Sony PRS-300 eBook Reader Review
- Compact and light weight
- Good contrast and screen clarity
- Good battery life
- Paper-like display
- 3 different font sizes
- Comparatively smaller screen that might be uncomfortable for many
- Not compatible with MP3 songs or JPEG images
- No extendable memory
- No memory card slots
- Slow loading of huge PDF files
Sony has lately started producing a line of e-book readers, which are regarded as very useful to all class of people. They are of outstanding quality. The usage is much comfortable as there is special access to the Sony eBook library. The following is a review of Sony PRS-300, which is one among the few new readers that is comparatively smaller in size. These have been introduced with the idea of enabling those book lovers out there, to conveniently save all their favourite books and read them whenever they want to. The classy look and the high resolution and extraordinary features are perfectly ‘Sony’. Any person can identify the brand from its performance itself and, no one has to be prompted about the same.
Attractive and appealing:
As soon as one gets hold of this Sony PRS-300 5" e-book reader, the person is sure to fall for its attractive looks. This is due to its excellent design that is slim and sleek. The buttons are placed perfectly at the right places that definitely complement their good and sleek looks. It comes in three amazing colours that can cater to different range of customers. Firstly, there is the navy blue colour, then the silver and lastly, there is rose pink. The 5 inch display screen is so technically advanced, as to make one feel like reading from ink on paper. The display is black on grey, which adds to the good looks. On using it, one will find it being the perfect eBook reader and a perfect Sony product.
The Sony PRS-300 is a pocket edition of the Sony Readers, which is much smaller and compact than the usual Sony readers. This screen is smaller than the usual 6 inch screen but is quite comfortable and convenient to use or, one can at least get used to it easily. It weighs about 220 grams that makes its use quite convenient. This makes it very attractive also. One can conveniently slide it into their pocket, when not in use. This ultra slim model has dimensions of H x D x W, 6 1/4 x 4 1/4 x 13/32 inches. It is also very convenient as it perfectly fits in between the thumb and the forefinger.
The reading experience on this Sony PRS-300 eBook reader with a 5 inch screen is very pleasant. This is because the display is more paper-like. The e-ink is designed so as to mimic the normal ink used on paper. The extent of the mimicking surprises every person on how much an electronic device can actually mimic a real book. It is therefore without any kind of glare and one can conveniently read even when there is direct sunlight. There are 3 adjustable fonts, which one can use, as per convenience. As it is not touch sensitive, the reading is very pleasant and one can conveniently enjoy reading all kinds of e-books. The resolution is 600x800 pixels and, it supports 8 levels of gray scale. The screen clarity and quality are amazing. The contrast is also brilliant and is in fact slightly better than what it is on Sony PRS-505. It makes a person feel like reading words that float off the background. It reduces all kind of strain to the eyes of the reader. The page turning is quick, which also enables easy and natural reading. But, the zoom function is very poor, which sometimes makes it difficult to read through them. Even in low light conditions, it can be read easily on this reader as the words are much darker and, much thicker fonts can be used.
Vast access to books:
There is a vast variety of books one could get access to through these eBooks as they support ePub formats and PDF files. The on-board memory of 512MB enables one to carry 350 books easily. It is easy to collect eBooks as there is access to a variety of software. With an internet connection, that is quick, one could download more and save them. The reader library software installed therein makes downloading very convenient and easy. The content availability does vary based on the location. As the user is provided with a vast storage capacity on the reader, even though, it has no extendable memory, one can easily download all the interesting books they come across while they are browsing and keep them saved. The same can be checked by the user and read at a later point of time, whenever it is needed. They will however be excellent to be read on medium zoom usually. These drawbacks are only when it comes to viewing JPEG or listening to MP3 songs. Graphic books may or may not turn out well. This depends vastly on the size of the file, the source or site from which it is downloaded and other such factors. So, almost all eBooks kinds can be viewed and read using this eBook reader. It is compatible with a Personal Computer as well as an iMac.
This Sony PRS-300 Pocket Edition reader supports adobe reader i.e., PDF kind of documents, Microsoft word, ePub and BBeB books. Many other text file formats can also be conveniently accessed. As it supports a number of formats, one can have access to a wide variety of books. But, it should be noted that, this cannot be used for viewing large PDF files.
The usage of this eBook reader is easy as it is not touch sensitive and so one need not worry about pages getting changed on a slight touch and other such things. Downloading, managing as well as transferring collections is very easy, as it can be done with a simple USB 2.0 cable. The turning of the page is easy and quick as there are convenient page-advance buttons on the left and the right. It can also simply be charged using the chargers of the Apple iPhone or the iPod. The compatibility with multiple formats makes it easy to use any kind of book, without having to convert them to other compatible forms. The 3 alternative fonts that are available make it more easy to use them for reading eBooks. So, it can easily be resized to comfortable text sizes.
A battery is sealed into the reader. The life of the inbuilt battery in this eBook reader lasts for a considerable time and can be regarded as being reasonable and decent. The battery on being charged once, the reader will offer reading for 2 continuous weeks. The battery life might however vary, based on environment conditions and usage patterns. Many times, it has proved to last for 3 weeks, when charged just once.
The controlling system is quite simple in this reader. The space for these control buttons below the screen is equal to what it is on a Sony PRS-505 Digital Book Reader. The power switch is separate at the top corner, on the left edge. There exists no switch to control the volume levels. The other control buttons are placed right below the screen. The switches are placed in a 4-way, circular model. These include switches for navigation and those for turning pages. The center button is meant for selecting just like what it is in the Sony PRS-505. There are 4 buttons to top of the center switch. Of these, 2 are to the left and 2 are to the right. These buttons from left to right are buttons for home, back, bookmark and font size, respectively. The ten menu buttons on the right side of the screen are arranged as 5 rocker switches. These are also easy to use.
Task not easy:
There is a very good facility to collect eBooks but, the task proves to be difficult at times. Though Sony provides heaps of useful software as a package, along with the reader, finding the books still seems to be difficult. Though one can access books from Google books, very few of them are actually available for quick downloads. Moreover, most of them are huge PDF books, the opening of which is extremely slow in case of this eBook reader model. Mostly, this will have to be transferred to some other compatible mode and then read, which increases the difficulty. There is no CD included to enable connectivity with the PC, which is quite a drawback. The upgrading of good quality Library software can reduce downloading trouble.
Text on a page:
The amount of text that can be covered in one page is much lesser compared to what it is on a 6 inch screen. This does cause a considerable difference. In comparison, it is found that the 5 inch screen displays only 17 out of every 25 lines that are displayed on a page in a 6 inch screen. This might increase the number of pages but, as turning pages is very easy, it does not hinder comfortable reading. The text size however, is the same both in case of a 5 inch screen and a 6 inch screen. Thus, problems of legibility do not arise. However, this is a negligible lacuna.
This Sony Reader PRS-300 Pocket Edition comes with a lot of add-ons. This includes the USB cable that helps in transferring books to and from the PC. There is a black padded pouch that comes along with the reader, which is made of spongy material on which, the reader can slide in and out easily. There is also a small booklet regarding the usage of the reader. A cover like the one in a Sony PRS-505 is a missing component in case of this reader. The necessary wires to enable the working of the reader also come along with the reader.
Sony offers a limited warranty of one year for parts and 90 days for labour.
It is one of the least priced Sony readers. It is completely worth the cost and no person has to give it a second thought to buy this extraordinary reader. It is very cheap and one will never have to regret for the money spent on it.
This Sony PRS-300 reader is very useful despite its small size. It is almost similar to the PRS-505. It is only a smaller version of the same. It is a best buy for those who love reading. The memory capacity is also commendable, though there is no extendable memory. With better zoom, it will prove to be the best of all readers. Enabling access to MP3 and JPEG formats will make it more appealing, as it can then be made multipurpose.
Sony PRS-300 eBook Reader - Technical Specification Table
|Model Name||Sony Reader PRS 300 EBook|
|Model number||PRS 300|
|Available Colours||Navy Blue, Silver, Rose Pink|
|Dimensions (H x W x D)||157.5 x 107.8 x 10.2 mm|
|Display technology||E Ink® “Electronic Paper”|
|Screen size||5 inch|
|Display resolution||800 x 600|
|Grey scale||Eight level grey scale|
|Built in memory||512 MB (Approx 350 eBooks)|
|Processor||800 MHz Intel® Celeron® class processor or better|
|RAM||128 MB Minimum, or 512 MB minimum for Windows Vista®.|
|Memory slots||No Memory Slot available|
|Compatible free eBook and text formats||EPUB eBook, BBeB Book, Adobe® PDF,
Microsoft® Word, TXT, RTF
|Compatible DRM eBook and text file formats||EPUB eBooks, BBeB eBooks|
|Compatible image files||JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP|
|Compatible Operating systems||Windows® XP (Home Edition / Professional,
Media Center Edition, Media Center Edition 2004,
Media Center Edition 2005) &
Windows Vista® (Home Basic, Home Premium,
Macintosh Mac OS X version 10.4.11 or later,
Mac OS X version 10.5.6 or later
|Ports||1 USB Port|
|Battery type||Rechargeable lithium-ion|
|Battery life||Approx 6800 page with EPUB and 7500 pages with BBeB|
|Recharging time||Four hours with USB, Two hours with optional AC charger|
|Additional Drive||Optical Drive for reading CD-ROM|
|Package contents||Sony eBook PRS 300, USB cable, Quick start guide,
eBook Library Software, User guides, Soft protective sleeves
|Warranty||Limited warranty - Parts: 1 year , labour: 90 days|