Astak’s five-inch eBook reader arriving next month, $150 price tag?

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Image119There’s no final price yet, but Astak’s eBook reader with five-inch display might be the reader for folks on a budget. Rumors are that the device will arrive in the U.S. next month and could cost as low at $150, which if true, gets this type of device more in line with the consumer electronics market. That’s not suggesting that a $399 Kindle won’t sell; obviously it can and does. But most folks I speak with that show an interest in the Kindle really balk at the price.Granted, for $150 you’re not going to get connectivity for instant downloads, basic web surfing and RSS reading. But you will get an 800 x 600 eInk display with 4 levels of grayscale at 170 dpi, SD card support up to 4 GB, and a battery that lasts for around 8,000 page refreshes. Of course, content is a key attribute as well. The Astak supports TXT, PDF, RTF, HTML/CHM, and MP3 for audio. Without support for DRM content, I don’t hold out much hope, but since the device runs Linux (QT 2.6), perhaps we’ll see some porting success. It’s a shame: Astak has a nice form factor and the right price, but it’s missing the content support that could make this unit sell to mainstream consumers. I could live without the wireless connectivity, but not readily available current content. Looks like I’m sticking with eReader on my UMPC for now.

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Aaron J. Walker

Let’s hope they can get some other reader support.

The price is right to help expand e-reading and the device isn’t bad looking.

The look is kind of generic but for the price I think folks would look past it’s plain vanilla wrapping.

If Sony is going with support of Adobe Digital Editions, maybe the folks at Astak are talking with them as we speak?

Not to mention the robust moding community who could post a work around or two since it’s Linux based.

If it’s anywhere near the $150 price, I’d get one.

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