Digital music and portable digital music players have changed the landscape of the entire music industry. While digital books and portable digital book readers have been around for awhile, they haven’t made a big impression on the book industry. Yet, these portable reading devices are getting better and better. We looked at the Sony Reader PRS-505 to see if the ideas and design of a big player like Sony can make an impact on the world of reading.

The Sony Reader comes in a nice, but unimpressive box, shown in Figure 1. The box contains the reader itself, encased in a tan leather cover, an instruction pamphlet, a USB cable, and a software disk (shown in Figure 2).

Sony PRS-505 E-book Reader ReviewFigure 1: The box.

Sony PRS-505 E-book Reader ReviewFigure 2: What’s in the box.

The Sony Reader is a dream to look at and to handle. The brushed silver finish is elegant. It comes enclosed in a simple tan leather cover that looks expensive and is reminiscent of a good leather-bound book. This Sony reader also comes in several other colors including sangria red,  dark blue, and some special editions. Other covers including black, red, brown, and pink are available as an additional purchase. We, however, thought that the silver e-book in the tan cover made a great impression.

At 6.9" x 4.8" x 0.3” (17.5 x 12.2 x 0.8 cm), the Sony Reader is about the size of a thin paperback book. It weighs in at about 9 oz (250 g) without the cover, which is heavier than most paperbacks. The heft, however, gives it a nice balancing weight and makes it feel substantial and sturdy.


Sandy Berger, respected computer authority, journalist, media guest, speaker, and author, has more than three decades of experience as a computer and technology expert. Her eight books include: How to Have a Meaningful Relationship with Your Computer, Your Official Grown-up’s Guide to AOL and the Internet, Cyber Savers –Tips & Tricks for Today’s Drowning Computer Users, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Better Living through Technology, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to the Internet, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Gadgets & Gizmos, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Health & Wellness, and Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Travel. Sandy’s newspaper column, magazine articles, feature stories, product reviews, and computer tips can be found at her website, Compu-KISS.