Sony has added a third child to its eBook reader family – the Reader Daily Edition – a sibling to the Pocket Edition and the Touch Edition products, which were released earlier this month. The Daily Edition eBook reader, however, is the ‘big brother’ to the other two, boasting a larger page view (seven inches wide) and 3G wireless connectivity.
“We firmly believe consumers should have choice in every aspect of their digital reading experience," said Steve Haber, president of Sony's Digital Reading Business Division. “Today, we take another large stride to deliver on that promise. We now have the most affordable devices on the market, the greatest access to free and affordable eBooks through The eBook Store from Sony and our affiliated ecosystem, and now round out our Reader offering with a wireless device that lets consumers purchase and download content on the go."
Reader Daily Edition users can gain wireless access to Sony’s eBook store from just about anywhere in the U.S. via AT&T's 3G mobile broadband network, making it even easier to browse and download books, magazines and a selection of newspapers. Sony says there are no monthly fees or transaction charges for the basic wireless connectivity. And users can still load personal documents or content from other compatible sites via USB.
The seven-inch wide touch screen provides scope for easy navigation and, more importantly, a comfortable reading experience, especially important for newspaper and magazine layout style. Pages can be viewed in either landscape or portrait formats.
In portrait mode, about 30-35 lines of text are visible, similar to a printed paperback, and Sony says the high contrast ratio of 16 levels of grayscale delivers text and images that are crisp and easy to read.
The Daily Edition also boasts an aluminum body with an integrated cover for durability. It has enough internal memory to hold more than 1,000 standard eBooks and expansion slots for memory cards to hold even more. It will sell for about USD$399.
The Reader Pocket Edition has a five-inch electronic paper display and the chassis is available in a variety of colors, including navy blue, rose and silver. It retails for USD$199, making it the most affordable dedicated reading device on the market, Sony says.
For USD$100 more, the Reader Touch Edition has a larger six-inch touch screen and features a responsive menu that enables quick, intuitive navigation, page turning, highlighting and note taking with the swipe of a finger or by using the reader’s stylus. The Touch Edition is available in red, black or silver.
All three models incorporate Sony’s award-winning industrial design and an electronic paper display that emulates the look of ink on paper. Sony's eBook Library software 3.0 now supports many Apple Mac computers as well as PCs, which the company says makes it easy to transfer and read any Adobe PDF (with reflow capability), EPUB, Microsoft Word, BBeB files, or other text file formats.
More in store - a million free books plus local library access
Sony has also made several improvements to its eBook Store to provide better access to an even greater variety of eBooks. Earlier, Sony announced the availability of more than one million free public domain books from Google, as well as new releases and New York Times bestseller titles available for USD$9.99.
Sony's Library Finder application, just launched, now offers visitors to the eBook Store easy access to their local library's collection of eBooks. Thousands of libraries in the OverDrive network offer eBooks optimized for the Sony Reader, and visitors can find the closest libraries by typing their zip code into the Library Finder.
Reader-users can check out eBooks with a valid library card, download them to a PC and transfer them to their Reader. There are never any late fees because at the end of the library's lending period, eBooks simply expire.
The Reader Pocket and Touch Editions and all their accessories are available now at SonyStyle.com and SonyStyle stores.
The Reader Daily Edition will be available this December at SonyStyle stores and SonyStyle.com.