CES 2006: Sony takes on the printed word

CES 2006, Gadgets

OK, there’s still no PlayStation 3 news at the CES – but no shortage of innovation fro the Sony stand, including this electronic challenge to the traditional written word – The Sony Reader, a book-sized gadget that can store hundreds of volumes that can be read page by page.
Flip open the cover to a screen that displays one page at a time using electronic-ink technology. You turn pages by pressing a button and you can enlarge your text up to 200 percent. Sony says the Reader’s display can produce four scales of grey at a resolution of about 170 pixels per inch – more than twice that of most conventional displays and roughly on a par with traditional newsprint.

Previous efforts at the electronic book have been scuppered by power problems. Not so this time say Sony – the rechargeable built-in lithium ion battery will power around 7500 page turns between charges and you can recharge via a conventional AC adapter or a USB cable, both included.

The Reader can display electronic books and other traditional computer images, with Sony planning to top-up the market with e-book sales from its online store, which will have around 10,000 titles at launch. Sony will start shipping The Reader in April with a price somewhere between $299 and $399.

Dave Walker
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