Update – July 23, 2010 – In short, buy a Kindle or a Nook.
I bought the Sony PRS-300 reader mainly because I didn’t like the keyboard on the Amazon Kindle. I have no problem having to hook my reader up to my PC to get a new book downloaded, so the Amazon Whispernet feature didn’t appeal to me, either.
I just finished reading my first book on the device and I have to tell you that I didn’t even notice that I was reading on an electronic device. The only thing that was strange was the inherent flashing that occurs when you turn the page, but that’s the e-ink technology at work. A small price to pay. The page turns were fast enough to keep up with my reading, so this was no problem for me.
The menus on the device are simple to use and intuitive. I like the fact that I can be reading multiple books at once and it remembers my place in all of them. I can have multiple bookmarks, as well, so that’s a nice feature.
All-in-all, I love the device. The only reason I gave it 4 stars on features was because it doesn’t have a search function. But, I accept this because there is no keyboard, which I stated above is something I didn’t want.
All of the low ratings I’ve seen so far come from people who are reading PDFs on the device. I can’t speak for the PDF quality as I don’t use mine for that purpose. I buy books from the Sony eBook store and I plan to get some from other free sources (ePub), as well.
The construction of the device feels sturdy. I don’t plan on dropping it to find out, but is well-balanced in my hands. One-handed reading is not a problem, either.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive device to read books on, this is the one. Because it’s Sony, I trust that it’ll be around for awhile.