Asus eeeReader DR-900 Now Shipping in the UK

Now here's a bit of news that I never expected to write. Asus' 9" ebook reader has shown up on Amazon.co.uk, with a rather high price of £280.This ereader drew a fair amount of attention when it launched last year, but it didn't have any real support from Asus, a major retailer, or a major ebookstore. It vanished fairly fast, but did show up from time to time in France and Russia. It was also supposed to be sold in Italy in December, but I cannot find any sign that it was.This is the only ereader to hit the market with a 9" epaper screen. Unlike the Kindle DX, the DR-900 uses a screen from Sipix, not E-ink, and that explains the unusual size. The DR-900 also has Wifi, Bluetooth, a capacitive touchscreen, 4GB Flash storage, and a microSD card slot. Past reviews have shown that the DR-900 has a web browser and an on-screen keyboard. It also reportedly had TTS, annotation features, and a dictionary.

It's listed for £280, which is a little steep when compared to any number of budget Android tablets.

I wouldn't get it if I were you. It's not just that the price is high; the seller looks a little shady. I don't think they are crooks. But if you look at the reviews on this seller you will find 3, and all date from 2010. That's not enough of a history for me to feel comfortable buying from this seller.

I also have to wonder where they got it. This looks to be a small time seller. Who did they get it from? Why aren't Amazon carrying it? Why haven't we seen it listed anywhere else?

This listing bothers me on several levels.

via E-reader-info

About Nate Hoffelder (11581 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

9 Comments on Asus eeeReader DR-900 Now Shipping in the UK

  1. « It was also supposed to be sold in Italy in December, but I cannot find any sign that it was.»

    It was, and it was a disaster.
    Gray monitor, fragile touch screen, faulty firmware and slow support.

    Here is a user forum with a lot of complaints (in italian):

    http://forum.simplicissimus.it/index.php?board=144.0

    • True. Most users had been mislead in believing it to be some kind of B/W tablet. It was also more expensive than Kindle DX (free wireless) , pathetic performance , hideous contrast etc…etc…
      I had awaited it for a long time just to be disapointed by asus .

    • renzo, in my view you’re being a bit harsh here.
      I bought one and (search for my review on MobileRead if you want) I found the hardware good, and the firmware acceptable in some aspects, and appalling in others. In the meantime, several firmware updates have been published. These brought some of the appalling features on the same level of the acceptable ones.
      As a reader for pdf and epub files (I bought it for this) it is fairly good, though there’s definitely space for improvements. However, any shortcomings (in comparison to more polished products such as Sony’s) are nicely counterbalanced by the large screen. You can even read A4 pages on it, provided that the font is not extremely small (zoom options are limited, though).
      By the way, the screen IS gray… but this proved to be a non-problem for me. You only notice it when lighting is very low (I don’t know how e-ink behaves in this condition).
      For what concerns broken screens, of course a larger one is more fragile. I don’t know the percentage of broken screens. For what it’s worth, I brought mine around in my bag every day for a year and it’s still in one piece.

    • well it is not so bad: I got it since december 2010 and use it every day reading newspapers I download dayly in seconds (with the old firmware), epub and pdf (also drm-ed ones). I have never had problem with the hardware, while firmware has flaws that upgrades mitigate but not resolve.
      Now in Italy it is sold at 200 euros in some mediaworld stores (initially it was 300), so 280 pounds seems to me very high.
      It is true that there is a great number of reports about malfunctioning screens (not the sipix part, but the touch one, and key functionalities such as books list and selecting the one to open needs touch).
      The major problem I have found is with the support, it is really useless: never had a satisfiable answer. Simplicissimus forum is -so far- the only source of knowledge-sharing about this device.

  2. This is the only e-reader to hit the market with a 9? epaper screen.

    ;o) Nope. Jinke has one too, presumably with the same screen, the Hanlin eReader A9.

    @renzo, thanks for the info about the italian impact.

  3. Here in The Netherlands there are literally dozens of shops that sell this device. Lowest price I found is € 262,95.

  4. I mean the Asus, not the Hanlin

  5. The device overall is really good.

    I purchased one of these from an independent bookshop in Hong Kong in May this year. If you email Asus customer support in HK they’ll tell you where you can buy it.

    The firmware was really bad at first but I took it to the service centre where they installed the latest version and now runs fine.

    The nonsense about not having a crisp white screen is a little tedious as it doesn’t distract from reading any more than the FT being pink.

    Having an RSS feed means easy access to news and sports when not near a wifi spot and weekly access to publications like the economist

    The hardware is really good and hopefully the next firmware will finish ther job.

    The biggest negative is the really terrible corner clips on the PVC cover. They just don’t work. Saying this device has probably done fifty flights and a hundred train journeys and feels solid. Isn’t the screen chemically annealed so very tough?

    Is living outside a ‘walled garden’ of Kindleville or Nookland good? – no it is fantastic (just needs a better case and a slight firmware upgrade)

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