Feeds

Sony widens its e-bookshelf

Two more electronic books, with wireless to follow

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Sony has launched two more e-ink-based electronic books. The cheapest sports a 5 inch screen and is priced at $200, while an inch-larger touch screen brings the price up to $300. But neither features wireless - at least not yet.

Hitting the $200 mark has obviously been a challenge, and has been achieved by cutting the screen down to five inches diagonal, or 12.7cm. For comparison, a traditional paperback is about eight inches (20.3cm) while five inches is nearer the size of a compact audio cassette box. A monitor resolution of 800x600 should give it a resolution of 200dpi (assuming square pixels), which drops to 170dpi when stretched to fill the six inch screen of the PRS-700.

The PRS-700 does have a finger-friendly touch screen, allowing users to turn pages with a swipe of the finger (something iPhone users seem obsessed about), but also sports a stylus for taking hand-written notes in the margins. But what's more interesting than the specifications (which are available in full from SonyInsider) is Sony's commitment to its own bookstore and promises of wireless connectivity soon.

Sony recently added half a million copyright-free books from Google, which it provides free for side-loading from a PC onto the existing Reader as well as the new models. Users can also copy PDF, EPUB, Word, MP3 and the traditional list of graphic formats, but for those prepared to pay, Sony is cutting a couple of dollars off the price of the latest books - down to $10 a title, in a move clearly aimed at Amazon's Kindle.

Of course, the Kindle has wireless networking built in, but Sony isn't going to let that unique selling point stand as the company told Gizmodo: "we will be bringing a wireless product to market. The particulars of 'when' and 'how much' will come later. Wireless is important and wireless is coming from Sony."

E-book devices, as opposed to document readers, need to be small and cheap to compete with real books, $200 is a nice price point and at least Sony doesn't keep sticking keyboards onto books. But new hardware is really just a weapon in the war between electronic book stores, which will be a long and drawn-out fight, for both users and publishers. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks
New plug not compatible with official Type-C, according to fresh rumors
FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'
Wow, it looks like nothing else on the market, for sure
YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator
Fanbois prepare to experience the great Cupertin-O
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
Things are looking up in Flappy Bird sequel
'Swing Copters' offers the same gameplay but in a different direction
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.