The quality of the screen is very high and we are pleased to report that it has open support for most ebook formats. Sony have adopted basically all the standards on the market and are trying to ensure that regardless of your preference then this device will support it, out of the box.
This means you get support for Microsoft Word documents, Adobe PDF documents, BBeB format and other text file formats. It also supports EPUB/ADEPT and connection with Adobe Digital Editions so you can buy eBooks off the web.
You can also play back AAC audio files and MP3’s which is a nice addition, especially as the device allows you to listen to music while reading your books and documents. The device contains Sony’s ebook Library software Version 3 which installs when you connect to a Macintosh or PC to control and manage all your files.
The PRS 505 was slated for its limited support for only BBeB Books purchased over the internet and Sony have taken this on board with a much wider range of file support.
The interface is very well structured and there was no need to refer to any literature or support files, as it all works exactly as expected. The unit is very well made and we are glad to see Sony opting for metal rather than plastic. I am a sucker for aluminum, so it is hard to fault the design. The only downside for some of the audience is that this obviously makes the device slightly heavier than other ebook readers on the market – personally I find this gives it a feeling of strength and durability.
Acquiring eBooks and moving them to the reader is very easy. There are no CD’s required as the installation software is preinstalled on the Sony device itself. When it is connected to a PC you can install the package with a simple mouse click. This loads the eBook library software which acts as a file manager for the device, letting you sync documents, audio files and notes. This software is also a ‘middle man’ for the online book store where you can buy commercial titles. Files move between the devices very fast across the USB 2.0 port.
The PRS 600 has 512k of ROM onboard and 380MB is free – which allows for around 350 books to be transfered at any one time. With the use of an SD card then this can be increased to tens of thousands, with music files as well. Storage can be changed over without losing anything on the individual cards. Its a nice, simple system which will ensure that even people not technologically minded will experience no issues.