We haven't had a chance to fully test this product yet, but we've assembled this helpful overview of relevant information on it.
Sony’s PRS-500 was one of their early eReaders released in 2006. It features a 4.9 inch screen, which is about an inch less than the comparable Amazon Kindle at 6 inches. Interestingly the PRS-500 comes with a built-in camera, though it displays in Monochrome E ink. There are 64 MBs of internal memory and it can be expanded using an SD memory card or a Memory Stick. The PRS-500 also plays MP3s and AAC files.
- 4.9 inch screen
- Built-in camera
- Monochrome E ink
- 64 MBs internal memory
- SD card, Memory Stick slot
- MP3 playback
Digital Trend’s eReader Buying Tips:
Choosing an OS
It’s very important to choose an operating system that is easy to use and intuitive for you. In e-readers, this means trying out devices (if possible) to see if you like the way each device navigates between books, chapters, and pages. Some e-readers, like the Sony Reader, require a USB connection to a PC to download books. If this is a problem, opt for a different device. If you’ll want new books while on the go or travelling, opt for an always-connected 3G device, like the Kindle.
How portable does your e-reader need to be? How large do you want your screen? Most e-readers are smaller than tablets, do not have touch capabilities, and are made for viewing vertically, much like you read a book or piece of paper. For example, the Kindle has a 6-inch screen with a small button keyboard. The original Nook, on the other hand, has a similar screen size, but instead of a keyboard at the bottom, it has a small color touchscreen for navigation. Those wishing for a larger e-reader screen should check out the Kindle DX, which has a 9.7-inch screen, making it very close to the size of a sheet of paper.
E-book readers accept many different types of formats. When looking for your new e-reader maake sure that you find out which formats they do and don’t accept. Below is a handy guide to the various formats.
Epub was created by the International Digital Publishing Forum. It is supported by most e-readers, so this one you shouldn’t have to worry about. The benefit to this format is that it is reflowable meaning that text is not formatted for one specific page size. This means that text size and format adjustments won’t look odd if you change them. When doing your ereader comparison, this format is very important and should be sought after.
Most documents and files on the internet are in the PDF format. The downside to using the PDF format on electronic book readers is that lines are a fixed length when the e-book was created, so sometimes when it converts onto your e-reader, the lines may not display correctly. Depending on what you are reading on your ebook, this may or may not be important to you. PDF is quite useful as an additional format in eReaders and you may want to include it during your ereader comparison.
Plain Text (TXT)
Plain Text is very rarely used, though it does exist.
Amazon Kindle (AZW)
This is the format that was developed by Amazon to work with their Kindle eReader. AZW files work with the Kindle and are purchased from the Amazon book store. This format only really works on the Kindle.
This was created for PALM hand-held devices. It is not standard with the newer e-books readers.
This format will probably not work with your e-book unless it specifically says so.
Sony Reader (BbeB/LRF)
BbeB is used by the Sony Reader and it isn’t really supported by other e-readers or PC reading, though it supposedly can be read on Linux computers.
TomeRaider (tr2, tr3)
Barnes and Noble Nooks use TomeRaider, which is available on PCs, Smart Phones, iPhone and other sources but isn’t supported by Kindle or the Sony Reader. The Nook also doesn’t support as many formats as the Kindle and Sony Reader.
Book stores and App stores
Making sure your device has an intuitive OS is important, but knowing that it has the books that you hope to read is vital. E-readers are tied to a single store. Before buying an e-reader, visit the Kindle or Nook websites to search for a few books you may want to read. Does your favorite device have the books you want? If not, consider the competition.