Rewriting the Book
Sony demonstrated the new Sony Reader at the LA Times Festival of Books today. This stylish, 9-ounce e-book reader has an amazing 6” SVGA 800 x 600 display. The display is the “electronic paper” display from e-paper. The display is so sharp, it makes reading on the Sony Reader very similar to reading paper pages. With the touch of one button, the print size is adjusted to the reader’s comfort level. The entire Reader is 5 inches by 7 inches and half an inch thin; making it smaller than some paperbacks.
The Sony Reader can store 80 electronic books. An optional Memory Stick or SD Memory Card provides room for hundreds more books. The Reader has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that last for up to 7,500 page turns on a single charge.
Sony’s Reader will read e-books in the Sony proprietary format which can be downloaded from CONNECT Reader PC software. It also reads JPEG, PNG, BMP and GIF images, Adobe PDF documents, BbeB Book, RTF and other text file formats. It also functions as an audio player for MP3 or AAC formats.
The cost of the new Reader will retail at $299 or $399 depending on the memory configuration. Sony Readers will be sold by Sony and in many Borders bookstores throughout the country beginning in the summer of 2006.
I read on the Sony Reader using beta software. The text was sharp. I read in sunlight, something I’ve never done before with an e-book reader. The beta software didn’t read some illustrations. This glitch will be fixed before Readers reach the stores. Overall, the performance of the Reader was remarkable. It will be interesting to learn if book lovers will pay the price for the new device.
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