Sony Reader Pocket Edition PRS-300 review: Sony Reader Pocket Edition PRS-300

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Pricing Unavailable

The Good Great display; extremely simple interface; does one job and does it well.

The Bad Legal ebook downloads are still hard to find; memory isn't expandable.

The Bottom Line The Sony Reader Pocket Edition PRS-300 is our favourite ebook reader among those currently on the UK market. It lacks advanced functionality, but it delivers an affordable and highly satisfying digital reading experience

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At £170, Sony's Reader Pocket Edition PRS-300 is the most affordable of the three ebook readers we've seen recently. It's also relatively basic, lacking the integrated wireless bookstore of Amazon's £220 Kindle , and the arguably pointless touchscreen of Sony's £240 Reader Touch Edition PRS-600.

Easy as A, B, C, D, e-ink
If you've been waiting for a pocketable, no-nonsense ebook reader, the Pocket is it. If the Kindle were an iPhone, the Pocket would be an iPod nano . It's simple, it does one main job and it does it extremely well.

The Pocket has the same vital organ as almost all ebook readers: an easy-to-read e-ink display that only draws battery power when loading pages. Once the screen has refreshed, it is, to all intents and purposes, switched off, so you'll suffer no more eyestrain from reading the Pocket's screen than you'll get from reading a printed piece of paper.

You can comfortably hold the Pocket in the palm of your hand, and read for hours without suffering any eyeball fatigue. Add to that the fact that it can store over 300 paperback books in its 512MB of internal memory, and you can pretty much guarantee you'll neither be bored on holiday nor troubled by trying to find recharge points. Note that, unlike the Touch, the Pocket's memory is unfortunately not expandable with SD cards.

Buying books is still a pain
Online ebook stores are still somewhat in their infancy, including the one for Amazon's popular Kindle. With the Pocket, you can buy from any store that offers books in the widely used ePub format. Waterstone's is the best such site in the UK, offering thousands of popular titles. But, as well as being a pain to navigate, the site is by no means well-stocked, and we struggled to find a number of popular titles that we wanted to buy.

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Where to Buy

Sony Reader Pocket Edition PRS-300

Part Number: CNETSony Reader Pocket Edition PRS-300

Typical Price: £170.00

See manufacturer website for availability.