Asus DR-570 E-Reader To Bring OLED Display, Potentially Change The Market

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News Posted: Sun, Jan 17 2010 11:09 PM
It's too early to tell if this is the Eee Reader that was hinted aboutlast autumn, but there's little doubt that Asus will be joining thequickly growing e-reader market in the near future. Amazon has startedsomething that is showing no signs of slowing, with Plastic Logic,Spring Design and a host of other companies announcing their intentionsto attempt to oust the Kindle as the go-to reader on the market.

Reportedly, Asus will be introducing the DR-570 by the end of 2010, butit won't be just another one in the crowd. In fact, it just might be agame-changer. The reader will supposedly have a 6" screen, but ratherthan using e-ink like every other reader out there, this one willutilize a color OLED screen. Yeah, OLED. OLED displays haven't beenused in too many commercial products yet, mostly because of theprohibitive costs involved.

But as you could imagine, having an e-reader option with a colordisplay will surely make the "other guys" look mighty dated. Amazingly,the report suggests that the unit would last a whopping 122 hours on afull charge, which is more than enough for most users. It should alsobe able to run Flash applications, download books over 3G to Wi-Fi, andmost likely surf the web unlike any other reader out there. Could there be an NVIDIA Tegra 2 chip under the hood?  With the Tegra 2' s 1/2 Watt power envelope, it's entirely possible, though at this point that's pure speculation.  We've reached out to Asus' HQ for further details and will update this post as they come in.  We get thefeeling that this kind of e-reader will lead to all sorts of othersimilar options, and it just might put the Kindle as we know it out ofbusiness.


Or it could just make e-ink readers extremely affordable. Either way, we'lltake the innovation, though we wish we had some sort of pricing idea tolook forward to.  Stay tuned...

Update - 1/18/10 - 10:25PM EST:

This just came in from our contacts at Asus here in the US.  It looks like things are a bit premature at this point (of course) but it does appear that Asus will be making a major play in this arena in the near future.

"As for the status of the unit, we do have plans to bring a series of innovative products into this market sector.  All details about the product(s) are still to be finalized with the goals of outstanding responsiveness and battery life being of prime importance for us to ensure a great end user experience.  The mass production schedule is still under discussion as is pricing, availability, and channel selections.  However, based on our history with mobile products, the digital reader series will be cost competitive with other solutions while offering a wealth of features.

ASUS believes that content and applications are the keys to success in the market sector. Once we have a concrete software and application plan, we will disclose additional information to you."


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The new Zune has an OLED screen, and get a significant battery boost over the Ipod Touch because of it.

Will Asus be able to keep the costs down on a 6" OLED screen?

 

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wil2200 replied on Mon, Jan 18 2010 10:05 AM

As long as I can drag my pdfs over and markup on them, I consider that a win.

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ClemSnide replied on Mon, Jan 18 2010 2:04 PM

Another one to add to the burgeoning list! Asus can make major points by not putting artificial limits on text size.

I'd also like to see the Flash option turned off, for those of us who prefer a virus-free ebook reader. But, yeah, I'll look at what they're offering, if they come to market promptly enough (and aren't prohibitively expensive-- that's two big OLED panels there).

 

Doubt if I'll be reading Elle, though.


"I didn't cry when Bambi's mother was shot... but I cried when HAL was turned off."

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Soupstyle replied on Mon, Jan 18 2010 2:55 PM

I like it (not that I read fashon mags) but I will be waiting to see if they try to sell it for less than the Kindle, I don't think that many people will buy an e-Reader that isn't the Kindle if it is more expensive than amazon's offering.

That being said, I want a 2 page one to come out, sort of like in the tag image. This also makes me wonder if that tablet crunchy-something will ever see the light of day, but I guess we'd have to await the end of the litigation surrounding it.

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With the OLED screen, the vast improvement in battery life might have a factor in people's purchases. Any price over $400 would be hard for the consumer to swallow.

For Amazon, they are able to sell their Kindle for $260 because they expect to make a lot of it back via ebook distribution. It's like PS3 being sold at a loss because Sony intended to make the money back through publishing rights.

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rapid1 replied on Mon, Jan 18 2010 6:58 PM

Yeah the OLED is a very nice upgrade visually and in energy usage pattern. I keep hearing all this junk about 3D. I don't think I want a 3D television especially if I have to wear glasses to watch it. However if your talking about an OLED TV I am interested. They have some smart phones coming out soon and over over this year slated with OLED displays as well. With a multi use e-reader it makes perfect sense. In this market text crispness is a must. I think it is better developed for image clarity from the bottom up as well. Either way this is the yea of the e-reader I think this market is really going to blossom this year.

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OLED TV is very hotly anticipated, but sadly we’re still a way off replacing our HDTVs. Affordability is the main issue, and so far Sony has released one of the few available options such as the 11" XEL-1 for US$2500. 

Yes, you read that correct, $2500 for an 11" OLED TV!

But being wafer-thin, low-power alternatives, OLED TV is the way to the future more than 3D TV.

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One other thing to consider - applicable to the e-reader, rather than TV - is that OLED screens perform worse under direct sunlight:

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rapid1 replied on Tue, Jan 19 2010 3:43 AM

I agree on the OLED and sunlight, but as a TV it is pretty much the best there is without being plasma from what I can tell. We have been talking about getting a TV as we could use one. Maybe when taxes come through this year, but from what I do know about them I will be pretty demanding about whatever one I choose. As far as an e-reader though sunlight could definitely be a factor. I personally just like the idea of being able to order tons of books and have them all on one device, and most of my reading is done inside anyway personally.

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gregzeng replied on Tue, Jan 19 2010 8:04 AM

OLED, or LED-LCD screen. My Asus 1005ha claims 7 hours - small battery. Larger battery - unsure. Other 10 ich netbooks claim 12 hours - small battery.

I prefer an ANDROID smartphone, 3+ inch OLED screen, 5+ megpixel German-standard camera lens, dual-stabilized, live movie making zoom, Xenon flash (not LED flash), 3.5 mm standard headphone socket, with extra battery, car charger, usb cable charger.

As well as my netbook, I waiting a replacement for my Nokia (Symbian) N82 smartphone. Soon - I hope, my new demands are promised to be met. .... WAITING!!

Greg Zeng, Australian Capital Territory

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Every now and then one comes across a post that makes them go "woooah". This is one such post.

 

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rapid1 replied on Wed, Jan 20 2010 3:02 AM

Yes this post is quite enlightening as to the subject in general as well as expanded or at least making me more curious to know more.

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rapid1 replied on Wed, Jan 20 2010 2:42 PM

Watching all these new multi tablet devices hit the market is very cool. This one and the apple one as well as the IBM/Lenovo unit and everything really points where the market in general is going I think.

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chris_ replied on Wed, Jan 20 2010 6:01 PM

Sorry but with it being an illuminated screen, I will never buy one. E-ink is the way forward and colour e-ink will be the real killer. Colour e-ink with high update speed will kill off everything else.

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gibbersome replied on Wed, Jan 20 2010 11:57 PM

I didn't know color e-ink was ready for release. But yes, as long as the price is right, color e-ink would provide an advantage over existing screens, while being battery friendly. Qualcomm is has developed a color display technology called Mirasol, very similar to e-ink. All these competing technologies bodes well for the consumer.

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rapid1 replied on Thu, Jan 21 2010 12:24 AM

I believe E ink and another provider will be releasing color e-book/tablet displays at the big world conference in late spring. Not to mention there are also LCD and LED as well as OLED displays being implemented now on the small form factor.

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The big advantage the color E-ink and OLED screens hold over LCD is their power efficiency. Color E-link might trump OLED screens if they're vastly cheaper.

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rapid1 replied on Thu, Jan 21 2010 2:43 AM

I don't know price wise for sure, but I doubt vastly cheaper in this size spectrum is going to be true really. I am thinking somwhere between 20-75 dollars price difference. Although I imagine the e-ink is going to beat Oled somewhat on power I am not sure how much when E-ink is color but I would imagine some for sure maybe an hour.

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It's a trade off, but even if the difference is $100-150 I would still opt for OLED because it allows for dynamic content, meaning videos, animations, which the color e-ink would not be able to display. And if the battery is good enough to last 122 hours, as the article above suggests, it would be good enough for the vast majority of consumers. The current Kindle 2's battery life is ~150 hours, I think.

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