Dubbed the “Pocket” and the “Touch,” Sony has released formal data about the two new digital book readers they plan to release later this month – earlier than they planned, after a few tech blogs posted pictures when J&R music listed them for sale prematurely (oops!)
The highlights I’m most curious about:
- Sony’s eBook Library software 3.0, which now includes support for many Macs as well as PCs
- The Touch “comes with a stylus, which can be used to highlight text or make handwritten notes.” Cue many joyous reactions, especially from me. I am ALL OVER THAT. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.
- Wireless? Nope – soon come: “Steve Haber, president of Sony’s Digital Reading Business Division, said the company aims to have a wireless version, but it would have to work with multiple book vendors.” What stores might that be? Will it be a shopping clusterfuck like going to 14 different stores via Stanza?
- $199 Sony Pocket does not have expandable memory, but the Touch at $299 does. I know this is a major issue for some of you readers out there – does the extra $100 turn you off?
Plus, in related news, Sony is dropping the price of “new releases and New York Times bestseller titles in the eBook Store … to $9.99.” OUCH. Of course, Sony has the edge in terms of friendly relations with other format, since Kindle is as Kindle does, and only plays with itself (heh). One of the things I have long liked best about the Sony is that I can bargain shop for books and am not wedded to one single bookstore, even though Sony has its own bookstore.
I do think the $199/$299 prices put the Readers in a much more affordable range. One or two gift cards to Best Buy or a few thousand MyPoints and you can knock some dollars off the price easily, putting it well into the range of someone who absolutely balked at spending more than $350 on a Reader.
So – what do you think of the devices? Any interest? Prefer a different set of specs? Holding out for wireless shopping options on the Reader itself? Share your opinion!