If you can't be bothered with the palaver of the Sony media manager, or are a Linux user, you can simply drag and drop content directly onto the Reader from any old OS.
The original reader (left) and the 600
Sony reckons the Touch's battery is good for 7500 page turns, up from 7000 on the original Reader. We couldn't think of an effective way to test that claim which didn't involve flicking a page every second for over two hours, so we are just going to take Sony's word for it.
While the old PRS-505 was priced at around £200, the new 600 will set you back £250. So you're paying an extra 50 quid to get a touchscreen, a price that put its on top of the e-book reader pile. And you no longer get the rather fine "book cover" that the 505 came with but instead an altogether cheaper, if functional padded slip case.
The new Reader carries across all the strengths of the original but combines them with a touchscreen UI that makes navigation much easier. It also brings some handy new functionality to the party, including an excellent built-in dictionary, and the ability to make and save notes and memos.
Sony has missed an opportunity by not beefing up the music player – the addition of ID tag support would have been welcome. The £50 price increase is not welcome, and we wonder if the £180 5in, Reader Pocket Edition won't be the better buy. ®
More E-book Reader Reviews...
Sony Reader PRS-600 Touch Edition
@ 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.
I don't get eBooks, either
I was a long time Palm user and read many books on it. I loved the way the text would scroll and I could read without having to do page turns. Now I have an iPhone and last night I was reading Edith Wharton as I came home on the London Underground. The book was free and the gadget I carry around anyway.
I never had any problem reading books on the Palm or on the iPhone. I don't understand why one would want to spend so much money and carry an extra gadget just to read books, unless one needs to take notes, which is not my case. My Palm had good dictionaries and so does my iPhone, and if I did occasionally need to take notes I might be able to do that anyway using a notes app. The smallness of the Palm|iPhone makes it ideal to get out in a crowded train. When I stay with my daughter I sleep in a bed without a bedside light. That is no problem with the Palm|iPhone, either, as the screen is backlit. I don't know whether readers like the Sony can be used in the dark.
Disappointed by the screen quality
The touch-screen layer of the 600 model seems to make the screen both more dim, and more reflective. The combination of the two makes it awkward to read, for me at least. I have to angle it to try to find a dark patch so I can "see through" it to the screen.
If e-ink displays are supposed to be easy on the eye and more like the experience of reading a printed page, then for me this model's screen is sub-standard.
In short: find somewhere you can give the 600 a good test read in representative lighting conditions before committing to it. Check that it works for you.