Review of the Sony PRS-650 Touch Edition e-Reader

Sony PRS-650

Welcome to another Good e-Reader Review! Today we take a look at the new Sony PRS 650 Touch edition.

This new offering from Sony is the follow up to the original PRS-600 and was just released a few weeks ago. This model is comparable to the Sony PRS-350 Pocket Edition.


The Sony PRS-650 features a 6 inch e-ink touch screen, with 16 levels of grey scale. It has a built in storage capacity of 2 GB, which means it can store up to 1200 ebooks. It also has dual memory upgrades, which is unique in e-readers! It has a SD Port and a Memory Stick MS DUO. This means you can enhance your memory to more then 32 Gigabytes. This device does not have WIFI or 3G so you will have to download your content first to your computer and then to your e-reader.

You interact with your device via the stylus provided and can leave your e-reader on for up to 2 weeks without a battery recharge. We found from checking the unit out, that is very responsive not using the stylus and using your fingers to open up menus and options.

eBooks and media

This device reads a ton of different ebooks formats, such as ePub, LRF, PDF, Doc, TXT, RTF and more! With the ability to read tons of ebooks, you are not relegated to just doing business with the Sony Store. You can make purchases from any company that distributes their ebooks in ePub format, which is really the industry standard. You can buy easily from Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Borders. You can also deal with independent companies such as Smashwords and iPulpfiction. You also have the ability to get ebooks with your local library which is a solid way to get free content.

There are some subtle differences with the Sony PRS-650 vs the PRS-350 e-Reader. The 650 allows you to listen to audio books and music. Both models have the ability to load pictures on your device, as JPG, GIF, BMP, PNG and others. The supported audio formats are AAC and MP3, but the device has trouble with DRM audio content. Both models have the ability to take notes, via the stylus or with the virtual Keyboard. Both models also have the exact same page turning speed and high degree of contrast.

When you are reading an ebook, you can hit the Magnifying Glass option and have the ability to zoom into any display. You can also select up to six font sizes, from XS to XXL for font size increases. This is perfect if you wear glasses, or want to read on a larger font setting.

You also have the ability to bookmark pages and switch back to them on the fly. As well, you can make annotations to highlight passages on screen.

Finally, the device comes bundled with no real ebooks to speak of, but you do have a 19 page excerpt from Harlan Cobans new book “Caught”. It does come bundled with 12 different dictionaries, and 12 translation dictionaries.

Other Features

You can see from our pictures that we reviewed the Silver model, but it does come in Black. The device is only bundled with a Mini USB to USB cable that allows you to plug it into your computer to charge it. The device is very light, and only weighs 220 grams.

Our Thoughts

This is one great e-reader! The page turns are super quick, and when we compared the Sony to the Nook we found the page turns more responsive, as well as the Kobo, and Sharper Image Literati.

Being a pure touch screen device means it weighs less and is more portable then its competition. Most other e-readers, although their screen size is 6 inches the device itself is much larger. If you look at the Amazon Kindle line of e-readers, they all have full QWERTY keyboards, so the device is larger than the Sony to take account these design factors. Even the Nook has a dedicated color touch screen at the bottom, which makes it much larger.

The Sony PRS-650 is one portable device, and is easily more transportable than most of its competition. The PRS-350 basically fits into your back pocket completely, where as this one does not.

We highly recommend the Sony PRS-650 if WIFI or 3G are not essential in your day to day operations. This may be a real big deciding factor in some people’s buying decisions. We found that the perks in reading, holding a large amount of books, and being one hell of a sexy device makes this a must purchase.

If you would like to purchase this e-reader, please visit our retail partner Shop e-Readers! Because the Sony does not come with ebooks, they will give you 100 free ebooks in ePub format!

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Michael Kozlowski (5214 Posts)

Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about electronic readers and technology for the last four years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the Huffington Post, CNET and more. Michael frequently travels to international events such as IFA, Computex, CES, Book Expo and a myriad of others. If you have any questions about any of his articles, please send an email to

  • Richard

    I have the Sony 350 and it is sweet! But to buy from your retail partner is insane. The prices you charge are way too high over standard retail. $275 for a $230 e reader. Who are you kidding!

  • Good E-Reader

    Well, the PRS-650 in Canada sells for 250 in Canada, and they sell it for 25.00 more, because they give you 100 free ebooks, a tutorial DVD on how to use it, load ebooks, and how to use all of the functions. So the extra few dollars they sell it for, you get a ton more content and even a great support forum via our own good e-reader forum. So the exta 25.00 for the prs 650 nets you more value and long term support

  • Casey

    I have to disagree with the part where you said books can be purchased from Barnes & Noble for the PRS-650. B&N uses a very restrictive form of DRM for many of their ePub books, something I found out the hard way a few months ago; even using ADE, the PRS-600 I owned at the time came up as “not authorized to view this book”. What’s worse, even B&N doesn’t know which of their books have this extra-restrictive DRM, so buying e-books from them is, in the words of the Help Desk rep I spoke with, “a crapshoot”. There are scripts online for stripping the DRM and transferring the e-book using Calibre, but it’s very time-consuming and potentially dangerous for your e-reader. I really don’t recommend buying e-books from B&N unless you own a Nook.

    That being said, I’ve owned a Kobo, a PRS-600, and now a PRS-650. Of the three, the 650 is far superior.

  • Jeff

    What didn’t seem to come out in the review is just how much nicer the new Pearl display from E Ink is compared to the previous version.

  • Allyson

    I don’t know how it is in the USA, but in Canada they have an extreme problem getting the 650 in stock. I’ve had one on order since the end of December 2010, & it’s now February. They are telling me they MAY get some in this month, or next….. Probably by the time they get stock in, there will be a newer version & the 650 will be obsolete. I was also told that the factories have slowed down due to the Chinese New Year (today), but it doesn’t explain why there hasn’t been any supply since December, unless the Chinese are in the habit of taking 2 months off work for New Year’s (they aren’t). So I hope you all are enjoying your e-readers! I’m still waiting for mine. Cheers, and Happy Year of the Hare! Now get back to work!

  • Bbsary

    I just returned a Kobo and a Sony 600 becouse the bad glearing. 650 promise any beter frIendlier for MINIMISING THIS PROBLEM?

  • Modular Homes

    Brilliant! Thanks for sharing these.

  • Belliwal

    My personal experience is that WIFI or 3G are absolutely not essential. The scope is reading, not download. My 2 redaer are a Sony PRS650 and Kindle3 (comparison video here:, which one to choose? Both great but different prices. This can make the difference.

  • Gruffydd

    Hardware (the ereader itself) is great.  Software and after market support is appalling.  Flipping to the new kobo touch.

  • neilkoven

    I’ve had my 650 for about a year and a half and have had nothing but troubles with it. It turns itself on after I’ve turned it off, and while on it goes to another page or book or a picture or asks me if I want to turn it off. Consequently it has a battery life of less than a day. Sony keeps trying to shift the blame to everybody else but the upshot is that they refuse to do anything.