Today I walked over to BestBuy intending to purchase a PRS-350. While there, I had a look at the current nest of Nooks as well.
I liked the touch screen and size of the 350 but was surprised to find the text a bit dull. Logically, this made no sense -- after all, the latest Readers use the best eInk screen currently available and are known for having superior contrast -- until I realized I found it unpleasant to focus on an eInk screen surrounded by shiny silver. It was a distraction similar to that of the Nook's color strip UI, which I find unusable in its focus-diverting proximity to the black and white screen.
What I want is an ePub reader with an enclosure so dark that the relative whiteness of the screen stands out, as it does on the Kindle graphite. Whatever their other virtues, current eInk displays are perilously close to beige.
If the PRS350 were made of black aluminum, I'd have bought one right there. But the mere fact it was silver made me worry about maintaining my concentration over time. One doesn't watch a movie screen with a bright light in the background. For me, the contrast of the silver creates a similar effect.
One solution might be to skin one's Pocket Reader; no doubt Decal Girl has that covered. But then what is the point of having an aluminum Reader at all?
I fully expected the aesthetics of the Sony to win me over. I walked away realizing that an aesthetically desirable ePub reader doesn't seem to exist for me currently. The Sony is the closest thing to one, but I'm willing to wait for the next iteration.
Perhaps Samsung's new Series 9 laptops
will give Sony ideas.
(Imagine how transparent the Readers' UI would be if it were designed by Fumito Ueda.)