So here we are, just over a week until Waterstones start shipping out those lovely new Sony Reader PRS-505’s to all us UK residents!
This is going to be the first E-Ink reader from one of the big boys to enter the UK market . The Sony Reader has been getting substantial coverage in mainstream media of late, so it will be interesting to see what the take up will be. If forums such as MobileRead are anything to go by then there will be quite a demand.
Don’t know what the Sony Reader Digital Book (PRS-505) is?
The Sony Reader is an electronic book reader that uses an E-Ink screen to give a paper like reading experience. The Reader can hold around 160 books in its 250MB internal memory, but by using the two memory slots (10GB) you could potentially hold 10,000 books. If you don’t think you could fill this then remember that the Gutenberg.org archives have over 20,000 English language books to download for free!! Continue reading UK Release of the Sony Reader PRS-505
Great news for all us UK based eBook lovers. Sony are finally releasing their Reader Digital Book (PRS-505) to the UK market!
Sony have partnered with the UK book store Waterstones, who will start selling the Reader from 3rd September 2008 for £199 – available for Pre-Order (see below). This costs a little more than the U.S. version, which sells for $299 (approx. £150). Now we are seeing eBook readers entering the high street let’s hope the prices will start tumbling.
The Reader uses an E-Ink Screen, which gives the user a paper like reading experience. You can store around 160 books in the memory and the battery will last for around 6,800 page turns. I myself have the older PRS-500 model and probably only have to charge it once every couple of weeks.
If you are concerned about buying Sony’s propriety eBook format then not to worry, you can also read ePub formatted books as well as PDF files. The .epub format is fast becoming an industry standard and many publishers are releasing their titles in this format, Penguin and HarperColins are just two publishers.
You will be able to buy books from Waterstones.com – all the titles sold at Waterstones will be in the ePub format. There are now a number of software and hardware readers which support the ePub format, so all your purchases will be readable in the years to come, no matter which hardware you then have.
If you wish to read public domain books there are plenty of free ebook sites like epubBooks, which has all titles available in the ePub and Kindle MOBI format.
All the Project Gutenberg eBooks can be read on the Sony Reader. Just download any .txt file and drag onto you reader using the provided software – it really is that easy.
In the future we are hopeful that Sony will release their Reader in other European countries; perhaps Germany will be next.
Sony Reader Digital Book is available to buy from Waterstones.com and Sony.
With reference to this Times Online article, it seems that the Amazon Kindle and the Sony Reader are to be made available in the UK sometime over the next few months — it’s about bloody time!
…the launch of two rival devices due to come on sale in Britain over the next few months – Sony’s Reader and Amazon’s Kindle.
Although I already have my own Sony Reader, which I purchased while still working on the cruise ships out of Florida, I’m hoping this will mean I can start to purchase books for it from the Connect store. At present I have to settle for public domain books (PG, manybooks.net, etc) or download PDF’s from eBooks.com.
Other good news is that the two big British publishers, Random House and Hachette, which together have over 30% of the UK book market, are to offer downloadable versions for many of their top authors, ranging from Delia Smith to Ian McEwan and Michael Parkinson.
According to the article, “every other major publisher is drawing up plans to follow suit” which can only be good for the eBook market.
UPDATE: Sony and Waterstones have teamed up to release the Reader PRS-505 in the UK, available from September 2008.
The Reader Digital Book (PRS-505) is the latest electronic book reader to be released by Sony. Now being released in a number of different countries (including U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, France, Netherlands), eBooks are set to make a big impact on our everyday reading in the very near future.
The current model has some significant improvements over the old PRS-500 model, the most prominent is the update of the E-Ink screen to the VizPlex technology, which gives faster page refresh times and better contrast. There have also been improvements to the button layout and the way the internal library organizes your books.
After a recent firmware update the Sony Reader now supports ePub formatted books (the new eBook standard), Adobe Digital Editions and reflowable PDF. Strong reasons even for owners of the older PRS-500 to upgrade.
What are the most important improvements in the PRS-505?
- The PRS-505 has a new screen that gives faster refresh times, is also a little brighter and now supports 8 shades of gray.
- A much improved layout design:
- Page turn buttons moved the right side of the Reader.
- The Numerical buttons now match up to the screen numbers so when menus are displayed the appropriate button is to the right of the entry (going top to bottom).
- The Menu key is now by itself and clearly marked.
- The Jog stick has been replaced with a four way arrow button and a center Enter button.
- Books have become easier to search as there are now tools that sort the books into alphabetical groupings for Titles or Authors.
- Two memory card slots (in parallel) that can support up to 2GB (SD) and 8GB (Memory Stick Duo). Because there are two separate slots the total amount of external storage the PRS-505 can support is now up to 10GB!
- USB functionality is much improved:
- Support for the USB 2.0 standard, allowing for faster transfer of data.
- The PRS-505 can be charged when the battery is fully empty using the USB port of almost any computer, even if there is no software loaded on it. The old PRS-500 needed to be plugged into a PC running pre-installed software before it could charge, and even then it would not charge if the internal Reader’s battery was dead.
- The Connect Reader software has been replaced with “eBook Library v2.0″, although this looks and works much like the older software. The only noticeable difference with the new software is that the PRS-505 can use its new Auto-sync feature. Please note that the PRS-505 cannot work with the older Connect Reader software.