Product Type: Sony Tablet PCs / eBook Readers
Newest Review: ... computer, install the drivers and I was ready to go. At this point I could transfer up to 160 eBooks to the internal memory, expandable by ... more
Member Name: icetsunami
Advantages: Unbelieveably good display and lots of file formats supported.
Disadvantages: Erm...? You may want a colour version.
Right. You want the convenience of taking a substantial library on holiday but can't afford the excess baggage allowance. Solution: Cram an extensive library onto the eReader and away. Let's be realistic though and say you could use this product anywhere. The Sony is a compact and lightweight e-book reader of the highest quality. The metal casing is both stylish and tasteful.
The technical bit:
Basically, the Sony displays books in an electronic format, like a MS Word document for example. The display is an 8 level grayscale dubbed by Sony as e-ink. It can store approxiamtely 160 books on the internal storage and catalogues these books orderly. There is a port for the use of additional storage and Sony rather kindly don't restrict you to their proprietary memory stick format.
The software bundled is easy to set up and works with Windows XP and onwards inclusive of Media Centre editions. I also have had it on 64bit operating systems and it worked faultlessly. The software is undemanding and will run on the most basic of systems although to be fair if you are using XP or Vista you will almost certainly be far in excess of the minimum requirements.
For lovers of different formats and file extensions you will be pleased to know that the eReader supports JPG, PNG, GIF and BMP for image files. It handles text in BBeB, either DRM or unsecure, TXT, RTF, PDF and MS Word docs. If you needed more there is also audio support in the shape of MP3 and AAC. Audio playback is fairly decent considering it isn't a dedicated music player. Invest in some quality earphones if you will use this feature regularly.
Is it any good?
Well it is very good. The main selling point is the e-ink which to be honest I found astonishing. Now lets be clear, I have had loads of phones, gamers and PDA's and they have not come close to this quality. I kept on tilting the Sony as it looked as though the words were literally printed on the screen. Yuo can look at it from all angles with only the most extreme ones losing sight of the text. All books are well managed and you can read several at once should you wish and they will be automatically bookmarked. The interface is both intuitve and responsive. Reports of the book being slow to turn the pages proved incorrect unless there was a new software update to fix the problem.
Well, as said by other reviewers you get 100 classic titles free, either on disc or as a download. They include some really good works from Shakespeare to Lewis Carrol. 160 books on the the unit itself is quite a lot but I added a 4GB card which will hold all the books you could ever want. E-books are readily available all over the net, an awful lot of them for free too. You may find that official stores are still expensive at the moment as this is an emerging market but they are about inline with a regular paperback. The only current problem is that a lot of new and recent titles haven't yet been transferred into electronic form.
This is an excellent introduction to the e-book market. The display is stunning and clear in most environments. I know many people are awaiting a colour version but I would be astounded if it could reproduce quality like this even with organic displays. Colour would be good for pictures and media files though.
Its small and chic but if you do end up taking it on holiday, don't dump it poolside or on the beach!
Summary: Excellent. Top 5 gadget of the generation.
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