05. 16. 2007
The Sony Reader isn't so bad
Maria Blees has taken a shine to a device that I've oft maligned as a piece of junk that missed the point... but the strength of her take has forced me to reconsider my stance on the Sony Reader. It isn't the ebook reader of my dreams, but it might be good enough to be my ebook reader for right now.
Maria makes a point that the Sony Reader is the same size as a paperback and is built to survive in a handbag or backpack. What really surprised me was the battery life - to paraphrase: Multiple hours daily for nine days, and the battery wasn't yet half down. The wonderful battery life can be attributed to the E Ink display used in the Reader. E Ink is the "as good as paper" technology that everyone has been waiting for, but it's been slow in appearing in the marketplace. E Ink is readable in bright outdoor lighting, and the newest technology has eliminated the "stuck letter" problems seen in the early prototypes.
The Sony Reader is a pretty hefty $350, but prices are relative. I'm tired of carrying paper copies of my research with me. Most of my documents are PDF journal articles, and any kind of electronic reader would be an upgrade on the 1500 pages I'm printing every month. For me, a Sony Reader is equal to 1.5 laser toner cartridges, and that would pay for itself in just a couple of months. I'm not going to stop hoping for a Plastic Logic flexible display, but for the time being I might settle for a Sony.