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First Look: Sony Reader Digital Book PRS-700BC
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First Look: Sony Reader Digital Book PRS-700BC

2:20 /

Sony's third-generation e-book reader may not have wireless capabilities like the Amazon Kindle, but it's got a touch screen and a built-in reading light.

[ Music ] ^M00:00:04 >> David: I'm David Carnoy, Executive Editor for CNET.com and I'm going to give you a video tour of the Sony PRS-700, Sony's Third Generation Digital Book Reader. PRS-700 looks a lot like earlier models; Sony's Readers are sleeker than the Amazon Kindle and they come with a nice protective cover that magnetically adheres to the front of the device. The overall package is quite light weighing in around 10 ounces that can easily slip into a side pocket of a laptop bag or a purse. PRS-700 has been upgraded in a few ways, for starters this model features a touch-screen, it's zippier too, when you turn the page the ink on the screen refreshes faster, and lastly this model has a built-in LED reading light and expanded internal memory that allows you to store up to 350 books while retaining the memory stick duo and SD card slots for storing additional books and documents. If ever there was a device that would benefit from the switch to touch-screen navigation it's an eBook Reader and we thought the new interface was easier to use and navigate. Like the iPhone and other Next Gen touch-screen phones that have been appearing lately, the Reader incorporates some gesture based commands, you can swipe your finger across the display to page forward or back and choose between a left or right swipe to advance pages in the Settings menu. With the included stylus or your finger you can highlight words and add annotations via a virtual keyboard. The Amazon Kindle offers this feature via a BlackBerry style keyboard; however the Kindle doesn't have a touch-screen. It's also worth noting that Sony's continuing with its effort to brand its readers as open devices that are capable of reading multiple file formats including Adobe PDF documents with reflow capability, Microsoft Word documents, BBEB files and other text file formats. This model like other Readers also plays back MP3 audio files, there's a headphone jack and displays monochrome images, which have a sort of cool Etch-a-Sketch look to them. I should add the screen isn't as touch sensitive as the screen on the iPhone, in some cases turning a page may require an extra swipe or two to get the eInk to refresh. Hopefully, Sony will offer a model with wireless capabilities in the not so distant future but for now that missing feature and this model's somewhat high price are the only downsides to a well-designed product. I'm David Carnoy and that's the Sony PRS-700 Digital Reader. ^M00:02:17 [ Music ]

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