Memory expansion is, however, very well catered for with both SDHC and MemoryStick Duo slots in the top of the player. Shove an 8GB card in either and you could load up more literature than could be easily read in the average lifetim: more than 1700 copies of War and Peace, for example.
The external memory cards integrated seamlessly with the Reader's on-board storage, the system taking files from all three locations and presenting them as a unified whole.
The concept of electronic books has been kicking around for a while
Once loaded, the Reader can sort books by author, title and date loaded, though in the last view it regarded books in fact loaded four days previously as loaded “today”. The author view indexes by first name, so anything by the Bard ends up under 'W' for 'William' rather than 'S' for 'Shakespeare'. This may have more to do with file tagging than the Reader itself but it's nevertheless a little annoying. Still, at least it doesn't file books starting with 'The' under 'T', and for that we should be grateful.
The Reader's display is a 6in portrait, eight-level greyscale “electronic paper” item from E Ink with a resolution of 170 pixels per inch. What that means in everyday use is that pages are rendered with great clarity and definition as full black ink against a very pale grey background.
In good light, the Reader's screen is actually slighter easier on the eye than reading a traditional book and benefits from three available text sizes – small, medium, large – the smallest being more or less the same as you'd find in any standard-format paperback.
In poor artificial light, we sometimes wished that there was some sort of contrast control though it could be argued we shouldn't have been trying to read in those conditions to begin with. The screen can be moved from portrait to landscape though we aren't wholly sure why or when anyone would want to do so - this is not a display for picture books.
While the screen is essentially matte in finish, it does have a tendency to reflect strong light sources, especially tightly focused reading lamps. Altering the angle of the light or the reader usually gets around this, though, and it was not a major issue.
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)