While most experts prefer the Amazon Kindle (*Est. $70 and up) , the Sony Reader Touch Edition PRS-600 earns a number of recommendations from ebook reviewers. The Sony Reader Touch Edition PRS-600 replaces the PRS-700, and most experts agree that it is a great improvement. One issue remains, however -- the Sony Reader Touch Edition suffers from the glare and low contrast that plagued its predecessor. Even so, reviewers say the 6-inch touch screen is intuitive and easy to use, and they praise Sony's rich file support, including native support for PDF and ePub files. With the Sony, users can also borrow ebooks from a participating library. While it does support more file types than the Amazon Kindle, the Touch Edition doesn't include wireless, so it must be connected to a Mac or PC in order to download new books. Overall, experts much prefer the wireless book downloads on the Amazon Kindle, but note that the Sony is a viable alternative if you want greater file support or a touch screen.
ConsumerReports.org tests the Sony Reader Touch Edition and ranks it against other popular ebook readers. Other credible experts test and rate the Sony Reader Touch Edition PRS-600 alongside its rivals, including CNET, PC World, Laptop Magazine, PC Advisor, MobileTechReview.com, Which? magazine, TopTenReviews.com and The Times (U.K.). TrustedReviews.com tests fewer ebook readers, but its review of the Sony Reader Touch Edition is very thorough. Shorter reviews from TechRadar.com, Pocket-Lint.com and ZDNet.com are also useful, although these sources offer fewer comparisons. Users have posted plenty of reviews of the Sony Reader Pocket Edition at Amazon.com.
The Sony Reader Touch Edition PRS-600 is one of nine ebook readers tested at ConsumerReports.org. Editors rate each model on readability, versatility, responsiveness, page turn, navigation and file support and then rank the e-readers from best to worst.
Review: E-book Readers, Editors of ConsumerReports.org
The Sony Reader Touch Edition PRS-600 gets a good overall rating from David Carnoy at CNET. Although he thinks it's an improvement over previous Sony e-readers, it can't quite compete with the Amazon Kindle. The Touch Edition's screen is prone to glare, and it can't download books wirelessly.
Review: Sony Reader Touch Edition PRS-600BC (black), David Carnoy, Sept. 11, 2009
3. PC World
Yardena Arar at PC World calls the Sony Reader Touch Edition PRS-600 a "sturdier and more elegant reader" than the Amazon Kindle, and Arar recommends it for anyone who doesn't mind the lack of wireless connectivity.
Review: Sony Reader Touch Edition (PRS-600), Yardena Arar, Oct. 30, 2009
4. Laptop Magazine
K.T. Bradford at Laptop Magazine reviews and compares the Sony Reader Pocket Edition PRS-300 (*Est. $185) and the Sony Reader Touch Edition PRS-600. Both are recommended, but Bradford is more impressed with the Touch Edition thanks to the intuitive touch screen.
Review: Hands-On With The Sony Reader Pocket and Touch Editions, K.T. Bradford, Aug. 26, 2009
5. PC Advisor
Mark Hattersley has a more negative view of the Sony's touch screen than other reviewers. Due to glare and low contrast, Hattersley describes the screen as "heart-breakingly unusable," but he has good things to say about the user interface and file support.
Review: Sony PRS-600 Reader Touch Edition Review, Mark Hattersley, Oct. 27, 2009
Lisa Gade at MobileTechReview.com has a lot of praise for the Sony Reader Touch Edition PRS-600, which earns 4.5 stars (out of 5). She thinks the touch screen has been improved, but notes that it still has less contrast than competing e-readers. The file support, built-in dictionary and library lending feature get high marks.
Review: Sony Reader Touch Edition (PRS-600), Lisa Gade, Aug. 27, 2009
James Rivington appreciates the lightweight design and responsive touch-screen interface on the Sony Reader Touch Edition PRS-600, but he finds the lack of wireless a significant drawback. He also believes the note-taking functionality needs to be improved "if it's going to be in any way usable."
Review: Hands On: Sony Reader Touch Edition Review, James Rivington, Aug. 26, 2009
8. Which? magazine
Britain's Which? magazine, similar to ConsumerReports.org, tests the Sony Reader Touch Edition alongside other popular ebook readers. Each is described in detail, with pros and cons, but the e-readers aren't ranked or given numerical ratings.
Review: Ebooks and Ebook Readers: Sony Reader Touch Edition Ebook, Editors of Which? magazine
The Sony Reader Touch Edition ties with four other ebook readers for the highest score on this website. This full review, though not as detailed as some, reveals pros and cons.
Review: Sony Reader Touch Edition PRS-600, Editors of TopTenReviews.com
10. The Times (U.K.)
The Amazon Kindle is rated highest in this brief roundup, but the Sony Reader Touch Edition is deemed best for ebook beginners. Mark Harris says it's a "superb value and easy to use," but it can't download books wirelessly as the Kindle can.
Review: Five of the Best Ebook Readers, Mark Harris, Oct. 11, 2009
This website does great electronics reviews, but editors haven't tested many ebook readers. However, they have fully reviewed the Sony Reader Touch Edition, which earns a Recommended award.
Review: Sony Reader Touch Edition, Niall Magennis, Oct. 14, 2009
Stuart Miles doesn't rate the Sony Reader Touch Edition PRS-600, but his initial impressions are highly favorable. Lack of wireless connectivity is the most notable shortfall, but Miles believes this Sony e-reader is a worthy competitor to the Amazon Kindle.
Review: Sony PRS-600 Reader Touch Edition Ebook -- First Look Review, Stuart Miles, Aug. 26, 2009
Unlike other reviewers, Matthew Miller has few problems with glare or low contrast on the new Sony Reader Touch Edition PRS-600, and he notes a distinct improvement from the previous model, the PRS-700.
Review: Hands-on with the Sony Reader Touch Edition PRS-600, Matthew Miller, Sept. 3, 2009
Lots of owners provide user reviews of the Sony Reader Touch Edition. Though the overall rating is relatively unimpressive, far more owners are happy (or relatively happy) than otherwise. Opinions on the touch screen are mixed. Some say it suffers from so much glare it's unreadable, while others say it's fine.
Review: Sony Digital Reader Touch Edition, Contributors to Amazon.com