Sony Reader: Almost Beautiful
By Josh Simons on Dec 11, 2006
I had a chance to play with the Sony Reader, Sony's new handheld device for reading ebooks, at the Borders in Palo Alto this weekend. The display uses E Ink's electronic paper technology and it is drop-dead gorgeous. The monochrome display looks much more like paper than anything I've seen before, with an almost 180 degree viewing angle and excellent contrast and resolution. Except for one glaring problem, I'd be tempted to buy a Reader.
The problem is an annoying flashing each time a new page is displayed. Ironically, this problem seems to be a direct result of Sony's choice of the E Ink technology. The net effect makes the unit feel slow and kludgy enough to blunt categorization as an object of desire. You can see the update effect here on YouTube.