CNET First Look
Sony Reader Daily Edition PRS-950Sony's flagship e-reader, the Daily Edition PRS-950, is a capable, well-designed e-reader that offers both Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity--but at $300, it's too expensive.
-Hi! I'm David Carnoy and I'm going to give you a very quick video tour of the Sony's current flagship e-reader, the PRS-950 Daily edition, which is the only Sony reader to feature wireless connectivity. What I liked about this e-reader is it's comparatively lightweight and compact considering it has a larger 7-inch screen. Yes, it's a little bigger than the Kindle, but not all that much bigger. I'm also a fan of the new Sony touchscreen interface, which has greatly improved since the one found on last year's model, thanks to some special infrared technology Sony licensed from another company. While the screen might not be as responsive as the iPad's, it works well and has allowed Sony to remove most of the buttons on the device. Like the Kindle, this uses the new higher contrast e-Ink Pearl screen and also has a built-in web browser that is somewhat clunky, but usable. Because this is a touchscreen, you can mark up text with the included stylus, jot down notes, and turn pages with a swipe of your finger. I also liked how you could double-tap on a word to bring up its definition in the built-in dictionary. Another plus is the expansion slots for additional memory, and the battery life is also very good. As for the Sony eBookstore, which you can access from the device itself over Wi-Fi or 3G, it has an ample selection of titles including newspapers and magazines, but it isn't quite up to the level of Amazon's Kindle store or Barnes & Nobles e-book store. Likewise, the Sony e-books you buy aren't yet available on a wide range of platforms outside of the readers themselves, though that's due to change soon. On a more positive note, since the PRS-950 supports the EPUB file format, you can get e-books from a variety of sources including local libraries; many of which have started lending e-books for free. Plain and simple, the biggest drawback of the Sony is its price. At $300, it's significantly more expensive than the Kindle and it costs $50 more than the more versatile Nook Color, which has a color LCD touchscreen and runs a flavor of the android operating system. At the end of the day, while the Sony has the design and features to make it one of the top e-readers on the market today, its high price makes it much less attractive. However, if you could overlook that price, the PRS-950 is certainly worth considering. Just beware there are plenty of great competitors out there that you should also check out. I'm David Carnoy and that's the Sony Daily edition, PRS-950 e-reader.