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New Sony Readers: Coming Soon!

September 10, 2007

ABT (via MobileRead) is listing two new models of the Sony Reader as “available for pre-order.” The new machines appear to have specifications similar to the current model, but with double the internal storage (160 books versus 80 on the previous model), improved control layout, and two color styles to choose from.

Sony Readers (small)

The current Sony Reader PRS-500 (left) and two new PRS-505 models in silver and blue.
click to enlarge

Judging from appearance, the new control layout seems improved over the current model. The menu (back) button has been separated from the cursor control, fixing the previous non-intuitive combination. The rough-edged and unpleasant-to-use cursor joystick has been replaced with a smoother-looking rocker switch. The numbered buttons are on the right, so they will align with corresponding menu choices when shown on-screen in the default vertical orientation. The secondary paging buttons are now positioned on the right, too, so they can be accessed without interference from the case’s left flap.

Sony Reader PRS 505 control layout

The software is still Windows only, so Mac users and others will still have to manage files via third-party software or a flash memory card. However, the Windows software is now listed as version 2.0 which presumably corresponds to improvements in the rather clunky 1.x software.

At first glance, these seem like nice incremental improvements. Unfortunately, the price remains $299. Sony’s experiments with reduced prices (I bought mine for $49) were apparently more about clearing old inventory than a precursor to a general price drop. The new units’ pricing remains steep enough to ensure that the Reader will remain a niche product.

According to the ABT web site, availability is expected in October 2007.

Update: The PRS-505 was apparently made public earlier than intended. ABT has since taken down the related product and search pages. The two models (silver and blue) are still viewable in the Google Cache.

Related Posts

New Sony Reader (PRS-505) Now Available
Sony Reader and the Mac: An Unfinished Story
Sony Reader: Mammal or Dinosaur?

8 comments

  1. […] Sony Reader coming? [Mobileread via Wowio via Gadget […]


  2. […] New Sony Readers: Coming Soon! – Sony hasn’t given up on the Reader yet (from a blog that’s new to me, but going straight into my RSS). […]


  3. Call me cynical but I don’t understand why Sony is playing around with capacity and interface. These aren’t the features that are going to move the needle on this product! What they really need to do is (a) make it full color, (b) add full wireless capabilities, (c) integrate those full wireless capabilities with newspaper, magazine, etc., subscription options, (d) break away from their proprietary content format and (e) bring the price down to $199.

    Sure, they’d lose money on each unit sold (at first), but they need to adopt the razor and blade model, or more recently, the console and cartridge game model.

    I can’t believe anyone can get excited about a monochrome device like this! Laptops have been color for a long, long time now — why should we have to take a step backwards for this?!


  4. Joe, you’re right about the incremental improvements — they won’t make any difference whatsoever in the overall adoption of this product category or this device in particular.

    The feature/cost equation may make it hard to get color, wireless and other features in one $200 device, though, and they would come at the additional cost of shortened battery life. The Iliad comes close in features, but at three times the price. The Nokia N800 and the iPhone perhaps come closest in features and approaching the low price point, but they’re not really optimized for reading ebooks.

    The one thing that Sony might still do with this generation is to dramatically revamp their store to have attractive book prices (as opposed to the wholly unattractive prices they have now) and other features like the periodical content you’d like to see. Based on their history, though, I’d be surprised if this happened.


  5. […] I discovered that Sony is assumably preparing new version of reader – PRS 505. From the changes that should be included, none is IMHO really so important. The memory capacity of […]


  6. Thank you!


  7. Not much on my mind right now, but it is not important. I have just been letting everything happen without me. I just do not have anything to say right now.


  8. […] the Reader     Sphere It   Filled under: Gadgets  Tags : e books, flash memory […]



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