Hands-On with the New Sony Readers

I recently got some hands-on time with the new and improved Sony Readers. I wanted to see if the size and weight differences were noticeable, and was interested in seeing how the Reader Pocket Edition handled the touch-screen upgrade.

Naturally, I started with the Reader Pocket Edition since this is its first touch-screen. The device was easy to hold, and I liked the appearance better than the original. I thought the original looked a little too much like an iPod. The smaller frame gives it a sleeker look. Sony said the page turning is supposed to be really fast, and I found this to be true. The pages were easy to flip through, and the page turns were speedy.

The Reader Touch Edition also benefited from the new aesthetics. It was noticeably lighter and sleeker than its predecessor as well. Since it already had a touch screen, I wanted to see if I noticed improvements. I could. It definitely responded better than the older version.

The Daily Edition had the least amount of noticeable difference in my tests. It wasn’t as snappy as the Touch Edition. The battery was running low on the demo unit, so it is possible that the battery level made a difference.

While I liked the simple buttons on all three units, they felt like my Xperia buttons which are a little hard to press sometimes. I think an inset button would be a little easier to use. Even so, the buttons didn’t detract too much from the device. I was able to navigate easily and turn pages intuitively. The devices were all lighter and slimmer than their predecessors. I think the upgrades add a lot to the lineup. If you have been waiting to pick up a Sony Reader, now might be the time to get one. The Pocket and Touch Editions are available this week. The new Daily Edition should be available for the holidays.

Update: Turns out the Daily Edition I was playing with was the original, not the upgraded one. The new Daily Edition is now available for pre-order and will launch November 14 for $300.

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