Digital Book Readers – Reading on the Go Made Simple

If you are the type of person that can devour a novel in a day, then the library is probably one of your dear friends. If you have not yet heard, there is another companion out there just waiting for the reading enthusiast to join its forces: the digital book reader. This electronic device allows you to download and read material just as you would with printed text. Since the end result is the same, you may be asking yourself, “why not stick with borrowing from the library?” E-books can save paper, ink, space and money. In addition, as with a library, there are many free books to be found!

If everyone used a digital book reader instead of reading the books, magazines, and publications on paper, just think of all of the trees that would be saved. The amount of ink wasted annually would also be severely decreased. As far as space is concerned, think about your current collection of books. Now think about the multiple works you may have borrowed from a friend, family member or library. Imagine being able to have all of the information available on a device the size of a notepad, or in some cases, even smaller. Additionally, many of the texts available for these e-readers are priced lower than a hardcover novel. Thousands of e-books are also available as a free download.

The features available on a digital book reader really depend on the model in question. Some of the features you might look for include:

· Dual Screen
Dual screen models offer the ability to use the e-reader as if it were a traditional text.

· E-ink Screen
E-ink offers increased readability without the eyestrain that some people experience when viewing traditional text on an LCD.

· Expandable Memory Option
This allows the user to store more books in the future, should they use up the current amount of memory.

· Library Checkout
Yes, you read that correctly! Some models offer you the opportunity to check books out of the library and view them right on your screen at your convenience.

· Techie Extras
More and more models are now coming standard with webcams, microphones, and even integrated wireless connectivity.

A digital book reader was the next logical step in the staircase that is technology. With the e-readers being so affordably priced, there is no doubt that most households will own at least one in the near future. There is even talk of universities considering these as an alternative to the traditional textbook.

The digital book reader also makes a terrific gift for a child, spouse or good friend. If your child does not seem interested in reading, a gift of an e-reader is sure to open up his eyes! As a side note, if you are considering this purchase for your wife who loves to read while in the tub waterproof cases now make that an option. Additionally, some publishers are opting out of the digital-rights management (DRM) agreement; this means if you purchase one for yourself and a friend, you can legally share the e-books that you purchase, thereby cutting your media costs in half!

Sony Digital Book Reader Touch Edition – Is There a Place For it in the Digital EBook Reader Market

Back in August, when Sony Corp made the announcement they were to release three next generation digital eBook reader models, questions were asked about their rational in including the mid range Sony digital book reader touch edition in that line up. Few industry analysts, if any, thought there would be any takers for a model that pitch itself, right there, up against the very popular Amazon Kindle, which was also the market leading device at that time.

In the short time since the release, it is now crystal clear that the prs600 has caught the imagination of the buying public, in a way Sony must have only dreamed of, fully justifying their brave (some may even say risky) decision to include the model in their impressive product range.

I have always maintained the need for more affordable models, cut down on some of the needless hi-spec and give the public affordability so more people can join the reading revolution. Sony, in my eyes, have given us that with their entry level model, the Prs300. In December their new wireless model, the Daily Edition, will hit the stores and slot straight in to the high end of the market, retailing at an expected $399 US. What the Prs 600 Touch Edition does is compromises and gives buyers a real choice. It sells at $299, the same price as the wireless Kindle 2, but offers potential purchasers the obvious differences between the two models.

Although this is not the first Sony touch screen model, it has to be said, it is unrecognizable from the Prs 700 that included a backlight. Done to improve readability in strong sunlight, it’s inclusion only resulted in poor contrast and higher than necessary battery load, due to having to keep the light on even in normal reading conditions. Things move on and eInk have made massive improvements in their e-paper technology, since the release of the Prs700 back in early 2008. Gone has the back light, draining the battery every couple of days, you can now buy a cover for your digital eBook reader that includes a light, but this will set you back another $50 or more. The touch edition does not have the elegant case of past models, but does however come with a neoprene cover giving the devices display protection, unlike either the DX or 2 from Kindle that don’t include a case of any description.

Let’s take a closer inspection of the main reason to opt to buy the Touch Edition over the Kindle2, the touch screen.

No button to turn the page with this Sony digital book reader, a simple swipe of the finger, customizable to the left or right, results in the page being turned backwards or forwards. Not exactly how you would turn a real page but as close as dam it and a step closer in my mind to that missing link between user and machine.

By double tapping a word on screen you can discover the words meaning from an in built Dictionary. The book marking facility can be accessed through the touch screen too, just double tap in the corner of the display to add or remove bookmarks. Options is also accessed through the screen, making this probably the most intuitive digital eBook reader in the price range, bringing up the menu on screen so you can operate the digital drawing tool or highlighter. Any drawing or highlighting you make is then saved to be downloaded at a later date, with support for PC or Mac.

Another handy feature, one I can see myself using regularly, accessed through the touch screen is Text memo, where you are able to store any notes such as contact names and numbers, shopping lists, in fact most anything you need to remember. In place of a keyboard like the one used on the Kindle, which is visible on the device at all times, the Sony Digital Book Reader displays one on screen. This small point makes the Prs600 more elegant and pleasing to the eye than other digital eBook reader devices, notably the Kindle. You can also use the handwriting option from the screen, which lets you use the supplied stylus or even your finger to make notes, transfer them to word and then edit and export them.

As I said at the top of this article, the Touch Edition does not use wireless connectivity, to connect to the online book-store, but by using your computer and the USB 2.0 supplied you are able to download straight from the Sony eBook Store. Here you can access free ebooks from the 1 million plus titles in Google’s library and the library finder can direct you to libraries in you locality that give you a three week, free rental service on digital books, for use on your digital eBook reader. Handy feature Sony. The Sony Digital Book Reader is available in red, black and a silver livery, and the touch screen, wireless PRS600 will fill a niche in the market that, in contrast to what the industry experts predicted, will make it an important component in the Sony Digital Book Reader family.

Used EBook Reader Reviews – Sony Digital Book Reader Prs505 Review

Get ready for a big influx of used eBook reader devices hitting eBay and Amazon and as such, more eBook reader reviews. A mix of Christmas and the recent release of the new range of Sony digital book reader should see more second user models, like the prs505, for sale.

Some of the first generation models are now getting on for three years old, and given these were purchased by consumers who like to own the cutting edge technology, expect these to be swapped in for today’s new generation of devices as there has never been a better time to buy than now.

Price changes aside, other important changes are going on in the electronic book market, one of the main changes being a shift towards some kind of industry standard file format. It certainly looks like it could be the ePub standard if recent developments are anything to go by.

How is this going to be of any consequence when considering which used eBook reader you are going to buy. Well, let’s take the Sony prs505 for example, as this will, without doubt, be one of the devices being traded in.

When this device was released times where very different, the two biggest sellers, Amazon and Sony, where going down the proprietary route, and offered little or no support for any other format, in particular any that let you access free content.

In today’s market place, everything is now all about giving the customer freedom to purchase or download for free, from any source. To do this the new generation of eBook reading devices, the new Sony digital book reader edition range being a good point in case, have to give the user the tools to do it. ePub and PDF are the formats of free content, and in Sony’s case they did not support either on their first gen models and shame on you Amazon Kindle, neither the Kindle 1 or 2 have natural support for either format.

The complete Google library is printed in both PDF and ePub, libraries publish in ePub – see where this is going? – and now all the major online bookstores (except Amazon that is) print their titles in ePub. This allows users of eBook readers, that have support for these file formats, choice…choice of where to buy their electronic books, choice to download and read thousands and even hundreds of thousands of free public domain titles, choices they have never had before.

Where does that leave the Sony prs 505, there is no need for a review, as such, there are plenty about to know the features and design/build quality of this model, but there is a need for an update of how it fits in to the landscape today.

I can keep this short and sweet. With the way things have gone regarding the emergence of ePub as the industry standard in everything but name, as a used eBook reader this Sony digital book reader does not even warrant consideration.

With no ePub or PDF support the prs-505 will leave you unable to take advantage of so many free titles, there are far better equipped second hand eBook readers coming on to the market. Try looking for some of the lesser known models like the Cooler or Bebook, both have ePub and PDF support, which is what you need. Check out some of my other eBook reader reviews, be patient and that used eBook reader will turn up, just make sure it’s not a used Sony digital book reader.