Exclusive: Sony PRS-650 Grandmother Review

Posted by – October 8, 2010

Watch my grandmother use this new touch screen Sony e-reader. It’s a product that is suitable for people like her, who like to read lots, who may enjoy having access to all the worlds books electronically on this thin and light device. In this review, after having barely used the device before, she tries to navigate through the menus, open some PDF files, make fonts larger (to not need glasses) and she even does a drawing.

Also see my 11-minute video interview with a Sony specialist unveiling it and discussing technical details about it at IFA.

Sony’s new infrared based touch screen technology is quite awesome, great for UI navigations and for making annotations, provides touch on e-ink without taking away any of the Pearl e-ink’s screens visibility. Too bad though that this PRS-650 doesn’t come with at least WiFi nor with a 3G option, would have made the touch screen more useful if it could interact with web apps and web contents. I want Chrome-to-phone like Chrome-to-eink functionality where a one click in the web browser on my Laptop or Android device, should beam that article over to my Connected e-reader’s reading queue. And then I want annotations to become more useful and collaborative. 10 people working on the same text should be able to wirelessly share annotations in real-time. When I annotate a text, it should automatically be attached as comments to any site using Sidewiki or some other such web annotation standards to interoperate with websites existing commenting systems (post scribbled annotations as comments!). A bluetooth or USB keyboard and a built-in kickstand should provide a setup for full speed text entry.