miraculous capabilities. It'll have a full color display, video conferencing/skype options, browsing ability, and a pre-2010 release date. I'm a little skeptic of all that (full color e-ink display for under $200 before 2010?) but, even if that proves exaggerated, this is still an extremely exciting device.
Asus has a reputation for making very solid, reliable, fast-booting and low-cost machines. If any manufacturer is capable of undercutting the Kindle's price while delivering a superior product, it's Asus. See also this report about the Asus Dual Screen Display Concept eBook transformation.