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Customer Review

on December 14, 2010
SUMMARY
I've owned the PRS350 since November. I love it (Maybe too much)! Much wife is passing snide remarks about how nice it must be to have so much free time for reading :-)

I researched the available eReaders, and concluded my priorities were:
1) EPUB support, which allows borrowing eBooks from libraries. I typically borrow books, not buy. It's not cost effective for me to pay over $100 for an eReader to buy 1 or 2 books per year. But to borrow 20 - 30 books per year on a device that's easier to carry than a paperback? Count me in...
2) Easy To Carry. I wanted something pocket size. Cell phone screens are just too small for reading and have poor battery life. The PRS350 is borderline pocket size. I can't imagine carrying anything larger on the road, unless you are willing to hand carry instead of putting in a pocket (I'd be paranoid about putting it down to free up my hands, and forgetting to pick it back up).
3) Good screen. This PRS350 has the latest and greatest e-ink screen. None of the current e-ink screens are as good as paper. The background is gray, not white like paper. But this screen is good enough. And I love the ability to change the font size from micro print to ridiculously large print.
4) Touch screen. I didn't think it would be a big deal, but the Sony touch screen is the difference between a good and a great reading experience. I like selecting books by finger tap, and changing pages by swiping my thumb across the screen. My older daughter loves being able to tap any word in a story and having the dictionary pop open. My youngest daughter loves drawing pictures while in the car (the worlds most expensive etch-a -sketch)....

CONS
1) Great build quality, but expensive. Understandable I guess, because Sony has not locked their owners into a proprietary bookstore. So they can't count on selling their readers at cost, and making their profit on ebook sales.
2) No wireless and/or 3G support for the PRS350. Surfing the net would be great. But most reviews say the web surfing experience on e-ink readers is poor. It's mostly useful for buying ebooks and looking up information on wiki sites (text only). I mostly borrow books, which requires connecting the ereader to my PC anyway. So lack of wireless is not a big deal.
3) No expandable memory. Would be nice to have the option. But the reader holds over 1,000 ebooks. Which would be over 20 years worth of reading (assuming 1 book per week x 52 weeks x 20 years). Assuming I can find a 1,000 books worth keeping on the reader, ready for immediate use...
4) No audio support. I have tons of MP3 music, and my library offers audible book downloads. Come on Sony!!!
5) No additional applications for sale. I don't carry a Smart Phone. This reader reminds me of an old Palm Pilot. I'd like to buy an application to add Calendar, Contact, Notes, and Email integration with my laptop. And how about a few simple games, crosswords, or brainteasers...
6) Not even a cheap cover included.

OTHER
I recommend installing CALIBRE (free) software on your computer to manage your eBook collection.
Join multiple library networks for free ePUB borrowing. My local library network only had 300 titles. The Boston library had thousands of ePUB's available. Most public libraries will allow you borrowing privileges, as long as you live in the same state. Check OVERDRIVE website for participating libraries.
47 helpful votes
48 helpful votes
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