Sony PRS-650 Review

Overview 

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.

Positive
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 .

Negative
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.

Design
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.

Content
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.