Review: Sony ereader PRS350

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Review: Sony ereader PRS350

Microscope contributor
When I heard of ebooks I angrily shouted "That'll never catch on" at an un-caring world. But in this nostalgic frame, lives a gadget freak, who had to investigate, writes Linda Endersby.

Being a staunch supporter of bookstores, the online trader's Kindle was out. So, it was the seductive SONY that beckoned and I soon brought home a Waterstone's bag containing a PRS350.

With 5 inch touch-screen and 5 metallic buttons it is delightful. Despite its slightness it is well made, with integral 'bumper' surround and silky metallic back.  Its central "home" key makes for effortless navigation and amongst its options you can alter orientation and make notes in the margin, making it ideal for study. Turn pages with a lazy flick of the finger-tip across the touch-screen, or utilize the  < > buttons to keep it pristine.

The first winning feature is the e-ink display. Not backlit, it causes no more strain to the eyes than reading the printed page it mimics. Another major plus is the widely available ePub compatibility. You can help save libraries by borrowing ePub books for 30 days.

In addition, it's just an e-reader. It doesn't play music or videos but neither do my other books. Nothing will ever replace the smell and feel of paper books. Nothing will stop me supporting my local bookstore and library. However, I can download a book at a seconds notice and most importantly I can take 1200 books on holiday, weighing less than a paperback. No bending the spine or creasing the pages, though dropping it in the pool is probably a no-no. With such amazing battery life I can leave my charger behind.

I can hear Kindle owners shouting "no wifi connection!" In the next version I am sure Sony will amend this minor oversight. Watch this space.

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