Astak launched a new 5-inch Pocket PRO eBook
that should provide Amazon’s Kindle
with some good competition. This new reader supports
over 20 open file formats and also features Adobe firmware that adds support
for Digital Rights Management PDF files. Thanks to the Adobe firmware, users
can read both public-domain titles as well as copy-protected PDF documents on
the Pocket PRO.
At the end of July, Astak announced they had acquired
permission from Adobe
Systems to install the Adobe Digital Editions firmware on their 5-inch and
6-inch devices. To date, Astak is only the second company to have obtained this
firmware besides Sony. This firmware lets users purchase and read
copyright-protected eBooks in PDF format from major eBook stores such as
Powell's Books and Books on Board.
Like its 6-inch EZ Reader sibling, the 5-inch Pocket PRO
natively supports more than 20 DRM
-free formats, thereby allowing users to read any
non-copyright protected eBook available on the Internet. The Pocket PRO also
features PDF reflow which makes documents easier to read and a text-to-speech
function that can read documents aloud. As another bonus, the Pocket PRO can
play MP3 music files while you’re reading an eBook.
"We are very excited because the Pocket PRO will give
customers greatest freedom of choice. Whether it's classic titles or new
releases, the customer can finally read it all on one device," said Walter
Shan, project director of Astak's eBook Reader Department.
The Pocket PRO comes in six colors and offers three or more
font sizes. It weighs approximately 6 ounces and uses an 8-level grayscale
E-ink screen that mimics the experience of reading printed text and minimizes
eyestrain. The reader runs on an Epson controller and a 400MHz processor.
You’ll find 512MB of memory on board the Pocket PRO. For
additional storage, the eBook reader accepts SD cards up to 16GB. The Pocket
PRO has a replaceable battery that lasts up to 8,000 page turns on a full
The 5-inch Pocket PRO is currently available for preorder
promotional price of $199. The eBook reader is expected to ship by the end of