Asustek has officially announced that its Linux-based Eee Note EA-800 will be available this week in Taiwan for about $230 US. Yet the budget-minded, note-taking e-reader probably won’t make it to the U.S. or many other countries in time for this year’s holiday season.
Asustek’s new Eee Note EA-800 is not to be confused with its Eee Reader DR-900, already for sale in the company’s native Taiwan for practically $400 U.S. Like the pricier Eee Reader, the new Eee Note comes with a stylus for taking on-screen notes. However, its 8-inch monochrome LCD touch screen is one-inch smaller than the e-paper screen used in the Eee Reader.
Due to the difference in screen technologies, the Eee Note will reportedly run on batteries continuously for only about 10 hours with its WiFi b/g turned on, and 14.5 hours with it off. In comparison, thanks to its e-paper screen from Sipix Imaging, the Eee reader will go for up to two weeks without a recharge.
Despite its lower pricetag, though, the Eee Note is outfitted with 4GB of flash memory for internal storage, in contrast to only 2GB for the Eee Reader. Each device also features a microSD slot for additional internal storage and a Micro-USB port for recharging or syncing to a PC.
A Wacom-enabled Screen
The Eee Note sports an anti-glare 768-by-1024 grayscale display for use with a snap-in, dockable Wacom digital stylus offering 256 levels of pressure sensitivity.
Also included is a mono speaker, an integrated microphone, a 3.5 mm headphones socket, and a 2 megapixel camera. The camera can be used to take pictures of text and images, and then the user can annotate the pages on the device’s LCD touch display.
Suitably, the Eee Note will be bundled with software for reading, writing notes, recording lectures, and listening to music, as well as special content from local partners in various countries.
With the Eee Note, Asustek is in step with a still prevailing downward price curve on monochrome readers, being spurred in large part by competitive pressures in an increasingly populated product market.
Unless they live in certain areas of Asia, though, consumers probably won’t be able to pick up an Eee Note for themselves or as a holiday gift this year.
Following availability this week in Taiwan and soon afterward in Hong Kong, the reader is slated to ship in European countries such as Germany, Italy and Russia just before or after the turn of the year, and in the U.S. and China during the first quarter of 2011.