Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sony PRS-300 reader

Purchased a Sony PRS-300 reader (the lower end model), unboxing pictures above. You get the reader itself, a brief quick start guide, a padded slip cover, and a mini-USB to USB cable. (Note: the reader can be charged via the USB cable, however if you want an AC adapter for charging you will have to purchase that separately, AC-S5220E). The reader itself is 4 1/4 × 6 1/4 × 13/32 inches (107.8 × 157.5 × 10.2 mm), with a five inch (diagonal) screen, and is solidly built (weighing in at approximately 7.76 oz i.e. 220 g). It has a built-in Lithium Ion rechargeable battery, rated at approximately 7,500 page turns using BBeB files (or approx. 6,800 page turns with EPUB files). The manual says that there is approximately 440 MB of space, good for approximately 3,500 books.

When you connect to your desktop using the cable provided it prompts you to install the Sony eBook Library software. Five minutes and this blogger had installed the software, set up an account, and purchased and downloaded two books (a Dick Francis and a Brian Herbert novel). Google Books (with its million available EPUB titles) is nicely integrated, as is ebook borrowing from your public library... This blogger downloaded two Google EPUBs ('The Moonstone' by Wilkie Collins and 'A Journey to the Center of the Earth' By Jules Verne) to give it a try...

The power (on/off) button is at the top of the reader, and on the bottom you have a "strap hole," a mini-USB port, a 5.2V DC-in jack, and access to a device reset. On the front of the reader you have: a) at the bottom going left to right, the home key, a return key, a 4-way directional pad, a bookmark key, and a size button (that cycles the font through small - medium - large), and b) on the right number buttons (1 through 9 and 0) that can be used a s shortcuts in various menus.

The "Settings" selection from the Home menu allows you to change the orientation from portrait to landscape; set the date and time and the date/time format; turn sleep mode on and off (if set to 'on" the reader will go to sleep after 60 minutes of no activity); choose your menu language; and set three "advanced" options (about i.e. display firmware; restore factory defaults; device lock; format internal memory (will wipe all books); and device shutdown.) Note: it is better to use shutdown that to let the reader 'sleep', as the latter still uses some battery power.

The reader will work with the following file types: BBeB, PDF, EPUB, Text, RTF, and Word Documents (these last are actually converted into RTFs when synched from the library to the reader). The reader appears as a drive when connected to your desktop, so you can add files, etc. directly, without having to necessarily synchronize via the eBook Library software.

Bottom line: a nice-looking piece of hardware. It looks good, and the reading experience is good. The only thing this blogger doesn't like (a minor annoyance that doesn't really adversely affect the overall experience) is that when you advance from page to page the device very briefly flashes white text on black background before returning to black text on a white background... It is very brief, but seems a little silly and would be better if it did not do this... Finally, an important factor in the purchase decision was that this reader could be used for non-DRM'd files, and also could be used "stand alone."

It remains to be seen how often this blogger will end up using this Sony reader, as it takes its place in the lineup of other devices he also uses for documents and for reading (i.e. BB Bold and UMID M1).

Note: If you want a larger screen (e.g. 6 inch diagonal rather than 5), additional capacity, a touch screen, etc. then you can try the higher end models - the PR-505, the PR- 600, and the PRS-700 have additional features at correspondingly higher price points. All models also come in black, silver, and pink(?), the latter actually looked pretty good, with more of a purplish tint...

Above: a "normal" PDF file on the Sony reader...

Sony Reader 300 - HANDS-ON REVIEW

1 comment:

  1. Sony was always a great company, which produce high-quality devices, I have Sony PRS-300 and it works perfect, but PDF files isnt convinient to see by that device.