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SONY PRS-300 E-Reader ---------------------
I started to look into various E-readers a few months before christmas, as my girlfriend and I had decided to buy each other one as gifts. After looking through pages of specifications on various manufacturers'
websites I found that the PRS-300 'ticked the boxes' for me, and here I shall explain why and some of the limitations I have encountered.
Product Features ----------------
The first thing that I required was that the product fit into my budget - at sub-£90 it came in with some change for a few ebooks. In the end my lovely lady managed to aquire it for less than £80 delivered, after some shopping around.
Secondly, the PRS-300 covered a multitude of file-formats including .EPUB, .RTF, .PDF and .LRF files that I already owned for my PC e-reader program. This was a key point for me as I didn't want to be tied to a proprietory format or provider, such as the Kindle, and have to start my collection over again.
At this point, once I owned the device, I encountered a slight issue: the software bundled with it is appalling. It appears to only want to deal with .EPUB books, it seems entirely based around loading books onto the device with very minimal library management functions. I dealt with this by uninstalling the bundled software and installing the exceptional Calibre, a free Open Source application. It converts between formats well, has awesome management functions and loads books onto devices easily.
The final point that was important to me was the screen resolution, rather than its size. The PRS-300 only has a 5inch screen, which leads to the product's small form, but at a comparitively impressive 600x800 resolution (many that I had encountered were at 480x640 with a 6inch screen). I wanted the crisp clarity of a higher resolution screen which more than makes up for the smaller form.
Compared to it's peers, the PRS-300 does not have copious storage or the expansion capability of flash cards. It has approx. 500mb of storage, which is fine for me - I have around 300 novels, roleplaying books and technical manuals on mine, but this is lacking compared to the 2gb of the Kobo Touch for instance.
The PRS-300 lacks some aesthetic features too - the lack of a 'cover browser' would irritate some consumers - but it's practical navigation keys and functional simple menu system suit me. I'd rather be reading in a few keypresses than scrolling through a flashy User Interface.
The overall build quality is exactly what you'd expect from a premium brand such as Sony - the brushed aluminium case is sturdy but not too heavy, and button response is good without being 'clunky'.
The PRS-300 is a very good, no-fancy-frills e-reader. It does the important things very well, with a wide range of formats excepted and displayed on a sharp, if small, screen. The build quality is good, and overall represents very good value for money.