I’ve received 3 gifts over Xmas that deserve reviews and seen about 3 presents given to other family members that look quite good too!
But today I’m going to start with my new toy, a Sony E-Reader PRS505. I got the metallic red limited edition one that John Lewis was selling.
My first impressions were on the beauty of the design, the weight (slightly less than a large paperback), the size (just right) and the superb clarity of the screen.
I do read a lot of books, and it was always a hassle trying to get rid of the old books, and of course going on holiday with 2 or more books means extra weight and bulk. Well the Sony PRS505 goes a long way to rectifying all of that, with the capaicty to hold 160 books. That’s without any expansion, as the unit can take memory stick, or SD card, to enable over a 1000 books to be carried!
Sony PRS505 Red
The unit came with a CD with 100 classic books such as Moby Dick etc, but also came preloaded with many excerpts of best selling novels, plus a couple of complete ones, including THE BLUE ZONE by ANDREW GOSS, a thriller that I had read very recently. Also included in the box was driver software, a USB lead and a quick start instruction leaflet. I was initially frustrated by the lack of Mac support, as you can download Adobe Digital Edition, which is needed to manage DRM’d ebooks, but the Sony unit, although recognised as a USB storage device, is not recognised as a device in the Adobe Software. Luckily, the Mac can emulate PC software using VMWARE FUSION, so I booted Windows XP up and installed the software on that.
Navigation on the unit is very easy, with a couple of buttons available to turn pages, or to go to the main menu, where you can jump direct to a chapter, or simply delete a book. As the only power used is for turning pages, I expect battery life to be very good.
As for availability of ebooks? Well I’ve downloaded a couple from Books on Board, an American site, which was better value before the collapse of sterling. WH Smiths are having a sale at the moment so ebooks are available from £4 – I just purchased a Jeremy Clarkson volume of tirades and tantrums. For Mac users there is even better news. I discovered a program called Calibre which, although a little unstable, supports the Sony PRS505, NOT for DRM books but for online publications. You can tell it to download regularly, such newspapers as the Wall Street Journal, the Telegraph, the Economist, etc, etc. Fantastic for avid readers of newspapers. The “epapers”, come ready formatted in sections and make very easy reading.
All in all I think this little device is a beauty – I will keep you all updated on any more “discoveries”, but would like any comments please from any other owners – their thoughts or helpful hints. 300,000 people have bought this e-reader, and, coincidentally, my wife and her mum also received these as gifts! So that means we can also share ebooks (up to a max of 6 devices).
This is available from John Lewis for £194.