e-Readers Get Boost from LG, ASUS

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LG's flexible screen

Usually in consumer electronics, manufacturers worry about prices dropping so fast their products lose money.   In e-readers, the technology is moving so fast, they may worry the devices will become antiques before they leave the port.

At the Consumer Electronics Show it looked like Blio turned the e-reader world upside down.  Would we really need to buy an e-reader if Blio made e-books literally jump off the page through streaming video and 3D motion graphics—all viewable on an iPhone, tablet or notebook PC?   Why pay for a dedicated black and white e-reader when we could view these Uber e-books on a color device we already own?   Now, a week later, it looks like the e-reader is back.   LG is showing off an “electronic newspaper” with a flexible metal screen only slightly thicker than paper.  And ASUS may deliver an e-reader with a color screen and  Blio-like features.

Reports claim ASUS is preparing a 6-inch color (possibly OLED)  e-reader for delivery some time this year with Wi-Fi, 3G and 122-hour battery life.  The page turns are quicker than on the Kindle and it will have a web browser and possibly video streaming, reports Engadget. Called the DR-570, the ASUS device may be joined by a larger DR-950 with 9-inch monochrome touch screen.  No word on price for either device.

LG is showing what appears to be a proof-of-concept 19-inch-wide e-reader display roughly the size of a newspaper page, only slightly thicker.   The screen uses metal foil instead of glass or plastic, and it’s mounted with an E-Ink screen. Reportedly LG will a deliver smaller, 11.5 inch flexible display e-reader by the end of June, giving its device one of the largest screens on the market , along with the Skiff (also at 11.5-inches and which also uses LG screen technology).  Until CES, Plastic Logic lead the market in size, it’s Que claiming a 10.7 inch screen, with shipping planned for April.

Hey, but it’s only January 18.  By January 27, Apple may steer momentum away from the e-reader once again, and back to the  tablet…..

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