Sony Informative - Miserable experience with "Sony" and Sony reader touch edition
What a miserable experience - especially from Sony. This reader was purchased as a Christmas gift from a "Sony" store in the USA. I was assured by the sales manager that it would be compatible with international voltage (it was) and the warranty would also be covered internationally (it wasn't). I gave it to my wife on Christmas day and it failed 1 day later with a message that its memory was being formatted and locked up. Prior to its breaking down I was synching the free books available for download from Sony once the product is registered.
The Sony touch reader seemed to be well built with an aluminium case and was a convenient size and weight. It is quite new only being introduced in October 2009. That's the end of the good stuff. I started by fully charging the unit per instruction manual, and then turning on the unit and read a book included in the memory. The first feelings that I had was the awkward position of the page turning buttons as I am right handed and they are positioned on the bottom left. This was even more awkward as I purchased a leather cover with light to hold the unit and the left hand cover further interfered with the page turning buttons. Inconvenient. You can also use the touch screen to turn pages but more on that later. I also didn't like the clarity, brightness and contrast of the screen. The first thing I tried to do was adjust the contrast but there is no function to adjust either the brightness or contrast, or for that matter, no ability to reverse text/background colours. What you see is what you get. Very disappointing as I found the text tiring to read and because of the low contrast, it seemed slightly out of focus. Sony says the screen is meant to be similar to a books paper and text, but when holding up the page of a book next to the screen, a book has a much whiter background and is far easier on the eyes. In low light conditions, like lying down and reading on a cloudy day it became uncomfortable to read text, while reading a paper book was no problem. The touch screen (I am used to an Iphone) is also poor. It requires a little bit of a heavy hand to use it. Screen protectors are a must as you really have to push on the screen, and the Sony screen protectors are expensive and further reduces the quality of the image. I would not recommend the Sony e-reader just for these problem areas, but there is more.....
After registering the Sony reader on their internet site, I downloaded the free books. Then I tried to synch the unit with the software provided through the USB port (the software and drivers are automatically installed when the unit is first connected to the USB port on the PC). It took almost an hour to synch the 100 or so books downloaded!!! Soooo slow!! Then I tried to synch a further 25 downloads from the Sony website and then CRASH! The unit locked up and refused to even power off. Then a message came up saying that the memory was being formatted and then it would power off. End of. I could never get out of this problem and Sony UK support said it was defective.
Now starts the real problems. As mentioned the Sony Touch e-reader was purchased from a Sony Store as a gift. We travel extensively and bought the unit in a store in Boston. We were assured that the unit would work with all voltages and that the warranty would be covered in any part of the world where Sony did business. Well, apparently, Sony is not necessarily Sony. It turns out that Sony shops are owned and operated by others, and are licensed to do so from Sony. So back in the UK, I called Sony support and was told that I would have to take the unit back to the store in Boston, 5000 miles away, as the warranty didn't apply in Europe (UK in this case). I explained that this was a SONY product and the product is no different from any other one sold internationally. Now I was talking to Sony HQ in Wokingham when told this and as the Sony stores are not operated by Sony there was no possibility to exchange the defective unit in the UK (or elsewhere for that matter). But it's Christmas I told them!!! Sorry said Sony. End of story. Apparently Sony is not Sony in many cases and Sony the Company refused to support it's own product!!!!
So here we are going on our Christmas holiday without the Sony Touch e-reader. How disappointing it is to give someone a gift for Christmas and have this happen!!!!
So rating the product on its merits as an e-reader, I give it 2 out of 10, and for Sony support, a big fat zero. I am so angry about this I am tempted to write a paragraph of expletives, but instead I will never buy a Sony product again. What has happened to Sony that used to have a reputation of quality products and support????? I now own a very expensive Frisbee.