Product Type: Sony Tablet PCs / eBook Readers
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The best thing since sliced bread!
Sony Reader Digital Book PRS-300
Member Name: jipp05
Sony Reader Digital Book PRS-300
Advantages: Good price, looks like real ink
Disadvantages: Akward to add books to.
I absolutely LOVE reading and for a long time now I have thought about purchasing an E-reader. I looked around at all the ones available and did a lot of umming and ahhing over what one to get. I didn't find it an easy decision to make as although I love gadgets and technology I could not imagine that I would ever be able to get used to reading on a screen instead of a nice paperback. However I was sick of lugging around books everywhere with me and my flat is almost over run with them so when I read reviews and nearly everyone was positive about the experience of reading on one of these readers I decided to bite the bullet and purchase one.
I originally was looking into buying an Amazon Kindle solely due to the fact that Amazon is a brand I trust to make a good product but as it could only be bought from the American site and the E book store was American it made me a little uneasy so I eventually decided on the Sony E-reader as they had them in my local Waterstones when I went in to browse. It was a little bit of an impulse buy as although I had looked into the Sony E-reader the one I eventually bought was one that I had previously dismissed as being too small.
The model I chose was the PRS-300 pocket reader in brushed silver colour. It cost me £139 which I didn't think was a bad price as the Touch edition that I had previously been looking at buying was over £200. The PRS-300 has a 5 inch screen and the Touch has a 6inch screen but after seeing them side by side I didn't think it was worth paying nearly £100 more for an extra inch and besides the PRS-300 looks much better in the flesh and is by far easier to carry around in a jacket pocket for reading on the move.
The PRS-300 has a width of 107mm, a height of 157.5mm and weighs 220 grams meaning that it weighs less than an average paperback making it truly portable. The metal casing not only looks lovely but feels nice to the touch and the overall dimensions really do make it the perfect size to hold.
There are a few external buttons on the reader including numbered buttons from 0 to 10 on the right hand side which are used for selecting options on the screen and on the bottom of the device there are buttons to take you to the home screen, a back button, a bookmark button to mark your favourite pages and an enlarge button so you can make the text bigger or smaller. In the middle there is a circular scroller for navigation.
It really is a lovely looking device but the main purpose of buying one is to read books. This is where the Sony PRS-300 excels. As it is a dedicated reading device and not a multi-purpose wonder product that claims to do everything (ipad I'm looking at you) Sony have concentrated on making sure that the one thing the PRS-300 does it does well.
The reader utilises E-ink technology which gives a more natural "paper like" display than reading on a computer screen. There is no backlight or flickering so it is much easier on the eye than a computer screen is where I often have to have breaks to give my eyes time to rest. The lack of an option for a backlight is a little bit annoying as it would have been useful for reading at night but the case I purchased has a light so it's not a great problem but I still think it should have been included.
The grey writing on the screen really does look like a paper display and is beautifully rendered with an 800x600 display and an 8 level grey scale.
One of the best things about the reader is that it can be used outside in direct sunlight with no problems or glare and there is no problem in reading the screen and as anyone with a mobile phone knows there is nothing worse than not being able to read your text messages in the sun.
For me although at first I did find it strange to be reading on an E-reader instead of a paperback I soon got used to it and began to forgot I was reading a book from a piece of technology instead of a paperback. The E ink really is marvellous and I do find it incredibly paper like and 100 times more comfortable on my eyes than reading from a computer screen.
Turning the page of the book is done at the touch of a button which I also soon got used to doing so that now I no longer need to even think about doing it as it just happens intuitively.
Even though I haven't had the reader all that long I am completely used to using it now and although the technology is very high tech it comes across as deceptively low fi which I love as this means it allows me to be able to enter the world of the author just like I would do with a real book without having to break away from it to press buttons or do anything technological.
The PRS-300 only has an internal memory of 512mb with no slot for an SD card to expand the memory however this tiny memory by today's standards is still enough room to store up to 350 books. A single charge of the battery is enough to let you go through 6,800 page turns which equates to about 2 weeks of reading. This is amazing and probably the best feature for me because I am terrible at remembering to charge things before I leave the house!
Talking of charging the PRS-300 doesn't come with a mains power charger but only a USB cable that you connect to your computer to charge. This isn't a problem for me as it lasts for so long between charges I have never found I needed one but it does annoy me slightly that Sony didn't include one just so they could have an opportunity to try and extract more money from those people who want to be able to charge at a power supply.
Adding books to the Sony PRS-300 is the only problem I have the reader as it is not the most user friendly aspect of it. You need to install the ebook library application to your computer as this is where the books you purchase will be stored. The files are then transferred to the reader by the supplied USB cable. Sounds easy enough but it practise it can be a fidlely time consuming experience.
This is definitely where the kindle has the edge over Sony as with the kindle books you buy from amazon are wirelessly transferred straight to your kindle and there is no need for wires or connection.
However what the Sony has over the kindle is the freedom of being able to get books from all different kinds of places as it supports all the major formats. There are the large shops such as Waterstones and Whsmiths who have good online shops but you can also download books from torrent sites or even find millions of free ones that are out of copyright.
A lot of library's now have an Epub section where you can download a book to your reader for free for a set amount of time just like how you would normally borrow a book. The kindle is not able to support this yet so the Sony definitely wins in the availability of books for your reader.
I hope I have covered everything people want to know about owning one of these machines but if not then I am sorry but rest assured that if you are thinking of buying one then I am of the opinion that it is an absolutely brilliant piece of kit and I am absolutely thrilled with my Sony PRS-300 and couldn't be happier that I finally succumbed to buying an E-reader finally after coveting them for so long.
Summary: Wish Ii had bought one sooner
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