Review: The Sony Ebook Reader Brings Cool To Print

The bottom line: The coolest thing about the Sony Ebook Reader is the device itself.

The paperback-book-size unit fits the hand very well. I would like a touch screen to highlight text (as could be done with the old RCA Ebook Reader), but in reality I didn’t use that feature very often with the old ebook reader. The screen is a marvel to look at. The background is paper-white and the text is amazingly crisp.

After Sony failed trying to dictate their audio file as a standard over MP3, they seem to have gotten a clue when it comes to files on their ebook reader. It is possible to load PDF files, Word, Text and RTF files on the unit. Support for them is ok though PDF files, often formatted for a letter sized page, might be a little difficult to read.

The reader also supports pictures (displayed with a beautiful gray scale) and MP3 files.

The worst thing about the Sony Ebook Reader is the PC software they provide.

What on Earth were they thinking?

If the Sony Ebook Reader fails, I say it’s because of this software. Back in the 1980s, on a Commodore 64, you might have forgiven the user interface. You might have even considered it to be a good interface.

For example, you can’t rename files. Import a PDF file and it will choose a file name from some unknown logic and many of the files I import end up with cryptic file names (which aren’t the actual file name of the original file, or I’d just change that). It seems like a rename option would be a piece of cake…Oh no, not with Sony. They wouldn’t put that in there…Sheesh

This is not the first time I’ve run into Sony products where one part is masterfully executed (the Ebook reader itself) and then another part is just slapped together (the supporting software).

If you went back to iTunes 1.0, you’d find better software than what Sony has come up with…and iTunes 1.0 was pretty crappy.

I don’t mean to be a wet blanket though. I’ve loaded a lot of reading material on my Ebook Reader and I’m loving it. The software may stink but at least I got everything loaded (after figuring out that the software doesn’t automatically sync your files).

The Sony Ebook Reader is sexy-cool. If you like to read, the online store will keep you busy for a long time to come.

Ebook Reader [rating:4.5]
Ebook Software [rating:1]

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