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Sony launches touchscreen ebook Readers

Touch and Pocket Editions announced by Sony

Sony PRS-300 Reader Pocket Edition pink and PRS-600 Touch Edition silver

Sony has announced two new ebook readers – the Reader Pocket Edition PRS-300 and Reader Touch Edition PRS-600 – both available in the UK.

Meanwhile, in the USA, the company has just released an ebook reader with 3G connectivity and a touchscreen. The Daily Edition Reader has a seven-inch display and is set to sell for $399.99. Sony has not announced any plans to release this model in the UK.

Check out our ebook reader first looks and ebook reader reviews

The Sony Reader Pocket Edition has a six-inch electronic paper display and is available in rose pink and silver finishes. Sony claims that the Pocket Edition Reader can store approximately 350 standard eBooks and provides up to two weeks of reading on a single battery charge. They PRS-300 and PRS-600 will each be supplied with a protective sleeve and USB cable.

Sony Reader Touch Edition

The Reader Touch Edition (PRS-600) features a six-inch touchscreen panel that Sony says ‘enables quick, intuitive navigation, page turning, highlighting and note taking with the swipe of a finger or by using the included stylus’. There’s also a virtual keyboard, and users can make handwritten notes with the stylus, which can be exported and printed out for easy reference.

The Reader Touch Edition is pre-loaded with the Oxford English Dictionary that allows you to look up the meaning of a word by simply tapping on it. The Touch Edition also offers five adjustable font sizes, as well as expansion slots for both Memory Stick Pro Duo and SD cards. The Touch Edition comes in black or silver finishes.

The new Readers are supplied with Sony’s eBook Library software 3.0, which now includes support for many Macs as well as PCs, and allows transfer of PDF, Microsoft Word, BBeB and other text file formats on the Reader. Both models support EPub, the industry-standard for eBooks.

Sony to publish list of UK ebook libaries

According to Sony’s press release, users will be able to start building their eBook libraries with hundreds of free classic titles that will be available for download from sony.co.uk/reader once their Reader is registered after purchase. Titles include The Jungle Book, Pride & Prejudice, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Great Expectations, and will be grouped by genre for simple navigation and selection. Sony also says that a list of participating libraries which allow members to borrow ebooks will be available online

‘Since last year’s hugely successful launch of our first Reader in the UK, we have watched the ebook market go from strength to strength,’ said Omar Gurnah, category manager for the Reader for Sony UK. 

‘We now have the most accessible devices on the market and our goal is to get these devices into the hands of as many people as possible, enabling them to read the content they want, when they want it – whether they buy it, borrow it, or get it for free.’

The Reader Pocket Edition and the Reader Touch Edition will be available to pre-order from 26 August 2009 from sony.co.uk and Sony Centres. The Waterstone’s website is taking pre-orders for the PRS-600 Touch Edition, in black or silver, for £249.99. Alternatively, you can buy the PRS-300 Pocket Edition for £179.99 from Waterstone’s.

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