My Verdict on the Sony E-Reader

I have cracked and got myself an e-reader.

I went in the end for the Sony Pocket PRS-300. Mostly because I think it looks more aesthetically pleasing than the Kindle, and it’s rather small and compact and will fit into my bag.

I’ve had this device for a little while now. Long enough to reach an informed opinion about how I like it. And I thought I would share my verdict.

In spite of my resistance to e-readers for quite a long time, I am rather fond of it. There are hundreds of out-of-copyright books available for free download onto e-readers, so all of those bulky classics I should read but never got around to, either because print copies are expensive or I don’t fancy lugging a doorstop-size book around, I now have no excuses not to read.

The controls are very easy to use. One quick press of a button turns the page. You can have a lot of bookmarks, so if you wish you can read several books at once and the e-reader will remember your place in each. The device takes no time at all to switch on and off, and will remember the last page you were at, so switching it on and finding your place is actually easier than hunting for your place in a print book.

My initial fears about a short battery life have proved to be unfounded. The battery will last for about 1500 page turns. If one is going back and forth between the index and several books then it does drain the battery quicker, but battery life is sufficient for two weeks of holiday reading with no recharging required.

I like the fact that the e-reader is so compact, and I can carry it around with me wherever I go. I also like the fact that when I read over lunch, I can put the e-reader on the table and have both hands free to eat lunch, rather than eat one-handed so I can prop the book open with the other hand, like I used to have to do.

The test, for me, was how it fared when I took it on holiday, and I am pleased to say it has my seal of approval. I was able to sit in the glaring Borneo sun, by the pool, and still read the screen very easily. And it was nice just to have one small device in my luggage rather than half a dozen books. It left me room to pack enough clothes, for a change.

The only downside is I didn’t feel able to take it onto the beach, because I was worried about getting sand in the innards and buggering up the electronics. And of course I can’t take it into the bath. So I won’t be giving up the print books any time soon, as reading in the bath remains one of my favourite activities for relaxation.

If you read my recent guest post on Domestically Challenged Momma’s blog, then you will already know that my view is the publishing industry has room for both print and electronic books. I’m not going to stop buying paperbacks because I love my e-reader. But it is nice to know that both formats are an option, and that the speed at which I increase my library is no longer restricted to how much space I have in my house.

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5 comments so far

  1. Sutton Fox on

    I love my Sony ereader. It’s become a welcome addition to my library, as opposed to replacing print books. Not giving them up any time soon either. lol.

  2. ralfast on

    I’ll have to get one of these for Xmas.

  3. Michael Keyton on

    Thanks for a really useful review. I’m torn between this, a kindle and an ipad and will probably stay torn a bit longer until prices come down and things become even more clear. One question, though – does this e reader or readers in general have backlights, so you can read in the dark?

    • sayssara on

      All e-readers have a backlight available. With the Sony it’s an extra accessory that can be bought. I didn’t buy one for mine but I know there is one. I don’t know how many of the e-readers come with it already built in.

      Apparently the back light is of attraction to the e-reader’s biggest customer demographic – middle-aged couples who both like to read in bed are buying the e-reader with a backlight so they can read without disturbing their partner!

  4. Scarlett Parrish on

    I have the Sony ereader Touch (and yes your book is on it)! Since I bought it in February I’ve read around 90 ebooks and only 15 print books so it’s definitely changed the way I read, or the format in which I do so anyway.

    I need to charge it every 4 or 5 days, maybe because I read so much, maybe because I fiddle with it, checking back a page then scrolling forward again. It’s supposed to last for ‘up to’ 6,000 page turns but I doubt that very much.

    Anyway, it’s one of my favourite gadgets, besides my netbook!


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