San Diego — Sony introduced the second generation of its Sony Reader, model PRS-505, which features a smaller body size, choice of two color options and re-styled controls that more closely resemble the act of turning a paper page.
Sony said the new model will carry a $300 suggested retail when it appears on store shelves this month. The Reader will be available in silver or dark blue.
It improves the prior model with faster response and a higher contrast ratio, enabling easier reading in brightly lit areas, and produces eight levels of gray scale to improve clarity of text, images and graphics, Sony said.
The reader has storage capacity for 160 typical eBooks and can act as a mobile library. Expansion slots are included for Memory Stick Duo or SD memory cards.
The Reader also includes new USB-based mass storage capability that accommodates direct transfer of documents, images and other files to the Reader from a connected PC. A new auto sync feature will automatically synchronize folders with books and documents when connected to a PC.
Sony is supporting the product with eBook content offered through its Connect eBooks Store that opened last year. The site now offers more than 20,000 titles with new ones added weekly.
The new Reader ships with a USB cable, eBook Library PC companion software and a protective soft cover that is color coordinated. Optional accessories include pink or black leather covers and an AC wall charger, which will be sold directly through www.sonystyle.com, at SonyStyle stores nationwide, Borders stores and at authorized retailers across the country. More information about Sony Reader is available online at www.sony.com/reader.
Supporting publishers Grove/Atlantic, Harcourt Trade, Kensington, Pearson Education, The Perseus Books Group, Regnery Publishing, Taylor & Francis, and W.W. Norton have joined the ranks of such publishers as Hachette Book Group USA, Harlequin, HarperCollins Publishers, Holtzbrinck Publishers, Hyperion, McGraw-Hill, Penguin Group, Random House and Simon & Schuster in their commitment to electronic publishing.
In addition Readers Digest recently joined offer the first magazines for the device. Others contributors coming soon include Dorling Kindersley. Also available are a number of Rough Guide travel titles.
Among the top selling titles is The New International Version Bible by Zondervan (a unit of HarperCollins Publishers), which was added last month, Sony said.
For a limited time, when a Reader is registered on Sony’s Connect eBooks Store, customers will receive a credit toward the purchase of 100 available Connect Classics titles, including the works of William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, H.G. Wells and others.
As with the previous model, the new Reader uses high-resolution electronic paper display resembling a real print book.
A single battery charge provides up to 7,500 pages of continuous reading. Also added is an option to magnify the text in three sizes
In addition to electronic books, the Reader can also store and display personal and business documents in Adobe PDF format (best when formatted for the Reader’s display), RTF, text and JPEG images.