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Sony Reader Pocket Edition PRS-300: Yes, size matters

While Sony Reader Pocket Edition PRS-300 has a basic feature set, its $200 price tag, compact size, and Epub file compatibility make it an appealing e-book reader.


When it comes to e-book readers, the jury is still out on what screen size is ideal. Until recently, consumers were pretty much limited to choosing between 6-inch models from Sony, Amazon, and a few lesser-known manufacturers. But now new e-readers are cropping up in both larger and smaller sizes, and Sony's 5-inch Reader Pocket Edition (PRS-300) is making a bid to capture a chunk of the nascent e-reader market.

As the entry-level model in Sony's 2009 e-book lineup, the comparatively diminutive PRS-300 has neither the touch screen that's found on the $300 PRS-600 Reader Touch Edition nor the built-in 3G cellular wireless connection of the $400 Reader Daily Edition and its archrival, the $300 Amazon Kindle.

This model also lacks expansion slots for more memory, annotation, and note-taking capabilities; a built-in dictionary; and the MP3 audio of its step-up siblings. But while the PRS-300 Reader Pocket Edition sticks to the basics, it has the most attractive price tag to date for a mainstream e-reader: $200. And unlike the Kindle, its use of the Epub file format opens the door to a variety of free content, including public domain Google Books downloads and titles that can be electronically checked out from many local libraries.

Read the full review of the Sony Reader Pocket Edition PRS-300.