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Old 01-08-2006, 04:51 PM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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Sony reveals pricing for its Portable Reader PRS-500

The Sony Portable Reader PRS-500 has dominated our headlines lately and made everyone want to kick out some cash for one of the most promising e-book reader devices. Unfortunately it won't hit the market before this coming spring. Upon visiting its product page today, I noticed that Sony has revealed the final pricing for the reader: USD $349.99. That's exactly between the price range of $300-400 which was cited earlier by various sources.

If you like Sony to notify you by e-mail when the Portable Reader becomes available, click here.

Related:
Gizmodo hands on with the Sony Reader
Will Sony help the e-book market to grow?
Sony's new e-book reader officially announced
Sony Reader vs. iRex Iliad e-book reader
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Old 01-08-2006, 06:03 PM   #2
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Brian already posted about the price, but it's good to have it mentioned explicitly.
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Old 01-08-2006, 06:04 PM   #3
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$350 for a low res (relatively-speaking), proprietary device?

For less, I can get a Palm Tx that can read standard format eBooks (conversion is also needed - but using freely available utilities) plus do many more things.

I'm not seeing good value here.

Add native support for HTML, text and RTF (or give me an open-source program to convert to the proprietary format) and I'll consider it. But as it stands... close, but no cigar.
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Old 01-08-2006, 06:14 PM   #4
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Ahh I didn't catch the update on Brian's post. $350 isn't a bargain, but on the other hand, with a 6-inch E Ink screen it'll make a better e-book reader than my Axim PDA with its 3.7-inch LCD screen. It's about time I give my eyes a treat.

I share my disappointment with rlauzon about Sony's decision to go, yet again, for its own format (BBeB), which - and that's the plus side - Sony is said to open specs for in near future.
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Old 01-08-2006, 06:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander
Ahh I didn't catch the update on Brian's post. $350 isn't a bargain, but on the other hand, with a 6-inch E Ink screen it'll make a better e-book reader than my Axim PDA with its 3.7-inch LCD screen. It's about time I give my eyes a treat.
I'll agree with you on that. The screen would be much better to read eBooks with, but that one thing alone isn't worth $350 (at least to me).

Now when the competition comes out, we'll see how much of a value Sony's device is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander
I share my disappointment with rlauzon about Sony's decision to go, yet again, for its own format (BBeB), which - and that's the plus side - Sony is said to open specs for in near future.
I'll believe it when I see it. Sony has always been a "proprietary" company (as opposed to an open company) and - especially seeing how they are pushing their proprietary eBook format - I don't see that changing any time soon.
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Old 01-09-2006, 03:06 AM   #6
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The price is not unreasonable: it is a new product for early adopters who wants to be regarded at the forefront of technology (though realiticly, the Librie owners beat them to it). They should pay for this pleasure of having a relatively low-res, monochrome display and all the early bugs.

But it certainly looks like a very nice product and is at one level very tempting; however, I have long ago decided that it is more important to me that my ebookreader is pocketable than that it has a perfect screen.
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Old 01-09-2006, 06:56 AM   #7
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Tabletpcreviewspot.com has some Sony Reader 'pr0n' here. Don't worry, they're G-Rated .

Even though it can only display 4 grayscale images, based on the photos it does an excellent job.
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Old 01-09-2006, 07:14 AM   #8
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Looking good! Certainly considering it's just 2bpp. Seems kind of sepia-toned, but that could be due to the lighting.
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Old 01-09-2006, 07:46 AM   #9
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>"Even though it can only display 4 grayscale images, based on the photos it does an excellent job."

No doubt, but although we generally don't read many illustated books, we won't be happy until we get a 32 bit colour display. My guess is that this will come within a year or so.
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Old 01-09-2006, 08:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jorgen
...we won't be happy until we get a 32 bit colour display.
You're so right! But who are we kidding? Even that won't be enough... we'll always want more, brighter, faster, longer-lasting, sturdier, etc etc!
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Old 01-09-2006, 09:48 AM   #11
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Old 01-09-2006, 11:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlauzon
$350 for a low res (relatively-speaking), proprietary device?

For less, I can get a Palm Tx that can read standard format eBooks (conversion is also needed - but using freely available utilities) plus do many more things.

I'm not seeing good value here.

Add native support for HTML, text and RTF (or give me an open-source program to convert to the proprietary format) and I'll consider it. But as it stands... close, but no cigar.
I think the public at large will view the price negatively as well; I can buy a quality hardcover for $25 or so, or I can buy a $350 device I can use to purchase a $25 e-book to read on. The value proposition is just not there.

This spring we'll see just how good the marketing is.
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Old 01-09-2006, 02:14 PM   #13
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"or I can buy a $350 device I can use to purchase a $25 e-book to read on"

That is not the worst: you buy the device for $350 and pay $25 per book and what do you get? You get a book you can only read as long as you own a Sony Reader!! If you sell the Sony and buy, say, an iRex, that's it.

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Old 01-10-2006, 08:11 AM   #14
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Jorgen is probably right. Unless Sony opens up its BBeB e-book format, readers are stuck to a single reader, and this cannot be an incentive for buying e-books in the future.

Oh, and Slashdot picked up the reader just today:

http://hardware.slashdot.org/article...67251&from=rss
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Old 01-10-2006, 04:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jorgen
That is not the worst: you buy the device for $350 and pay $25 per book and what do you get? You get a book you can only read as long as you own a Sony Reader!! If you sell the Sony and buy, say, an iRex, that's it.
Actually, it's worse than that. If you buy a DRMed eBook, you pay $25 for a book that you can't resell when you are no longer interested in - as opposed to the non-DRM paper book you can buy for $25 and then re-sell on Amazon.com for about half of what you paid for it.
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