First Impressions– This is actually surprisingly heavy. It however comes with a book like case and the reading experience is very comfortable regardless of light levels. It is quite a stylish metal construction which could be cold was it not for the case.
Turning on– Generally this is quite quick and takes you straight to the page you are reading. This is perfect for those of us who live life at a fast pace as you can just turn it off to get through passport control etc and be back reading in seconds but that said this does have a battery issue.
Loading and charging– This has the usual punishment that we all associate with Sony that it has to be in their specific formats which can limit the books you can get. You end up having to get extra software so you can convert books to the right format and then you import them into the Sony software to get them onto the device. Irritating is the word I have to use for charging…..it comes with a USB to mini USB cable…not bad you think but plug that into a USB plug and absolutely nothing happens. You have to plug it either through a computer or buy a special cable that is non USB to charge the device. As a frequent traveller this is irritating as I want to carry as few leads as possible and I do have to get past the hand luggage limits. My PC developed a fault so not only do I have to carry a useless PC but the ebook becomes another useless brick to carry as you cannot charge it! Sony please have a rethink!
Navigating– This can be sorted in a number of ways such as author, book name and this ends up on multiple pages so you do have to go into a sub menu for example A-D and then you can pick the book you want to read. There are numerous buttons down the side to select the option you want. Once you are in the book then each time you turn it on you are straight into the book and at the page you left it on. There are comfortable options to change pages on both the bottom and the side of the device. There is some daft navigation too if you are managing the power options as it comes up with a sign on screen as to the button you should hit to do a complete shutdown but it looks nothing like the actual buttons on the device and so you hit button after button and end up getting irritated….the device can show a photo…why not either show the right button or show me a picture? Menu is the key button to go up and down the menus so this is not quite as intuitive to a first time user. There are no options to change language on this device.
The reading experience– The book style case and convenient placement of buttons really do make this a very comfortable experience and I have happily read on this device for hours. People don’t understand how I can need 81 books on my device …clearly they have no idea how much I enjoy reading and how fast I read! Can you imagine carrying 81 books when you are travelling or the cost to buy the English version when you are overseas? The orientation does not change unless you go into settings and manually change this. There is a zoom button on the bottom of the device so changing font size is a more obvious option. There is a very useful option for the visually impaired in that you can have audio output on this device. This is an MP3 type of output and not text to speech. It can download papers and display black and white pictures. When you first get this device the menus do take a little while to get used to as you have to keep remembering about the buttons on the side so a slight learning curve initially.
Battery life and storage– now this is a bit of a bugbear of mine….I get busy at work I put it down and pick it up a week later to read the book I was on…what happens it is flat as a pancake. You have to play the guess the button game and go through a whole routine of settings …set it to full shut down and then play hunt the right button. Then the battery will have some durability and you can pick up the device. However in daily use it is good to go and you can read happily for hours without a problem. It comes with some storage and the ability to extend with one SD card slot and one MemoryStick.