Astak's Pocket PRO eBook Reader Includes Adobe Digital Editions Firmware

Astak launched a new 5-inch Pocket PRO eBook reader 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 charge.

The 5-inch Pocket PRO is currently available for preorder from and for a promotional price of $199. The eBook reader is expected to ship by the end of this month.