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Sony Reader PRS-600 Touch Edition

Real page turner?

If you find yourself without a spare memory card, Sony has done you a favour by increasing the built-in storage from 192 to 512MB so you can squeeze a fair few books – about 350, according to Sony - onto the Reader straight out of the box. Still, Flash isn't that expensive in small amounts, and rival e-book readers, like Bookeen's Cybook Opus, come with 1GB of on-board storage.

Sony PRS-600 Reader Touch Edition

Boost the 512MB of on-board storage with SD and Memory Stick

The 600's display is the latest electronic paper offering from E Ink, called Vizplex. Like the screen in the original Reader, it stretches 6in corner-to-corner, has a resolution of 800 x 600 and displays images in eight shades of grey.

To be honest, we struggled to see any real differences between the new screen and the one in the old Reader, though the effective viewing angle did seem to be a little greater than we recall. On the downside, it also appeared a bit more reflective.

Not having the two side-by-side to compare, both differences could, however, just be down to our over-active imagination. Either way, the new Reader is just as easy to read as the old.

While the first Reader had 17 buttons on its face, the Touch makes do with just five, all set in row below the screen. These take care of the basic functions of turning pages, accessing the home screen, zooming in and out and firing up the context-dependent options menus. Everything else is controlled through the touchscreen.

Sony PRS-600 Reader Touch Edition

There's a power port, but the adaptor is an optional extra

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the UI, it's worth pointing out that anyone used to an iPhone or suchlike is going to be a bit taken aback by the performance of the PRS-600's resistive screen, at least on first use.

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