Live From CES: The Sony Reader


Who needs Blu-ray? This is the Sony reader that uses the display technology from E-Ink I've been hearing so much about. To give you an idea of just how good this display looks... I walked up to the counter, looked at the text on the screen and asked, "So when will you have working units to play with?" The reply: "This is a working reader." I mistakenly though the text on the screen was some kind of plastic overlay—that's how ink-like it looked. Then the PR rep increased the text size, searched through the table of contents and showed me some Manga comics. It is the first e-reader that seemed like I could sit down and spend hours on without experiencing eye strain. Part of the reason it works is that it does not have a backlight, so forget about reading in the dark. There is also zero flicker, as far as I could see. It's small and lightweight too (.5 inches thick and smaller than a hardcover book). The reader accepts both Memory Stick and SD flash memory cards. It's got a USB plug, and could be used to download and read websites, JPEGs or PDF docs. The battery life, as they are selling it, is equivalent to "7,500 page turns, avid readers can devour a dozen bestsellers plus War and Peace without ever having to recharge."

The books will be available through the Connect Store, and there is some Connect software for managing your books (so far this is the only drawback). Random House, HarperCollins Publishers, Penguin-Putnam, Simon & Schuster and Time Warner Book Group are all on board with titles, along with Manga publisher Tokyopop. Sony is promising to deliver this reader by Spring.

Live From CES: The Sony Reader