Photo: Astak's 9.7" Mentor e-Book Reader
Now, adding to its lineup of Mentor e-book readers, Astak is offering the EZ Reader. To be released in late November, 2008, the EZ Reader is touted as the lightest, smallest and thinnest eBook Reader ever introduced in North America. And if the press release is honest, it is going to have some features that make greenie on-the-go readers drool with anticipation. The Astak will be just 7.2" long, 4.7" wide and a teensy .4" thick. The very light 7.8 oz reader uses e-Ink and e-Paper so your eyes will have an easy time with long reads.
Also interesting to note, the screen uses zero power while you read — only standby computer power is needed for it to function until you turn a page. And this reader will be good for long hauls - you can flip through 8,000 pages on a single charge. That is great news for those of us always on the prowl for ways to green up our reading.
A "Plus" version will be offered in 2009 with WiFi, and a "Pro" version is due out after that which will have both WiFi and Touchscreen. According to the rumor, it will be priced competitively at about $300.
Astak will soon out-do itself with its Flexi-Screened 9.7 inch eBook Reader to be introduced in the first half of 2009. So stay tuned for an even wider selection of e-readers!
Why All These E-Readers?
E-Readers are popping up all over for a couple of reasons. One is that they're prefect for people who are always on the go. Frequent travelers who want something to read don't really want to carry around the weight and bulk of paper books. Also, heavy-duty readers who go through a stack of books each month can cut down on the cost of reading while lessening their impact on trees by going for an e-Reader.
Newspapers are latching on to paper-thin readers because circulation has fallen with the advent of online news. Newspaper e-readers provide the immediacy of now! news along with increased compact portability.
However, e-Readers aren't necessarily for everyone. They're a fairly large investment, and if you're the type of person who just wants to read for pleasure every once in a while, the library is likely the best option for low eco-impact reading.