It’s been over a month with the Sony Reader. Here are my impressions of the device:

  • E-Ink rocks !! The experience of reading off an e-ink screen has been better than my wildest expectations.
  • The Reader’s small font setting is big enough for general reading
  • The back-flash and slight delay during page turns are barely noticeable.
  • Battery life is awesome. Though I haven’t counted the number of pages, the Reader certainly lasts a long time. I’ve read an average of 4-5 books on it before I needed to recharge the batteries.
  • Lastly, Sony’s software sucks big time. The software crashed once on Vista, and after that it refuses to start up. Even re-installs haven’t helped. I guess I will have to move to Calibre or some other third party software to manage my books on the Reader.

In summary, very happy with the device. It’s probably the best investment I made this year 🙂

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  1. Vj says:

    I am thinking about getting one of those Sony readers, so while I was researching, I came upon your views, which only reinforced my decision to buy a Sony Reader.. It seems that the device is impressive but what I want to know is its support for PDF documents.. I’m studying Computer Engineering and read quite a few technical ebooks, all of which are in the PDF format.. I’d like to know your take on this matter..

    Great blog by the way.. Keep it up..

  2. enygmatic says:

    Hi Vj,
    The Sony PRS-300 does support PDF documents. But as I mentioned in an earlier post, the PDF documents should be formatted to support re-flow. PDF, as you know is optimized for print and works on page sizes rather than screen size. So when you view a PDF formatted for A4 paper size on a 5″ e-ink screen, it will appear very small and almost unreadable. Thankfully, with the zoom button you could increase font size till it becomes readable. But this works well only when the PDF document supports re-flow.
    I have tried a few PDF files and can vouch for the fact that PDF re-flow does work well on the Reader. The only drawback is that if your text is highly formatted you will lose out on the formatting a bit. That being said, I think if your primary reason for getting a Sony Reader is to refer to your technical e-books on the go, you may want to give e-book readers a miss. You might be better off investing in a netbook or similar highly portable device. I’d imagine that you would want to search on device, refer and scan through pages of your technical e-books quite frequently. Thanks to the limitations of e-ink, this is currently quite cumbersome in all the e-book models (Sony’s or otherwise).
    If you still want to go with a Reader, you may want to get the Sony Touch Edition (PRS-600) or look at models with a 6″ or larger screen from other manufacturers like iRex, Amazon etc. The large screen would make viewing of PDF files easier. Hope that answered your queries.

  3. Vj says:

    Thanks Elroy for your comments..

    It does seem from a lot of comments I’ve read on various forums that PDF support in all the mid-range readers isn’t up to the mark.. But I’d like to know whether we can convert an existing PDF document formatted for A4 size paper into those which can be easily read? Would it work if we could somehow shrink the text font and the images to a more legible size? Or maybe convert the PDF document into a RTF document or some another format that may work well with the Reader using commercially available converter bypassing the limitations..

    I like to make my own notes with pen and paper so I’d only like to read the document, with an occasional search and page bookmarking.. I’d like to know whether this is still cumbersome in the Reader?

    BTW I too live in India so I don’t think a Kindle or a Nook would work for me.. And I would use the same method you used in bringing an e-Reader if convinced – through my aunt who is coming back to India from the US in a couple of months 🙂 . Thank you for your patience.. Eagerly awaiting your reply..

  4. enygmatic says:

    Hi Vj,
    The model I have, doesn’t have search in it. I basically bought it to read fiction, so it serves my purposes well. If you are looking for search I guess you would have to go in for the Sony Touch or Daily edition. The bookmarking feature works very well though.
    I guess you could convert PDF to some other format using tools, but it would be cumbersome. Also since you are doing computer engineering, I imagine that a lot of the books you read would have diagrams, inset boxes of information etc which would be difficult to convert while maintaining formatting. In the end you gotta ask yourself if its worth the trouble.
    In my opinion, the current batch of readers are best suited for reading fiction with minimal illustrations only. For anything more complicated, a netbook or a laptop would be more ideal.
    The only e-book readers that would fit what you are looking for, would be the large format ones like the Kindle DX or the excellent (but insanely expensive) ones from IRex.
    Do let me know if you have any more queries.

  5. Vj says:

    To me even the Kindle DX is insanely expensive :)..

    Tried converting Pressman into the Reader’s dimensions and the results were less than satisfactory.. So, I think I’ll have to continue reading on my Laptop.. I think I’ll wait till something new is released.. Maybe Apple’s rumored tablet may suit me better..

    Thanks for your thoughts though..

  6. enygmatic says:

    ah, I’m sure that when you see the price tag on the Apple “Tablet”, Kindle DX will look cheap. 🙂

  7. Vj says:


    Well 2010 is supposed to be the year of the reader.. I hope someone releases a device that suits my needs and doesn’t make me pay through the nose..

  8. enygmatic says:

    Actually you may be lucky. There is this firm in Hyderabad called Notion Ink that’s coming out with a Tablet PC in 2010. The specs are awesome, and the best part is that it features a Pixel Qi display that can switch between regular LCD and e-ink. And its rumored to be priced at about $400. Here is the Slashgear article on it:

  9. Vj says:

    Adam as its gonna be called would be available in 2010.. Rumored at Rs.15k – Me like :)..

    Sounds too good to be true.. It should have to be subsidized heavily.. Lets wait and watch..

  10. enygmatic says:

    Subsidizing is an alien concept to India, so I’m guessing that the 15K price won’t factor in any subsidies, when its sold in India.