For years I could not be without my Sony PRS-600BC Touch Edition E-Book Reader. As an avid reader I was quite skeptical that I would ever want to trade in a trusty paperback for an electronic reader, particularly after staring at a computer screen all day long. After receiving the Sony E-book reader as a gift I didn’t even download my first book for a couple of weeks; once I did there was no going back.
One of the biggest concerns was how easy is to use in situations where lighting is not ideal for reading – such as being outside in a park or in a somewhat dim restaurant, as I like to read if dining alone. This was quickly identified as a non-issue. I find the E-book reader to be easier and have less glare than a paper page when out in the sunlight and being able to easily read one-handed without needing the other hand to turn pages was a bonus I had not even considered; I no longer had to put down my fork to change the page.
The Sony E-book Reader is extremely lightweight and durable, which makes it ideal for travel. It is also small enough to fit into the pockets of most of jeans and jackets while having a screen big enough that you are not ‘flipping’ pages after every paragraph. The charge also seems to last forever when it has full battery.
There were a few issues with the dependability over time. If the reader was left plugged in to charge while attached to my computer and the computer went into standby mode the reader seemed to drain itself of it’s charge and would be dead by the time I noticed. This was solved by only charging when I was actively using the computer, but was a hassle.
On a few occasions the reader did act like an old PC and just completely freeze. Without a Control-Alt-Delete option I was stumped for a while. By plugging the device in it fixed itself within an hour or so, but this did happen at some inopportune times while traveling.
Although this model did not have Wi-Fi and required being plugged in to download new books it was never an issue as I’d download quite a few all at once to ensure I always had plenty of reserves on the large hard drive. I was also required (or at least it was easiest) to download from the Sony library which is not nearly as extensive as some of the other options available online.
Overall, it is relatively affordable, around $124, compared to some of the other options out there and was generally dependable. The best part is definitely the screen’s ease of viewing no matter the conditions you are using it in.
*Disclaimer: in 2012 I’ve swtiched to the iPad2 for my digital reading.