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Sony this week announced updated versions of its Reader Pocket Edition and Reader Touch Edition eReaders for sale in Canada.

The company says the new devices are smaller and lighter than their predecessors and feature an improved e-Ink display with touchscreen capabilities.

The smaller Reader Pocket Edition (model PRS-350 replaces model PRS300) with its five inch screen and according to Sony is now the thinnest, lightest e-reader on the market. It comes in multiple colours with 2GB of onboard memory (enough memory for about 1,200 books).

For users who wish to view PDF files and other documents on their readers, Sony has incorporated new features on both units such as intuitive content zoom, adjustable contrast and brightness control, as well as automatic multiple page creation which will make for easier reading.

For improved comprehension, the units also have a built in New Oxford American and Oxford Dictionary of English eDictionaries, as well as 10 translation dictionaries in languages such as French, German, Spanish, Italian and Dutch.

The Sony Reader Pocket will go on sale on Sept 8th for $179 in the U.S. and $200 in Canada.
 

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While I like my current Sony Reader, the simple fact is that there is little benefit to justify the added cost over the competition.
 

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Wow. I saw the press release and assumed a reasonable price point around $150. Boy, was I wrong.
 

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I don't know what the advantage of the 5" model is. It's Can$199.99 with a touch screen and improved e-ink screen.

But a Kobo is (this weekend) the 6" old e-ink screen -- which is very nice -- no touch screen, but has access to all the content of the Sony device and a better bookstore with much more Canadian content -- for $128 -- a $72 savings, plus tax. And, it's in stores now.

Is swiping the page changes (instead of pressing a button) worth a 50% price premium?
 

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The new Sony readers do have a higher-contrast display with faster page rendering times than the Kobo, but that's about the only difference. Of course, the Kobo's display is a bit larger as well. Also note that you can buy books off the Kobo site and read them on the Sony - you aren't tied to the Sony Reader store at all. Both are equal in that regard.

Either way, I don't think the improved display is worth the price premium Sony is charging. If I were buying a reader today, it would probably end up being the Kobo.
 

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Just saw a video of the new touchscreen. It may be time to replace my 505 with a 350 or 650.

The screen is extrememly responsive and no glare. Very nice contrast on the screen. It uses some sort of IR mechanism to sense screen touches so you barely have to touch it.
 

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Definitely getting one

I picked up the Reader Touch Edition PRS 600, took it back to get the Pocket Reader PRS300. The screen is much better on the smaller one due to the extra layer the 600 needs for touch. But that's history with the new models. The touch and screen quality on the PRS650 or PRS350 is way better. The quality of reading on both is better and they are thinner.

Some here complain about cost but it's without merit. The Sony's are quality made devices not plastic. Touch is a must for anyone used to an iPhone etc. Hard to go back. So I'll be dropping 250 for the PRS650. But that's cause I need the bigger screen for technical books. The Pocket Edition size I believe is better for reading novels cause it's just nicer in the hand. The PRS650 is bigger. Forget the iPad. Too friggin' heavy and I definitely do not want to relax and read on a back lit screen. I can't emphasize this point enough. I have to read a LCD screen day in day out and it's not ideal for reading. Period. After starting out on the Kobo back in August, I know for sure I don't want a plastic kindle. Love Amazon's store but locking in to one store won't cut it.

So having spent a month now trying out what was available, there's no question that Sony has the best product and the best ebook buying options because you can go outside the Sony store. Hands down the best. I can't wait till next week!!
 

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Well, I finally managed to pick up a 350 from the Sony store. All I can say is... wow.

Outstanding contrast, extremely responsive display and very clear screen.

Now to find a worthy recipient for my "old" 505.
 

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Might be pricey, but from trying out a Kobo in person versus my wife's Sony PRS-300.. no comparison. The Kobo took 30 seconds to a minute to boot up! I tried opening a book after that and my friend was ready to leave before the book opened so I don't know how long it took, but again, it had been 30 seconds or so of waiting for the book to open - a friend of mine whose wife bought the Kobo says he noticed the same sort of thing.

The PRS-300 (the predecessor to this new one) is on for $150ish in places, and the only thing against it is lack of an SD card slot (still has plenty of internal memory for books). I'd go with it or a $139 Kindle before a Kobo.
 

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Nice to hear folks are happy with the new device. As an aside, a new Kobo with supposedly a faster processor and better screen is coming out later in October so I recommend anyone reading this take a look at all three (sony, kindle and kobo).
 
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