To the right of the screen there are ten buttons that correspond to tabs on the screen and allow you to reach the main menus by which you access content on the Reader.
To the right of them are the buttons you use to 'turn' the pages forward and back. Another, circular control in the left hand corner does the exact same thing and is flanked by buttons to increase the text size and bookmark the page you are on. Finally, below the right-hand side of the screen is another circular control for general navigation, equipped with a central action button and a smaller circular menu/back key.
We think that a touch screen UI would be a more elegant solution
If you have been keeping up you will by now have figured out you can turn pages using no less than three different controls, though oddly the main navigation key only lets you turn a page forward if you have already accessed it using one of the other page turn controls.
It all works well enough, but we couldn't help but feel that a touch-screen UI would be a more elegant solution, assuming of course it was technically feasible.
The lack of any sort of keyboard also rules out a search facility. Not an issue if you only have a few hundred books on your Reader though it may become one if you have a few thousand. It also raises issues of navigation around reference books – flipping pages all the way to an index, then heading back to the relevant entries you want to read could, we suspect, get a little taxing after a while.
Managing content on the Reader requires the installation of Sony's eBook Library software – think Sonic Stage without the music. This happens to be a Windows-only application but luckily for Mac and Linux users the Reader shows up as a mass-storage device so you can drop files – at least ones without any sort of DRM protection – directly into the Reader's Media folder.
The device itself comes with 192MB of storage, which Sony say is good for around 160 books. Clearly this depends on the length of the book, as all 1984 pages of David Copperfield come in at 2.9MB, though to be fair 66 major Dickens' novels isn't bad on a device that's smaller than a paperback copy of A Christmas Carol.
Got my mum one of these, she doesn't see the point of technology normally, but she absolutely loves her Sony E-book reader! She can also zoom in and out so she can read this without glasses. Only thing is there's no backlight to speak of, but the battery life makes up for it.
If you think the e-books are a rip off, this thing can understand PDF, RTF, Word documents and .lit files so just get your e-book from one of the free sites like Project Guttenberg and you're away, or are the classics and Steven King not your thing?
By my maths, I will have "broken even" in a few months!
what abt this?
But if the display is so good...
why do all these readers seem to display black-on-grey, like the cheaper 'pulp' style paperbacks you get the bargain bin at Booksale, rather than crisp white, like a quality hardback?
feed me books
Thanks for mentioning feedbooks. I hadn't heard of them before.
I just wish I had something nicer to read my downloaded book on than my big clunky thinkpad.
A non-Sony Sony product
I received mine last week and I have used it a least 3hrs a day.
I haven't even bothered to install the Sony software, so I've probably missed the worst part. If it is as bad as Sonic Stage then I can understand the dislike.
What has changed at Sony? You can copy a text file to the device through Windows explorer and it just works. I have played around with RTF, changed the font & size. Arial 14pt works well. I hope Sony does not decide to lock it down like the Kindle...only works with Amazon, or so I hear.
So what if a new model is released in the US next month, it will probably take a year for it to be released in the UK.
The black flash of the transition from one page to the next is to clear the page and prevent ghosting. I don't notice it anymore. This is a limitation of the technology, later versions will improve. Does anyone remember the first monochrome LCDs? Slow refresh, ghosting? I think these are at the same stage.
I used to use my HTC touch Dual for everything, Jack of all trade, master of none. I now have an iPod, a Tom Tom and now a Sony PRS-505.
The lanscape option is usefull if you load graphic novels (AKA Comics)