Pros Can borrow books from library. That's all that is good about this product
Cons Glare is horrifying, pdf reading is worse, battery life - 400 page turns (promised 7500) and the absolute worst customer service I have ever encountered.
Summary Where to begin? If I could give zero stars, I would. The sony reader is the most expensive paperweight ever. It doesn't work well as a doorstop, so it is a paperweight. It is useless as a reader because the battery doesn't last more than 400 page turns which means the only way to use it reliably is to be plugged into a wall. If you do buy one, be prepared for abominable and rude "support" in your futile attempt to make the expense worth it.
I pre-ordered the Sony reader in in August 2009. It arrived in mid-September. I was thrilled. No more toting around unwieldy books! It worked pretty well with epubs if you can ignore the glare. Pdfs were extremely difficult to read because you have to make the text larger, unless your eyes have built in magnifiers. You need to use the vertical and horizontal scrollbars to read a pdf set on 'large'. Ugh. The firmware is weak on too many levels to list, the glare is awful and it doesn't come with a wall charger so you have to pay extra for that. Works well only in full sunlight and if you're near a power source.
For epubs, it worked pretty well on the first charge. The second charge only gave me about 300 page turns - well short of the promised 7500 page turns. I went through the recommended steps to reset the unit. It still wouldn't hold a charge for more than 300 page turns. I went through this 3 or 4 more times. So since I didn't want to be plugged into a wall while reading, I reverted back to paper books.
In an effort to make my $299 worth the expense, I called sony "support" and they said to return it and they would send me a `refurbished' unit. I wasn't happy about the `refurbished' part, but my only other option was to live with it the way it was and eat the cost. So I packaged it up, went to the post office and paid for shipping and insurance to send it back.
A month later I received my `refurbished' unit. On the first charge, I got 400 page turns. Yes, that was an improvement over 300, but not by much and not even close the 7500 promised. I would have been happy with 2000 page turns but it didn't come close to that.
I mainly use the reader to read. I don't take notes, rarely use the dictionary and don't listen to music on it. I tried to reset the refurbished unit, but the reset button didn't work. So not only was the battery compromised but the reset button was broken. Back to the hell called sony support.
Since I'd paid for the shipping and insurance the first time, I asked if they could send a ups pickup ticket since the burden really ought to be on them at this point. They did. Or they said they did. I waited for 3 days for UPS to show up which they didn't because they never got the shipping label. So I called Sony `support' again. They re-issued another pickup. UPS never got that label either so they couldn't pick it up.
When I called sony "support" about this new issue, Rude Bernice insisted that they did send a pickup label and that UPS gave me wrong information. She insisted that sony did nothing wrong and it's ups's fault. She would not listen to anything I said, constantly interrupted and wouldn't let me speak to a supervisor. She claimed the issue was resolved, even though I (the customer) said it wasn't.
I still have the broken unit at my house and UPS is not coming to get it because Sony will not issue the right type of UPS ticket. I could just send it back at my cost, but that is $30 that I could be putting towards a kindle or nook, instead of this brick built by Sony.
So now I'm stuck with this piece o' crap that I paid $299 for. Plus the book cover and wall-charger. Total: $379 in Sony's pocket and I get nothing except a load of stress from Rude Bernice.
Between the sony reader and the `accessories' I spent $379 and it is good for nothing. I now I have to go through the hassle of getting it to the hazardous waste facility to throw it out. Save yourself money and headache - do not buy a sony reader. Or any sony product, for that matter. Not only do their products suck, but their customer support makes Dell look like Zappos.
Pros 1: Open Platform - you can get books from numerous sources (this is huge and I feel something the C-NET editors missed)
2: Touch Screen navigation makes it easy to use
3: Compact form factor
Cons 1: Lacks wireless - not a big deal if you only read a few books a month. If you in the habit of buying a few things a a week you may want this.
2: Screen is not as contrasty as the Kindle due to the touch screen layer, but it's still pretty clear
Summary I looked at Both the Kindle 2 (which my mom owns) and the PRS-600 before I went with the Sony. The biggest advantage the Sony Readers offer (I feel the C-NET editors totally missed the boat on this one) is the **open platform**. That?s huge because you can a get a books from the Sony Store, Google Books, any number of other online libraries ? I can even load work related .pdf and word files from my computer on it. With Kindle you are pretty much locked into Amazon. I also like the touch screen ? if you want to look up a word, double tap and you got the definition. Make a swipe and turn the page. Page and menu navigation feels much more natural than Kindle?s joy stick. The unit is solidly built, compact (about 5? x 6.5?, about as small as you can go), and I find it easier to hold in one hand than a Kindle. At 10.2 oz it?s easy to throw in my briefcase and take it where I go. It easy and natural to make your own notes because you can just scribble on the page, or use the on-screen keyboard to make text annotations. Sony actually sells a cool leather case for the PRS-600 that has a small built-in book light which I recommend ? provides the perfect amount of light for dark settings.
The Sony lacks the wireless feature which would be cool, but I probably read only a book or two a month so I?m OK downloading through my computer which is pretty simple (look at this way, you?ll need to charge it every once in a while by hooking up the USB cable anyway). I?ve used the Internet on the Kindle device and it?s pretty slow and not to mention in grey scale ? if you have an iPhone, Blackberry or other smartphone the Internet experience on these devices is far better. I?ll admit that the screen on the Sony could have more contrast but it?s still quite legible and I think it?s a small price to pay for the convenience of the touch screen.
Personally, I like my Sony Reader and I feel it?s a better choice that the Kindle 2. If you really need a clear screen and or buy books a few times a week and need wireless ? the Kindle may be for you. But if you don?t need that I would recommend the Sony as it provided access to the most amount of books possible and is just a nice, compact, easier to use package.