Sony e-book reader to debut in UK tomorrow
To begin at the beginning...
Sony's PRS-505 Reader goes on sale in the UK tomorrow and will "revolutionise reading", the company ebulliently claimed today.
"What the Walkman did for music on the move, the Reader is about to do for books," the firm's spokesfolks enthused.
Maybe. Sony reckons the 260g gadget based on E Ink screen technology will prove a hit with travellers keen to avoid lugging stacks of paperbacks with them when they head off on holiday.
Sony's PRS-505 Reader: a boon for holidaymakers?
The unit has the capacity to hold 160 e-books, but it packs a memory card slot - 2GB SDs or 8GB Memory Stick Duos - to boost that storage space further. The screen is 6in in the diagonal and has a viewing angle of "almost 180°".
E Ink's display tech retains the on-screen image even when the power's cut, allowing Sony to claim the Reader's rechargeable battery life extends to 6800 page turns - the screen only consumes power when the picture changes.
Available from tomorrow, the Reader will cost £199. It comes bundled with a CD containing 100 "classic" - ie. out-of-copyright - titles.
What Sony do not tell you
What Sony do not tell you until you have bought the new E Book Reader is the limitations on the type of PC you will be able to use it on. It is not supported under Vista 64 bit versions but there is more! I quote from the installation manual The software is not supported if:- Yours is a personanlly built computer, Upgraded manufacturer-installed operating system, multi boot environment or a multi monitor environment. I can perhaps understand the multi boot and monitor but why do Sony discriminate against a home built or manufacturer modified computer?
You do not find out there is a problem until you try to install the Readers operating system software and then after a long wait you get a message saying installation failed - terminated by Sony Calls to the support helpline give no luck it is left to the user to try to plough through the web, manuals etc to try to find the solution. At present I have now installed to a laptop running XP SP 2 but my highly modified desktop running Vista Premium 64 bit is a non runner. Coments Sony??
no-drm UK website
Some here might be interested to know that Pan Macmillan are experimenting with selling their ebooks without any DRM whatsoever through their website at www.panmacmillan.com. Even though I'll have to make a disclaimer - I'm one of their authors - I'll have to say I nonetheless think this is a bold and positive move in favour of the consumer. According to someone I spoke to at Pan, 'All the titles currently on the Pan Macmillan site are DRM free'. Straight from the horse's mouth.
Great hardware - oh my god who designed the DRM???
Only works with Windows - bad. But the people at Waterstones should be shot for their DRM policy.
You are allowed to download a title ONCE. After that the DRM kicks in to say the title has already been downloaded and you can't have it again. No matter if the download is corrupt or if your newly DRMed book refuses to open on the Reader. You can't have another copy.
And when you have your book, it's folded into the horrific Adobe Digital Edition plugin for Flash so you can't back it up in the event of a hard disk crash or a move to a new machine.
This is simply not acceptable. I've never used a download service with so many restrictions.
But I have to repeat, the Reader itself is a stunning piece of technology.
is I want to see this in action. It's the same with HD, and with the iPhone/multitouch. A review can't really tell you the whole experience, you need to see and touch it to really understand if it is good for you. Most of us can't conceptualize a digital display that looks exactly like paper - because we've never seen it. We may have an idea what it would be like, but we don't know.
I haven't had any hands on time with any e-ink device, but I did see a sony reader at one point in a store at an airport.. and I honestly thought the device was a mockup until someone turned the page. The display is really good - all that aside I still need some time with it to decide if I want one.
@TimM and others
...It is the media and various journalists encouraging the over reaction that are touting this as a 100% book replacement. Neither Sony or any of the other ebook producers have said "this will replace books". Did anyone see the extremely jaundiced piece on BBC's 'One Show' last night? They picked THE most anti technology, fire and brim stone book lover they could find and pitched the whole thing toward encouraging her automatic knee jerk reactions. It was touted as a "can we convert someone" article when in actual fact it was nothing like that and done in such a way to completely stoke up her reactions. The fact that she said "just to use this I had to plug it all in and had about five cables hanging out of it", was a complete lie, because even if she had it on charge and plugged into a PC she would have had two cables.
Tim your comments show a great deal of ignorance about the devices and how they work, and indeed their future application. Your comments show as well that you also have the same petty nay sayer attitude that this woman did, and that you believe everything you read in the press and hear spouted on the street.
“Yes you can increase the text size, but that means lots of scrolling around”, you ignorant man. The better devices adjust the page widths making them longer. Yes it means you have to scroll down, of course, but if you have ever tried reading a whole novel with a magnifying glass you will know this isn’t even a consideration. My nan had to give up reading books, her first love, because her hands were too weak to hold a book AND a magnifying glass. This has put reading back into her hands after a two year absence and she won’t be parted from her ebook reader (not a Sony one either).
As for DRM, for christs sake, I don’t condone it, but anyone who thinks that a company will NOT do their best to protect the content you buy from them is very naive. Very. Get over it, don’t buy the technology, or wait until the market matures, DRM is broken, or simply becomes a non-issue as the ebook sellers remove restrictions. People screamed the houses down when they discovered their Apple AAC tracks were locked but they either accepted it or found quick and easy ways around it.
This is a relatively new technology, or application of technology, and things have to mature. DVD players for the first two years were £500+ and films £25 (and yes those are hard facts before anyone says), but despite all the VHS nutters saying it would never take off because of costs, it has and is now one of the most ubiquitous items in homes. The ebook market is in its absolute infancy and the prices of devices and books reflect that. No-one is making people buy these right now. No-one is saying “we are going to close your library in two years”, as one idiot said last night in another news article, and no-one is saying you have to buy these devices as people seem to irrationally be thinking. The only people encouraging those views are the media.
If you can't afford to buy better technology to let you converge those various devices in your travel bag into far fewer, sod off and save up rather than slagging a piece of technology without any prior insight. As you and many others are doing.
But hey, it's Sony isn't it and you've proved in the past haven’t you with your mis-informed comments you have tourettes when it comes to them.