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Sony Reader First Look


Sony Reader

Sony Reader

Image Photo Credit: ©Sony
Updated October 06, 2006
One particular category of portable electronic product which has never been overly successful is the portable e-book reader. Sony is hoping they can gain success where others have failed as they begin to roll out their new Reader Portable Reading System.

The Sony Reader is about the size of a paperback book, measuring 6.9-inches by 4.9-inches by 5.8-inches and weighing around nine ounces, making it somewhat easy to hold in one hand. The display panel of this e-book reader offers a viewing area of six inches. At the heart of the Sony Reader is use of e Ink technology, which makes on screen text appear similarly as it would on paper. This technology also reportedly makes the on-screen text high contrast, high resolution, viewable in direct sunlight and viewable at a nearly 180-degree angle. One can also zoom in from standard print to a medium or large font size for easier text viewing.

The Sony Reader offers plenty of internal memory (64 MB) to hold upwards of 80 average size ebooks at the same time. This is on top of a slot built into the reader which lets one store hundreds of additional titles on a Memory Stick or SD memory card. Plenty of battery life is available to read a good number of these books, with Sony saying this device lets one make up to 7,500 continuous page turns with a single full charge on the internal rechargeable battery. The battery can be recharged through an AC adapter or USB cable.

As for specific ebooks available, Sony has a dedicated online store called Connect eBooks which lets one browse through thousands of popular, mainstream titles for purchase and download. Bestsellers are available as well as books across a wide array of categories like fiction, non-fiction, business, self-help and more. Publishers include Hyperion, McGraw-Hill Professional, Cambridge University Press, Harlequin Enterprises Limited, National Geographic, Kensington Publishing and Regnery Publishing, among others. These firms join Penguin-Putnam, Simon and Schuster, Random House, HarperCollins, Hachette Book Group USA and Holtzbrinck Publishers along with TOKYOPOP. To get these ebooks onto the Reader, it makes use of dedicated software to download, manage and transfer the files onto it.

In addition to being able to let one view Sony Connect ebooks, the Sony Reader also works with a variety of other type of media file types. With it you can view Adobe PDF and Microsoft Word document files, among others, as well as posts from select blogs and newsfeeds downloaded through Sony Connect eBooks for free. You can also view JPEGs and other images files, though since the screen is grey-scale you won’t be able to view these photos in color. Additionally, the Sony Reader lets you play MP3 and AAC music files stored in memory which you can enjoy through plugging in headphones and listen to while you read an ebook.

Accessories which come with the Sony Reader include the software, a soft cover, USB cable and AC power adapter. Optional accessories available for purchase include soft covers in colors like red, green and brown and a cradle which lets one dock the Reader more easily with a PC through its integrated USB and power ports.

More details on the Sony Reader can be viewed at Sony’s Web site.

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