Last we heard from Astak, it was quietly peddling some off-the-wall Mentor e-book reader
based on a drab OEM model
that every other no-name reader manufacturer uses. Now, however, it seems the company has a bit more pep in its step (though it's still copying others, this time the BeBook
), as it has proudly proclaimed that the new 5-inch EZ Reader Pocket PRO is primed to "give Amazon's Kindle
a run for its money." With Adobe's blessing, the device is able to support over 20 open file formats along with DRM-laced PDF files; also of note, a sure-to-be-controversia
l text-to-speech feature can read back documents aloud. The six-ounce device will be available in a half dozen hues, and within you'll find a 400MHz processor, 512MB of memory, an SD expansion slot, 8-level grayscale E-ink screen, a replaceable battery good for 8,000 page turns per charge and an MP3 player that can operate in the background. Sadly, no wireless connectivity is baked in, but the $199 price point is definitely tantalizing. Anyone looking to get in on a pre-order
before it ships later this month?