Saturday, April 08, 2006

The New Sony Reader for Ebooks

My initial response to the announcement that Sony has developed a new handheld ebook reader to be sold by Borders (but not by some other bookstores) was negative. I thought it would suffer a quick death because most people, especially the younger crowd, already carry two electronic devices--an MP3 player and a cell phone. And now Sony thinks they'll carry a third?

But I'm starting to change my mind because I'm wondering myself if it would be a good thing to have. It weighs about half-a-pound, the screen size is apparently similar to the average paperback, supports PDF, MP3 and JPG, and can accommodate memory cards. I think that's the one that changed my mind somewhat: I could carry an entire library with me wherever I go. A library in my pocket. But is there the same pleasure in turning epages as in turning paper pages?

But another downside is the price: $300-$400. I think you would have to do a lot of traveling for it to be worth that investment (not much reason to use at home). This looks to me like it's going to be a tough sell.

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