The Sony Reader Vs. The Amazon Kindle

Move over iPod, eBooks are on the rise! It was only a matter of time before someone invented a gadget that would replace paper books.

Whenever a new invention hits the market, corporations endure restless nights thinking up ways to have a leg up on their competition.

Even though there are a handful of companies who currently have their own eBook model on the market, The Sony Reader and Amazon’s Kindle series are the top contenders.

The best way to choose a product that is made by different companies is to compare and contrast its features. I’m certain that after you’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly of each gadget broken down in front of you, you’ll definitely have a frontrunner.

The Sony Reader was developed by the Sony Corporation. The first version of The Sony Reader, the PRS-500, was first made available in the U.S. in the fall of 2006. There are currently 4 different models of The Sony Reader on the market.

Consumers are able to purchase books for The Sony Reader through the Sony Connect e-book store. The reader supports blogs, JPEGs, Adobe PDFs, documents, news feeds and Sony’s BroadBand eBook format. The Sony Reader became so popular in the US, that it branched out and became available for sale in the UK.

The Amazon Kindle was released in the U.S. on November 19, 2007. The Kindle was developed by Amazon.com and there are currently three versions on the market. Unlike its competitor, The Sony Reader, the Kindle is only available in the U.S.

The Kindle supports unprotected Mobipocket books, plain text files and Amazon’s own unique format. Although The Kindle does not support PDF files, it does allow third-party software to convert PDF files for usage on the device.

The Kindle also offers a service which allows the conversion of JPEG, GIF, PNG, and BMP graphics so they can be viewed on the gadget. This unique e-mail based service also converts .doc files and HTML pages. Consumers can either have these formatted files sent to their e-mail for free or they can have it sent directly to their Kindle for 15 cents.

Both The Kindle and The Sony Reader support mp3s. The Kindle has an iPhone application unlike The Sony Reader.

The Kindle has an array of extra features that The Sony Reader doesn’t offer at this time; however those features do come with a price tag. Monthly subscriptions to newspapers, magazines and blogs are available from as low as 99 cents a month to as costly as 15 dollars a month. The Kindle also comes equipped with the New Oxford American Dictionary.

Both original versions of The Reader and The Kindle consist of a 6 inch diagonal screen. The Sony Reader beats The Kindle in the weight department. The original Reader weighs 10.0 ounces while The Kindle weighs 10.2 ounces.

The original Sony Reader offers 420 MB of memory while the original Kindle only offers 256 MB. However, The Kindle 2 offers 2GB of storage.

The Sony Reader has a built-in LED reading light unlike The Kindle. Users have frequently complained about eye strain as a result of The Kindle’s poor display contrast.

The Sony Reader’s most expensive model retails for $349 while the starting price for The Kindle retails for $359. Amazon’s latest and most expensive model, The Kindle DX, sells for $489.

Amazon has definitely advertised The Kindle more effectively. The Kindle has not left the homepage of Amazon.com since its inception. An abundance of people use Amazon.com to shop and The Kindle is the first thing they see when they visit the site. This is a great marketing strategy for Amazon since most people tend to browse other products while shopping. Sony on the other hand has so many other products on market that they need to cater. This makes it hard to have The Reader on display all the time.

So which product is the best? That can only be answered by you, the consumer. Despite its many updates and upgrades, The Sony Reader has remained loyal to the product it’s supposed to be; an eBook. So if you’re looking for a reasonably priced device that allows you to read your favorite novel, then The Sony Reader is right up your alley. If you want to spend money on a device that combines all the gadgets you probably already own and an eBook, then choose The Kindle.


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