Sony Reader PRS-650 review

With electronic book readers becoming more popular by the minute, it can very difficult to decide which one to try. Dominating the market is the Amazon Kindle, and it would be easy to assume that there are few others of note; however, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The Sony Reader PRS-650 is a serious contender for the title of best eReader.


PRS-650 hardware specifications

  • Weight: 215g
  • Size: 168 x 118.8 x 9.6mm
  • 600 x 800 pixel resolution
  • 2GB built in flash memory
  • Dual memory card slots for Memory Stick PRO Duo and SD cards up to 32 GB
  • 6 font sizes
  • Touch Screen
  • Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery  - approximately 14 days battery life, 3 hour charge time with Micro-USB cable, 2 hours with optional AC adapter
  • Supports ePub, PDF, Microsoft Word, TXT, RTF and BBeB e-book formats
  • Supports MP3 and ACC audio formats
  • Supports JPEG, PNG, BMP and unanimated GIF picture formats
  • Available in Black, Silver and Red
  • Requires Microsoft Windows 7 (32/64 bit), Vista (32/64 bit), and XP. Also supports Apple Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later (32 bit only).





What's In the Box?








In the box, you’ll find a Micro-USB cable that allows you to plug your reader into your computer to charge and download files, a Quick start manual, and the reader itself. The reader has a sleek and simplistic design; it’s not like flying a Boeing 747 aircraft, as it has just 5 buttons on the front. The top of the reader has the power slide, 2 memory card slots and a stylus; the bottom has a USB slot, reset button, headphone jack and volume controls.















The reader is very easy to use; it has a simple, user-friendly touch screen. When you first start it up, you can quickly select the last book that you read, and the page that you were last on is saved. Opening books and turning pages are very quick, so you won’t be sitting around for ages wondering if it’s crashed or not. From here, simply swipe the screen to turn the page. You can also hold down the screen the scan through pages. The reader comes with 6 different font sizes. Extra-small has around 30 lines, small has around 24, medium has around 17, large has around 14, extra-large has around 10 and extra-extra-large has around 7 lines. The orientation of the page can be changed to either landscape or portrait, and there are several different layouts; Original, Margin Cut, 2 column split, 3 column split, and full screen.


Double tapping brings up a dictionary at the bottom of the screen. From here, you can choose to define the word, or translate it from English into French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian or Portuguese. It is also possible to translate into English from any of these languages. You can swap between dictionaries quickly and easily. You can add notes to books freehand or with text; you can also highlight words or sentences by dragging across them. You can also bookmark specific pages and jump to them instantly. You can zoom with a simple slider, and you can drag or pan across the page. The device features audio playback – plug in your headphones and listen to music as you read. You can also choose from a wide range of covers to protect your reader. The reader has the capability to sort your books into collections, such as horror or comedy, so you can easily find a book to suit your mood. Books are also sorted by date added to the reader, file name, author, title, or the order that you last read them in. You can quickly look through your library to find the book that you want to read. The reader also has apps such as Image viewers that can create slideshows and screensavers, handwriting for sketches or text memos, and audio players. You can change the language to English, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Italian or Portuguese. The reader stores up to 1200 books without any additional memory.

PC Software









The software that the PRS-650 comes with, Reader Library, is very simple. It bears a resemblance to iTunes; plug your reader in with the provided USB cable and it syncs with the books that you have on your computer. You can import files to your library from your computer, or buy new books from the eBook Store. It shouldn’t be hard to find your way around the simple interface.

The Screen

The screen is very high-quality; it is crisp, clear and easy to look at for hours, which is an improvement over Sony’s previous touch-screen model to say the least. Unlike old models, the PRS-650’s screen is responsive and sensitive; where with the PRS-600 you needed to press down on the screen to get a response, you merely need to use the lightest touch to press buttons on the PRS-650. One of the best features of the PRS-650 is the lack of glare, even in direct sunlight. This makes it great for use outside or on a beach. The touch screen isn’t the only improvement; the new E-Ink Pearl screen is simply fantastic. It has 16-bit grayscale and is much sharper, so it’s great for looking at images, if you don’t mind them in black and white. It has a paper-like display, and doesn’t have a backlight or flicker, so it won’t cause eye fatigue. It is great compared to some of the other, lower-quality screens on some readers. It also comes with a contrast adjuster with several different options – Original, saturated, details, bridghter, darker, and custom, which all make the reader adaptible to different environments.
The reader’s layout is very easy to use – when reading a book, the font size is displayed on the bottom-left of the screen, the page count is displayed on the bottom-middle of the screen, and the remaining battery life is displayed on the bottom-right of the screen. The menus are also very simple and easy to navigate, so you shouldn’t have any problems. There is still negative blinking when pages are turned, but this isn’t as annoying as it is in previous iterations and it’s quite easy to ignore.

Design & Ergonomics

The reader has a very modern design, and is much easier on the eyes than some other readers on the market, such as the Kindle. It is built very well, and the metal body is much sturdier than the plastic on other readers; there are also a wide range of cheap covers for more protection. Although the aluminium casing can feel very cold without a cover, and it may be possible for it to slip out of your hand; however, this can be easily rectified as there are many official and third-party leather covers. The PRS-650 is very easy to hold in one hand.
So, is the PRS-650 a good buy? We’ve compared many of the best eReaders out there with the PRS-650 to find out which is the best value for money.


Sony PRS 650 vs. PRS-600

Sony’s previous release, the PRS-600, is extremely inferior when compared to the PRS-650. The PRS-650 is faster when turning pages and in menus, has much better contrast, and has much less glare than the PRS-600; many people returned their PRS-600s because of glare problems. The screen on the PRS-600 is terrible compared to the PRS-650 and also has annoying reflections caused by a bad touch screen that detracts from your reading experience. The PRS-650 also has more memory, faster charge time and weighs less. Overall, The PRS-650 is a much better reader than the PRS-600.

Sony PRS-650 versus PRS-950

The PRS-950, Sony’s largest reader, has a larger screen and higher resolution than the PRS-650. It also has a web-browser and free 3G wireless internet to purchase books, so you don’t have to connect the reader to a computer to download books, as you do with the PRS-650. The 950 also has a higher quality screen, which is important for PDF and image files. Both readers have similar interfaces, but the larger screen of the PRS-950 can make it superior to the PRS-650. With both of the readers being the same price, the logical option would be to choose the PRS-950 – however, it can be difficult to get hold of a PRS-950 if you’re outside of the USA, and the 3G features don’t work if you’re not in the USA. If you live overseas, or intend to use the reader on holidays, the PRS-650 may be a better option.

Sony PRS-650 versus Sony Reader Pocket Edition PRS-350
The smallest reader that Sony offers, the PRS-350, isn’t much different from the PRS-650. As its name suggests, the Pocket Edition PRS-350 is much smaller than the PRS-650 and is designed for the person who wants to use their reader on the move. The interfaces of the two are identical, but the PRS-350 has a plastic casing instead of aluminium. Unlike the PRS-650, the PRS-350 doesn’t offer music playback or expandable memory; however, the main difference that decides which one to purchase will be the smaller size and weight of the PRS-350, and also the fact that the PRS-350 is 50 dollars cheaper.


Sony PRS-650 versus Pocketbook 360 plus

The Pocketbook 360 plus is a device that is known for its unconventional and innovative attitude towards eReading. It is one of the only readers to allow web browsing via built-in WiFi, and it is possible to run Doom 2 on it. It comes with 2GB, which is more than enough for thousands of books, but this can be expanded with a Micro-SD card. It also has the best file format support I’ve seen in an eReader; it can read B2, FB2, TXT, PDF, RTF, HTML, PRC, CHM, DJVU, DOC, EPUB and TCR formats, and comes pre-loaded with lots of free books; it also has a high quality screen, and text is very crisp. Well-built and easily transportable, the Pocketbook 360 plus is a great device; however, it doesn’t have an audio jack or audio playback, which some people may not like. It also has high support for languages other than English. It isn’t a high-end device by any standard, and it may not be able to compete with the likes of Sony, but I think that Pocketbook may have some great releases for us in the future.

Sony PRS-650 versus Amazon Kindle 3
The Amazon Kindle 3 is one of the most popular eReader choices today. It has many features that the PRS-650 lacks, such as wireless connectivity, free 3G in over 100 countries, a web browser, and it costs considerably less than the PRS-650. There are also many more accessibility options such as text-to-speech, 8 font sizes versus the 650’s 6, built-in speakers, 3 font types, and adjustable line-spacing and margins. There is also a voice guide on the menus for the visually impaired. It also has twice the memory of the 650, and a longer battery life.
However, the 650 does also have some advantages over the kindle. Its metal body is much sturdier than the Kindle’s plastic one, so there’s not much rish of breaking it if you drop it.  It has a touchscreen, supports the popular ePub format, it is easier to hold in one hand and is also lighter and smaller without the Kindle’s keyboard. The 650 is also more visually attractive than the Kindle. You can also zoom in on pages, access translation dictionaries and you can quickly scan through pages. Both readers are excellent, but overall I would judge that the Kindle 3 is a better buy than the 650; if you factor in the very large price difference between the 2, with the Kindle being over 100 dollars cheaper, the Kindle 3 is probably a smarter buy.





Sony PRS-650 versus Nook Touch
The Barnes & Noble Nook Touch bears many similarities to Sony’s PRS-650. They are around the same size, same weight, and they both use the same screen and touch technologies as each other.  Both support up to 32GB SD cards, and both have very similar controls.However, the Nook Touch is superior in some ways; its battery life is huge compared to the PRS-650; in fact, with wireless off, you can get two months of use on a single charge. It has built-in WiFi, and you can also get free WiFi access in any Barnes & Noble store, aswell as AT&T hot spots. With the Nook Touch, you can jump to any page instantly, and also lend books to friends or family for 14 days. The are also features that allow you to tweet what you’re reading, share recommendations, see what your friends are reading and post your favourite books. These can all add more fun to your reading.
The Sony PRS-650 also has some aspects that are superior to the Nook Touch. It supports audio playback in multiple formats, where the Nook Touch doesn’t; it also has more dictionaries (the Nook Touch only has Merriam-Webster built in), supports multiple eBook formats (the Nook only supports PDF and ePub) and has annotation features. However, when you factor in the price (the PRS-650 costs 100 dollars more), and the lack of Wi-Fi connection for the PRS-650, the Nook Touch seems much more attractive.



Sony PRS-650 versus Kobo WiFi
The Kobo is larger than the PRS-650, but it lacks many features that the Sony has, and doesn’t have any advantages except for size, the fact that it comes preloaded with 100 free books, longer battery life and a Wi-Fi connection. It also has a built-in dictionary, but this is often criticized as it only works on books purchased directly from Kobo. Overall, I wouldn’t recommend the Kobo over the 650 unless Wi Fi is a necessity for you; even then, I would consider a different reader, as the Kobo is definitely not the best on the market.

Sony PRS-650 versus iPad
The iPad, although not a dedicated eReader, seems like it could be a very good eReader at first glance. Its ability to download apps means that you aren’t restricted to just one interface; you could download third-party reader apps if you wished, and its large screen seems ideal for displaying large amounts of text at the same time. However, the backlit screen makes for uncomfortable reading after a while, and as the iPad is very heavy (1.5 pounds) to hold in one hand, it can be uncomfortable and may put strain on the fingertips. However, the versatility of the iPad, as it is not a dedicated eReader and can be used for a wide range of things, makes it a great buy; still, if you are intending to use it as an eReader and nothing more, you would be much better looking somewhere else, as it carries a whopping 500 dollars price tag. So, if you want more than just an eReader, the iPad is the way to go; otherwise, you should save yourself some money and take the PRS-650 instead.

Sony PRS-650 versus Alex eReader
The Alex eReader has an unconventional design compared to other eReaders. It has dual screens - a touch screen and an electronic paper display – it has a sleek design, is lightweight, and supports music, video, images and, of course, books. It has a sleek design, and a similar screen size to the PRS-650 – however, the total size of the device is much larger and slightly heavier. It also has a much lower memory capacity – only 256mb, compared to the PRS-650s 2GB. It also only supports up to 2GB of additional memory. It has a memory capacity and recharge time that is similar to the PRS-650, but its price tag is much higher at $400. As the Alex eReader seems to be designed more to be an all-in-one device rather than a dedicated eReader, and has a similar price as the iPad, I would consider choosing the iPad if that’s what you’re looking for. However, if all you want is an eReader, the PRS-650 is a much smarter choice.

Sony PRS-650 versus Foxit eSlick
Foxit’s PDF reader is considered by many to be much superior to Adobe Reader. But can they make a good eReader? Released in 2009, Foxit’s first attempt at an eReader is anything but slick. The ugly plastic device can only be called minimalist, as it has nothing but a single button and hardly any features worth mentioning. Its basic user interface is designed for right-handed folk, as the only button is located at the bottom-left of the device. It comes with 2.5GB of storage, and plays MP3 files – however, the eSlick only reads TXT and PDF files. A new firmware release adds ePub and eReader file support, but it’s extremely hard to update. Although the eSlick is light and pocketable, is it definitely not recommendable over the PRS-650, especially with such a steep price tag for a device with such a lack of features.

Final Thoughts

The Good –

  • Great, high-quality touchscreen
  • Built-in dictionaries in many languages
  • Sleek design
  • Great memory capacity
  • Supports lots of file formats
  • Supports music
  • Easy to hold for long periods of time

The Bad –

  • Slightly annoying headphone jack placement
  • Graphics sometimes ghost when you turn the page (fortunately, words don’t)
  • Very high price compared to other readers

Conclusion: Should You Buy It?

I think that the Sony PRS-650 is an excellent eReader, with many features that other readers lack; it also has a great look and design. However, the high price tag compared to other readers is an instant put-off for those on a tight budget. It is also very similar to its smaller and cheaper brother, the PRS-350, and lacks features that its bigger brother, the PRS-950, has. Overall, I would recommend that the PRS-950 be bought over the PRS-650; however, it can be hard to get hold of a PRS-950 outside of the USA. If this is the case, it may be better to choose either a PRS-650 or a PRS-350 depending on your needs.


There is 1 comment
January 25, 2012 - 10:14
Subject: Vimax Natural Male Enhancement

[url=]Vimax[/url] By using ingredients that target the flow of blood, arousal, together with endurance, it is possible to leave any doubts in the door. Once you enter that domain you will find yourself in control of ones actions. Not any of the nonsense from your life will matter now days. These ingredients have been completely used historically to deal with impotence and [url=]Vimax[/url] virility. There's comfort in fully understand the treatment to your condition 's been around for years and is known to work. [url=]Vimax[/url] Natural male enhancement is a good male enhancement. That is information it is possible to take to the bank (or in this case the bed). [url=]Penis Enlargement[/url]

Leave a Comment

? ?

Powered by TalkBack