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

It's too early to tell if this is the Eee Reader that was hinted about last autumn, but there's little doubt that Asus will be joining the quickly growing e-reader market in the near future. Amazon has started something that is showing no signs of slowing, with Plastic Logic, Spring Design and a host of other companies announcing their intentions to 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, but it won't be just another one in the crowd. In fact, it just might be a game-changer. The reader will supposedly have a 6" screen, but rather than using e-ink like every other reader out there, this one will utilize a color OLED screen. Yeah, OLED. OLED displays haven't been used in too many commercial products yet, mostly because of the prohibitive costs involved.

But as you could imagine, having an e-reader option with a color display will surely make the "other guys" look mighty dated. Amazingly, the report suggests that the unit would last a whopping 122 hours on a full charge, which is more than enough for most users. It should also be able to run Flash applications, download books over 3G to Wi-Fi, and most 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 the feeling that this kind of e-reader will lead to all sorts of other similar options, and it just might put the Kindle as we know it out of business.

Or it could just make e-ink readers extremely affordable. Either way, we'll take the innovation, though we wish we had some sort of pricing idea to look 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."