Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Sony Reader Touch Edition PRS-650

It's new - it's sleek - its touch - it doesn't require a 3G account nor WiFi as it relies on direct USB connectivity to a hosting PC or laptop - it's not locked to a book chain, supplier or country!
Read all about it here
Here's an except of the review....
No two ways about it, the Reader Touch (more specifically, the PRS-650) is a gorgeous piece of hardware. The front bezel and spine are cool-to-the-touch brushed aluminium, the rear panel has a grippy rubberised plastic coating, and the whole unit feels as if it’s been put together with a craftsman’s fine attention to detail. It’s solid as a rock too, and feels nicer to hold than the Kindle.
The Reader Touch boasts 2GB of internal storage, plus twin memory card slots on the top edge for expansion (one for Memory Sticks, one for SD cards [up to 32GB cards]). On the bottom edge resides a 3.5mm headphone socket for listening to audiobooks or MP3s, while a stylus is tucked into the top right-hand corner for making notes.
It has three input methods,
  • finger touch (for page turns and navigation), 
  • stylus (page turns and annotation) 
  • button (for page turns and navigation)
The interface is a tad slow but definitely very usable.
Available from Borders in Australia for $299 (as at Sep 2010) which makes it a bit pricey compared to the 3G and Wifi equipped Kindle at $247
It's probably worth noting here that ...
Australians pay about $4 per book more than in the US because Amazon could not reach an agreement with Telstra to run it's service. They didn't want to use other providers due to coverage issues, so instead it uses expensive data roaming provided by AT&T in the US.
So in fact you are paying for the data every time you download a book and you are locked to their supply infrastructure.

The unit does not ship with a power supply as it is USB powered, but you can buy a generic (e.g. Dick Smith) PSU for under AU$20

Requires the Sony Reader software installed on your host PC to manage your books - app is free from the Sony e-bookstore at and looks very similar to Adobe Digital Editions
We just contacted Sony (Australia) to inquire about battery replacement.
They were most helpful and are fully researching our inquiry, but initial feedback suggests the battery will be a Li-Ion so should give three-to-five years life, however, because the battery is sealed within the unit, it will be covered by the unit's warranty initially.

More info as it comes to hand

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