Pros Nice package. Easy to use. Flexible. Powerful. Fast. Great for research.. highlighting, book marking plus freehand and/or typed notes. Books can be downloaded from many sites in many formats. Great integration with the desktop.
Cons Not quite as bright or sharp as other units
Its not a Kindle. If you want a Kindle, stop here. Go buy a Kindle
Summary The CNET review goes about telling you how this is not a Kindle. Ok.. guilty! Its not! Whew. Good, we got that over with. Here is what I think is important for you to know:Its been just over a week that I got my 600. It is still all good news and a few clarifications that only come from hands on experience.:
All readers provide the ability to read ebooks of various formats re-drawn to fit their various screen sizes. With that as a basis, I can tell you what functionality / requirements that the 600 supports.
* Its 6" screen gives you a page that is about the size of a paperback.
* Despite the comments, its not fuzzy or hard to read.
* Its easy to change the type size. There is a button with + on it. Press it and touch the size character that works for you.
* It supports the majority of ebook formats except Amazon's Store's proprietary format and the mobi format normally used with Palm books. It also can also convert and read MS word documents if you have word on your PC.
* In addition its a non-drm mp3 / aac player and can play audio books, or music while your read.
* It has a touch screen for operating the menus of the unit. I really like that, its easier than lots of buttons for me. It has a few buttons for critical functions like home menu, options, font size and page flips.
* You CAN delete books on the unit.
* You can touch words and instantly look them up in the built in dictionary. Very cool.
* THE MOST IMPORTANT touch screen functions are for those that are doing research or need markup features. You can:
- bookmark pages
- Write on and mark up content in a book like you would a regular book
- Type in notes on a easy to use touch screen keyboard
* Notes and markups are backed up on the PC and can be viewed there too
* The PC is a content management companion. You can use Sony's site buy books, integrate with Google's site of public domain ebooks or download ebooks from your library.
I *like* using the PC's full size screen and browser to shop for books at multiple stores like sony, ebooks.com, etc. I'm not bothered by connecting a cable to my PC to download many books into the unit. I detach the cable, and read a variety of content.
Here is my quick decision guide:
* If you want to read books as well as do research editing your books, get this Sony PRS 600
* If you don't need the markup features, but want the flexibility of multiple formats, get the PRS 50x or look at the Kindle. Other trade offs here for someone else;s review.
* If you want a smaller, simpler cheaper reader.. there is the PRS 300, the BeBook, Elonex, Cool-er, the kindle, others
* If you want to be able to download books over the air only from Amazon Books without a cable and like hard keys and a larger unit, get the kindle
Updated on Oct 25, 2009
Refined good news:
* I have downloaded library books from my library using my library card.
* I downloaded purchased and free books from sony
* I bought books from non-Sony ebook sites
* I downloaded .pdf files on topics I am researching
* I use the heck out of the markup features. As someone with 25 years of work books marked up on bookshelves, I have made the leap and 100% functional with it.
* Amazon and Barnes & Noble both have proprietary formats for their products. Not compatible. If you prefer either one of those, pick their reader and live with the features. B&N have a new reader coming out that touts markup but there's no manual to see how it really works.
* When using non-Sony ebook stores, check each book to validate that its .EPUB of .PDF. Some stores are one format only. Some are mixed.
These WILL NOT work: .PDB, Mobi.
Pros Stylish aluminum casing, razor thin, touch screen, free EPUB book downloads, included stylus, very good battery life
Cons I'll be the first to admit there is a bit of a glare issue, expensive
Summary I bought the Sony PRS 505 for my girlfriend more than a year ago, good device when compared to the first gen Kindle. Recently she upgraded to the second gen Kindle solely because Amazon had better prices on the ebooks.
Enter the new PRS 600, she bought it on Sunday and I have to say after going through the menus and reading a chapter in one of the books--this thing is pretty cool. The reason she went back to Sony is because Sony now offers the same pricing for ebooks as Amazon. PLUS the Sony Reader supports a lot more formats including Adobe's EPUB, which means free books to borrow(for 21 days) from your local libraries website. The touch screen is responsive and when turning pages it's more like having a real book in front of you as you swipe the pages to advance. Although you can use the buttons if you prefer.
The one factor that some may find as a deal breaker is the glare on the screen--which honestly is not as bad as CNET makes it out to be. This is an unbiased review as the Reader isn't mine, and I've had a change to really fiddle with both the 2nd gen Kindle and now the Sony Reader 600.
Do your self a favor if your planning on buying an e reader in the near future, first off don't take what CNET says as the gospel truth, and secondly go out to your nearest Borders books and demo the new Sony readers (there are 2 of them)for yourself, this way you can make the best informed decision.
Pros Affordable, accepts multiple formats and expandable
Cons Awkward software and charging.
Summary PRS 600 does not, unfortunately, charge from all computers. Netbook USB ports are not strong enough to charge it overnight, nor are USB hubs attached to computers. Not all desktop USB ports will provide sufficient power for a charge, either.
The reader cannot be used while charging, either from a computer or from a dedicated charger.
The Sony charger is sold in stores for an outrageous $40 ($39...), but third party chargers can be found on the net for about $10 - $15. Although some have had success charging from an IPod/Iphone charger base (replacing the cable with the Sony USB cable) it has not worked for me.
The software is awkward and only quasi intuitive, while the instructions are insufficient. A new owner will spend some time trying to find the appropriate methods for syncing, transferring files, etc, but will eventually succeed.
The great advantage of Sony over other products is mainly the freedom it offers for those wishing to carry various documents in non proprietary formats and to download content from various sites.
The stylus and annotation functions are positive, although it must be noted that the annotation does not reside in the annotated file but in a distinct file of all annotations on the reader, so those wishing to review papers would be far better off with an IPad or Netbook.
Pros Expandable memory, sleek/lightweight design, large/responsive touch screen, mp3 player, photo viewer, stylus, built-in dictionary, note taking function, easy to navigate menus.
Cons the lack of managing my books/documents on the device itself.
Summary I recieved the Sony Reader Touch Edition as a birthday present from my husband. He had noticed that I was in need of a better way to carry around my heavy books to and from work. Lugging around heavy hardcover books on a commute that was 2 hours long was starting to become a huge problem. Out shopping one day, hubby decided to pick up this little beauty. I was planning on buying the PRS 505 but he saw how I was eyeing the Touch Edition. The only issue that made us both stop to think about purchasing the Touch Edition was the PRICE! But I left the store with the Touch and a huge smile on my face.
What I like:
The expandable memory - I can carry 100s of books and documents on the huge collection of SD cards I have laying around the house. The design - lightweight, sleek. Large, clear display with a responsive touch screen. Extras: the mp3 player, photo option and a stylus come in very handy. MP3: for when I'm in a crowded area and need to listen to something other than chatter while reading. Photos: just view at a whim. And the stylus for writing on pages, highlighting and double tapping small text. Features: the built in dictionary - I have used it more than once on one book alone! The note taking function - either on the pages or as a seperate document. The ability to dog ear pages. The internal memory is wonderful. A fast responding touch screen. The easy to navigate menus. I can go on and on.
What I don't like: other than the price, I do have an issue with the lack of managing my books on the device itself. If I want to create a new collection and/or more a book, I have to plug in the USB cord and manage everything in the eBook Library Program. It's not too much of a hassle but would have been nice to be able to make such adjustments.
Bottom Line: Love it!: I have a much easier (and greener!) way to enjoy my books!
Pros Metal case, slick look, battery life, external memory, touch screen, multiple formats, Sony quality, basically everything
Cons when using the external memory for storage the device takes on average 12 minutes to load before you can use the device.
Summary I have had the ebookwise ereader for over 5 years and love the idea of having 100s of books in once book size device. With all the new devices out i thought it was time to upgrade. I spent about 4 hours reviewing all the different ereaders on the market and thought the Sony touch was the one, until i tried to add my personal library onto the device and actually use it. I first started with my entire 2G library but after an hour of waiting i gave up and started smaller. One book (15mb) takes about 45 seconds to load every time you turn on the device. 250 books (170mb) takes on average 10 minutes for the device to load from the off status. With just the internal memory the device loads in about 20 seconds. Whats the point of offering external memory if when it makes the device useless? To me this is a deal breaker, i need a ereader that can carry 100's of books yet not take half an hour+ to load. if sony fixes this problem i would switch back to this device until then i guess i will go with the nook. Not sure why no other review has mentioned this, maybe people just stopped at the 350mb internal memory?