It's hardly the fastest thing about, though to be fair this is probably down to the nature of the beast: electronic paper screens don't refresh as fast as other screen types and the speed at which the new Reader screen flashes from black-out-of grey to grey-out-of-black and back again seems no faster than before.
The touch UI and remaining buttons do the job
The screen also requires a firm push to make anything happen. Anyone new to the world of touchscreen control won't find this an issue, but those used to the latest capacitive screen devices may raise an eyebrow.
This aside, the 600's UI goes about its business in a fairly logical manner and is a far better solution to the problems of e-book navigation than the 505's shotgun blast of buttons.
The most obvious advantage of the new UI is that you can turn pages with a finger or thumb swipe to the left and right. The direction this works in can be changed to suit your preference, so readers can hold the device and change pages with one hand.
Slim and with a more book-like design than before
A quick double-tap in the top right corner of the screen will set a bookmark, while a double tap on a word will fire up the built-in dictionary to tell you what said term means. Usefully, Sony supplies the Reader with both British English and American English dictionaries.
@ Paul 37
I've found a much better alternative
Its an open-source repository of every book published. Its works on simple magstripe technology. It goes several hundred years between charge-ups and best of all is absolutely free.
According to the graphic on the front its made by Spelthorne Borough Council and is badged up as a "Library Card".
Am I the only one who suspects these things are only used by the same people who sit and write their novels on Macs in Starbucks ? To quote Family Guy, "Writing isn't writing unless somone is watching you doing it"
Disappointed... exchanged it
I took my recently-purchased 600 back to Waterstones. I was slightly nervous about this, since waterstones.com has a "We do not offer refunds or exchanges for ereader devices" disclaimer, but I thought I had a reasonable case of "Not fit for purpose." What use is a ereader if reading off it is uncomfortable?
Anyway, the manager of the store was polite and would have given me a refund, but instead I asked for an exchange, and took away for the smaller "Pocket" edition. This doesn't have the touch screen, and the screen quality is day to the 600's night. Brighter "white" level, and only point sources generate disruptive reflections in the pocket's screen, instead of any illuminated object.
Much happier now.