Since four years, Sony has not launched any Reader in the United States. Right now, the e-readers are gaining more in terms of both popularity as well as momentum. Sony has recently launched a couple of models. One of them is the Pocket Edition that we reviewed recently and the other is the Touch Edition. The latter is the largest among the two. It belongs to the third generation and is launched at the global level. It is expected to be the most featured and affordable reader in the market. It is packed with lot of features and it is very simple to use.
Display: 6 inches, touch screen, 800 x 600 pixel resolution, 8 grayscale levels, E Ink Pearl technology.
Colors: Red, Black, Silver
Memory: 2 GB internal memory, around 1200 e-books, expandable slot supporting SDHC and MS Pro Duo cards
Weight: 215 grams
Interfaces: micro USB 2.0 charging and data transfer port
Supported File Formats: PDF, DOC, TXT and other text files, EPUB/ACS4, JPEG, TIFF, GIF, PNG and BMP image files and MP3 audio files
Compatibility: Reader Library software for the Mac and Windows systems.
Battery: internal, 10,000 pages
The PRS 600 Touch Edition reader is completely made up of sleek aluminum. This type of construction is quite different from the ones found on the other readers. The customers may think that the aluminum material used in the construction may make it heavy when compared with the plastic readers but the small form factor of the reader makes it light. It weighs around 215 grams only. This small physical size of the PRS 600 is partially due to the streamlining placement of buttons and the elimination of the QWERTY keyboard.
There are a set of five slender horizontal keys on the front side of the reader. These are the left and right page turn keys, home key, magnifier to adjust the font size and the options menu. All these buttons are touch sensitive. This is the main reason for the small size of the reader despite of the 6 inch display. The bottom edge of the reader has the volume control buttons, power jack, 3.5 mm audio jack and the reset button. The top edge has the stylus compartment on the right corner. It also houses the power button and the couple of memory card slots. One slot supports the MS Pro Duo and the other supports the SD card.
The major reason behind the success of the Touch Edition reader is the usage of the touch screen. It is equipped with infra red sensors on the edges of the touch screen display in order to detect the position of the user’s finger or the stylus when a tap or swipe is made on the screen. The display is highly sensitive and responsive. It obviously has its own drawback. A small mistake made by a finger on the screen may lead the user somewhere. There are a lot of advantages in having a touch screen however. The user can make a double tap on the top right corner of the screen to bookmark a specific page.
The device also gets reduced in its size and weight because of a touch screen as there is no need to have a physical keyboard. It also eliminates the provision of additional hardware buttons on the device. The screen is capable of recognizing the notes made with the stylus as well as the handwritten scribbles and the highlights made by the finger or by the stylus. The highlighted noted will be archived by the reader and they can be accessed later from the menu on the home screen. They can even be erased using the eraser tool.
The reader is bundled with a dozen dictionaries available in a variety of languages. It has both the British and the American English versions and a set of translation dictionaries that support Italian, Dutch, Spanish, German, French and English. In order to look up for a word, all the user has to do is make a double tap and the translation or the definition is displayed at the screen’s bottom as per the dictionary that is selected. .the reader lacks the support to the Wi-Fi and 3G unlike the other readers available in the market. The lack of these features may seem to be a downside to some customers but to the others this would increase the battery life of the reader. The battery lasts for about 10,000 pages ona full charge.
The Touch Edition reader has a slick and pretty fast processor. The page turns are mostly instantaneous and the reader takes only a second to get active and return to the page. It has no issues in remembering the lastly opened page in a number of documents. The touch screen is quite responsive and registers the taps and swipes made by the user. It is easier and faster to turn the pages. The comfortable placement of the buttons makes it easy to navigate the menu and swipe the screen. The files can be easily stored on the reader by opening the folder in the computer’s directory and then by dragging and dropping. There is an alternative method which involves the desktop application. Overall, the Touch Edition is a good reader packed with a number of exciting features. It however lacks the Wi-Fi and 3G connections and is quite expensive.