Sony PRS 950 Review


Although the Sony 950 Daily Edition Reader won’t come out until November, Sony has provided the FCC website, via MobileRead, with a few tidbits of information. This device essentially carries forward a lot of features found on the Sony PRS 900. This includes the 7″ screen, 2GB storage and support for either landscape or portrait orientation.

Additionally, you will find the familiar aluminum enclosure and memory stick expansion slots. You still have the ability to borrow books from the library, download books from many different stores, or websites, and have access to literally millions of books from Google.

However, the Sony PRS 950 is aimed at improving readability. It’s fitted with an eInk Pearl screen, and the touch layer from the PRS 300 will be replaced with one that incorporates optical sensing. This optical screen allows for more response in the interface with none of the worsened contrast that previous models exhibited. Both finger and stylus inputs are supported by the unit. In addition, a virtual keyboard supports text input.

In the same way as the Nook, the unit supports internet surfing through WiFi connection only. To get to the Sony Reader Store and download books and periodicals, 3G is used. Upon the wireless radio being turned on, the unit will look for WiFi network first. If unable to locate, the unit will link to the AT&T 3G network, automatically. If you’re trading up from an older Sony device to this device, your Sony Store purchases automatically transfer to your PRS 950.


Responsive touch screen without glare or bad contrast; 7-inch eInk Pearl display with high-contrast; 3G and Wi-Fi; faster than the device preceding it; works with Sony’s e-book store; long battery life (22 days maximum); support for EPUB standard, meaning users can download e-books from libraries and elsewhere; audio support; SD and Micro-USB charging.


Costs more than competitors; Sony’s online store pales in comparison to Amazon’s; many platforms don’t support the Sony Reader app; lack of protective cover.

Bottom Line

Of all the eInk eBook readers, the one I like the most is the Sony PRS 950. It’s light and easy to carry, but the display is larger and will show more words per page. This is great for quick readers. The device also handles PDF files better.

The display of the eInk Pearl is a lot better than the former Vizplex eInk. The contrast is higher and doesn’t need as much ambient lighting, so you don’t have to turn on a lot of lights in a room just to see it. Its touch interface feels a good deal more intuitive than that of the eInk devices from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Once you’ve tried the Sony Reader, you won’t want to use the others again.


The little size of the eBook reader was one of its exceptional features. Under half-an-inch thick, it weighs under 10 ounces. It’s small size makes it very portable, so it can be carried in your bag, backpack, or packed in your suitcase when traveling.

The eInk technology incorporated in the Reader Daily Edition PRS-950SC makes the reading experience much like that of print books. The touch-screen functionality of the 7-inch display screen boasts anti-glare technology. While we still had a bit of trouble with glare in direct sunlight, generally we were quite satisfied with the display screen.

You can choose from 6 font sizes on the Daily Edition PRS-950, so it seems a lot more like reading a real book. You can also customize your reading with up to 16 levels of gray scale. Choose whichever one feels most comfortable.


A great deal of content can be accessed from the PRS-950SC. The eBook reader lets you get into the online Reader Store. There is a wide selection available in the online store; however, it’s not as big as the competitor’s stores. Nevertheless, the store can be accessed for free and it lets you download magazines, newspapers as well as books.

Additionally, since the Reader Daily Edition PRS-950SC is able to support more than one format, it can access PDFs and ePub online. Because of this, you can access more online bookstores. You can also download PDF and ePub documents from their sites. We really enjoyed this feature and felt that it gave us a lot more options in reading matter.

Memory/Battery Life 

With the Reader Daily Edition PRS-950SC, you should have a 10-day charge with wireless enabled. Sony asserts the eReader will operate for 22 days with the wireless turned off, but actual battery life varies according to wireless usage.

With 2GB of internal memory, the eReader is okay but could use a bit more. Nonetheless, we were happy the unit provides media expansion slots. The Sony PRS 950 can store up to 50,000 books if memory cards are used.

Added Features 

The Reader Daily Edition PRS-950SC lets you take notes and highlight the text, a feature many appreciate. The capacity for taking notes and highlight was easy, clear and handy.

In addition, this eBook reading device has Wi-Fi and free 3G wireless access. You can download books from the online Reader Store free of charge using the 3G mobile broadband. It also allows you to download documents very easily. We accessed the book and information we desired very quickly and easily. Easy to use, the eBook reader is particularly nice for all of its advanced features.

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Sony PRS-900 Review

Sony PRS-900 – It made a lot of sense when the next step in the development of the e-Reader brought the new Sony Daily Edition.

The size of the Reader makes it suitable for reading whole newspapers without losing out too much from the real experience which could impact the portability. Sony is following in the tracks of Amazon when it intensified its competitive edge in order to dominate the fast growing e-book market.

Sony introduced the PRS900 Reader Daily Edition; its first portable reader using AT&T’s 3G network to enable wireless downloads of books, newspaper, magazines and other text files. This is similar to the Amazon’s Kindle connection to the Sprint network.

Unlike the Kindle, Sony’s device will cost $400 when it becomes available in the stores before Christmas. It has a 7 inch touch screen and will store several eBook formats including ePub which has many available libraries that lend out electronic editions.

The size of the Sony PRS-900 is adaptable for reading and it is very portable. It supports ePUB, PDF and Adobe DRM accessing among others, public libraries and Google free books. All items including those separately packed like the zipper case, are safely tucked away in the box. Online bookstore experiences are excellent and you can download an item very quickly. During our tests, daily periodicals are delivered in a reliable fashion. The device has a strong wireless radio and manages power well.

Sony PRS-900 is more expensive than competing brands. The books on Sony sometimes cost more than those in Amazon.

Bottom Line:
The Sony PRS-900 is highly priced at $399. If you take into the account all that comes with the device, then you can find value for each dollar. These items include an AC adaptor, leather cover, travel care, USB cable, pre-installed card, stylus, a battery pack and free wireless service.

E-Reader Qualities
In comparison with the Sony PRS-600, the Sony PRS-900 is 1.2 inches longer and slightly wider and thicker. The amount of text displayed is attributed to the ability of the PRS-900 to variably change the font sizes and give a better landscape functionality than of the earlier models. Letters and icons appear lighter with a darker background than that of a Nook. The screen reflects light and is almost impossible to use at certain angles.

Though you can adjust the font size, there is no way to change the contract or font styles. There are six typeface font sizes available to choose from. There is a dedicated button titled “Size” that allows the user to choose from extra-small, small, medium, large, extra-large and extra-extra large.

Of these font sizes, the medium and large are perfect for anyone with normal vision. Sadly, the device is missing a built in accelerometer which means the user must manually set the display mode from vertical to horizontal.

The device’s ability to improve on text quality and the large screen are perfect for reading. Medium and large sized fonts are legible even in lowly lit conditions. The Sony PRS-900 works best under a reading lamp or in bright lit conditions as the EInk gives extreme clarity against the background with no reflections.

Available Contents
The Sony Reader store is not as complete as the Amazon store but it does have a good selection on various categories and genres. Also available at a monthly subscription are online versions of some newspapers and periodicals, like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and the Financial Times. Other exclusive content can be automatically delivered into the device using wireless access. The Reader however still lags behind what is available from Amazon or Barnes and Nobles stores.

The PRS-900 supports the following file formats: ePub, PDF, .TXT, .RTF, .DOC and can display images in JPEG, PNG, GIF and BMP.

The Sony PRS-900 is compatible with Windows 7, Vista, XP and Mac OS X. The device is equipped with an 800MHz Celeron class processor for Windows and an Intel, Power PC G3, G4, or G5 processor for Mac. Requirements for RAM are 128MB but 512MB for Windows Vista.

The internal memory of the Reader is 2GB, with 1.6GB of it being available to the user. It has a memory stick and SD card slots enabling the user to expand the memory to 32GB, enough for several thousand eBooks and documents.

Battery Life
The packaged Sony Reader comes with a replaceable battery. The AC power adapter allows the user to charge from any computer via the USB cable. The user can take 12,000 page turns before having to recharge, this is the highest number of pages among current e-readers. Other Sony e-readers can handle about 6,800 to 7,500 page turns before recharging.

When the wireless signal is weak, the device’s battery tends to drain faster. This means that the user has to wait for the 3G icon to appear or completely turn off the wireless function in order to conserve the battery.

The best way to use a device with a battery is to use it until the battery is completely drained. When you shut down the Reader and restart, the battery indicates correct charge levels. The device is fully calibrated after a few cycles of full draining and recharging.


Sony PRS-650 Review


Summary: The new Sony Touch Edition PRS-650 features a 6-inch glare-free display, a few feature upgrades, as well as a slimmer, lighter design, so Sony’s Touch Edition ebook reader will probably become even more popular.

The Touch Edition is the third try at touchscreen ebook by Sony. The first one was PRS-700. With LED lights embedded on its sides, it was fitted with a touch layer on top the screen, which produced reflection and glare. In 8 months, it was no longer on sale.

The next model to be introduced was the PRS-600. Though lacking any lights, it possessed a reflective touchscreen layer on the E Ink display. Just because of this one detail, several people were turned off of Sony’s touchscreen reading devices.

Fortunately, the PRS-650 has totally resolved this; the touch functionality here is both accurate and much simpler to use than the touch readers that came before it. Additionally, the most advanced better contrast Pearl display screens come with new Sony Readers, giving the text a darker as well as more defined appearance.

Compact and lightweight e-book reader; touch-screen interface was responsive and there were no issues with glare or contrast; high-contrast E Ink Pearl display; peppier performance than its predecessor; integration with Sony e-book store; satisfactory battery life (as long as two weeks); has support for EPUB which permits downloads of ebooks from libraries; audio playback; has memory expansion slots through use of SD and Memory Stick Duo .

No Wi-Fi or 3G wireless so books must be loaded using a USB connection; more costly than E Ink Kindle or Nook models; protective cover is not included.

Bottom Line
The PRS-650 is a nice little e-book reader that features an impressive and simple-to-use touch interface; however, the fact that it does not include wireless connectivity will discourage many potential buyers, particularly with the price tag involved.

The Sony Reader Touch edition PRS-650 is the best ebook reader we have seen this year, providing the premium feel and ease of use that people expect from an ebook reader.

We regarded the Sony Reader as the Hot Product until July of this year. However, Amazon recently launched its Kindle at the low price of £109 — £90 less than Sony’s device — which changes things completely. The perfect reader for us would contain Sony’s hardware driven by Kindle’s content delivery program.

We are comfortable recommending the Sony Reader Touch edition to people who would rather not deal with Amazon and the Kindle, but since Amazon’s prices are so appealing, it will be a challenge not to be attracted to them.

One of our favorite parts of the PRS-650SC is its six-inch touchscreen. A lot of touchscreens do not respond very quickly or they are hard to navigate through, but that was not the case with the PRS-650SC. It worked very well and finding paths to certain menus, searching book titles and utilizing dictionaries was fairly intuitive.

We like the fact that e-ink technology is utilized in the eBook reader, because it gives the reader the impression they are reading a paper book rather than an electronic display screen. E-ink is a great choice for those using eBook readers in direct sun outside as well. Though not too much, the reader does glare in bright lights.

Designed for comfort, the Touch Edition eBook reader can be kept in your hand for prolonged usage. The device weighs just more than 7 ounces — light enough to hold with one hand, and natural for reading.

There’s not as much to choose from with the Sony PRS-650SC eReader, but there’s still a great deal. The online Reader Store is accessed by the Sony eBook reader devices. The online shop provides a collection of best sellers, classics and newspapers for downloading. Though the Reader Store did not have the diversity of titles that other eReader stores provided, it was easy to work with, and still contains a large inventory of reading material to download.

Memory/Battery Life
2GB of internal memory is standard for the Sony PRS-650SC eBook reader made by Sony. Up to 1,200 books at a time can be stored in this size of memory, which is considerable regardless of the fact that many comparable eReaders come with a lot more internal memory. However, this was not too problematic since external memory slots are integrated into the device, allowing extra memory to be added, thus ensuring that you have all the books and media you want at one time.

The Sony eReader allows you to use the unit for two weeks on one battery charge. This lasts just long enough for someone to take their eReader on a long trip, or satisfies people who don’t like to constantly remember to charge their device.

Other Features
One feature that stands out for this e-book reader is connectivity. Through a USB cable, the Sony PRS-650SC provides the capability to transfer books and charge the unit as well. Being compatible for both PC and Mac, this unit won our approval. With both types of computers, you can download books, organize and manage your media collections and transfer titles to your eBook reader or computer.

One of the additional features this device has to offer is a comprehensive dictionary. The unit has a search program, which lets you look up words in English. Ten translation dictionaries are included with the unit as well. Also, the eReader has an MP3 player to let you enjoy your favorite music while you are reading.


Sony PRS-600 Review

The Sony PRS-600 can get millions of eBooks cheaply or at no cost because it is compatible with PDF and ePUB formats.

The most important feature to be included in an eBook reader happens to be the quality of the text on the display. It is crucial to take into account how the device affects the eyes after long reading sessions. I am excited to say that I am convinced that eInk displays (EPDs) are the best.

On the subject of the price, I think $299 is a fair deal for most but there are those who argue that it’s better to buy a Netbook. I assure you though that reading from this Sony Reader is a pleasure.

The Sony PRS-600 is smoother than the Kindle. The touch screen is more responsive than the predecessor that was released last year. The interface has better features and is easy to use. The user can store thousands of e-books on the optional memory card which is SD or Memory Stick Pro. The user can customize to read five different font sizes.

The battery life is reasonable and the Reader can display Word, PDF (with zoom), and image files and can play MP3 and AAC audio files. The Library software is compatible with Windows and Mac with bestsellers going for $9.99 like Amazon.

The Reader is also compatible with EPUB files allowing the user to view thousands of free classic Google books and loaners from local libraries. Included is a built in dictionary.

Sony PRS-600 screen is not glare proof and the contrast isn’t up to scratch as competing models. There is no wireless access meaning all files must be selected, dragged and dropped from the PC. The battery is sealed onto the device. The notation and markup functions can be ineffective. You can only charge using the USB when connected to a PC.

Inside the Sony Reader
There are three colors available for the Sony PRS-600, red, black and silver (as shown above). It comes in a small package as does Apple. Just like the iPhone or other like gadgets, you charge this device from the USB.

It is a simple process to upgrade the software on this device as all you do is plug it into the PC and a pop up shows you any available new software. The current release usually looks like 1.0.01.xxxxx. Once you click OK you will find the latest Firmware. Note that Kindle’s firmware upgrade can take a long time to download.

Overall Feel
I never fully adjusted to working with a Kindle because it was tied to a cellular network and a single books store. The hardware too was not up to standard. Sony has from the beginning designed great looking gadgets and the Sony PRS-600 is no exception.

This Reader has the same dimensions as the PRS-505 with a semi-metallic front and the soft back offers a good grip.

More on Hardware
The Sony PRS-600 has an attractive 6 inch touch screen with five navigation buttons allowing the user to easily browse through the library collection.

Standard buttons like power and reset, mini USB port and the 3.5mm jack are on the bottom of the device but I would have preferred if these were on top.

What adds value to it is the fact that it has a thickness of only 0.4 inches, making it very easy and light to hold.

A stylus comes with the device and I found it rather useless since touching the screen with your fingers gets the job done. You can learn more about this on the touch screen section.

Formats and Media Support
This reader is a market leader when it comes to this. It delivers quality music playback and it can play almost all MP3s. I successfully ran 448kbps VBR. You can customize the bass and treble.

When it comes to documents, the Reader can easily open all .DOC files except for .DOCX. I am yet to receive a response from Sony support about that one.

Another important asset to this Reader is the ability to get PDF files with soft and legible fonts for prolonged reading. Page scrolling occurs smoothly and is the best among eBook readers though not as good as the iPhone.

The Sony PRS-600 Touch Edition supports text file formats like Adobe® PDF, Microsoft® Word, BBeB Book®, EPUB/ACS4 and Adobe Digital Editions. It is can play unsecured MP3 and AAC audio files and is compatible with the PC and Mac.

Touch Screen and UI
Sony listened to reviews and redesigned the UI small icons to replace them with big buttons for actions like Continue Reading, Collections, All Notes, Text memo, Handwriting and Books. The touch screen is valuable and most of the interface supports it successfully.

Available on the screen is a keyboard which is a good substitute for a physical keyboard. The keys are however not large and those with thick fingers might find it a challenge to use. The stylus would be useful in such instances.

Though screen visibility is not compromised by touch, fingerprints mar the look when using the Reader outdoors. This could be why Sony saw it fit to include the stylus.

Unlike Amazon’s limited reader model, Sony has more access to eBooks resulting in the availability of millions of cheap titles in the Sony library.

Sony PRS-600 is a good deal for the busy traveler, daily commuter or leisure reader as it can carry up to 350 of your favorite titles. The optional Memory Stick® PRO Duo™ or SD media can be bought separately to expand capacity and add more titles.

Battery Life
The battery life is put at two weeks with 7,500 continuous page turns. I was personally able to leave the device on and get a battery life of 48 hours, which translates to 16 days of exactly2.5 hours of reading everyday. This is pretty good for an eBook reader and is much better than the Kindle 2 or 1.


Sony PRS 505 Review


Sony first started delving into the eReader market all the way back in 2003, but it wasn’t until 2007’s Sony PRS-505 that they really turned the page, so to speak. This model is very portable, since it is the same size as a paperback novel, and it has Sony’s sleek, modern look, making it the thinnest (1/3 of an inch) of the eReaders.

Sony PRS-505 sets the modern standard in eReaders. This device heralds a huge leap in graphics. Furthermore, you are sure to enjoy the high-resolution, high-contrast, electronic paper display. This feature delivers a very realistic print look that is almost like traditional paper. The technology used (eInk) consumes minimal battery power.

If your eyes are strained and your head aches after looking at the LCD screens ubiquitous in cell phones and similar devices, then this will help soothe your pain and forever eliminate daylight screen glare and squinting. The high quality contrast and resolution allows you to read at the same quality of a standard paper book.

The Sony PRS 505 can become a virtual, portable library, with a 160-eBook capacity. The gadget’s library possibilities would be better if there were expansion slots for Memory Stick Duo or SD memory cards. Users who want more advanced capabilities will like that with the new USB storage, you can move documents, images and other files to your reader.

On the upside, this eBook holds thousands of titles. It features a great high-contrast screen that rivals the readability of the printed page. This device is easy to read in bright environments. There are some notable performance and design improvements in comparison with the 1st generation model.

You will surely appreciate the 128MB internal memory that supports more available memory via SD & Memory Stick Pro expansion slots. It is easy to adjust font size with just the touch of a button. The battery lasts a good, long while. The device displays PDF & Word files, and it can also play MP3 files.

On the downside, titles that can be downloaded are quite expensive. Furthermore, they are only available via Sony’s online store. The AC adapter is an optional accessory. You can charge the Sony PRS 505 by using the included USB cable and connecting the device to your computer.

Mac owners do not have access to the desktop software. It’s hard to read PDF files because of the tremendous amount of reduction necessary to make them fit the screen. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to magnify or zoom them. Even though lag issues have been addressed, some remain during page flipping. Audible audio books have no support features.


Fun and simple to make use of Its lightweight and you will hold a lot of books within the interior Sony PRS 505 remarkable e-ink technology. It reads like a a genuine book It’s possible to enlarge Fonts. Has a excellent function to import Word documents, more so since almost everything online can be copied and pasted into Word format.


Sony PRS 505 access to a large selection of ebooks but more often the list doesn’t always come up with the correct titles.

Contains very small selection of professional, textbooks, or academic ebooks.

Itsability to read PDFs is a plus, however, you can’t browse the contents since you have no functionality to zoom in it. So, it’s more useful for storage than for reading.

Bottom Line 

Sony PRS 505 has definitely made its mark in the e-book world along with the Amazon Kindle, iRex , Bookeen Cybook and BEBook. Is it possible that this is the next phase for the e-book?

The 2nd generation Sony Reader offers some great improvements over its predecessor. These include a consolidated physical design along with increased storage. However, the fact that Amazon’s Kindle offers more titles as well as wireless downloads over EV-DO might put off some readers. Nonetheless, Sony’s sleeker styling $100 lower price may well cause this to become a very popular model.

Design and Ease of Use 

The Sony PRS 505 shortened the size of the prior model by a few millimeters. It’s not even a half inch thick, which is thinner than most paperback books, and can easily fit in your backpack without any discomfort since it only weighs 9 ounces.

The new brushed-silver design (you can also buy this in navy) as well as the camel-colored leather binding (pink and black are available, but cost $39.99 more) are impressive, and the binding is soft and lends a nice old-fashioned touch to the device.

The 6″ LCD screen is rectangular. It is surrounded by a confusing and profuse array of keys. If you are holding the device in portrait mode, the 0-9 buttons run vertically up and down the right-hand side. They correspond with onscreen menu items and can be used to move to selected pages.

You can change the pages by using the two additional keys next to them. Another page-turning button is located on the bottom left; the bottom right holds a menu button and 4-way toggle and center button, making for quite easy menu navigation. On the top is a power switch and a SD/Memory Stick Pro slot; on the bottom are the volume control, DC charging slot, mini-USB and headphone jacks.

Software and Availability of eBooks 

We didn’t run into any complications when downloading the Sony Connect software using the CD-ROM that was included. Sony Connect is a lot like iTunes in appearance and aesthetics, and it only took two clicks for our connected reader to receive books — although if you have a Mac, you’ll need to drag and drop the files yourself.

The Sony’s online bookstore appears to be expanding its book selection and it now has over 20,000 titles. However, there is far less titles than the Amazon Kindle’s 90,000 books. The cost appears to be similar to the standard retailers. Nicolas Sparks’ The Choice, for example, was being sold for $10.19 and Malcolm Gladwell Blink was 7.99. All of the listed titles put on Amazon and Amazon Kindle are priced the same.


With the Reader Scrolling through pages on the Reader took less than a second; while not immediate it was pretty close. The Magnify tool was very useful at changing the text size. There was no need to maneuver back and forth, because words would expand along with the page so the larger you make it, the more pages the book will have overall. We appreciate that the text formatted itself; this prevents you from needing to scroll all over the page.

Sony PRS 505 is great for those individuals who prefer not to stare straight at the page when reading, as it has fabulous viewing angles. You have the option of looking at the display in either landscape or portrait mode.

E-Ink technology involves microcapsules containing white and black particles that move in response to electricity. This supports this eReader in using very little power while maintaining a clear image onscreen. Sony promises a life expectancy of approximately 7,500 page views on a single charge. We read Wuthering Heights’ first 50 pages — after that, we had to quit — and the battery meter didn’t go down, but listening to MP3s (they sounded fine, by the way) at the same time used up much more battery life.


Sony PRS-500 Review

The Sony PRS-500 is a fresh of breath air for the digital reader. The reader has an amazing screen and its technology rivals text on paper. This device weighs les than 9 ounces and is thin and compact. It contains software that offers the user the ability to search and browse through thousands of e-Book titles from the Connect eBookstore.

The software supports transfer of material from a PC to your Sony Reader. The built in memory and multi format support allows you to carry many of your favorite titles and documents. The readers is compact and you can conveniently take it anywhere with you.

Sony PRS-500 is slim and weighs very little. Its screen requires no backlight as it is easy to read in brightly lit settings. The optional SD memory card or Memory Stick Pro can store thousands of e-Books. With a single button, you can adjust the font size. The battery life is reasonable. The reader displays PDF, Word, and image files and can play MP3 and AAC audio files.

Sony PRS-500 is a little slow and has a short noticeable delayed action on page turning. The controls are not as responsive as they should be and the interface could be easier to use.

Sony is still building up the online Connect bookstore. Connect book files cost as much as paper books and are incompatible with other devices. The Connect software is not available to work with a Mac and there is not support for Audible audio books.

Bottom Line
The Sony PRS-500 is an impressive reader for e-books and other documents but its price and incompatible book files is of a disadvantage to it.

Though the “electronic” book has been present in the market, the lack of affordable e-book readers has slowed down the progress of more books moving into the digital realm. Other important challenges exist for publishers to take e-books more seriously but the first important step for the hardware to be addressed. It is good news that Sony’s PRS-500 Portable Reader System comes at $300 and looks to eliminate the above-mentioned challenges.

Detailed Review
The Sony PRS-500 is 6.9 inches long, 4.9 inches wide and 0.5 inches deep. The size is similar to a regular DVD case and a short trade paperback novel that is bound in a leather protective cover. It is obviously heavier than a paperback since it has the slim screen display bordered by metallic blue. There are buttons on its front and the memory card expansion slot is on the side.

The screen is a 600×800 pixel with four-grayscale and fits at 4.9×3.6 inches. What will grab your attention about the device is that once you turn it on (takes a few second to come on after sliding the power switch) the display has no backlight and it has a high contract monochrome. This display is electrophoretic which Wikipedia describes as “an information display that forms visible images by rearranging charged pigment particles using an applied electric field.”

The screen has a high contrast and closely resembles actual ink on paper. Like other electronic paper products, Sony PRS-500 applies E Ink technology which makes the letters and words on the display to appear more like printed words on paper.

The size button allows you to choose between three font setting, small, medium and large. Unfortunately, using the small font will give you fewer lines per page than the actual page on the printed book. Take the example of George Orwell’s 1984 which will have 767 pages on the Reader which is far too many pages as compared to the printed version.

The Reader allows you to view and switch between landscape and portrait, though you’ll probably always end up holding it vertically reading in portrait mode like you would with a book.
The overall look of the text display on the screen is good and we didn’t suffer eye strain using Sony PRS-500 over long periods as you would from reading a regular book in a well lit environment.

What was a bother though was the way the device responds when turning the pages. The screen goes black, blinks and takes about a second to refresh. This has been referred to as a “ghosting” effect and it appears to be a common fault of E Ink technology. Though it’s not the worst thing to happen, one of the first remarks from other users was that they expected a smoother the page turn.

Navigating the Sony PRS-500 is a straightforward procedure but it requires improvement. A top level menu is available to select books, audio, pictures and adjust settings. The user can select books by a specific author, date, organize into collections and go to a page that he has put a bookmark.

On the right columns is a tabbed menu with numbers that match a row of numbered buttons below the display. If you click on the number eight, you are taken to the eighth tab on the screen which represents audio. As you read a book, these numbered buttons can let you jump in front and backwards over large numbers of pages. The Sony Reader evenly distributes pages by dividing the total pages by nine.