Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sony Pocket Reader selling for $99.99 - The Touch, soon at $120?

Was working on a short entry on 3G wireless vs WiFi but I'll get that done for the morning. In the meantime!...

CNet's Rick Broida writes that SEARS of all places has the 5" Sony Pocket Reader, PRS 300, available for $99.99 or effectively $100 :-)

This is selling for $135 at Amazon, and at that price can't compete with the Kindle or the Nook.  $100 is another matter.

. Reads ePub and many other file formats
. Connects with Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) so should work with public library
     Overdrive-program e-books
. Pocketable, in large pockets :-) -- definitely the most portable
. Excellent display

. 5" screen is smaller than Nook or Amazon's 6" models but that makes it more pocketable
. No Wireless -- no Wifi and no 3G Mobile wireless, unlike Nook/Kindle and more-costly Sonys.
     So, no downloading of books and of course no web lookups
. No Inline dictionary
. No Searching of books or device (for character name while reading)
. No highlighting or note-taking

For $100, this is a worthy 2nd reader or even a primary reader if none of the missing features are important to you and if you don't care to download books from the air or do web-lookups.

  With this model, you'd need to be able to download e-books to your computer and just move them over to the Sony with a USB cable.

MY take - The Sony Touch 600 is rumored to go down to $120 in some places soon.
  While that also has no wireless capability, it does have an inline dictionary, searching, and highlighting/note-taking capabilities.
  It also has a touchscreen.  Some really like that.  Others find that the touchscreen makes it less clear, less contrasty, and therefore harder to read.

I personally don't like to read an e-book anymore without the dictionary and search features, so I would be more likely to get the less clear Sony Touch when it's $120 but even then the screen might stop me.  However, many will jump at the opportunity to get a $99.99 reader, since a physical book has none of the "Disadvantages" listed either :-) and the library book capability it should have makes it very attractive as a non-primary reader.

Here's a thorough review of the Sony models by Will Rothman, if you want to see more pro's and con's.  But at this price, a public library-capable e-reader is a temptation, even if I'll wait for the Sony PRS600 to drop to $120.

I imagine Amazon will also lower Sony reader prices depending on whether they can work that out with Sony as Sears did.  Right now pricing hasn't been lowered at non-Sears stores but I imagine that'll happen any hour.

Kindle 3   (UK: Kindle 3),   DX Graphite

Check often: Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

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