Rumor: Sony's New eBook Readers Will Touch $200S

This according to a pair of posted-then-pulled product pages on J&R, which pegged the prices for the leaked PRS-300 and PRS-600 readers at $200 and $300, respectively. Plus, a few more HOT HOT HOT e-reader hardware specs.

The PRS-300, followup to the PRS-505, is the attention-grabber here on account of its low price; spec-wise, neither reader is going to striek fear into Jeff Bezos' heart. Neither will have any kind of wireless connectivity, base storage on both (without clear indication that there'll be an SD slot) is 512MB, and both the 5-inch and 6-inch screens display at 600x800 pixels. The main distinguishing factor, aside from size, is that the PRS-600 has a touchscreen with an onscreen keyboard, ostensibly for note-taking and searching.

But the e-reader race has never been about hardware, so much as about breaking into the mainstream: the Kindle, for all its name recognition, isn't that popular, either as a purchase or as a subject online—our Kindle posts don't do near the traffic that posts about a new phone, gaming device or even TV might garner. They're expensive and single-purpose, and you have to spend more money on books before you can even use them. To really take off, they need to be cheap, and approachable. If Sony can pair a decent, $200 reader with its bulging free ebook library, it might be onto something. [Hi-PDA via Sony Insider]