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Reader in its natural habitat

It can read the Da Vinci Code!

Image source: Sony Electronics Inc.
Sony's eBook reader slated to launch on Halloween for $350

Sony today released its PRS-500 Reader Portable Reader System pre-orders at sonystyle.com, which will hit retail stores by the end of October.  The device has been delayed several times, with the last volley of delays occuring just this past July.

 

The PRS-500 tablet-like shape features a high-resolution display designed to mimic traditional paper and is readable even in bright sunlight. With battery life equivalent to roughly 7,500 continuous page turns, readers can store and display personal documents in Adobe PDF format, RTF, text, JPEG photos and selected RSS feeds from blogs and news sites.

 

Sony today also announced its CONNECT eBook store with more than 10,000 eBook titles available. And for a limited time, when a Reader is registered on the CONNECT site, people will receive a $50 credit towards the purchase eBooks online.

 

“Today, we’re writing a new chapter in digital technology for reading,” said Ron Hawkins, Sony Electronics’ vice president of Portable Reader Systems marketing. “Easy and enjoyable to use, the Reader fulfills the promise of electronic reading in a way that no other device has been able to do.  Not intended to replace traditional books, but to supplement them, the Sony Reader allows people to take a library of books and other reading material with them wherever they go.”

 

The Sony Reader will retail for about $350 at SonyStyle and Borders stores and comes complete with USB cable, a wall charger, the CONNECT Reader software and a protective soft cover.  More information about Sony Reader is available at its official site.



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great
By QueBert on 9/27/2006 5:02:21 AM , Rating: 2
With Sony behind it, I wonder what type of crappy file format this thing will use? I can only imagine it won't be something useful or standardize. the Epaper thing is interesting, and I'd be willing to check it out in person before I totally write it off. But Sony always plays by their own rules. I just hope they don't create a NEW Memory Stick format that's only for this.

Memory Stick Pro Duo Plus!




RE: great
By PrinceGaz on 9/27/2006 9:18:23 AM , Rating: 2
According to the official site, you can view PDFs and RTFs on it (among other formats) but it does also mention in a footnote about using the supplied software to convert them to a proprietary format. So maybe the device only natively supports its own format and all other documents have to be converted to that format before transferring. I'm not entirely certain though. Since most books I've downloaded are in either PDF, RTF or Word format (and Word can be saved as RTF), an automatic conversion while transferring isn't really an issue.

If it were Memory Stick only then I'd not be interested, but in a welcome departure for Sony, it also has an SD card slot so you can use them instead. Given the price of SD cards compared with Memory Stick, I think most people will opt for SD.

The device looks quite promising to me; it's thinner and probably no heavier than the current paperback novel I'm reading. If that display is as high a resolution as the pictures suggest, it could be the first viable electronic alternative to a real book.


RE: great
By Gantrioch on 9/29/2006 2:26:10 AM , Rating: 2
PDFs, text files, etc. do NOT have to be converted to BBeB format. The Reader can read them natively.


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