Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Cool Tools: Sony Portable Reader

Kevin Kelly of Cool Tools has posted a lengthy review of the Sony Portable Reader. He's pretty
pleased with it, but offers these caveats:

*The Sony Reader eBook format is, of course, proprietary, and the device doesn't support any other proprietary formats (e.g. those from Palm Digital Media). This is mitigated somewhat by the fact that you can use your own PDFs, but it's something to keep in mind if you already have a collection of DRM-protected eBooks from somewhere else.

*The screen "flashes black" every time you turn the page. I have never found this bothersome at all, but it's a weird behavior (apparently an artifact of the E Ink) that you may wish to look at in person before making the purchase.

*It's not particularly good for reference books, as the device currently doesn't have a search function. (However, you can search content you've imported or purchased via the Connect software for the PC.)

*The Connect software is currently not available for the Mac. It is possible to put content directly on an SD card and put it in the Reader, but I've always used the software (which I find quite easy to use), and since I don't have access to a Mac I haven't figured out if there's also some way to get purchased eBooks on the Reader directly.

*The screen does not have a backlight, so if you want to read in the dark you have to use a booklight or some other form of external light. I've used a headlamp in a "reading emergency," which worked great.

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