The Sony Digital Reader Touch Edition is one of the Kindle’s main competitors at present. Sony personal electronics always gather plenty of fans and the Sony Touch Digital Reader is no different. Of course if you are after a Wireless Ebook Reader the Sony Touch is not for you (for now you will have to make do with the Nook or Kindle 2). But the touchscreen and support for multiple formats more than makes up for this issue for many.
Post update July 2010…
Sony Ebook Readers are Cheaper!
I know, its a bit dramatic, but I thought the post should really be updated to reflect the eReader price wars started by Kindle and Nook. The effect has spread and so now all the Sony eReaders are a whole lot cheaper (cheaper than the competition for sure!).
And now, back to the original post…
Sony Touch Digital Reader Specification
So, what do you get for around $275, spent with Sony for a Handheld Ebook Reader? Let’s get down to basics, with the technical information any possible purchaser needs to know:
- The Sony Touch PRS600 is slightly smaller than the Kindle 2, with dimensions of approximately 6.9 x 4.8 x .4 inches and weighing in at just 10.1 oz.
- An easy to read screen featuring E Ink® Vizplex™ technology. The screen should be good enough to read outdoors even in bright sunshine, but there are still a few customer reviews backing the theory that the Kindle offers a better, glare free reading experience, particularly indoors. In any case, it will offer a much better experience that using a laptop or pc! With only 8 shades of grey this reader will not offer the sharpest of images, but since it is primarily for reading text this should still be more than adequate.
- Memory capacity is 512 MB and the capacity available to the user is around 380MB. This allows for around 350 books to be stored, plenty for many of us. If more memory is a requirement additional 16GB cards can be purchased.
- Touch Screen with virtual keyboard and stylus allows you to take notes and highlight text as you read. Page turning is all done with the flick of a thumb!
- Battery life is up to two weeks on a single charge. Note that only a USB cable is supplied, for data transfer and battery charging from your computer. If you would like a traditional plug in charge for your PRS600 Sony eReader you will have to buy one as an extra accessory.
- Mac and PC compatible. Ebooks will need to be ordered online with your MAC or PC and then can simply be transferred to the Sony Ebook Reader via the USB cable. There have been a few snags with the Sony software working within Windows. But, there is a support service from Sony and recent software updates appear to be alleviating the issues.
- Built in eDictionary. The New Oxford American Dictionary, Second Edition is included within the Sony Reader’s software for quick reference whenever you need it.
- Content from Multiple Formats is supported, allowing owners of the PRS600 Sony Digital Reader to make purchases of new eBooks from a wide range of sources. Indeed there are also over a million free eBooks available too. Formats accepted include: DRM Text : ePub (Adobe DRM protected), PDF (Adobe DRM protected), BBeB Book (PRS DRM protected), Image : JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, Unsecured Audio : MP3 (Non encrypted), AAC (Non encrypted) and Unsecured Text : ePub, BBeB Book, PDF, TXT, RTF, Micrsoft® Word, (Conversion to the Reader requires Word installed on your PC). So you can listen to music and download free content from the Google online library!
- Colors – the PRS600 from Sony is available in Black, Red and Silver.
- Sony Digital Reader Warranty – a one year limited warranty is supplied against defects in workmanship or materials. Additional service plans start at $49.99 for two years or $54.99 for two years with accidental damage coverage.
The Sony Touch Digital Reader is priced at $299 according to Sony, but can be found for around $275 online. The key factor that makes this the second most popular handheld ebook reader is of course its highly intuitive touchscreen. That, plus a choice of colors and the fact this is a Sony Handheld device make it a hot reader at the moment. But, with the Sony PRS-900 or Daily Edition soon to be made available, it may be overshadowed by a larger screen and 3G wireless connectivity again.