Sony Reader Pocket Edition PRS-350 E-Book Reader Review

Sun, Dec 25, 2011

Hardware Reviews

Sony Reader Pocket Edition PRS-350 E-Book Reader Review

Along with Amazon and Barnes & Noble, Sony was one of the first mainstream e-book manufacturers. As early as 2009, Sony took a step further by manufacturing a model that was an inch smaller than the Kindle and Nook. Two years later, the Sony Reader Pocket is back with a number of enhancements, including a redesigned package, increased 2GB memory, and interface that is touch-screen with an E-Ink Pearl display that has a higher contrast, same as what is found in the newest models of the Kindle and Kindle DX.

All Sony Reader Pocket Edition PRS-350 E-Book Reader reviews agree that the device’s size since Sony’s introduction of pocket readers is its strongest suit. Weighing only 5.64 ounces, it stands 5.71 inches, is 0.33 inches thick, and is 4.11 inches in width. As with the touch screen, this is definitely a great innovation, considering that this is the third generation of pocket readers by Sony. Compared to touch phones and devices its size, the touch screen of the Sony PRS-350 is not super responsive yet, but compared to its predecessors, the PRS-350 is way improved. The device has an included stylus which can be used whether to highlight text or write notes with (although there is also a virtual keyboard). Compared to previous Sony pocket readers, pages can now be turned with a swipe of a finger. There is also a built-in dictionary that provides definitions when a user taps a word twice. These words are then kept in a log of the tablet.

Perhaps the biggest omission in the PRS-350, as most Sony Reader Pocket Edition PRS-350 E-Book Reader reviews note is the absence of connectivity. Considering that the two biggest names in the e-reader business, Barnes & Noble and Amazon have already included WiFi and even 3G capabilities in their readers, the lack of this function in the Sony reader is glaring. Making matters worse is the fact that WiFi is already available to B&N and Amazon e-reader models that that slightly bigger screens and at a lower price.

The compact size of the PRS-350 is something a lot of people like, while some regard it as too small for comfort. For those who prefer the PDF format, the small screen is not the most convenient way to view files in this format. For those with weak eyesight, the Size button, allows users to choose from extra-small to extra-extra-large front sizes. While this is good, the absolute font sizes of each book are different, so there is not much space to maneuver for some titles.

Getting books is less convenient compared to other e-readers, since this device does not have WiFi. The user ha to download reading material from the Sony store in his or her computer, then ‘side-load’ them through the microUSB port. Once connected, the user may also drag downloaded books from other sources and drop them to the icon of the device. Moreover, compared to other e-readers, the PRS-350 has no way to let users sync their digital library between various devices.

Another minus for the PRS-350 is its lack of audio playback capability. Audio books cannot be accessed through this pocket reader, although the bigger Sony readers have this function.

With all this considered, this Sony Reader Pocket Edition PRS-350 E-Book Reader review concludes that there are a number of things to like about this small reader. However, if Sony wants to make this model a real competitor with the big boys of the e-reader market, wireless functionality is of utmost importance.

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