The new reading experience: e-ink

I’ve always been a fan of ebooks. On the one hand, they are a lot easier to carry – they do not add to the weight of my notebook harddisk – and they can be stored without taking up space on my already limited shelve space. On the other hand – reading books on a computer screen usually has been a major pain in the neck.

In the US, the introduction of Amazon’s Kindle certainly took care of that problem by making “e-ink” technology feasible and affordable for the first time. However, the Kindle combines its reading experience with a built-in network connection that only works in the US. This pretty much is a deal breaker for anyone living in Europe since there would be no way to use Amazon’s wireless service to buy books – which is in my point of view, one major advantage and feature of the device, if not reason number one to buy the Kindle in the first place.

So, after some days of considerations I finally treated myself to a Sony PRS-505 ebook reader. It features e-ink technology – just like the Kindle – and sports a nice 170dpi 6″ screen with really good contrast. So far, I need to say: I’m impressed. Reading a 500+ pages book without actually having to lift its weight is absolutely amazing. Being able to switch between several books without having to get up and walk to the book shelve is also great. You can set bookmarks for your books, upload PDFs… in regards to the latter however, I have to tell you that there’s still room for improvement. PDFs aren’t perfectly reflown when zoomed in. Still, most of them can be viewed just alright by switching the device from portrait to landscape mode. Just push and hold the zoom button and the device switches between those two viewing modes.

When you think about it, using an ebook reader is also the environmentally right choice: you don’t need to print all those books and PDFs anymore that you would otherwise have blown through the printer. If you wait a little longer, you will even be able to take notes via a touch screen: Sony is already working on its next generation reader PRS-600 (german article).

Maybe it’s just me, but suddenly it really is so much fun to browse, find and read books. Then again, I even managed to convince my girlfriend to get one for herself – so far, we’ve been taking turns in using the reader…

If you consider buying one yourself and you’re living in Vienna, you should consider going to the Morawa bookstore located at Wollzeile 11 (Google Maps). They are selling Sony’s PRS-505 for 250 Euros, but if you buy it before August 31, 2009 you also get a 50 Euros coupon you can use at any Morawa store. So effectively, you buy the thing for 200 Euros. Another option is to fly to the States where you can get it even cheaper – of course, only if you exclude the airfare from the calculation.

Further references

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.