Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sony PRS-300BC Reader Pocket Edition Review

If you're looking for an e-Book Reader and high levels of portability are important to you, then there is a good chance that Sony's e-Reader - the Sony PRS-300BC Reader Pocket Edition has caught your eye.

With its lightweight design and 5" display, the PRS-300BC is designed to provide great convenience and ease of use for the avid reader who wants true pocket sized portability. Have Sony got it right or should you wait for the next pocket edition? Read on further to find out.

Features of the Sony PRS-300BC Reader Pocket Edition

5" e-Ink DisplayLightweight and compactThree different font sizes for enhanced readabilityStores up to 350 books on the 512MB on-board memoryUp to 2 weeks reading on a single battery charge

Lightweight and Compact

The PRS-300 is smaller than most traditional e-Readers. Its small profile is about the size of a paperback book so you can fit it in your pocket or purse, making it truly compact and ideal for travel.

Weighing in at just 7.76 oz, the lightweight of the PRS-300 makes it very comfortable to hold. It's remarkably well-balanced so you can comfortably hold it in one hand whilst navigating through the buttons and reading your favourite books.


Reading on the PRS-300 is a joy to behold. With the paper-like e-Ink display, it's easy on the eye and just like reading a real book. The text is crisp and clear with great clarity even in brighter light environments.

There are 3 different font sizes which can be changed using one button, so you can choose a size to match your reading pleasure.

Downloading Books

Wi-Fi isn't included so you can't purchase books on the go unfortunately. Books are transferred via your PC or Mac using a mini USB cable. The transfer process is quick and simple; in terms of simplicity it's very similar to transferring files to an MP3 player. One advantage this gives you is that you have a backup copy of books on your computer.

The Sony Reader store has a large library of books to choose from. One problem is though; they are rather slow to add new titles in comparison with competitor's stores such as Amazon.

Most standard file formats are supported including e-Pub and PDF so you can download public domain books for free. An excellent feature is the ability to borrow books for free from your local library; this is a real money saver. However, not all library's offer this so check with your local library first if this is a feature which appeals to you.

Battery Life

A power adapter isn't included so to charge the device, you need to connect it to your computer using the supplied USB cable. However, an adapter can be purchased separately. The battery life is very impressive; you can get up to 2 weeks usage from a single charge, which equates to about 7,500 page turns.

Final Thoughts

The Sony PRS-300BC Reader Pocket Edition is a beautifully designed e-Book Reader. Being a Sony product I expected quality, but this e-Reader has really surpassed my expectations. Its compact design, great display, long battery life and easy navigation make the PRS-300BC an excellent all rounder.

On the downside, there is no memory slot so you cannot extend the memory once you've used up the 512MB built-in capacity limit. Plus there is no dictionary or an option to write notes, but given the small size of this device and its long battery life it more than makes up for its drawbacks.

Overall, if you want a quality entry-level e-Reader for reading books on-the-go without all the bells and whistles of higher priced e-Readers then the PRS-300BC is an excellent choice.

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