The new SONY reader is out. Not played with a SONY reader yet? You might consider it. I got one of the older models about a month ago using credit card points. At first I thought it would just a be a cool gadget to show when I talk to different groups about e-readers and their technology. However, once you get over some of the awkward characteristics of the reader, I find that it is actually quite nice. I may not go back to print books for reading again -- unless I can't find the book I want in an e-format.
The new SONY reader will be much like the last, with some improvements -- such as double the memory space. It also boasts the latest in e-ink technology -- displaying 8 shades of gray rather than 4. (It is rumored that Amazon's e-reader to be released next month is still using the 4-shade e-ink display.) The latest SONY reader also is reported to be somewhat brighter and able to display content at a faster rate.
As I noted, I have found the e-reader pretty handy and easy to use, once you get use to it's quirks. It would not be well-suited for textbooks or reference resources, but works great for leisure reading while on the plane, in the airport, or outback on the hammock on weekends. With nearly a half-dozen e-readers now or soon to be on the market in the US and Europe, e-readers may begin to turn the tide on slow e-book sales. The technology still has some ground to cover yet, however. My one real complaint about the SONY reader at this stage? It is SONY's online store -- Connect. The site was more difficult to navigate and less user friendly than the device itself -- an nearly unforgiveable error in today's world of web transactions.