It looks like ASUS is getting ready to jump into the e-reader game, competing with Amazon’s Kindle and the Sony e-reader. ASUS, who essentially invented the netbook, stands on good ground to introduce a capable product that would compete well with other e-readers that exist.

ASUS is claiming that this will become the world’s cheapest e-book reader and it will sport some pretty impressive features. Some of the features included will be built in 3G, a web browser and more impressive, a dual screen form factor touch screen (picture at the link). The dual screen is intended to mimic the style in which we usually read books, however it also offers some interesting possibilities. You could read your book on one panel and surf the web or type on a virtual keyboard on the other, pretty neat concept.

Most impressively, the price point for this new reader is reportedly around $150! This has got to be a scary concept for the Kindle and Sony as both of their premium readers are nearly double that price. The question that remains for both Asus, Sony and any other competitor (and there are a few) that decides to enter this market is, can anyone compete with Amazon for content? Amazon has such a huge advantage when it comes to providing content that this will continue to be a very difficult market to penetrate. No one touches the number of books that Amazon provides at the touch of a button, and as of now the Kindle remains proprietary and DRM protected. Ultimately, my hope remains that Amazon will decide to un-DRM their content so that any device, whether it is Sony, ASUS or whatever, can just access and download books to their reader. I think this actually makes a lot of business sense for Amazon as well. Imagine, instead of being able to sell 1 million books to Kindle only users, you can sell 30 million books to the combined e-book world, it seems like there is more money in doing just that then selling pretty expensive hardware.

The e-book reader is getting ready to explode and finally claim it’s own time, of course, the big 800 lbs gorilla is Apple, should they announce their “i-pad” or whatever they’ll call it, the game changes again. We shall see.