In the “what took you so long?” category for e-books, Sony introduces a digital library book today. The newest Sony Reader, dubbed the Daily Edition, is a $399 device with eInk and 7″ touchscreen. The library bit comes into play through a partnership with the New […]

sony-reader-daily-editionIn the “what took you so long?” category for e-books, Sony introduces a digital library book today. The newest Sony Reader, dubbed the Daily Edition, is a $399 device with eInk and 7″ touchscreen. The library bit comes into play through a partnership with the New York Public Library for starters — you can “check out” any digital content from the library for up to 29 days. After the due date, the content expires and magically returns to the library. There’s a new Library Finder application to help you locate participating libraries and find content to borrow.

Of course, you need some kind of wireless connection to get those library books. Sony partnered with AT&T to include a wireless 3G radio inside the Reader Daily Edition. That bodes well for countries outside of the U.S. as it means support for the widely used HSDPA standards, even if the frequencies used are different. Licensing restrictions may still be an obstacle for content, but at least there’s hope in terms of connectivity. The connection can be used for direct book purchases from the Sony Reader dBook bookstore also.

The touchscreen can be used for taking notes — there’s an included stylus — and those notes can even be printed out if you won’t want to go completely digital. Sony is also launching version 3.0 of their reader software, which works on both PC and Mac computers. At $399, the newest Sony Reader is priced $100 more than Amazon’s Kindle, but does offer touch capabilities and loads of content thanks to the new library support. And Sony has recently reduced the prices of bestsellers to $9.99, just like Amazon.

Sony says the new device can store about 1,000 books on the internal memory, which is far more books than I ever checked out from my local library. If that’s not enough for you, there is a memory expansion slot for flash media too. Looks like we all have time to ponder a purchase decision on this one. The new Daily Edition device is expected in time for the holidays, which screams November or December to me.

  1. There is no mention in the press release if 3G will be free. If it is free, then I might consider picking up a Daily Reader to replace my PRS-505.

    1. From the press release: “The Reader Daily Edition gives consumers wireless access via AT&T’s 3G mobile broadband network to Sony’s eBook store from just about anywhere in the U.S. Book lovers will be able to browse, purchase and download books as well as select newspapers and magazines when and where they want. There are no monthly fees or transaction charges for the basic wireless connectivity and users still have the option to side load personal documents or content from other compatible sites via USB.”

  2. So what happens to my notes when ht ebook goes back to the library, do they stay with me as if I’d written them on a separate sheet of paper, do they disappear into thin air, or do they return with the book so the next reader can read the notes I’ve written in the digital margins ;-)

  3. So, do we think this is a rush release to get something out before Apple potentially releases a tablet (with possible ereader capability)? This is a great step for consumers…

    1. I doubt this has anything to do with Apple at all. It looks like a pretty direct assault on Amazon, who is the clear industry leader in the ebook business.

      If there is any truth at all to the various rumor circulating about Apple’s tablet device, it is very unlikely to be much of a competitor for the Sony eReader or the Kindle as it is almost certain to be priced much higher and not be e-ink based.

  4. My Dad and I had discussions about the library possibilities with E-Readers, I am so glad to see some of our hopes come to fruition.

  5. This is the first eBook reader I will consider, solely because the stuff is free! FREE! I might have to take a serious look at it, though $400 does sound a bit steep…

  6. This ticks many many boxes for me:
    1. Larger screen (same width just a lot more lines to the page)… the 7″ is height rather than diagonal by the way.
    2. Wireless which is not important for transferring books for me as I do not mind tethering it to my computer twice a month, but for downloading news feeds etc will be great.
    3. I already have all those books in the Sony library that can’t be read on a Kindle!
    4. Easy method of borrowing books
    5. Touch screen (Hope it does not crap out the wonderful contrast I am used to in the 505)
    6. Cheaper and damn sight better looking than the Kindle DX

    I will get it, but I think I will still actually keep my 505 Reader as well. The 505 is I believe a very strong product, and I will always go back to a smaller device at times.

    1. Agreed.
      Looking at the comparison photographs on the Sony Site, it appears the new screen shows around 45% more lines that the 6 inch screen.

      Given that the unit uses practically no power until the page is changed, I wonder how that translates in battery life… larger screen to change, but less page turns needed per book.

  7. I just hope that an annoucement is pending for a release of this device in Canada. We have 3G and public libraries that use Overdrive here too. Sony do the right thing and put the coup de grace to Amazon once and for all.


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