Even though e-paper devices from Sony and others came first, Amazon set things in motion for the e-book reader market with its Kindle platform two years ago, while more recent offerings like the Barns & Noble Nook have contributed to the hype. Now MSI wants a piece of the action, it seems, with the company's chairman Joseph Hsu recently confirming rumors about their impending entry to the market.

The company would be joining another Taiwanese computer manufacturer, Asus, which has already announced plans for an Eee-branded reader with a 9-inch, grayscale display that should ship by year-end.

Curiously, MSI has said their unit will be based on Tegra, a rather unusual choice for an e-book reader. Nvidia's ARM-based system-on-a-chip has been in the news recently for its debut in Microsoft's Zune HD portable media player and its potential in smartbooks. Its ability to handle 720p video and reasonably modern 3D technology suggests MSI may be planning to pitch the upcoming device as an all-around media player.

Further details are unknown beyond its use of the Nvidia chipset. Hsu confirmed that the company has some remaining technical issues, and that a formal unveiling will occur sometime during the first half of 2010.