Monthly Archives: February 2008

Fri, February 15th, 2008 by Graves and Allen

The Sony Reader Digital Book

The Sony Reader:

The new and improved Sony Reader Digital Book (model PRS-505) lists for $299.99 and makes an excellent travel companion. You will not likely find it discounted by Sony (but, if you have the original Sony Reader (PRS-500), you can trade it in on a new model for a $100 credit). I have recently seen small discounts on line; so you might want to look around a bit before buying one. The new version offers substantial improvements over the older version, including a revamped library management program. Sony has been giving a credit good for 100 free eBook Classics titles when you get a new Reader. You choose the 100 titles from Sony’s on line electronic bookstore. The choices consist of classics that have no current copyright issues, such as The Time ramtirth brahmi oil Machine transumbilical breast dallas augmentation

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and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. You can buy more recently published books at the Sony eBook Store. The Reader requires an account at the eBook Store to load free or purchased material, and you must connect through a Windows-based computer. Once you have downloaded the books to your computer, you sync your Reader to the computer and the library downloads to the Reader.

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Although you can access the store from a Mac, you can only window-shop from the Mac platform. Sony has made its eBook Store off-limits to the Mac OS for downloads. You will find Sony’s eBook store at If you want to check out the list of available classics, go to

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Once you use up your free book coupon, classics will cost you about $1.99. More recent publications reflect reduced price by comparison to hard copy books, but not as much as you might think.

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Typical pricing for contemporary novels run s in the $10-$15 range. I saw some business books that cost over $20 in the eBook store.

You would think that the savings on printing, binding, shipping and paper would amount to a more substantial price reductions. I have had that issue with electronic publication for some time and in other forums as well.

Sony’s Reader holds about 160 books in internal memory. It also accepts media cards, allowing for additional storage. The Sony Reader has two slots, one holds memory sticks and the other holds SD cards. You can add substantial memory by using both slots. With both slots filled and the internal memory, you could easily store several hundred books on the Reader. You can also store additional books on memory cards and swap the cards in and out to increase the effective volume of your library.

You can also put your own PDF materials on the cards as well as pictures and MP3 music. Note that the Reader only displays in shades of gray and black, so pictures will not show in color. The Sony Reader runs off electrical current from its built-in battery, a USB port, or an electrical power outlet. It weighs about 9 ounces without the protective soft-cover and is a shade smaller than 7” x 5” x 0.3”.

The Reader has a navigation pad that allows you to move around the screen and a series of buttons that you push to make your selection.

All in all, I found navigation quite easy. I also like the substantial feel of the case. The Reader also lets you adjust the size of the print to make it easier to read as you age. I found it easy to read text on the Reader, both in terms of size and contrast.

By the way, if you already have the PRS-505 Sony Reader, you will want to go to the Sony Reader website and download and install the firmware upgrade to Version 1.1. When I installed Version 1.1 of the Firmware, it improved performance noticeably.

Copyright 2008, Jeffrey Allen.  All rights reserved.

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