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111 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Shop about for both price (can vary considerably) and information/advice. I have found electrical shops sell on technology and book shops sell on the notion of digital books but neither appreciate that the eReader is a blend of two mindsets. I bought the Pocket eReader for reading work and coursework documents so I wanted it to be able to read Word and pdfs with ease...
Published on 25 Nov. 2009 by D. Eves

versus
74 of 82 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Half great, half horrid
A tale of two extremes, so to start on the good bit - namely the hardware. Excellent build quality, extremely tactile, a first class screen which is clear and easy to read. The e-ink system is superb and very well realised here, the product is a joy, and worthy of five stars.
And yet, you may have noticed I only voted three stars.... some time ago sony walkmans came...
Published on 26 Dec. 2009 by Pd Stewart


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111 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 25 Nov. 2009
This review is from: Sony Reader Pocket Edition Digital Book PRS300S Colour SILVER (Electronics)
Shop about for both price (can vary considerably) and information/advice. I have found electrical shops sell on technology and book shops sell on the notion of digital books but neither appreciate that the eReader is a blend of two mindsets. I bought the Pocket eReader for reading work and coursework documents so I wanted it to be able to read Word and pdfs with ease. Information given in shops, including Sony, can be misleading. I chose the Pocket as I didn't need a hard drive bigger than 512MB (I have loaded a pile of documents on and I haven't reached 30MB yet), also I preferred the screen on the pocket for size (it feels more like a paperback book size) and screen quality. The Touch eReader has an additional surface layer and I felt the screen wasn't as clear as the Pocket. Also the Touch is less touch and more push as it's not heat sensitive like the iPhone so to turn a page you push and drag. The Pocket was also £100 cheaper half of which I then used up on the Sony cover with backlight as this seemed a good idea and works very well. The software is easy to use and in 3 computers (2 Vista and 1 XP) the software self installed and I was able to immediately drag and drop all the files I wanted and it synched seamlessly. For pdf Sony say that increasing the type size can lead to loss of some scripts such as superscript. I haven't found this at all. The Touch has an additional 2 sizes up to include XL and XXL so if you have significant visual problems then this may be a good reason to go for the more expensive version. My eyesight is not as good as it once was but I have found the medium type size to be absolutely fine. Sony don't provide a charger and don't approve of charging other than via the USB cable (Blackberry mini USB) or the accesory. I tried using a Sony camera connection and it works fine and so does a USB wall charger so when travelling I shall use the same USB charger for the eReader, iPod and camera. I went on to Waterstones and bought 2 books and both downloaded with ease. However I would say the concept of an eReader has some way to go and while this is a delightful and simple piece of kit I woudl suggest eReaders will be updated over the next few years and improved upon. The button layout is a bit odd, though easily understood, and I would guess the future will be for the gadget to be able to connect directly to the web and download wherever you are which would make more sense. However I have found the Pocket eReader a delightful and simple piece of kit. The Touch wil play MP3s while the Pocket doesn't appear to have that facility.

Jan 2010: All working fine until I got a message from Sony telling me to upgrade the reader software and the connection between laptop and Sony hasn't worked since. Frequent calls to Sony and all have told me I shouldn't have upgraded as requested and despite uninstalling and reinstalling it just won't work. A Google search will tell you this is a common issue right now. There is a quick get around and that is uninstall the Sony Reader software and install Adobe Digital Editions. It works the same apart from it actually does work!
Jan 2010: Sony have appeared to solve the problem and the software now works fine though Adobe Digital Editions works fine. Moral of the story is - don't trust Sony to get upgrades right first time so when Sony sends a message to upgrade ignore it if your eReader is working fine. Overall it remains a great bit of kit and is being used all the time synching with 3 different computers without a problem

Sept 2010: Still working perfectly well, feels like a book and have never had an issue reading any kind of file I drop on to it. One issue I have noticed that the reader prefers not to be charged from a wall plug in USB but prefers to power from a laptop. But since the power drainage is minimal all I need to do is charge up before I go away. Haven't needed recharging even if away for 2 weeks. Yes the iPad receives more comments and it can download a book or file on the move it also requires a pile more gadgetry and connection costs. Instead this sits in my pocket and functions like a book and doesn't try to make a statement. Once when travelling I wished to add a large pdf file I got it emailed to a colleague and then synched it by cable and added some charge at the same time
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240 of 244 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Revolutionary, 26 Oct. 2009
By 
Michael Jacobs - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sony Reader Pocket Edition Digital Book PRS300S Colour SILVER (Electronics)
I was arguing long and hard with friends, family and myself about the merits of an ereader, eventually realising that the only way to make my mind up about this controversial and ultra-modern gadget would be to buy one and use it. My background - I'm not a voracious reader; I mainly read classic novels for pleasure and will buy four to five hard copy books each month.

The physical form of the PRS-300 is quite pleasing. The screen on this device is unbelievable; possibly its best feature. I've spent the last few months reading online newspapers on my Blackberry during the commute or lunch break and tend to manage fine with that, but this screen really is like reading off paper. Turning the page - nay, pressing any functional button on this device - does have a mildly slow response time, unlike with physical books. I'd seen this on display models in shops and it is sadly the same on my device, but we're talking 0.8-1.5 seconds or so, which isn't too bad. If you compare this with interfaces on other digital media devices like ipods or mobile phones (I can't comment how it fares alongside other ereaders), it is on the slow side, but in truth I haven't found this level of responsiveness to hinder the main function or performance at all.

Buttons and navigation: the menu system and user interface is well designed and intuitive. The number keys on the side aren't what you'd necessarily expect on an ereader, but it does allow for quick navigation. In fact, comparing it with the scroll wheel on my ipod, I actually prefer this as you don't have to rotate anything haphazardly to get to the right menu option. As the numbers are so useful, I hardly use the directional buttons apart from when turning pages. In terms of build and feel, the buttons are great - no stickiness, logically positioned and not too many to get in the way. The device is ridiculously light, especially when compared with physical books. In fact, what prompted me to buy this was purchasing Tolstoy's War and Peace a few days early and realising that taking this on the train, into work or travelling took up a disproportionate amount of space. The PRS-300 is smaller and lighter than most regular paperbacks, even when placed in its cover (which I also bought separately).

One slight annoyance is something which I was expecting - merely the ability to flick through, or even jump to a certain page. You can type in sepcific page numbers using the side number keys, but this doesn't always do the job. Obviously, many decent ebook files will have a contents page which allows you to jump to a particular chapter, but certain documents can require a trial and error navigation approach. For example, I have a 700-page document PDF file which is broken ito 1200 'sections'. If I wanted to get to section 530, I'd probably go to page 300 and see how far off I was, then repeat a few times until hitting the exact section. That said, the very ability of this device to read PDFs is so priceless that this isn't too significant a problem. Besdies, you can bookmark pages (either on your computer or on the ereader itself) to make navigation easier.

In fact, it is the ability to read PDF files which sets this reader apart and makes it very useful. Whilst I enjoy reading fiction, being able to browse documents for work/college while commuting in the morning is just as brilliant as being able to pick from dozens of novels to unwind on the way home. Or rather than staying late in an office, it's possible to stick the document on here and head home before rush hour. On that note, it's worth mentioning the computer software and how the reader connects with the PC. At first, I did have problems - it froze whenever I tried to disconnect the device. But after downloading the latest version of 'eBook Library' off Sony's website (the PC software, equivalent of iTunes, for this device), the problem was fixed. Annoyingly, I haven't yet worked out how to change title/author information. This means that Zola's Germinal, translated by Roger Pearson, comes up as 'Germinal' by 'Pearson' on my device and in the library. I cannot imagine ever seeing a bookspine in a shop omitting the name of Zola!

All in all, the device performs so well and is revolutionary - primarily in the fact that it can store a wide amount and variety of texts. Also, I'm fairly certain I've been reading more since I bought it. And whilst this price-tag isn't exactly budget or friendly, it's certainly decent value for money, given the quality and functionality it offers. One minor complain that buying extras such as the flip cover (though the reader does come with a nylon/foam sleeve included) and AC charger bumps the price up, but it is the same with other gadgets such as the ipod.

UPDATE MAY 2011: I though I should update this as the device has been sat on my bedside table switched off for the last six months! I still think it is a revolutionary device, but after the novelty wears off, waiting for pages/books to load up (which in some cases can slow the machine up and take nearer a minute on a bad day can get frustrating (especially if you are used to PCs and other digital handheld media operating instantly, or, dare I say it, physical books opening and having pages that turn instantly). As such, I've dropped the rating by a star. I also missed (i) browsing bookshops and (ii) having books with creased spines sitting on the shelf as a marker of the achievement of having read them.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you want a reader just to read books - this is the one!, 10 Jan. 2010
By 
M. J. Jones (South Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sony Reader Pocket Edition Digital Book PRS300S Colour SILVER (Electronics)
Spent ages researching which ereader to take the plunge and buy, and read pretty much every review I could get my hands on. Decided on this one mostly because of price (shop around though) and I liked the look of it in spite of some reviews which said that the Sony Library software was troublesome. Personally I had absolutely no trouble whatsoever in installing the software (which is based on iTunes Library although more simplistic) and find it easy to use. Downloading books purchased via Waterstones and WHSmith (which both have a far better catalogue of ebooks than I was expecting) could not be easier and they appear in the library virtually instantaneously.
As an avid reader my other concern was the time it takes to 'turn a page' as one reviewer said that they were frustrated by the delay. All I can say is that while it isn't as instant as turning a page in a book it does not detract from or disrupt the flow of reading in anyway and I've read three novels in the week that I've owned it.
If you want an ereader to use for reading for pleasure rather than business documents (which I haven't tried) then you can't go wrong with this one. My husband and I were so impressed with this that we went back to the same shop on the same day and bought another so that we have one each!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A library in your pocket, 1 Jan. 2010
By 
Passerby (Plymouth, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sony Reader Pocket Edition Digital Book PRS300S Colour SILVER (Electronics)
My sufficient criteria for a reader were that it should be small enough to fit in my jacket pocket and that it should display pdf files, of which I have many.

The PRS-300 is indeed just small enough to fit in the inside pocket of my jacket and, among other formats including epub, does handle pdf files.

Reading from this gadget is easier on the eyes than reading from paper. I would not have believed this before I saw it with my own eyes. As such, I'm devoting more, formerly idle, time to reading.

The pages take a second to turn but, once you get into a rhythm, it's easy to time the turn whilst reading the bottom line of the current page and so the page turn is completely seamless.

One criticism is that, at least with mine, the built-software was unable to download the reader library software which you use to add books to the reader from your home computer. I had to Google it in order to download it. I can imagine this to be extremely irksome for less computer-savvy users. Sony needs to sort this out.

Apart from that, I'm now happy with a portable eye-friendly reader containing dozens of categorised books, each of which has a table of contents, bookmarks, opens at my current page, enables me to change text sizes, and so on. Hope they'll take my paperbacks at the charity shop!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good and Easy to use., 21 April 2010
By 
Trilliane (Derbyshire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sony Reader Pocket Edition Digital Book PRS300S Colour SILVER (Electronics)
I looked for more than a year at eReaders, I ummed and ah'd and just left it, thinking that these would be like minidiscs and being a passing phase, they haven't and their popularity is gaining pace so I again looked at them, what pushed me into buying one was the arrival of my son, before I became a mum my house was my space, I could have as many shelves of books as I liked and it was great but now, nothing is sacred and there are so many toys to store my books are slowly being packed away, I have a lot of music stored electronically so why not do the same thing with books. Sold!

With the history bit done with, here is what I think of the Pocket Reader. The unit itself is a nice size, buttons placed nicely, easy to navigate, the screen is clear and easy to read from, nice to change the size of the text and despite their claim of the unit lasting 2 weeks on a single charge, I read a lot and only charge mine once a month so even bigger bonus. I found the software easy to install to my laptop, just plug in the reader and follow the prompts, simple. I got 100 free classics from sony to start me off and have then bought others, simple.

The unit is supplied with a soft slip case which I found a little annoying so I would say to anyone buying one to invest in a more substantial cover and it is only supplied with a cable to charge form your pc so you have to purchase a seperate mains charger to charge while away (although I found that it is the same charger as that for my PSP).

All in all this is a five star product but there are some niggles, 1st is that you can't expand the memory, not a major one for me but would be nice to have that option, 2nd is that there isn't a text-to-voice function (would be usefull for taking a bath when you get to a crucial bit for example or if you are too tired to read and want to be read to) and lastly you don't have the option to create your own collection list, has purchased list but no other so you just have to look through them all.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've got mixed feelings about them, but they're the future.., 1 Jan. 2010
By 
Mr. Mark Wilkinson (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sony Reader Pocket Edition Digital Book PRS300S Colour SILVER (Electronics)
I was very kindly bought the PRS-300 for Christmas by a number of family members who clubbed together to purchase it for me. The build quality of the hardware is excellent, and after reading a number of reviews it seems that this is the best model of the current generation, as the more expensive touch-screen models suffer from an inferior display, due to the touch-screen membrane laid over the screen.

Having read quite a number of reviews of these products, I didn't even bother trying to install the Sony software that shipped with the device, and instead downloaded 'Calibre' Ebook Management software, which is free software that supports the Sony Readers. This software worked perfectly with the Sony Reader and there are versions for Windows, Linux and Mac, so pretty much everybody should be catered for.

I've read 3 books on the device so far, and the battery is still at 3/4 charge, so I'd have no concerns over taking it away for a week without a charger.

The only criticism I can level at the device is that it isn't a real book and doesn't have the feel of a book. It would be churlish to mark it down for that, this device has given me the ability to slip a small library into my jacket pocket and carry it around with me.

It's a marvel.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 8 Jan. 2010
By 
A Moreton (Sheffield, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sony Reader Pocket Edition Digital Book PRS300S Colour SILVER (Electronics)
I have had one of these since the start of December 09. The screen is a little smaller than a page from an average paperback, and the e-ink screen is not quite as white as paper, but the screen is clear and easy to read. Page turns take about the same time as manually turning a page in a book. It remembers the last page you read from a book, so you can easily have several books on the go at the same time if you like doing that. You can also create your own bookmarks. I haven't charged it for almost 2 weeks and the battery is showing half full. Don't forget you may need to install Adobe Digital Editions (free download from Adobe site) if you want to purchase books. When creating an Adobe ID I would suggest you do not create an anonymous ID. I love it, just a pity that there are some books not published in electronic format, but I hope this will change over time.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good new gadget, 8 Jan. 2010
By 
chuckles "barnie884" (Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Sony Reader Pocket Edition Digital Book PRS300S Colour SILVER (Electronics)
I am a huge gadget fan, as well as avid book reader, with many a holiday causing me issues due to the number of books in my luggage for the plane and the beach. So this for me was an obvious buy.
Firstly the good points, excellent build, look and screen with the new virtual ink display. It also came with 150 free books, all the classics that I thought about getting, but never did... so here's my chance to read the likes of Shakespear, Dickens, Verne etc. I also bought the leather cover with light, which really adds to it and gives it more of a book like feel. I bought this and not the touch screen model as I have other and better gadgets for wi-fi, music etc with my iPhone and the touch screen of the 600 model is more reflective due to the technology, so prefferred this one.
The bad points however are firstly getting used to the page change. Due to the virtual ink, it needs to do an 'etch a sketch' style screenwipe between pages (however I believe this is the same on all ebooks). Then there is the number of words on a page, seems quite low, so you are forever changing page. Then there is the problem if you didn't bookmark your page, it can be very tedious trying to find where you last were if you looked at another menu or book, a feature like last visited would be useful. Finally, the software. It wouldn't install for me at first on my Vista laptop, ended up downloading from the internet. I also ended up losing some of the books that were installed on the reader as when I thought I was transferring from the reader to my PC I was synching and I lost them.
So overall, 3.5 to 4 stars for me, i'll give it 4 as it's new and I stil love it... may drop to 3 if I get bored with it or get a newer model!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb - never be without it, 25 April 2010
This review is from: Sony Reader Pocket Edition Digital Book PRS300S Colour SILVER (Electronics)
I read loads of reviews on the various readers available and eventually decided on the Sony Pocket. Great choice! I have found it easy to use with a useful small, med and large font size (small is good for me and I'm 60 with specs!)The software is OK but I would recommend downloading Calibre (it's free and brilliant). I bought a case with light and it was a good investment as there is no backlighting of course. I use it all the time and wholeheartedly recommend.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Getting there but not perfect, 17 Jan. 2010
By 
Adam Wainwright "Aardvark" (Nottingham, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sony Reader Pocket Edition Digital Book PRS300S Colour SILVER (Electronics)
After much umm-ing and ahh-ing I finally gave in and bought one of these readers. I like the idea of being able to take a library with me when I go places and the long life of the battery due to the E-ink screen means that I can take it on holiday after loading it up with books.

The unit is well designed and fits into my hand quite snugly. It has a weight to it that makes it feel sturdy. The buttons are well-placed, although buttons either side for 'next' and 'back' a page on each side would have been nice.

There are number of other readers on the market. I bought this one because it had a crisper screen as compared to the Sony Touch and it fits into my pocket. It doesn't give you music or external storage but with thought you carry the e-books you are reading at the time with you, leaving the others in your library. I also have a really nice iPod for music as well.

The software loaded up OK - I use an iMac running MacOS X, although every time I plug the unit in the 'Reader Library' program throws up a dialogue box with 'undefined' in it and I have to click 'OK' to get rid of it. I have downloaded the 100 free books (basically some of the Gutenberg press in epub format) and they transferred no problem.

The only downside to using this ereader lies with the books. You must go into the purchase of an e-reader open-minded. Once you buy an e-book you cannot lend it to a friend; you have to possess the correct reader for the book (fortunately this is now coming down to a two-horse race: Adobe ePub and Amazon AZW[only on Kindle]). Both WHSmiths and Waterstones keep an electronic bookshelf for you so you can re-download your purchased books if necessary, which is a boon.

The reader states is understands the following formats so I tried them:

BBeB - I don't know anyone who sells these so I haven't tried
Adobe® PDF - I bought a small story in this format. Beware as it only looks OK if you use it at the 'small' setting, otherwise words end up split over lines, the paragraph format ends up all wrong and it looks a bit of a mess. Understandable as PDF is a page description format and really isn't that good for ebooks. Avoid unless you have a larger reader as the text can be miniscule on this reader.
Adobe ePub - bought two books and they looked fine
Text - I took a book from the Gutenberg Press and transferred it. Unfortunately it kept line-breaking as the document wanted. I stripped out the end-of-lines and the text flowed with no issue.
Microsoft Word - no problems
RTF - no problems

So in summary:

The reader is fine and I would recommend it.
Be aware of the file formats and book pricing. Hopefully the idiocy of DRM will go the same way as that on music so I can play any book I own on any reader! Also please remember that the price of the ebooks is usually HIGHER than physical which is bizarre.
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