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Sony makes low-cost Readers official

updated 07:00 pm EDT, Tue August 4, 2009

Sony PRS-300 and PRS-600

Sony has almost immediately followed up on late rumors with an official update to its Reader line of e-book devices. The new PRS-300 Pocket Edition and PRS-600 Touch Edition readers are less expensive than the PRS-505 was when new but have a similar 600x800 e-paper display and in some cases make significant improvements: while both have just 512MB of memory built-in, either will take not only Memory Sticks for extra storage but also SD cards. They also get a new, native Mac client for loading books over USB in addition to the existing Windows version.

The PRS-300 is the traditional model and meant to be the most portable with a 5-inch display, direction pad based controls and support for both Sony's own bookstore downloads as well as more generic formats like PDF and Word. With the PRS-600, users get a larger, 6-inch touchscreen display that is described as more readable than that for the PRS-700. It no longer includes the side lighting as part of its price drops.

Both Readers ship later this month at prices of $199 for the PRS-300 and $299 for the PRS-600. This will accompany a price drop on bestselling books from $12 to $10 that matches similar pricing from Amazon's Kindle Store and the Barnes & Noble e-book store. Mac users who already own the PRS-505 and PRS-700 should receive both Mac software and Reader firmware to recognize it by the time the new devices are in stores.



By Electronista Staff


  1. ClevelandAdv

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2004



    Why would anyone buy book content which (as we have seen with the Kindle) be removed at any time, requires batteries to read and cost more than many print editions?

    Hey how about a good old book?
    Portable, inexpensive , easy to use and hard to erase.

    Just not a fan.

  1. malax

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2006


    Not with the Sony, right?

    That's only possible with the Kindle where your book exist only in the cloud, right? With the Sony, you download files that you keep on your computer.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2004



    Let me address your concerns.

    Amazon did have the ability to wirelessly remove a book, although they promised not to do it again. The Sony never had that ability, they can't remove your book. It doesn't even have wireless, for that matter.

    The books do not cost more than print editions, but the opposite, they cost less. In fact, the $9.99 price for new edition bestsellers, is actually being sold at a loss. They have to pay the publishers even more than this amount for the book. They are selling at a loss, probably trying to establish a market position later, but for now, its a good deal for the consumer.

    A real book requires cutting down trees, and hard to carry 300 of them around in your purse at one time, and to download instantly from a webstore.

    But a real book still has some advantages to the 'non-native' digital...

    I can thumb a book like a madman, and find it tedious to navigate an ebook.

    Overall though, I like ebooks.

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