Today Sony has announced a new trio of e-readers which will be hitting stores next week. However, they will not be headed to all stores; for now, two of the three new e-readers will only be available in Australia. We can expect that it will not be long before the new Reader Pocket Edition, new Daily Edition, and new Touch Edition find their way into other markets.
The new Pocket Edition has received a touch-screen powered by an infrared sensor that can read stylus-moves or finger motions without the need for the screen to be touched. Sometimes touch-screens produce unwanted glare, so this is a welcome change. Of the Pocket Edition, Daily Edition, and Touch Edition, the Pocket Edition is the least expensive, and will sell for $229 AUS (about $210 USD). The display is also getting an upgrade — going from eight shades of gray to sixteen (like the Kindle).
The Pocket Edition’s memory is also being expanded, going from 512MB to much a nicer 2GB. As you probably know, that is room for many books indeed.
Though the screen size remains 5 inches diagonally, the new Pocket Edition is smaller in size with fewer buttons, giving it a simpler, less cumbersome appearance.
The changes made to the new Daily and Touch Edition e-readers are less numerous, but nonetheless just as significant. Both editions will gain the upgrade to 2GB of on-board memory as well, and the improved 16 shade gray-scale e-ink screen.
Sony is upgrading its larger-screen Reader models as well. Both the Daily Edition and the Touch Edition will now have the same touch-screen technology and e-ink screen as the new Pocket and 2 gigabytes of built-in memory. And though specific numbers have yet to be released, Sony reports that the Touch is gaining some battery life as well.
Though Aussies will be treated to the first crack at the Pocket and Touch Edition e-readers, the new Daily Edition will not be hitting stores down under. The new Daily Edition, which utilizes 3G and Wi-Fi, will not be offered; instead Australians will have to be content with a Daily Edition that uses a USB connection to download books (with either a PC or Mac).
It’ll be interesting to see how much market penetration the new Pocket e-reader can muster. Though priced a bit higher (about $50 USD) than the top-dog, entry-level Kindle, the new infrared sensor is a nice ‘touch’, which could give the Pocket an edge in some peoples’ comparison of the two.