Sony’s new reader mistaken for Etch A Sketch

by James

Sony’s eBook Reader is now available in cherry red. The interesting thing, however, is that with two circle wheel control knobs at the bottom, the reader looks like a portrait version of an Etch a Sketch. (memo to Hasbro, get on that, will ya?)

Aside from the cosmetic changes, the Sony eBook reader is exactly the same. Users can install and read novels using Sony’s patented e-Ink technology, play MP3s and view JPG pictures.
It’s built-in memory can hold a library of up to 160 books and newspaper editions. The patented (and proprietary) e-Ink technology makes the electronic image look like traditional print on its six inch screen, and pressing the button shows an animated page turn to the next page – kinda fun. And because it has no backlight, the image doesn’t flicker and as such, is easier on the eyes, but more difficult to read in darker, ambient light.

A handy bookmark feature helps keep the reader in place, and it’s magnification option helps vision challenged readers to enjoy reading as well. Battery life is judged, rather interestingly, at 7500 continuous page turns since the e-Ink screen only uses battery power when you are changing pages.
The one problem Sony’s eBook reader has – other than being mistaken for a child’s drawing toy – is that PDF files are hit and miss compatibility wise since Sony’s obsession with proprietary technology can make anything outside of their sphere of influence questionable to use. Even if it says it will.

But can it give the Kindle a run for its money? Quality wise, it can, but it needs to drop it’s price more to compete on price point and so it’s doubtful it’ll hold ground in this economy. Cost is around $275 from Amazon.

Hat tip – Shiny Shiny

5 reviews or comments

tekchic Says: October 31, 2008 at 11:10 am

Two points to consider that are mis-stated in your article. The Sony Reader is CHEAPER than the Kindle, so it already competes on price point.

Secondly, Sony Reader is actually MORE open format than the Kindle is, supporting the ePub format as well as allowing you to read Adobe Digital eBooks checked out from your local library. Yes, that’s a take-off from what has always been proprietary format Sony, but you can take any PDF, RTF, Word Doc, BBeB, etc and read it on your Sony Reader.

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