Sony Reader

Sony Reader Touch Edition PRS-700

 Sony Reader Touch Edition PRS-700 box shot

With many unique features and an all-in-one feel, the Sony PRS 700 is a good way to get all your reading in one place. With the paper-like E-ink touch screen and a built-in LED backlight this Sony digital reader gives you the ability to read in any type of lighting setting.

Standout Features

  • Touch screen display
  • Built-in LED light
  • Can store up to 350 titles 
Sony Reader Touch Edition PRS-700 Screenshot

One of the most impressive features on Sony’s digital reader is the 6” touch screen display. That means Sony didn’t have to include a keyboard on the body of the device, so it has a nice compact look and feel. You can still make annotations and search for titles with the virtual keyboard which acts much like a touch screen smartphone. You can highlight text with your finger or you can use the included stylus pen which will help you take care of all these features as well.
We like the search feature on this device. It’s simple to use and convenient especially when you use your device for reading more than novels and newspapers. A lot of reference books are also available through the eBook store.
The Sony 700 has a built-in LED light display. You can turn it on and it will light up the text enough for you to read it but not enough to bother others around you. This is really convenient. Sure a regular paperback doesn’t come with a light, but in today’s world of all-in-one features, it’s really convenient to have the light included in with the device. Add on the e-ink technology, and you can read the device in all types lighting situations. From bright, direct sunlight at the beach to a red-eye flight home, you’ll be set no matter where you want to read.
Because of the E-ink technology, the battery life can go for as long as two weeks of reading on a single charge. That makes it convenient when you’re traveling with it and still gives you the wireless feel that a real book provides. The Sony 700 also has 5 different font sizes and the ability to zoom in and out on the text.
Where Sony’s device falls short compared to the Kindle is the number of books it can hold. The Sony 700’s internal memory has room to store about 350 “average size digital books”. Although you can get hundreds more with removable memory cards, this still doesn’t even get close to the Kindle’s 1,000 titles without a memory stick. Plus, if you add on text files and music files, we imagine that the device will get full pretty fast. However, the average reader probably won’t need too many more books stored on their device, and if you’re not afraid of deleting a book or two once in a while, then the Sony electronic book reader will work just fine.
The Sony 700 is on the more expensive side of digital readers. At $400 plus change for warranties and other accessories like a memory card you’re getting up there in price. However, the Sony PRS 700 offers a bundle of features that make it worth what you pay. The touch screen and the LED backlight really make up the difference in features and price.

The Sony 700 has a dedicated service for books called the eBook Store. However, that service is limited to U.S. and Canadian residents (one more country than the Kindle has). Right now Sony is offering 100 free Classic titles from the eBook store if you purchase your device before the end of March 2009. We did not like the fact that this device needed to be connected to the computer in order to download books. With the somewhat limited storage capacity, that means users might have to plan ahead before going on trips to make sure they have a variety of titles they’d be interested in. Other than that, the eBook Store has thousands of popular titles available, so you should be able to find something you’d be interested in.

Along with being able to get books from Sony’s eBook Store, the Sony PRS-700 can also get books from other sites that have DRM free content in PDF, Word, BBeB, EPUB/ADEPT and Adobe Digital Editions. All these formats are supported on Sony’s device. 

As with many of the electronic books we’ve reviewed, the Sony digital book also supports MP3 and AAC files so you can listen to music while you read. 
The Sony PRS 700 offers a lot of features for a fairly low price. We were impressed with the touch screen and LED backlight features that gives the reader a chance to read a book anywhere really. However, the lack of space on the internal storage for this device still keeps it below our top rated products