Product Type: Sony Tablet PCs / eBook Readers
Newest Review: ... got my unit in March 2010. I eventually found at Stansted airport in June 2011. In short, my Sony PRS 350 is probably the best gift I have... more
Replacement for the humble book
Sony Reader Pocket Edition PRS-350
Member Name: mwah_xx
Sony Reader Pocket Edition PRS-350
Date: 23/08/11, updated on 08/09/11 (24 review reads)
Advantages: Compact, Easy to use, Lots of book storage, anti-glare
Disadvantages: Its not a book!!!
As I was moving to London in the New Year one of my Christmas presents was the Sony e-Book.
Now I was no stranger to eBooks, with both my mum and dad having the Sony PRS-300 (slightly larger version of the PRS-350) but in my honest opinion nothing was ever going to replace a book. I am one of those readers that flips back and forth through books, likes to feel the pages, smell the book etc - however here I am an eBook convert in SOME cases.
***What you get and the technical bits***
The eBook is lightweight (155g) and has a 5 inch anti-glare screen, which is handy for reading in the sun.
The eBook only comes with a USB cable, so if you want to charge via the mains you will need to purchase a charger separately.
The eBook also does not come with a cover, once again, needs to be purchased separately. I fully recommend that you do purchase a cover, to begin with I didn't bother with a cover, but as my hands get very sweaty I found when holding the book it slipped out of my hands, and in fact made my hands sweatier. Downside of requiring a cover - they are pricey! I think mine cost £20!!
It will hold 1200 books (according to the Sony website - I as yet have not hit that many, though my collection is standing at about 40!). The batterylife is fantastic, I use my book twice a day for about 45 minutes at a time (oh the commuters tool!) and the battery will last me up to 2 weeks. When I do need to charge up, and on occassion I have been caught short with the battery dying on me mid commute, to fully charge I usually find this takes 2 hours, again via the mains as I purchased the charger. Via USB it takes longer, and I tend to leave it plugged into my laptop all evening as I play on dooyoo!
It does recommend that you power down completely if you will not use for more than a 12 hour period, however I have just sent the eBook to "sleep" for most of the time and I tend to have the battery last for a good 10 days.
I love how my e-Reader looks! It is compact and fits easily into (most!) of my bags and is a very vivid shade of pink. Though I am aware you can also get them in silver, which may be a better option for some of you out there! I have bought separately an eReader cover, as I found just holding onto my eBook tended to make my hands sweaty and slip off the book, and again, this black leather cover looks great against the shocking pink of the eBook!
***Instructions to set up***
Initial set up is pretty easy to follow, the instruction manuals are pre-loaded onto the eBook with a paper guide in the box telling you how to access these on your computer, even for those who are technically incompetent, such as myself, I found it a very easy straightforward task. From memory it was simply charge up eBook, plug into USB port on computer, load up instructions, download Reader Library et voila!
A handy tip I forgot to do (which led to real frustrations) was to register your eBook with Adobe Digital Editions (ADE), to do this search for ADE on google whilst the eBook is connected to your laptop/PC and follow the on screen instructions to register.
***Instructions to get Books***
The whole point of an eBook is books - with the Sony eBook it is so simple, you go onto your chosen book site, I tend to use Waterstones or WH Smiths. Buy your book and then download in Adobe to your Reader library (previously installed in set up). Once in your reader library you simply connect the eBook to the computer via the USB and drag and drop the books to the reader. Price depends on the books, and yes it is NOT as cheap as on Amzon, I pay anywhere between £0.99 and £6.99 (new release) for a book, probably average price I pay is £3.49, which again is cheaper than a real book!
The only problem I have had recently with my eBook is when I changed my computer, every time I attempted transfer books I received a message saying that I couldn't as the device was authorised to another user. This problem was because I had registered my device to Adobe Digital Editions to my old laptop, again it was simple to connect my device and register; be warned this then means that some of the books you previously transferred to the eBook will then be "locked".
Now here is the reason why I prefer the Sony eBook to the likes of a Kindle - you can download the books more than once!!! All I had to do was log onto my Waterstones/WH Smith account and re-download the books to my Reader Library, yes a bit of a pain but better than having to buy them all again.
***Using the eBook***
Now I find the book simple to use, it has a power on button at the top on the left, if you hold this down it will power off, it you simply slide it briefly it will revert the eBook into "sleep" mode.
So once you have turned it on....the home page comes up, which will show you what you were last reading (and take you to the page you last read!!) and highlight recently bought books with a "See All" option. Pressing the "See All" (via the touch screen) will take you through to the list of all your books so you can peruse at your leisure before deciding which to read.
There are 5 buttons across the bottom of the reader, going from lefts to right there are the "Backward and Forward" buttons, for page turning, the home button which will take you back to the main screen described above, a zoom button which allows you to adjust the size of the text and an options button which contains a dictionary, a "Go To" page.
The dictionary is also available via touch screen, simply tap a word on the page and the definition will pop up at the bottom.
***Why I love my eBook***
The main reasons I love my eBook are:
- I do a lot of tube travel and I struggle to read a normal book because I am not steady on my feet and I tend to travel on some of the busiest tubes which means less space. Less space and unsteadiness means that I find it difficult to turn the pages on the tube and get frustrated. With my eBook I can hold onto the railings with one hand, and my book with other, and when it comes to turning the pages it is simply a press of the button! So I can read on the tube, not annoy anyone else, not annoy myself and can have those tube journeys pass a little quicker.
- If you decide at 1 in the morning you simply have to have a new book you can just go onto the appropriate website, buy it, download it and its yours straight away, no more waiting for shops to open and then having to go out and get the book!
- Space saving, it is fantastic for holidays, the anti-glare screen means that its fine to use in the sun and its not taking up excess room in your luggage - I mean with airlines dropping the weight allowances and people like me who can read a book a day on holiday, taking 14 books is now an option!
***Why I don't love my eBook"
The reasons why I don't are limited, but valid
- It can be a little slow to load up from power off to power on, though I think this may be my fault because I don't very often let it power down fully
- Not all books are available via eBook
- And lets face it.......in my opinion nothing can beat a real book!!!
In summary, I do love my eBook, it's a great tool - will it ever replace the humble book? I sure hope not, nothing is as good on a rainy day as curling up with a good book and flicking through the pages, not quite the same as pressing a button through the pages.......
Summary: Fantastic tool and I wouldn't be without - but still not quite the same as a book!
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