Sony Reader PRS-300 Pocket Edition
The e-book reader for everyone?
Nothing has been sacrificed in the build quality, with the Pocket having the same robust and attractive aluminium case as the Touch complete with ersatz book spine on the left and profile taper on the right.
There's no memory expansion slot on this model
Comparing the technically identical in all but screen-size Touch and Pocket side by side, it has to be said that the contrast of the 5in unit is superior. The 12 months that passed between us using the original Reader and the new Touch obscured the difference in contrast between the touch-sensitive and non-touch sensitive versions of E Ink's e-paper screen, but it was more obvious when we placed the Touch and Pocket next to each other.
Not that we are changing our opinion about the legibility of the Touch's screen - it does the job and is eminently fit for purpose - it's just that, on balance, we prefer the lighter grey background of the Pocket's screen.
Out of the box and in the hand, the 5in display looks smaller than you might expect it to from a glance at the numerical dimensions or at product images. The upside is that the Pocket also feels smaller in the hand than those same dimensions and pictures suggest, making it a very comfortable one-handed read. The device is also very easy to slip into a coat or jacket pocket.
The reduced screen size doesn't have any impact on the readability of ePub or BBeB text, which can be viewed at the same size as it can on the 6in screen - there's just less of it on each page. PDF files are more problematic as the formatting suffers when you zoom in from a whole page view with letters being orphaned at the end of sentences and paragraph returns arranging themselves rather randomly.
Again, standard mini USB is used for charging and data transfer
Size issues apart, the the most obvious differences between the Pocket and the Touch are the absence of anything in the way of storage expansion and the lack of a music player, both present on the more pricey model. These both seem rather strange omissions to us.