Sony Reader Touch Edition (PRS-650) eBook reader
A stylish Sony eBook reader with an Apple iPad-style touchscreen
- Great build quality, two memory card slots, good picture viewer, touchscreen actually works!
- No Wi-Fi, slightly overpriced, skimps on bundled extras
The Sony Reader Touch Edition (PRS-650) is a handsomely crafted eBook reader that impresses on almost every level. However, with no Wi-Fi or bundled accessories, it's perhaps a teensy bit overpriced (Australian RRP: $299).
Price$ 299.00 (AUD)
As its name suggests, the Sony Reader Touch Edition (PRS-650) eBook reader comes with a touchscreen in the form of a six-inch, 16-level greyscale e-ink display (a cheaper 5in version is also available). The Sony Reader’s touchscreen can be manipulated with your fingertip or the included stylus, which slips snugly into the side of the device.
Looking for the best eBook reader? Before you buy an Amazon Kindle, Apple iPad or Sony reader check out our eBook reader comparison guide to find out the best features you should compare.
The Sony Reader Touch Edition offers a variety of font sizes
In addition to reading eBooks, viewing black-and-white photos and listening to music, the Sony Reader Touch Edition (PRS-650) doubles as a digital notepad for drawing and writing notes. File format support is good, including BBeB, PDFs, Microsoft Word and the ubiquitous ePub standard. With an RRP of $299, the Sony Reader Touch Edition is a bit pricey compared to other eBook readers on the market — especially considering it lacks Wi-Fi or 3G connectivity. Nonetheless, it remains a worthy and stylish option for discerning (digital) book worms.
In terms of design, the Sony Reader Touch Edition (PRS-650) is almost identical to its predecessor, the Reader Touch Edition PRS-600. Everything from screen size to the button layout remains more or less unchanged. Fortunately, the PRS-600 was one of the most stylish eBooks on the market, so we're not particularly fussed by the lack of a makeover. With dimensions of 118x168x9.6mm, the Sony Reader Touch Edition (PRS-650) is quite compact for a 6in eBook reader. The version we tested came with a black metal finish; a red model is also available for trendier readers.
The Sony Reader comes with two memory card slots
The Sony Reader Touch Edition (PRS-650) comes with 2GB of inbuilt storage; enough to store around 1200 eBooks. Two memory card slots (SD card and Memory Stick) are also provided, which boosts the potential storage space to an impressive 34GB. This might seem like overkill for a video-free device — but if you plan to use the Reader for music and picture viewing, those two gigabytes are sure to fill up fast. (The Reader supports MP3 and AAC audio files, and JPEG, GIF, PNG and BMP image files.)
The eBook reader has five buttons along the bottom of the screen. These consist of page-turn (forwards and back), home menu, zoom (for different-sized fonts) and a context-sensitive 'options' button. Naturally, the majority of functions are accessed via the Reader's touchscreen, which includes an on-screen QWERTY keyboard. We found text input to be reasonably fast and responsive, although people with thick fingers will be relegated to the stylus.
The Sony Reader Touch Edition doubles as a decent photo viewer
We were very impressed with the PRS-650's touchscreen. Like the Apple iPhone, pages and images can be scrolled through by flicking your finger across the screen. Sadly, you don't get that cool 'sliding' effect like on Apple products, but it still gets the job done pretty well. That said, we found ourselves using the page-scroll buttons at the bottom of the screen more often than not; it meant we didn't have to keep obscuring the screen with our hand.
The display replicates the written word superbly, and also does a pretty great job with photos. (You can set up a slideshow with customised options, such as the number of seconds each image remains onscreen.)
The handwriting tool is a pretty fun diversion, but we can't imagine people returning to it all that often. The e-ink screen simply isn't sophisticated enough to be worth the bother: all of our sketches ended up looking like clumsy, childlike scrawls and we’re usually pretty good at drawing. (No, really.)
This is the best we could muster. Sorry.
The Sony Reader Touch Edition (PRS-650) is pretty miserly when it comes to bundled extras. You only get one public domain book (Pride & Prejudice); compared to 1500 on the Kogan eBook Reader. We realise that these books can be downloaded for free, but would it have killed Sony to go to a bit of effort on our behalf? Annoyingly, Sony has also failed to provide a slipcase, which means you'll need to take care when tossing the Reader inside your bag. (You can purchase a protective cover from Sony for $45, but seriously; what's that about?) On the plus side, the Oxford Dictionary is included on the device, free of charge.
As mentioned previously, the Sony Reader Touch Edition (PRS-650) does not come with Wi-Fi or 3G capabilities (features offered by the two new Kindle 3 models). This means you're forced to connect the device to a computer whenever you want to download books or other media (a USB cable and inbuilt eBook Library software are both included).
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Join the newsletter!
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Apple iPhone X
Toys for Boys
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Bose SoundLink Micro
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Xbox One X
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- 2 Acer Spin 5 review: Value for money but conditions apply
- 3 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 4 Sony LF-S50G review: Google Assistant and then some
- 5 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
Latest News Articles
- HP Omen laptops include a first: Nvidia Max-Q graphics technology
- HP reboots Omen desktop with more of what gamers love
- HP's Omen Accelerator can give your laptop some guts
- HP's Omen X Compact Desktop can morph into a backpack VR PC
- Samsung to detail new Tizen OS for smart home appliances, IoT devices
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- CES 2018: Belkin go big on wearables accessories
- CES 2018: Alcatel Embrace 18:9 Aspect Ratio In 2018
- OPPO Load Up A73 Smartphone With Flagship Features
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- CCSecurity ArchitectNSW
- FTSenior Network EngineerACT
- TPAndroid DeveloperQLD
- CCUser Interface DeveloperACT
- FTOnboarding ConsultantOther
- TPIncident ManagerNSW
- CCSenior MySQL Database AdministratorNSW
- TPSenior Business Analyst - TechnicalNSW
- FTLinux System AdministratorVIC
- FTGun Java Developers wantedVIC
- FTProject ManagerOther
- CCHadoop DeveloperQLD
- FTClinical Application Support Specialist - PermanentQLD
- CCSharePoint DeveloperACT
- CCIteration / Project ManagerWA
- FTDevOps Practice OfficerACT
- CCJunior to Mid-level DeveloperQLD
- FTLevel 2/3 Application Support SpecialistQLD
- FTJAVA DeveloperSA
- CCCloud Release & Deployment ArchitectACT
- FTBusiness Analyst - Operational Performance ReportingOther
- FT.NET DeveloperNSW
- FTEmbedded Software EngineerWA
- CCIteration Manager - TelcoVIC
- FTApplication/Systems Support AnalystOther