Sony PRS-350 Review

by Ebook Doctor on November 11, 2010


sony-PRS350

Sony are synonymous with timeless design, and solid quality – The Sony PRS-350 with its 5 inch screen is no exception.

Featuring a brushed aluminium design, it looks and feels great. And along with its larger sibling the Sony PRS-650 with its 6 inch screen are probably the best looking ebook readers around.

The Sony PRS 350 is an update to the PRS300 launched last year, featuring the following improvements:

-A new E-Ink Pearl screen, which improves contrast by 50%. This is the same new display used in the 3rd generation Amazon Kindle, and Sony PRS-650.
This new screen now provides 16 shades of grey instead of 8, and is now clearer than ever.
-The PRS350 now has touchscreen functionality, which uses infrared sensors for improved clarity and response rate (the previous PRS-300 didn’t have a touchscreen).
-Improved battery life, you can now read over 10,000 pages on one charge versus 7500 with the older model
-Its also 60 grams lighter, which makes it an ideal ebook reader for those travelling light (fits a handbag perfectly).

Other than these new features, the Sony PRS-350 build on the great feature set of its predecessor.
Its supports an impressive range of ebook formats including BBeB (LRF/LRX), PDF, EPUB, TXT, RTF, JPEG, BMP, GIF and PNG so you can literally purchase your ebooks from nearly every ebook store. Because of this you are not tied down to a specific ebook store like the Amazon Kindle.

This ebook reader also features a large 2GB internal memory which is enough to carry thousands of ebooks at a time.

Unfortunately you don’t get any Wifi or 3G connectivity, and you have to purchase books from online ebook retailers from your desktop. But these are somewhat advantages, as it means you get solid battery life, and can purchase ebooks at any ebook retailer (therefore can comparison shop for the best ebook deals).

In terms of price points, you can find this ebook reader for around £159/$179 which makes it an ideal purchase if you are an occasional book reader. If you spend a lot of time reading, you might want to consider the Sony PRS-650 which features a 6 inch screen for more comfortable reading.

Click here to compare the Sony PRS-350 to the other 6” ebook readers available today.

You can find the Sony PRS-350 and Sony PRS-650 at Waterstones.com


{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 ken 11.16.10 at 11:24 am

if there is no wifi connection, does that mean it is impossible to read a book that is on google books? I’m trying to figure out how one would get a book from google books from desktop that is connected to internet to the e-reader device. Thoughts?

2 Ebook Doctor 11.17.10 at 6:34 pm

@Ken
With most ebook readers (including this one) you can connect them to your desktop and upload new books in a compatible format from say google books or project Gutemberg using a USB cable.
Hope that helps.

3 ken 11.19.10 at 11:58 am

thanks very much for the response. I’m confused, however. Not having used an ebook reader i’m speaking without hands-on experience, but when I look at a book on google books, for example, I don’t see any options for saving or downloading the book in a way that would allow me to then transfer it to a reader through USB. All I get is the book on the screen. Am I missing something obvious? Please explain. It’s quite important to get to the bottom of this, because i want to purchase a basic e-reader for reading pdfs and docs (without having to print) and for books on googlebooks, so figuring out the importance of wifi connection is critical for decision-making. Thanks.

4 ken 11.29.10 at 4:29 pm

Ebook Doctor, can you (or anyone else on this website) help clarify the query from above? Specifically, how one uses an e-reader that lacks wifi to read documents (e.g. googlebooks) that are only available for viewing on the web (i.e. non-printable, non-downloadable). Thanks.

5 Jack 11.29.10 at 6:11 pm

I don’t think you can save books on Google Books, only view some of them (at least you could a while ago, I just checked now and I couldn’t read any!).

I would recommend checking out http://www.gutenberg.org to download books (they will have a better selection than Google and you can download them for sure).

6 Ebook Doctor 11.29.10 at 7:15 pm

@Ken, Jack is right – Have a look at project Gutenberg first if you are looking for free ebooks as they have a huge list of pre-1950’s books.
I doubt you would be able to access Google Books from a Wifi enabled ebook reader either.

Have you found books on Google Books that you cannot find anywhere else?

If you download ebooks from either Project Gutenberg or purchased from an ebook store, saving the ebooks to your ebook reader is very easy, just plug the ebook reader in your computer and the software guides you.

7 Suzanne 11.30.10 at 2:28 pm

Hi I am thinking of buying an ebook reader, but need to know if I would still be able to see the screen, in sunshine with my sunglasses on as I know this is impossible with my mobile phone. My main reason for buying the ebook reader is to take it on holiday, so clarification of this is important to me.
Thanks

8 Ebook Doctor 11.30.10 at 3:47 pm

Hi Suzanne,
Ebook readers like the PRS-350 are ideal for holidays at the beach/pool as they are very readable in direct sunlight. You won’t have any problems with reading with your sunglasses as there is no glare from these types of screens. (This is not the case with the Apple Ipads though…).

9 Gatemaze 11.30.10 at 5:05 pm

Hello,

nice reviews but it would be useful to add on your comparison table
http://www.ebookreadersreview.co.uk/6-inch-ebook-reader-comparison-matrix/
that it has expansion slots for memory stick duo and SD Card up to 32GB.

Also it can be bought from whsmith. Check both stores for offers.

I have one and have already finished a couple of books. My experience so far… plain awesome. Have not regretted the slightest for paying a bit more.

Also linux friendly as it is seen as an external storage device.

10 Ebook Doctor 12.02.10 at 2:43 pm

Thanks for the tip Gatemaze, I’ve updated the 6″ table for the Sony PRS650. (The PRS350 doesn’t have an expansion slot though.)

11 Lavonne Trevino 12.24.10 at 1:26 am

thanks very much for the response. I’m confused, however. Not having used an ebook reader i’m speaking without hands-on experience, but when I look at a book on google books, for example, I don’t see any options for saving or downloading the book in a way that would allow me to then transfer it to a reader through USB. All I get is the book on the screen. Am I missing something obvious? Please explain. It’s quite important to get to the bottom of this, because i want to purchase a basic e-reader for reading pdfs and docs (without having to print) and for books on googlebooks, so figuring out the importance of wifi connection is critical for decision-making. Thanks.

12 Dave 12.28.10 at 5:30 pm

I am disappointed with my PRS-350 as I have so far been unable to download the elibrary software that enables the downloading of books. After several attempts I am considering returning the ebook for a refund. I have tried to find a solution but the final answer is ‘incompatible application’. Perhaps I have done something wrong several times? Any suggestions

13 Lucy 12.31.10 at 6:15 pm

@Laurence, Sony provides downloadable access to Google books via its software. You download their PC app and browse Google books from that, then it lets you download and put them on the ereader. http://ebookstore.sony.com/google-books/

14 Linda 01.26.11 at 11:58 pm

do any of the ereader books have a backlight which enables you to read in bed without any lights on?

15 nicoband 02.02.11 at 9:12 pm

Sony claims that both PRS 350 and 650 have a Pearl E-ink display. They don’t. I have been checking in many shops (including Sony Centre) and all of them show Vizplex E-ink displays on their settings.
I am bewildered.
@above. There is a free programme called Google Books Downloader which does exactly what its name says.

16 Cat 05.04.11 at 6:59 pm

Are the Sony ereaders compatible with Mac OS X? I’m tempted to buy the Sony 350 but need to be sure it’ll work with my computer! I’d appreciate your advice on this.

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