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.

Positives
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.

Negatives
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.

Performance
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.