So, work got me a Sony PRS-700 for being awesome, which is awesome, so here are my thoughts so far.
eBook readers are pretty cool. It brings back a lot of nostalgia – when I was 20 the company I was working for bought me a Palm Pilot, and the only things I really used it for was as a phone book and to read ebooks. I took it with me when I traveled, read the entire “Ender’s Series” on it, as well as “Dreamcatcher” by Stephen King before my cat tipped a glass of water over on it. Stupid cat. Anyway, it reminds me of those times.
You might ask: why not just carry a book around? Good question. The advantages over a regular book, as I see them, are the ability to read in the dark, and the ability to make a bookmark that won’t fall out because of gravity. That’s about it. They are a little easier to hold, and to change pages as well, but these are minor. For me, the fact that it has enough space to hold hundreds of books is nice, but it’s not really an advantage. I don’t usually read more than one book at a time, so I’d be fine if it just held one or two… but not everyone uses them just to read novels.
The PRS-700 has several advantages over my old Palm Pilot:
The battery lasts forever. I haven’t yet been able to drain the battery entirely, but it has already lasted longer than my Palm did. It’s supposed to last for 10,000 page turns. That’s a lot.
E-Paper. The idea is a screen that is higher contrast than you’d get on a regular LCD screen, and something that you’ll be able to read in a high light situation (for example, in the sunlight). For the most part, it does these things, however, you can tell the technology is in it’s early years because the refresh rate is really low and the contrast could be a lot better.
The PRS-700 comes with a light (which is something that the competition doesn’t have yet), a touchscreen (which is cool, but I don’t think it’s really necessary), and a groovy carrying case.
The biggest downside is this: I have a paperback copy of “Snow Crash” (thanks Courtney!), and it’s next on my list, so I decided to get on Sony’s Ebook store and download it for the Reader. The ebook version costs $10.50!!! More than the paperback! I’m thinking that this is a little outrageous, so I check out other places like fictionwise. I find out that $10.50 is actually a discount from the cost of $15.00 that most places are charging. Ah well, there are other ways to get ebooks.