Sony is hoping to spur sales ahead of the holiday shopping season with the release of new electronic readers with touchscreen control.
Sony's new line of Reader digital books include the new Reader Pocket Edition, Reader Touch Edition and, in the U.S., the wireless Reader Daily Edition.
The new Reader models feature colorful, aluminum designs and touch screens. In addition to the new devices in the U.S., Sony announced development of a set of applications for iPhone and the Android Marketplace to extend the Reader experience across multiple portable devices.
Sony equipped the entire line of new Readers with improved, optical touch screen technology designed specifically for digital reading. The technology enhances ease of use and increases reading clarity. Book lovers can now escape into their favorite books with the lightest swipe of a finger or stylus pen.
All three devices utilize E Ink Pearl electronic paper displays, which delivers a paper-like display that is readable in direct sunlight. The screens offer a high contrast ratio with 16 levels of grayscale.
The new Reader Pocket Edition
sports a five-inch, full touch screen and a lightweight design that's easy to slip into a purse or jacket pocket for convenient, on-the-go reading. It is available in chic colors, including silver and pink. It has 2 GB of onboard memory, which lets you carry up to 1,200 of your favorite books, and retails for about $179.
The new Reader Touch Edition
features a six-inch full touch screen and 2 GB of onboard memory. In addition, it offers dual expansion slots for up to 32GB of additional memory and the ability to play MP3 and AAC audio files. It's available in black or red for about $229.
The Reader Daily Edition
provides a wireless connection to Sony's Reader Store from most of the U.S. via AT&T's 3G network. Now, it will also provide Wi-Fi and basic Web browsing capability on its seven-inch full touch screen.
A host of pre-loaded reading-based URLs will provide direct access to optimized, text-based sites. The Reader Daily Edition also includes 2 GB of memory and expansion slots for additional memory (up to 32 GB). It comes in silver and will sell for about $299.
Additional new features across the entire line include
easier reading of PDF or personal documents. Content zoom, adjustable contrast and brightness control, as well as automatic multiple page creation will make documents designed for a standard sheet of paper easier to read on a smaller screen. Also, personalized standby screen options will allow users to use their favorite photos as a screen saver and the collections functionality will allow them to group their favorite reads.
In addition, the new Reader line is more global than ever, offering users the ability to look up words and phrases with the built in New Oxford American Dictionary, Second Edition and Oxford Dictionary of English eDictionaries, as well as 10 translation dictionaries in languages such as French, German, Spanish, Italian and Dutch. Wordsmiths across the globe can now create "word logs" to track the words they've looked up per dictionary, book or periodical in chronological order, while quickly switching between dictionaries.
Sony has also made several changes and improvements to Reader Store. More than 1.2 million titles are available in the U.S. via the store. Sony provides an extensive offering of newspaper and magazine content for single issue purchase or subscription within the newsstand area of the store. Soon to be available titles include The Harvard Business Review, The Wilson Quarterly and Dell Magazines' highly regarded fiction magazines: Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Asimov's Science Fiction, and Analog Science Fiction and Fact. The store's Library Finder application continues to provide access to local public libraries to borrow eBooks for free. To make choosing a book easier, the New York Times Bestsellers list will be featured alongside the Reader Store's bestsellers. By next month, integration with Goodreads will also permit the inclusion of reader reviews from that site onto the Reader Store.
With Reader Desktop Edition (formerly Reader Library) for Apple's Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows and Reader Mobile Edition for Apple iPhone and Google Android-based smartphones, users will be able to synchronize their reading among multiple devices. These free applications, available later this year, will offer a digital reading experience with an elegant interface and access to Sony's Reader Store for browsing and purchasing content. Reader Desktop Edition also includes the ability to easily manage content for the non-wireless Reader models.
The new Reader Pocket Edition and the new Reader Touch Edition are available immediately, and the new Reader Daily Edition is expected to be available this in time for the holidays. The Reader Pocket Edition and Touch Edition, as well as available accessories such as AC adaptors, cases and covers with reading lights, are available now at SonyStyle.com and SonyStyle stores.
Sony's New Digital Photo Frames
Sony also today announced three new S-Frame digital photo frames (models DPF-XR100, DPF-VR100 and DPF-D830) with video playback and battery operated capabilities.
The DPF-XR100 and DPF-VR100 models offer AVCHD video playback capabilities, allowing consumers to view video directly on the units' high-resolution WSVGA LED backlight LCD screen.
The DPF-D830 model is Sony's first battery operated digital photo frame, allowing for easy portability in the home.
The high-end XR100 and VR100 offer AVCHD video playback via media card, allowing you to enjoy your favorite HD videos without a television. The 10.2-inch diagonal high-resolution WSVGA LED backlight LCD screen provides detailed video and life-like images with vibrant colors. An advanced image processor inside the frames scales and displays content up to 256 megapixels, making these frames capable of handling footage taken with even the most advanced digital cameras or HD camcorders.
The frames also feature stereo audio, an alarm mode and Sweep Panorama playback, helping you view and showcase those panoramic photos taken by Sony Cyber-shot cameras.
Sony's exclusive TruBlack technology improves how your content looks on the S-Frame XR100 by reducing reflection and enhancing contrast to ensure more natural tones.
The D830 is Sony's first digital photo frame to offer operation via a built-in rechargeable battery (up to 100 minutes, based on photos only), so the frame can become portable and easy to show off anywhere in the house when you have family or friends over.
Featuring an SVGA LED backlight LCD display, photos locked away on your computer will now come to life on the photo frame's 8-inch diagonal screen.
With 2GB of internal memory, each of these three frames can store thousands of images. Maximizing internal space, the models offer auto-resizing that downsizes photos so you can store them within the device and return your memory card back to your camera. Additionally, they're equipped with three preloaded music tracks, but allow users to copy their own MP3 files to the internal memory.
Feature-Packed Frames for Every Budget
Sony has also included eight additional S-Frame models (models DPF-A710, DPF-D710, DPF-D810, DPF-D75, DPF-D820, DPF-D1010, DPF-D95, and DPF-D1020) to its line of digital photo frames today, offering a range of options for consumers on any budget. The frames vary by screen size and internal memory, and range in price from about $70 to $150. Models including DPF-D820, DPF-D830 and DPF-D1020 are also compatible with Motion JPEG (AVI and MOV) files.
All the frames introduced today offer features such as slide show variations, an auto orientation sensor to detect if your frame has been placed horizontally or vertically, clock and calendar views, and index modes so you can preview several photos at once. You can also conserve energy by using the auto power on/off setting to program when you want the frame to turn on in the morning and off at night. Functions of the digital photo frame can be managed using the included remote controller.
Digital images can be loaded onto the internal memory of the digital photo frames from several types of media cards, including Memory Stick PRO, Memory Stick PRO Duo, SD and SDHC Memory Card, and MMC. Photos can also be transferred to the frames from a computer via a USB cable (optional). All models support JPEG and RAW (thumbnail preview) image file formats.
The S-Frame DPF-XR100, DPF-VR100 and DPF-D830 digital photo frames will be available in November for about $250, $200 and $150, respectively, direct at sonystyle.com, at Sony Style retail stores, and through the Sony Retailer Network. Pricing and availability for the additional models are as follows:
* DPF-A710 - available in October for about $70
* DPF-D710 - available in October for about $80
* DPF-D810 - available in October for about $100
* DPF-D75 - available now for about $100
* DPF-D820 - available in October for about $120
* DPF-D1010 - available in October for about $130
* DPF-D95 - available now for about $140
* DPF-D1020 - available in October for about $150