06 December 2006

The New Sony Reader

So, if you download Nietzsche from Gutenberg.com, you could read it on-the-go with the new Sony Reader, which was reviewed in The New York Times on 24 November 2006 by Charles McGrath.

McGrath points out its strong points, but is not overly excited about the device.

I think the $350 device should be tested and reviewed by a booklover with nomadic tendencies.

Otherwise, why bother really? How hard is it to lug a book to the beach? Or on the daily train commute to work?

You take a book with you to read on your way and then you bring it back home at the end of the day, perhaps pick out a different one to take with you the next day.

BUT, what if you put all of your books into the Sony Reader before taking a 55-week nomadic trip? Perfect application. Your whole library at your traveling fingertips.

So, according to McGrath, here are the good qualities:
  • battery charge can last for a week or more

  • it can hold about 80 books or even more if you use a memory card

  • you can skip from book to book while you're out and about

  • light weight and compact

  • Courier typeface is very readable

  • has a bookmark feature

  • at the beach, you don't have to worry about dampness, sand or wind blown pages

  • you can put any of Project Gutenberg's (www.gutenberg.org) 19,000 books on the Reader

  • you can get books cheap from Sony Connect eBooks store (ebooks.connect.com, which has 10,000 titles)

And, here are his complaints:
  • lacks iPod elegance

  • clunky controls are hard to operate for people with big fingers

  • screen is not backlit so can't read in the dark

  • when blown up to 3 times its size, Courier typeface sometimes has awkward spaces and line breaks

  • every book looks exactly the same on the Reader

  • the icon may tell you that you're on page 312 of 716, but you can't feel with your fingers how many pages you have left

  • you can't skim or flip through easily

  • you can't search

  • you can't make notes

  • so light weight and compact that you can easily lose it

  • Project Gutenberg books can have bizarre line breaks when downloaded into the Sony Reader

  • the inventory of the Sony Connect eBooks store is spotty and not as browser friendly as Amazon and you cannot use a Mac to access the store's program

  • 'look-it-up' reference books don't work well on the reader

Well, I definitely want to be able to search and make notes in an ebook. Those features should be added to future versions.

But, I'm so excited about the idea of nomads with traveling libraries, that I plan to try the Sony Reader just the way it is.

Technorati tag: , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home