April 3, 2006 11:47 AM PDT

Borders to sell Sony digital reading device

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Sony reorganizes struggling Connect service

January 20, 2006
The Sony Reader, a new text-reading device that lets you have the Bible or the entire works of Tolstoy on hand but carry around the physical equivalent of a paperback, will be sold at Borders bookstores.

The gadget, which debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year, evokes the visual stability of something printed on overlay. It resembles actual paper and ink, with little flickering.

Sony Reader

The high-resolution (SVGA 800x600) electronic-paper display screen supports BBeB Book, PDF and MP3 formats and can also display JPEG images.

The device measures 6.9 inches by 4.9 inches by 0.5 inches and weighs in at just more than half a pound. The Sony Reader takes Memory Sticks or SD flash memory cards to augment 64MB of internal memory, creating the potential to travel with hundreds of books.

The Sony Reader also has "a seemingly limitless battery life equivalent of 7,500 pages turns," according to a Stony statement. That's because there is no rundown on the battery over time. Power is only consumed when a reader turns the page.

The battery can then be recharged via the included USB or AC adapter cables.

Borders, Sony Style Stores and SonyStyle.com will begin selling Sony Reader devices and gift cards to Connect.com, but not the downloadable eBooks themselves. eBook content for the Sony Reader will be available via Connect.com, Sony's downloadable content store that has been struggling against the popularity of Apple Computer's iTunes. In addition to eBooks, Connect.com will also offer content from blogs, news feeds and online magazines for use with the Sony Reader.

The Sony Reader could have a future with tech-comfortable baby boomers since it's lightweight and the font can be resized on demand, essentially replacing the need for large print versions of books, which are heavy and not available for every title.

Consumers will, however, have to be convinced of the gadget's ease on the eyes, as people tired of focusing on a computer screen all day may not be so willing to read another type of screen in their free time.

To get consumers to see for themselves what it's like to read an electronic-paper display screen, Borders and Sony Style stores carrying the Sony Reader will feature kiosks where customers can play with the device. Sony is also featuring a product overview of the Sony Reader on its Web site.

The eBook reader also has an optional cover to mimic the board and spine of an actual book.

The Sony Reader will be available this summer through 200 Borders stores, 30 Sony Style stories and Sony Style.com. It will retail for between $299 and $399.

See more CNET content tagged:
Borders Books & Music, e-book, Sony Corp., gadget, battery

18 comments

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Boycott Sony, Boycott Blu-ray!
<eom>
Posted by anarchyreigns (299 comments )
Reply Link Flag
ok
ok i will



DOUGH vaios are made by sony and im writing this article on one! o well
Posted by alexgp87 (75 comments )
Link Flag
Windows Only
FTL
Posted by Wilch (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Will This Come With A FREE RootKit Too?
Like anyone's going to be stupid enough to trust Sony junk hooked to their PC's.
Posted by kamwmail-cnet1 (292 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Japanese model looks better (LIBRIE)
In Japan, the e-book reader you can find at <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.sony.jp/products/Consumer/LIBRIE/" target="_newWindow">http://www.sony.jp/products/Consumer/LIBRIE/</a>.
Looks much better design.
Posted by Nicometal SDP (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
The Librie is the old model
That one's been out for a few years now. It had REALLY restrictive Digital Rights Management built into it so it flopped in the market. The new reader is much more "consumer friendly" in how it lets you use SD cards (instead of just Sony MagicStick) and your own PDF's or jpgs, etc. (the Librie apparently made it either impossible, or just really difficult, to create your own content and load it.

People probably wouldn't be happier with the Librie...
Posted by Yet Another Mark Johnson (66 comments )
Link Flag
BOYCOTT ALL THINGS SONY!
Rootkit boyz don't deserve your business
Posted by Stan Johnson (322 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Idiot
Sony is Sony is Sony, not. And learn to spell.
Posted by blizzard23 (24 comments )
Link Flag
Finally a real alternative to reading on a PDA a book iPod?
This is the equivalent of iPod to the book world.
...now how about adding some PDA functions to this thing? something like agilix's goBinder.
Posted by Montevale (31 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Finally a real alternative to reading on a PDA a book iPod?
This is the equivalent of iPod to the book world.
...now how about adding some PDA functions to this thing? something like agilix's goBinder.
Posted by Montevale (31 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Anyone wanting this is asking for another RootKit on their computer
Why would anyone one this thing anyways?
Posted by bobby_brady (765 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Summer?
When announced in January, it was meant to be shipping in
March.

Then "Spring."

Now "Summer."

Seems like the PS3 isn't the only thing Sony pre-announces and
then can't get out on time.

Anyone know when the iLiad (Phillips spinoff iRex Technology's
ebook reader) is coming?
Posted by dotmike (154 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Hate on sony all you like but people still love them
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.joystiq.com/2006/03/30/sony-trounces-msft-and-nintendo-in-brand-trust-survey/" target="_newWindow">http://www.joystiq.com/2006/03/30/sony-trounces-msft-and-nintendo-in-brand-trust-survey/</a>

Research is based on whole product line and not just gaming products. Music division != electronics

Seriously sony could release a watch and some moron would come on here and go OMG Tehs a rootkit on my watch!2#!@1. Apple sent all your data out in itunes to do targetted advertising of songs in your collection without telling you for there store and I dont see you posting apple has software backdoor everytime there is an article posted on them.

Instead of complaining go back to playing your ps2's while listening to some band on a sony label.
Posted by itsbluefsu (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Nice device, too bad you can't make notes with it
This is a device that I'm actually tempted to get. It's almost the perfect device to replace paper-based books. Almost. The only reason I might hold out getting one is that I don't think you can highlight or make notes on this. This is a big issue for me and for any person who likes to mark and make notes on what they are reading. Maybe in version 2.0?
Posted by Bong Dizon (17 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Niche device
I can see using an eBook reader device for bulky technical manuals or textbooks (for which the ability to annotate is vital, as Bong says). It would certainly save carrying a load of oversized dead trees around.

I don't see it replacing paper books for leisure reading, though. The nice thing about paperbacks is that you can read them anywhere (bath, beach, top of a tree), they don't require electricity to work and, when you're done, you can leave them at the hotel for the next guest to read.

Running the risk of dropping a $350 device into the bath or getting sand into the workings will stop a lot of people from using one.
Posted by JFDMit (180 comments )
Link Flag
SONY's electronic book
I agree with this commenter. I, like many other paper book readers, mark and highlight books and articles.
If SONY added this capability with a simple marking key that can change colors so that you could assemble like thoughts, ideas, etc BY COLOR, I would be much more inclined to purchase such an item.
waldop
Posted by waldop (2 comments )
Link Flag
Where to buy...
The story makes it sound like you can only buy books at Sony's Connect but I think that would be true only for Sony's BBeB DRM. If this thing can display PDF then you would be able to buy PDF format from any number of other sites no?

I can't see why Border's would be involved if you couldn't view their PDF ebook offerings.

Again Sony...thanks for the propreitary format..perhaps you could license the other formats available too?

Of course...since this is Linux based I'm sure a hack with be forthcoming...
Posted by KsprayDad (375 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Where to buy...
The story makes it sound like you can only buy books at Sony's Connect but I think that would be true only for Sony's BBeB DRM. If this thing can display PDF then you would be able to buy PDF format from any number of other sites no?

I can't see why Border's would be involved if you couldn't view their PDF ebook offerings.

Again Sony...thanks for the propreitary format..perhaps you could license the other formats available too?

Of course...since this is Linux based I'm sure a hack with be forthcoming...
Posted by KsprayDad (375 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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