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Print 19 comment(s) - last by Monty the Dog.. on Jun 14 at 6:21 AM

Sony pushes back portable electronic reader to summer 2006

Sony's Portable Reader was supposed to sit on store shelves this past spring but they have delayed launch of the product which will be "Available Late Summer 2006" as its website, Sony Style, states.

There has been no word on the why Sony is delaying the launch but we're sure it is improving and testing the product a bit more to produce the perfect product. Either that or Sony is really focusing on the PS3 to make sure it launches on time, this time.

Sony's Portable Reader System, the PRS-500, is a 6-inch 800x600 SVGA gray-scale display which is able to display documents and eBooks off Memory Stick and Secure Digital flash media. The PRS-500 will also be able to play MP3 files as well as view JPEG and PDF files.

Retail price at the time Sony announced a March launch was about $350 and we assume it will stay at that price. Wouldn't a similarly priced color PDA do the trick? Would you take a color screen and wireless connectivity over a 6-inch screen and higher battery life?




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gray scale??
By mushi799 on 6/6/2006 3:59:35 AM , Rating: 2
you can buy a cheap dell laptop for $350-400 or a PDA that has COLOR




RE: gray scale??
By sh0dan2 on 6/6/2006 5:20:10 AM , Rating: 3
It's e-Ink, not LCD. Better contrast, very low power use - it keeps the image, even when turned off.

Have a look at the technology at http://www.eink.com/


RE: gray scale??
By TomZ on 6/6/2006 10:27:15 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure how you can say that E Ink is not LCD. It looks to me like a BW/grayscale LCD optimized for reading (high contrast, higher resolution) and low power consumption (no backlight).


RE: gray scale??
By spwatkins on 6/6/2006 10:35:04 AM , Rating: 3
Why don't you RTFL? He referenced a link that explains exactly how E-Ink works (it is nothing like and LCD).


RE: gray scale??
By spwatkins on 6/6/2006 10:41:25 AM , Rating: 2
that is "*an* LCD"


RE: gray scale??
By Trisped on 6/6/2006 3:18:13 PM , Rating: 2
LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display.
There is no Liquid or Crystal used in an eInk display.


LCDs are actually filters placed over a back light which filter how much light and what color shows through, to your eye. eInk is, from what I was told, small balls that are black on one side and white on the other. The balls are then rotated as needed to create the desired display. The result is someting much more similar to printed paper.


RE: gray scale??
By TomZ on 6/6/2006 12:38:43 PM , Rating: 2
No need to get snippy.


RE: gray scale??
By Trisped on 6/6/2006 3:20:16 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with him. It is very annoying when someone shows up with their ignorance haning out. You try to point it out, then someone else says that it isn't. If you just look, you will know. Then you won't look stupid.


RE: gray scale??
By TomZ on 6/6/2006 5:09:36 PM , Rating: 2
It's still not any excuse for rudeness, IMO. I did "RTFL" before I posted, but the description at E-Ink makes their technology sound very similar to LCD. Their system uses electric fields to polarize materials in each pixel, which on the surface sounds similar to LCD.
quote:
LCDs are actually filters placed over a back light which filter how much light and what color shows through, to your eye. eInk is, from what I was told, small balls that are black on one side and white on the other. The balls are then rotated as needed to create the desired display. The result is someting much more similar to printed paper.

No, there are no "balls that rotate" in their technology. If you click through that link, they have a detailed description.

quote:
It is very annoying when someone shows up with their ignorance haning out.



Software?
By omfx56 on 6/6/2006 3:12:07 AM , Rating: 2
I believe they're having trouble with their "connect" software for this eBook thing, as discussed in this article: http://news.com.com/Sonys+software+future/2100-104...

There seems to be alot of conflicts.




RE: Software?
By phisrow on 6/6/2006 3:42:46 AM , Rating: 2
You could well be right. It would be pathetic, though, if that is why Sony is delaying this product.

All they have to do is give it a mass storage interface: plug it in, dump text files onto the new drive, unplug and go. Simple, easy, just like a flash drive or a floppy disk, so even the technophobes can handle it, works on any machine ever, could be implemented inside a week.

Instead, I'm sure, they're hacking about in their ghastly "Connect" application, adding new bugs, new DRM, and new boneheaded design moves as they attempt to "enable the consumer's synergistic media experience" or some such idiocy.


RE: Software?
By BladeVenom on 6/6/2006 6:01:34 AM , Rating: 2
My guess is they are still working on compatibility issues. It's not incompatible enough, and the DRM isn't onerous enough yet. If it's not 100% incompatible, is it really a Sony?


RE: Software?
By dude on 6/6/2006 6:47:30 AM , Rating: 2
Mass storage interface? Don't tell me it doesn't utilize the Sony Memory Stick interface? Did they finally figure out that nobody wants it?


RE: Software?
By TomZ on 6/6/2006 11:46:17 AM , Rating: 2
I think it supports both Memory Stick and SD cards.


RE: Software?
By sh0dan2 on 6/6/2006 5:28:06 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
I believe they're having trouble with their "connect" software for this eBook thing
.

Dunno - we can only guess. It's getting a bit annoying though, as the other e-ink readers - Irex Iliad and the Jinke Hanlin v2 ebook reader are all delayed, or "not yet available".

The Jinke looks much better, though with an open architechture (Linux-based) and almost similar hardware.

http://www.jinke.com.cn/compagesql/English/embedpr...


What is really sad....
By Misty Dingos on 6/6/2006 11:20:25 AM , Rating: 2
Is that Sony dropped Qrio to focus on this piece of techno crap. The greed masters at $ony have long lost any vision of what the world buying public will want to buy in the future.




RE: What is really sad....
By rushfan2006 on 6/6/2006 4:45:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Is that Sony dropped Qrio to focus on this piece of techno crap. The greed masters at $ony have long lost any vision of what the world buying public will want to buy in the future.


Translation of your post (quote above): "I have no interest or desire in this product at all, therefore no one else can (does) either. What's more I must trash it because of this fact alone."


RE: What is really sad....
By Misty Dingos on 6/7/2006 10:46:08 AM , Rating: 2
Let me translate my own post for you. What is sad is that (with the possible exception of replacing black and white text books) I don't see a viable market for this device. An approximately page sized tablet that has black and white text and simple graphics. Where is the market for that? There isn't. If there isn't a market why make it? Look at the previous posts. The core to many of them isn't "Gee I can't wait to buy that!" it is "Why on earth would anyone want to buy that?". I am very happy to help with the translation.


RE: What is really sad....
By Monty the Dog on 6/14/2006 6:21:43 AM , Rating: 2
Why would anyone want this device? Maybe so they can read the tens of thousands of free out-of-copyright books available on the web - the entire works of Orwell, Gissing, Hardy, Gaskell, the Brontes, Austen etc. Yeah, sure you can read them on your PC screen, if you don't mind spending an evening staring at a monitor after spending all day slaving over a hot computer at work, and you could read them on a PDA screen, if you're 15 and don't mind reading off a 2 inch screen. For people like me who are kind of attached to booklike books, it could be pretty good. Kids probably won't like it, but they never read anything longer than txtmsgs these days in any case.


"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton











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