Review: Sony Reader Touch

I finally succumbed and broke down to purchase the new Sony Touch – despite stating to Has numerous of times that I wasn’t going to. Meh, my resistance to temptation is incredibly weak – especially when it comes to books. **grins**

The Sony Touch device is roughly the same size as the PRS-505. The on and off slide button is situated in the exact same position as the 505, and so is the memory card slots, the headphone jacket and the USB jacket. The Touch comes with a stylus that fits into the right top corner of the device, and it fits in securely so there is no worrying about loosing it. My Touch came with a black pouch, but no cover or protective screen. Thankfully, the original leather cover that came with my 505 fits the Touch, so I only have to buy a protective screen. I would suggest getting a protective screen to keep the panel of the reader clean (especially if your someone like me who snacks while reading) and to prevent scratches from forming.

One of the reasons I broke down and purchased the Sony Touch was the ease of navigation and the note taking feature – which is super awesome.

Setting the reader up is super easy, and exactly the same as the 505. You connect the Touch to the laptop via the USB lead and you can then use the Sony eBook Library to download and transfer your ebooks to the internal memory on the reader or to the SD Card.

I use Calibre, which is a free software program that allows you to convert formats and syncs the ebooks to your Sony Reader. Calibre only lets you convert non DRM ebooks, so to convert DRM ebooks, you would have to go about getting third party tools which strips the DRM.

As well as the touch screen, the Touch also comes with five buttoms on the lower part of the reader. They consist of page turnings, the home button, the font size/zoom button and the option button which gives you the settings of the reader.


Navigation: The navigation on the Touch is a lot better than the 505. Finding books by author, title and genre is a lot easier and must faster. The Touch has a home button, which automatically brings you back to the home page of the reader from whatever you were doing previously. On the 505 I found it very slow with pressing the menu button continuously until I reached the home page again, so this is a very welcome feature on the Touch.

Font size and zoom: The Touch now has 5 different font sizes, ranging from small to XXL.  The formatting when choosing a larger font size is much better than the 505. It’s not so far out of range and I don’t find myself loosing which character is speaking from within the book.  The Touch now has a zoom feature.  Previously on the 505, I had trouble with PDF files. If you enlarged the font size, pages would go missing. On the Touch there is a zoom toggle function, which allows you to read in small font without loosing a page. The only downside is that when you turn the page, the zoom automatically switches off and you have to zoom in and toggle again, but it’s better than losing pages.

Touch screen and stylus:  If your someone (like me) who can read for over two hours, even going past three hours, then the touch screen is so much more kinder to your finger. The touch screen is not too sensitive and you don’t have to apply forceful pressure. It’s just right. With a swipe of your finger, or the stylus, turning pages is faster.

Note-taking, text memo, search function ect : The note taking is super awesome. You can take notes while reading your book and you can highlight passages from within the book and you can transfer it all onto your computer. There is also a text memo feature, where you can input whatever you want on a keyboard that comes up on the screen. You can also search for specific words in your books and it highlights them for you. The orientation is super fast also, and you can switch back to and fro by pressing the option button and touching orientation.


eInk contrast and glare: The eInk on the Touch is not as sharp and clear as the 505. There is a noticeable difference, which you can see here:

(Click on image to enlarge and to zoom)

There is also a much brighter glare on the Touch compared the 505, so you have to manoeuvre the reader in a certain placement so the light doesn’t bounce on the screen, though I had to do the same thing with my attachable reader light on the 505.

Over-all I’m happy with the Touch, though I do wish the eInk could have had a better contrast, as it’s not as clearer as the 505. And after a while, the glare can get a little bit frustrating, but not to the point where I would ever think of returning the reader and going back to the 505. I won’t say goodbye to my 505, but I’m happy to relegate it as the back-up reader.

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