Sony Reader PRS-650 Touch Edition

Score

Sections

Pros

  • Good touchscreen
  • Great E-ink display
  • Dictionary integration

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Back is plastic
  • No Wi-Fi or 3G connectivity

Key Features

  • Review Price: £179.00
  • 2GB internal memory
  • Pro Duo and SD card slots
  • E-ink screen
  • "2-week" battery life
  • Touchscreen

The PRS-650 Touch is the current king of Sony’s Reader range. Flying in the face of the super-aggressive pricing of its main rival the Amazon Kindle, this 6in E-ink ereader costs almost £200. It’s not without a few Kindle-beating charms though, not least of which is being a gadget that isn’t as painfully ubiquitous as the Apple iPhone.

The first Sony Reader was the PRS-505, released in 2008, which featured what’s come to be a classic design. At the top of its chart of winning features was a luxurious full-aluminium body. This makes a slight return in the PRS-650, with an aluminium front panel curving around to the seam that connects it to the plastic panel that covers the rest of the back. It’s designed to look like brushed metal, but is soon revealed as an impersonation as it doesn’t have that cool-to-the-touch metallic feel. As well as feeling less premium, plastic tends to prove less durable in the long run too.

With 2GB of on-board storage – enough to hold thousands of books – there’s little need for additional storage if the PRS-650 is used as a pure ebook reader. If you do require more storage, though, there are two card slots are included anyway; the Pro Duo and SD sockets sitting on the top of the device, alongside the power slider and stylus slot.

The two side edges of the PRS-650 have been kept completely clear, improving comfort in-hand. Its left edge is particularly comfy, made of metal and curved to a semi-circle shape that’s perfectly smooth, with a subtle thumb-groove ridge as it curves round to the front of the ereader. In short, it’s dead comfortable to hold given its minimal ergonomic enhancements.

Using a plastic back has allowed the Reader to shave off a few precious grams. At 215g, it’s comfortable to use one-handed for long periods – and is lighter than the all-plastic Kindle, which is 241g in its Wi-Fi only form or 247g for the 3G Wi-Fi edition. The main page navigation buttons on the front are designed for one-handed use, your thumb hovering over them naturally when held by its bottom-left corner.
Sony Reader PRS-650
It’s not so well-prepared to be held with your right hand though, lacking the side page controls found on the Kindle and the Sony Reader PRS-505. However, thanks to its touchscreen, this is no big deal. Swipes back and forth over it turn pages just as swiftly as a button press, and while your grip on the PRS-650 is a little less firm when a thumb’s left hovering occasionally over the touchscreen, it’d take a feat of real cack-handedness to drop the thing in normal usage.

The other buttons lined-up on the front of the PRS-650 take you to the reader’s home screen, change front size and pull up the options menu. They’re made from plastic rather than metal but have a firm action with a discernible click. The features you’ll need to use the least are arranged on the bottom – volume control, 3.5mm headphone jack and the microUSB slot.

Part of us longs for the shiny plastic bits of the reader – the strip that runs along three of its edges and those front buttons – to be made of metal, but after the lust for luxury died down we became more appreciative of its light weight. Other ereaders have been lighter, like the Cool-er and Foxit Slick, but they haven’t matched the solidity of the Sony PRS-650.  You may want an ebook reader to be as light as possible, but it also needs to be able to suck up some punishment to survive years of being carried around in a bag, replacing a succession of paperbacks.

More from TrustedReviews

LG Q8 finally brings the V20’s promise to Europe

Atari is now in the speaker business… and the hat business

Thinner Moto Z2 Force could come with a huge trade-off

HyperLoop One

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop gathering pace as NY-DC link gets ‘OK’

N64oid

Is this proof an N64 Classic will follow the SNES?

Agents of Mayhem preview

cats 17

Why you’ll want to download this OnePlus 5 update today

Golf rory

British Open Golf Live Stream: How to watch online for free

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare for Xbox One down to under £9

Samsung Gear S3 finally gets Samsung Pay support in UK

Welcome to the all new Trusted Reviews

Netgear Arlo

Netgear Arlo Pro

Cat Amazon

Are you kitten me? Pet translation devices tipped for future smart homes

fire emblem warriors

Fire Emblem Warriors

pokken

Pokkén Tournament DX

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb 5

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay now lets you use your PayPal funds at the checkout

assassins creed origins

Ubisoft teases new games for Nintendo Switch, coming ‘quite soon’

amazon echo

Ask Vodafone: Mobile network’s first Amazon Alexa voice skill is revealed

Google Feed

The Google app’s new personalised feed might just drag you off Facebook

z2play 9

Moto Z2 Play

Mira Prism

For just $99 you can bring AR to the iPhone 7

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S9 displays may be the same, save one major new feature

movie theatre

The Netflix Effect: ‘Binge-watching’ is coming to movie theatres

Porsche MIssion E

Porsche’s latest electric car chargers put Tesla to shame

EE logo

EE’s new 20GB SIM-free deal is the best value tariff you’ll see all summer

Int-Ball

These are the first images from the ISS – as captured by a zero-gravity drone

iMac 21.5-inch 4K (2017)

LG V30 case

LG V30 design ‘confirmed’ ahead of IFA 2017 launch

iPhone 7 vs iPhone SE

Waiting for the iPhone SE 2? Sadly, it could be a one-and-done

Google Glass Enterprise

Google Glass 2 has arrived, sort of

Denon AH-C621R

Denon AH-C621R

BBC Proms

Get ready to listen to the BBC Proms like never before

Fender Newport Monterey Bluetooth speakers

Fender’s new Bluetooth speakers look just like tiny guitar amps

Garmin Vivosmart 3

Garmin Vivosmart 3

airplane

Is the laptop travel ban dead? Electronics restrictions lifted by TSA but UK fails to follow suit

KitSound Immerse

KitSound Immerse Wireless Headphones

Emojis

It’s World Emoji Day and Apple is showing off all of its newcomers

Porn Block

Privacy fears as UK plans age verification for porn sites

WhatsApp

New WhatsApp feature could give Apple’s iMessage a run for its money