Reading More with the Sony Reader

by Team Sony 09/11/2007

Reader Image

As some of you know, I’ve been with Sony for more than 17 years. And during my time with the company, I have to say that one of the coolest products to come along that I use personally is our thinner than a magazined Reader device.

It’s basically an e-book that features so-called E-Ink technology, so the display is very easy on the eyes. The muted monochrome display gives me the feeling of reading from a book or newspaper, rather than a bright, irritating computer display.

Another great feature is that you can adjust the text size, which is much appreciated by these 50-plus year old eyes.

 And the battery seems to last forever. The device is extremely energy efficient. I’m told that it takes about 7,500 electronic page turns before it needs to be recharged. I’ve used the Reader on flights across county and all the way to Japan, without having to recharge it.

In any event, my e-reading has taken me in some very different directions – from CIA intrigue in the latest Vince Flynn novel to David McCullough’s great (although a bit lengthy) biography on our nation’s second president John Adams.

There are more than 17,000 e-book titles, including popular fiction and nonfiction books, to choose from on the Sony CONNECT e-book store. Typically, they are offered at a discount to comparable hard cover or paperback books, depending on how current they are. And the book titles are extremely easy to purchase, download and transfer to the device.  There are also websites like the Project Gutenberg site that offer free e-books of classic and older published works no longer under copyright protection.

In terms of improving the device in the future, my main suggestion for the next model has been to move the controls from the left to the right hand side. (Of course, left-handers may have a different view.)

And while I certainly do not expect the e-book to replace the printed variety any time soon, the Reader is filling an enjoyable niche in my life. I know I’m certainly reading more lately. For $299 or less, you can check it out at Sony Style stores and, as well as Borders and select Best Buy stores, among others. If you have any thoughts on e-reading, I invite you to share them with us here on the blog.

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  1. guest_user wrote: September 11, 2007 6:15pm

    1) It’s nice that there’s a PC reader, but why not add support for these books on the PSP (I know,
    “ask Sony Computer Entertainment”, etc)?

    2) The books are still too expensive. There’s a $300 entry price, there’s no resale value and no
    guarantee that Sony will be supporting this ebook-format five or ten from now (as witnessed by
    ATRAC). Also, if I owned one of these devices, I’d be likely to want to use it for impulse purchases
    - and it seems ideally suited for these, except that the prices are too high.

    3) The reader itself is also too expensive. If you keep it at the current price I suspect it will
    never become anything more than a niche product for well-to-do (semi-)old people.

    4) Make the design not look like a clunky PDA from the nineties. There are some pictures circulating
    right now of an alleged new version, which does look better.

    5) It would be nice to be able to purchase books directly from the reader using wi-fi, but I assume
    the refresh rate of the screen is too slow to allow for that?

    6) Open up the reader, so it can also display e-books from other vendors.

  2. guest_user wrote: September 11, 2007 7:23pm

    Appreciate the input Jipe,

    One point I can comment on at the moment is that we do expect to support
    Adobe’s new e-book format in the future.

    And as far as the design, I have the current model and have received lots of
    oohs and aahs on it from fellow air travelers. Cool design is part of Sony’s
    DNA and I’m sure it will only get better in the future.

  3. guest_user wrote: September 12, 2007 9:52am

    Do you know if it’s available in Canada yet? Last time I checked, it wasn’t.

    I like Jipe’s idea of supporting the format on the PSP. While not the ideal device, it would whet people’s appetite for e-books. There’s already something similar, a PSP app called “bookr”, shows what can be done on the small screen.

  4. guest_user wrote: September 12, 2007 8:09pm

    Hello Dave T.

    Unfortunately, the Reader is currently not available in Canada, but I will be sure to pass along your interest in the product to my Sony counterparts there.

  5. guest_user wrote: September 13, 2007 11:22am

    I haven’t tried the Sony Reader yet, but I think having a PDF reader or a ebook reader on PSP would certainly please many PSP lovers out there (including me :-)

    I can understand that there may be concerns that PSP may then take the shares that should go to the Sony Reader, but really… in the end having multiple readers (PSP, Sony Reader) that support a common format will do more good than harm. PSP and the Sony Reader are two different products anyway.

    For the greater good, let us have a PDF reader and/or ebook reader on PSP

  6. guest_user wrote: September 13, 2007 12:40pm

    I will share your PSP e-reader suggestions with my colleagues at Sony Computer Entertainment America, which is responsible for marketing that product here in the U.S. Also, please feel free to comment on the PlayStation blog itself. You can click on using the Sony Links box.

  7. guest_user wrote: October 2, 2007 4:49pm

    The announcement is out at about the next generation Reader (model PRS-505) with its sleeker design, increased shades of grey on the display, and righthanded controls. Horray! The new model comes in either silver or blue with an elegent brown case. And now there are more than 20,000 titles available at the Sony eBook store.

  8. guest_user wrote: October 3, 2007 2:08pm

    I am in college currently and I have to carry over 200 pounds of text books to
    class every week. My books often cost around $150-$200 a piece. Have we
    looked at supplying text books to the e-reader system. I would LOVE to carry
    one little reader instead of 200 pounds of books. Trust me, there is a HUGE
    opportunity in the college text book market!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. guest_user wrote: October 3, 2007 7:02pm

    Hi Michael,

    As I understand it, the Reader was originally designed for use with popular and classic fiction — as well as non-fiction — titles, but we have also received interest from people in the legal, medical and academic arenas. It is not hard to imagine the small, slim Reader replacing huge volumes of college and high school text books. Not only would it save the backs of students, but also a few trees and some money by alleviating the cost to print, revise and re-print text books. This is all being studied now.

    It is important to point out that the Reader is available through a network of college campus book stores. If you are studying literature, the Reader can already save you from carrying some literary tomes.

    As for other types of text books, especially those heavy with graphs and charts, there is still some work to be done. We are looking into advanced search, highlighting, annotation and other functionality that will make the text book experience on the Reader more valuable.

    Keep e-reading!

  10. guest_user wrote: November 21, 2007 10:10am

    I’m eager to have one of this in my hands. Sony reader seems to be very useful and convenient, but, guess what, I’m living in Japan é simply cannot find it anywhere !!! How come ? Can anybody help me naming a store in Japan where it’s available ? I’m surprised why Sony doesn’t have intention on releasing this Reader here.

  11. guest_user wrote: November 21, 2007 3:12pm

    Hi Kataoka,

    Originally, there was a Reader introduced in Japan by another name, Libre. Unlike the U.S. version, it has a keyboard. While there have not been any further Japanese models produced, you may be able to find one of the originals at the Sony shop in the Ginza area of Tokyo.

  12. guest_user wrote: November 24, 2007 12:21am

    I am sure you were quite surprised as a Japanese citizen to not find a Sony eReader in your own country! As you might be aware Japan usually gets to be the first to try out the latest and the greatest and sometimes some of those amazing creations by Sony do not even make it outside of Japan. I know a lot of people that used to import Sony Libre from Japan and though it was in Japanese, a few of them were able to localize it and make it usable in the US and other countries. So I was also surprised that the US was chosen this time to become its test market for this product. Hopefully the trend of eReading will pick up and spread everywhere else!
    Stan M.
    P.S. I actually helped a few European friends of mine to get their hands on this beauty by shipping it to them. So if you have family or friends here, they might be able to help ya out!

  13. guest_user wrote: December 26, 2007 11:25pm

    Hello, desire to know if the Reader is compatible with the CD ROM, that is to say, desire to know if I can read documents varied in the equipment; I make
    this question because in Venezuela this technology is little and most of books they come in format CD ROM. In addition, I have seen a compatible book library with the equipment. Tendría to buy exclusive books or I can read a book digitized by me.
    Yajaira, Venezuela

  14. guest_user wrote: January 9, 2008 11:27am

    Hi all. I’m have a great confidence, that this device take up a good place in our life, particularly
    in travels. But it still need more time, i any case thanks Sony for such kind of gadjets.

  15. guest_user wrote: January 23, 2008 4:47am

    Please, I am living in japan too , and cannot find this ebook reader, if anybody knows where i can buy one in japan, post a message here….thanks


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