Pros E Ink screen, ePub support, compact size, battery life, dictionary, memory.
Cons Arguably, the Sony price premium (but only $30 over a Kindle is worth every penny for ePub support).
Summary I have been reading on hand held devices for over 10 years now; from my first monochrome Palm III, to a color Sony Clie, an Asus netbook and now to a dedicated ebook reader. I am a casual reader, usually finishing a book every few weeks. I bought the predecessor to this model, the Sony PRS300, over the Kindle for one major reason, ePub support. I don't collect books, so why would I want to buy them all the time when I can borrow them from the library? The Sony lets you read ebooks from the library, the Kindle does not. If I need or want to buy books, I am not tied exclusively to Amazon. Until Amazon adds ePub support, I wouldn't touch the Kindle.
The reason I chose a dedicated reader over an iPad type device is simple. The screen. If you want to read books, choose a device with an E Ink display, not a computer screen like the iPad. There is no comparison. Reading from an E Ink display is like reading from a printed page. Reading from an iPad (or other tablet with a back lit LCD screen) is like reading from a computer screen. It can produce eye strain and simply doesn't work well outdoors due to glare.
The lack of Wi-Fi is of no concern to me. I don't update content every day or even every week. I borrow or buy a few books, load them via my PC and I'm good for a month or two.
The features I missed from the previous device are now there; glare-free touch screen and built in dictionary. The 5" screen is big enough and the size is great for throwing in a jacket pocket. It's a very comfortable size to hold. I found the Nook to be quite bulky. The keyboard on the Kindle makes it bigger than it needs to be.
Also, by way of comparison, I bought the Sony Daily Edition because I thought I could use a bigger screen. It's really only necessary for periodicals and the previous generation Sony touch screens were quite glare prone. The touch screen glare problem has been fixed and I am more than happy with the PRS-350.
In my opinion, this is the best option for a pure book reader on the market today.
Pros Excellent build, and comfortable in the hand to use. Nice and light, with good functionality
Cons Nothing- it is just waht I wanted in a reader, and the price is now more competive.
Summary Just picked this up on the occasion of the price drop to $149.99. Had my eye on it for weeks. The rendering of the text is excellent and very clear, and the feel of the device enhances the reading experience. Immediately downloaded some selections from my local library, and a few from Google books, which has most classics, and some unusual ephemera worth exploring. Page turning is quick, but I find the toggle button at the bottom of the reader easier to use than the touch screen. You don't have to take your hand off the device to turn the page that way. Set up had a couple of hiccups, as one needs an Adobe password as well as a Reader Store password, but I was impatient with the instructions. Potential buyers should know that the Sony Store has a stronger emphasis on business and technical books than Amazon appears to have,
I think we are heading for a "Small-Medium-Large-Extra Large" tech world: Phone, reader, tablet, destop monitor. A screen for every need, and a device for each function.
"Readers Reader"on by mobeale
Pros Well designed, light, functional
Cons Not large enough fanbase
Summary This is a 100% clever and well designed product which is a pleasure to use. It functions exactly as a reader would hope. Light, not cheap plastic, an excellent touch screen with clear text, a great dictionary function and a great improvement in PDF handling it exudes some "wow" feel when first handling it. Later, when using, it's just you and the words, very similar (and maybe better) to reading a BOOK!
Did I mention it's light weight? Multiple clear text sizes?
I find the other 2 readers I've looked at have a toyish feel. May be unfair as I haven't owned either. I got completely psyched by the Nook from reading about it but stopped short of buying when I actually saw and handled one.
Picture a sheet of pearl-like paper with a small border around it with easy touch navigation and that's what you have with the Sony. No extraneous bs.
Pros Features lacking on the market leaders, such as the "invisible" touch screen, the annotating capability, the handling of PDF files,also the ePub capability, and MP3 for audiobooks or music,
Cons The price is a bit high, but prices tend to drop over time. What were these devices just recently, over $400?
Summary I feel the marketing may be directed at people who already have books and (especially) PDF documents they want to have at hand. So a bookstore, which is most important for the seller of the device, is an afterthought here. I put more value on a touch screen, reflowability (is that a word?) of PDFs, and good contrast.
Available color screens have glare, something e_ink eliminates. You can wait until Mirasol devices incorporate color into a fast-refresh reflective screen , but these will be very expensive, at least at first.
Oh, and lack of wifi or 3G poses more of a problem for the seller of the device. They want an easy way to sell books, and wifi/3G provides that, By the way, wireless devices on the market can't connect to your PC to access the content there, so they have limited usefulness
Pros I like the touch interface, the clearer display, and the fact there is no wireless connectivity.
Cons The unit as listed is over-priced for what it delivers.
Summary Overall, it's a great successor to the earlier Sony Pocket Reader. It incorporates the touch interface of the Touch Reader, and has a better display to boot. The expandability that the Touch Edition had is not really missed, because of the increase in storage capacity. The overall size is a plus; it's very pocketable. Build quality is great, as you'd expect from Sony products.
The problems that seem most noticeable to me are the lack of things like a cover and a charger. For the price, a separate charger should be included in the box, rather than requiring that all charging be done via an anemic USB connection. This is a problem that Sony seems to inflict on their customers for their e-readers - you have to pay extra for something that should be standard.
Some reviewers complain about the lack of wireless connectivity. I don't see this as a problem. For me, it removes the possibility of Sony doing something like Amazon did a while back when they deleted 1984 and Animal Farm from Kindles whose owners had bought the books in good faith, over a copyright dispute. I don't want Sony, Amazon, or any other vendor being able to meddle with my books, once I've paid for them. Having no wireless functionality prevents this from even being possible.
Bottom line summary - over-priced, well-made, compact e-reader for those who don't require or want wireless capability.