New Sony Readers coming soon?

The blog Sony Insider is reporting that two new very slim Sony Readers--the PRS-350 and PRS-650--will be announced shortly, though there's no word on the e-readers' exact features or pricing.

Sony's current touch-screen e-reader, the PRS-600. Sony

With both Amazon and Barnes & Noble announcing new e-readers and price cuts in recent weeks, we've been waiting for Sony to bring out its next-generation e-readers.

Well, rumor has it that we're weeks away from that happening, as the blog Sony Insider is reporting that Sony will announce two new e-readers, the PRS-350 and PRS-650.

According to Sony Insider's "most trusted sources," the new e-readers will both be e-ink touch-screen models, with a very slim design (10mm), expanded internal memory (2GB), user-interface tweaks, and "competitive pricing." The report states that the PRS-350 will be a 5-inch model with no wireless connectivity and the 6-inch PRS-650 will at least feature Wi-Fi and possibly 3G. (Note: even with this report, we wouldn't be surprised if the PRS-350 doesn't have a touch screen).

Hopefully, if these are indeed touch-screen models, Sony has fixed the contrast and glare issues it was experiencing with the PRS-600's touch screen. At CES in January, some companies were showing touch-screen e-reader prototypes that featured displays with improved readability. We'll see if that technology makes its way into Sony's new e-readers.

All that said, at the end of the day, at least here in the U.S., the price of the new Readers will most likely determine how successful they are. With Amazon's Wi-Fi-only Kindle at $139 and Barnes & Noble's Wi-Fi-only Nook at $149, we expect that Sony's 5-inch model will be priced in that range and try to gain a competitive advantage with its design.

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