I have to give it to Sony for tossing their hat into the e-ink book-reader arena.
So, it looks like they took a lot of the feedback which came out of the Kindle community of what is the good, perhaps the bad and the ugly. Pro’s and Con’s of this happens to be, that they roughly ignored a majority of that feedback!
Disclaimer: I do not have a Sony Reader (I’ve had the old ones not based upon E-Ink technology)
Secondary disclaimer: I do have a Kindle, an XO and have infact had an Etch-A-Sketch!
- It appears to have a slightly different method for turning pages, on both the mid-right and bottom left. Just as awkward as the kindle though.
- Appears to have a 1-0 option to select content on screen, which seems even more awkward than the Kindle scrolly ability (which is actually kind of cool, especially in comparison!)
- They both appear to have support for audio – Wow that’s what I want out of my book… deh!
- The hold/grip and feel of the Sonyreader looks to be far less awkward than using the Kindle itself (which we’re all prone to accidently changing pages without meaning it). Though beyond being less awkward, it doesn’t introduce any innovation, function or benefit in the big picture. So it’s almost like a plus, but more of an ‘eh’.
- Looks like it has support for more media formats! But that’s a media battle which I don’t even want to get involved in. Strangely, and I could be wrong but it doesn’t even look like it supports the old Sony proprietary memory stick format! DoH!
- Internet?! Aww, Poor sonyreader, only $100 less than the Kindle, and yet I don’t have an easy mechanism to purchase content, free wireless internet which I can use for anything, and an infinite number of other possibilities for my ‘wireless’ lifestyle. Major negative against the sonyreader.
- Being bound to the Sony Store for making your purchases as well, other than when you do your Word or PDF conversions from your local machine, eh can anyone else taste the sourness?!
But taken at face value, and not comparing it to the Kindle, I would honestly have to say, it seems like a half-baked attempt at entering a market with an introduction to E-Ink technology. The support doesn’t seem to be entirely there in the big picture, the look and feel isn’t much more beneficial than that of a book, it doesn’t appear to really ‘innovate’, more of a bad knock off of something else someone might try to do. I’m sure with some proper market studies, innovator backing and an action-plan on hook, as opposed to what appears to be a “re-action” plan, this could easily turn into a great product, regardless of the “It’s a Sony Product” stigma which would otherwise be associated with it.
I’d happily give one a try and test-drive the hell out of it, but once you’ve seen the “Best of Breed” which itself appeared to be a ‘testbed’ idea, how can you go with second place to a beta?
Kindle +1, SonyReader – 0