I think I’m a little different than most of the other test drivers. I’ve had an eBookwise reader for 5 or 6 years, that I used to use constantly. In December 2007, I bought an EEE PC 701 4G, the first of these new fangled ‘netbooks,’ and switched most of my ereading to it. Going into this test drive, I didn’t need to be convinced of the gloriousness of ereading, I was looking for a chance to convince others.
My initial impressions:
The quick start guide is a mess. Also, it’s not really useful. Or quick. It is a starting place, I’ll give them that. And, I suppose it is a guide. Vaguely. That’s about about all that can be said.
Charging wasn’t intuitive. Plug it in and it charges. That part I was fine with. Knowing when it was done charging wasn’t so easy. There were three very computer-literate people in my house that afternoon, and none of us could figure this out. We stumbled over the answer when we disconnected the Reader so I could take it to work with me. Sony really needs to address this.
It’s red. No really, it’s red. That was a surprise. In general, I’m not a fan of red electronics, but this is really pretty. It’s a dark red. Not maroon, but really not a fire engine red. Very pretty.
The text is lovely, so nice to read. The contrast is great and being able to enlarge the font enough for me to read comfortably is amazing. (I can do this with my eBookwise, but I have to either use rtf files or hand code in the font and size in an html file.)
Initially I found the flash, when the page changes, to be annoying and felt it slowed me down. The longer I’ve been reading, the more I seem to have gotten used to it and it doesn’t bother me anymore. I barely notice it now.
The Reader is very light and very thin. I do appreciate the lightness, even when I’ve been reading for a while it doesn’t feel heavy. That’s nice. The skinniness isn’t so good. I’m used to the eBookwise which, while heavier, is designed to be held comfortably for hours. The Reader is just too thin to fit my hand. I know Sony designed the Reader to be compact and easy to carry around, but I keep feeling like they could have done something to make it more comfortable to hold. However, the cat prefers the Reader to the eBookwise. Because it’s thin, he doesn’t notice it as much. And that is FAR more important than my comfort.
Verdict of the moment:
I like it. I really do like it. Things I thought would bother me, don’t. And things I didn’t think I’d care about, I really like. I’m not sure I like it $250 worth, but at $150 I’d definitely consider it. I suspect I’ll be watching the sale flyers for a Sony PRS-300 in a few months.