Sony PRS-600 Touch Edition Reader Review


sony-600-22Last month, news of two new Sony readers leaked when someone found repair manuals for new devices called the PRS-300 and the PRS-600.  Gadget sites were rife with speculation about these devices and when they’d be released.  Sony quickly confirmed that these new devices would be released at the end of August, and they even listed the Sony Pocket Edition (also known as the PRS-300, to use the old convention of using the model number as the name) and the Sony Touch Edition (PRS-600) for pre-order.  I’ve been a devoted Sony Reader user since the PRS-500, so I quickly placed a pre-order for the Touch in red.  On August 25, Sony officially announced the Touch and Pocket Edition readers, and SonyStyle started shipping the devices.  I received mine on August 27.

The Touch Edition is a melding of both the PRS-505 and the PRS-700 models.  Gone are most of the input buttons of the 505 model.  Like the 700 before it, the Touch (or 600, as some users are calling it) uses a touch-screen for input.  It retains a few buttons, but they are placed discreetly at the bottom of the display screen, similar to the old 700 model in appearance.  The 600 is the same length and width as the 505, but it is 0.1” thicker.  The front-lighting from the 700 is gone.  This allows the touch screen to lay flat against the E-ink display in the 600.

Hardware specifications

  • Size in inches : 6.9 x 4.8 x .4
  • Weight  : 10.1 oz
  • Screen Size: Vizplex 6 inch (diagonal) E-Ink display with 8-level gray scale and a resolution of 800 x 600 pixels
  • Memory Size : 512 MB.  User available capacity: Approximately 380 MB
  • Dual memory card expansion slots for Memory Stick PRO Duo and SD card up to  16 GB
  • Media formats supported : ePub (Adobe DRM protected), PDF (Adobe DRM protected), BBeB Book (PRS DRM protected), ePub, BBeB Book, PDF, TXT, RTF, Microsoft Word (conversion to the Reader requires Word installed on your PC), JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, MP3 (non-encrypted), AAC (non-encrypted)
  • Connectivity : USB for file transfer from PC
  • Power : charge  with USB cable (supplied) or optional A/C adapter
  • Battery: rechargeable lithium-ion battery


What’s in the Box?

  • Reader
  • USB cable for charging and synching the device
  • Protective neoprene sleeve
  • Quick start guide

The first thing I noticed when I opened the box is what is NOT included.  This reader doesn’t come with a case, just the sleeve.  I’m sure this was a cost-saving decision, but I don’t think it was a good one. The neoprene case is very flimsy. The foam isn’t dense and resistant to compression like my neoprene laptop sleeve. It is very soft and spongy, and seems too insubstantial to provide much protection for the glass display screen. The sleeve is open at the top. There is no zipper or flap or even Velcro to close the case. The sleeve fits the naked reader snugly enough that I don’t think the reader would easily fall out, but I carry the reader in my purse, and this sleeve is not going to keep pens or keys from slipping in to scratch the reader.

The body of the 600 seems to be aluminum, like all the models before it. It does have a non-slip coating on the back. I suppose this is to make it easier to hold without a cover. Holding the naked reader isn’t comfortable for me. I much prefer the book-like feel of a cover, and I like that the cover provides a little protection if I should drop the reader. Unfortunately, none of the optional covers were available from Sony when I received my reader. Luckily Sony stuck with the cover attachment method from the previous generation of readers, so I tried it in the original vinyl cover from my 505. It fits in that cover, but the 600 is a tight fit. It was hard to slip it into the plastic nubs that hold the reader in the case, and I felt I was going to break the plastic spine before I managed to wedge the 600 in there.

No software CD is included in the package, but the reader itself contains installation files. Since I already had the latest version of the Sony library software on my computer running 64-bit Windows Vista Home Premium, I did not run these installation files. My software recognized the new reader immediately. I was surprised to see a firmware update was already available. It was to fix a problem with using memory cards, and the update installed without a problem. I authorized the reader and started charging the battery and loading up books.


Sony PRS-600 (left) and PRS-505 (right)

I never owned the Sony PRS-700, which was their first touch-screen model. I saw the device on display in a local Borders, and I felt that the screen was much less clear than the screen on the 505 model. Adding a touch screen layer to the device made text on the screen appear much lighter and less sharp. The fact that the touch layer was floating above the e-ink screen – to allow for the LEDs that provided the built-in lighting – only compounded the issue. I was pleased to see that the 600, while not as sharp and clear as the 505 display, was much improved over the 700. The screen has a very readable display, and I didn’t really notice the small loss of clarity until I compared the 505 and the 600 side-by-side. Since I haven’t any experience with the 700, all my comparisons from this point on will be between the PRS-505 and the PRS-600.

When I started playing around with the 600, I worried about the amount of pressure needed to operate the touch screen. It required much more pressure than I was comfortable using. There is an included stylus, but I don’t want to use the stylus to turn pages. I read so much, I fear that the stylus would eventually cut a groove through the touch screen! I found that using the tip of my finger or the flat side of my fingernail works much better than using the pad of my finger. Once I got the hang of it, operating the touch screen worked easily.


Reflection in PRS-600 screen. Picture is dark because I couldn't use a flash without showing only a big, white glare.

After I got used to the controls and started reading, I noticed how reflective the reader is. The PRS-505 I’ve used for almost two years isn’t reflective, and it was always easy to find a comfortable reading angle. I had also had the 505 in the Sony light wedge case since last December, so I was used to having a reading light that seemed to be part of the reader itself. I had a really difficult time with the PRS-600 being so reflective at first. This was almost a deal-breaker for me. The first night I used it, it was in a small case with a huge clip-on book light. The awkward feel of this arrangement and the reflections on the screen saw me starting the return-authorization process and packing up the reader for return when I got up the next morning. I finally decided to give the reader a second chance, and I’m glad that I did. I got a better-fitting case that’s sturdy enough to support the book light, so I was better able to concentrate on reading. The 600 retains all the functions that I’ve loved about the previous two Sony readers I’ve owned, and it has some new features, added storage, increased speed, and a beautifully sleek appearance. And it’s red – always a bonus for me! (Actually, the 600 is also available in silver and black, if red isn’t to your taste.)

What does the 600 retain from earlier generations? It’s still a compact size that fits easily in a purse, gear bag, or laptop bag. It’s light, so it’s easy to hold for hours while I read through those nights while I’m suffering from insomnia.


Press the hardware button marked with the magnifying glass to easily change font sizes (this model has five font sizes, two more than the 505) so you can find a comfortable size for reading. As before, the 600 supports a variety of digital book formats, both DRM and DRM-free. In addition to the proprietary Sony format, you can use Adobe pdf files. Since many libraries offer digital books in Adobe pdf format, you can check-out and read books from your local library on your Sony reader. You can also read ePub books, which means you aren’t tied in to getting your books only from the Sony bookstore. You can read text files, rich-text-format files, and even Microsoft Word files if you have Word installed on your computer to allow the file to be converted as it is installed on your reader.

Battery life is still great. I’ve been reading for a full week now on the same charge. I’ve found a charge on my 505 would usually last about 2 weeks with reading 3-4 hours a night. (I have a lot of trouble sleeping!) Sony is still persisting in describing battery life as about 7500 page changes, and people are always concerned that they’ve read considerably less than 7500 pages before they need to recharge. The fine print says you can get 7500 page changes if you fully charge the battery, open a book and continually change pages as fast as you can without stopping. What they don’t spell out is that your battery continues to drain even while you aren’t reading. The power switch doesn’t actually power your device off – it puts it into a stand-by mode. The screen is blanked and the touch screen and all of the buttons other than the power toggle button are disabled, but the reader is still “on” and slowly draining the battery. You can turn the reader off, but that requires going into the settings and choosing to power down the reader. This saves the battery, but it does take extra time to restart the reader when you next want to read.


Cover attachment, charging light, power slider, PRO Duo slot, SD card slot, stylus

The 600 retains the dual memory card expansion slots from the previous generations. You can increase the amount of storage for books by adding an SD card (up to 16 GB) and/or a Memory Stick PRO Duo card (up to 16 GB). It also retains the ability to display image files and to play audio files. These are two functions that I haven’t ever used. The 8-level gray scale screen isn’t the best method of showing off pictures of my family. I keep only one picture on my reader, and that’s a picture of me to which I added my phone numbers and name. If I lose my reader, an honest person can use that information to contact me and that picture to ensure that I’m the owner when I come to claim it.


I have never used the built-in audio player in any of the Sony readers I’ve owned. I have an iPod, and I use that if I want to hear music. Unless the audio player has changed in this version, it’s not useful for audio books because it doesn’t retain the position where you left off in the book. I’d be happy if Sony just completely eliminated the audio player from its readers. Apparently others feel the same, because Sony did eliminate the audio player in its PRS-300 model.


Page Back, Page Forward, Home, Font Sizing, and Options hardware buttons

There’s a new hardware button on the 600 that I never had on the PRS-500 or PRS-505. It’s the “options” button, and it offers different choices depending on what you are doing when you press the “options” button. These functions will be discussed in the appropriate sections below.


From the “home” menu, you can still choose to see a listing of all installed books sorted by various criteria. Use the “options” hardware button to access these sort methods. You can sort by title, by author, or by the date. A new option here is you can choose to view your books either by list or by a thumbnail view of the cover. Another new option here is that you can search the complete book list for a title keyword or author name for a listing of only the books that fit your search criteria. You can also change the screen orientation between portrait and landscape; this changes the orientation of the reader in all its functions.


A feature retained from previous versions of the readers is the ability to sort installed books by collections. These collections are like folders with no sub-folders allowed, similar to playlists on the iPod. They must be created on the reader by the Sony library software and the books must be sorted into the collections by the library software, as well. These are virtual collections – only one copy of the book needs to be on the reader, and the book can appear in as many of these collections as you like. Collections are displayed alphabetically on the reader. The only options for collections are search for a collection title keyword or change the screen orientation.


Cover attachment, wrist strap attachment, reset button, A/C power, USB, headphone, volume rocker

The 600, like all Sony models before it, does not offer wireless connectivity. You still need a computer to purchase and store your ebooks. You’ll need to connect the reader to the computer via usb to copy over books. The Sony library software allows you to organize and maintain your library on your computer and on the reader. The library software also allows access to the Sony bookstore and manages books checked out from your local library. This software has always been available for Windows computers, and it is now available for Mac users.

What new features have been added? The 600 has a faster processor, so page turns are much faster than with my 505 reader. I also noticed that transferring books from the Sony library software is much faster. The 600 has about 380 MB of internal storage, up from the 192 MB in the 505 reader. I was able to load all the books I had on my 505 and I still had about 200 MB free in the 600. Because I can have so many books on my reader at all times, I don’t feel the need to buy a book wirelessly in seconds. I can wait until I get to my computer to buy a book, and I don’t have to worry that I’ll find someone wirelessly deleted anything from my reader!


A dictionary has been added to the 600. Depending on your language and keyboard preference, you will have either the New Oxford American Dictionary (English language with US keyboard) or the Oxford Dictionary of English (English language with UK keyboard). These are the only dictionaries available at this time. During setup, if you choose a language other than English, you will not have a dictionary. To look up a word in the book you are reading, simply double tap on the word. The definition will be displayed in a box at the bottom of the screen. In this display, you have three further options. You can tap the highlighter option to highlight this word to make a “note” in your book.


You can tap the magnifying glass icon to start a search for other instances of this word in the book. Finally, tap the icon of the open book with an A superimposed on it to open the dictionary. With the dictionary open, you can read an expanded definition of the word, if available. There is also a keyboard icon at the bottom of the dictionary page. Bringing the keyboard up allows you to type in other words for lookup in the dictionary. You can also use the hardware page-turn buttons to move around inside the dictionary. Tapping the X icon at the top of the screen closes the dictionary and returns you to your book.


At any point while reading or while on any other function screen in the viewer, you can press the hardware button identified by the house icon to return to the main menu. This is a nice new feature not found on the 505 reader. In the 505, you had to continually press the menu button to make your way through a tree of menus to return to the main menu; you could also press and hold the menu button down for 3 or 4 seconds to return to the main menu. This single button press is an improvement because you don’t have to guess where you’ll end up in the menu tree when you press it.

This simplified home menu button is possible because of the addition of the “options” hardware button that I mentioned earlier. If you are at the home menu, “options” allows you to search for a particular author or a title keyword among all the books you have on your reader.


While reading a book, “options” allows you to enter a page number to go to, to browse the history of the pages you’ve been on in this book, return to the table of contents, create or edit notes within the book, see the publisher’s information about the book, delete the book from the reader, or change the display orientation between portrait and landscape. The notes option here allows you to highlight text, make handwritten notes directly on the text of the book, erase a note you’ve previously made, see a list of all the notes in your book, or simply “dog-ear” that page.


When you are at the home menu, you can select “All Notes” to see a listing of all the notes you have made in your installed books in internal memory and on any memory cards in the reader. You can set up the Sony library software to merge your book notes with the notes in the copy of that book on your computer when you use the synchronize method of maintaining your reader instead of the drag-and-drop method.


You can use the reader as a memo pad or sketchpad. Select “Handwriting” from the home menu to create a drawing or a handwritten note using your finger or the supplied stylus, see a list of all your handwritten notes, and edit and delete these notes.



Choose “Text Memo” from the home menu to use a virtual keyboard to type in a note, see a list of all your notes, and edit and delete these notes. These notes are separate from the notes made in your books.



I’m sure there are other things the reader can do that I haven’t discovered yet.

I’m very glad I decided to give the PRS-600 another chance;  I won’t be returning it. The 600 retains the functions I loved from my 505 and has added a dictionary and note-taking features. Writing in the books themselves isn’t something I’ll use since I read for pleasure. I was never one to write in my books anyway, so I don’t think I’d do that even in a digital book. It will be nice to make a quick handwritten note to myself if I find myself without paper handy. When I factor in faster page turns, faster loading of books from the Sony library software, and a nice screen, I’m very happy I decided to upgrade to the Sony PRS-600.


There have been several questions about making collections in the Sony Reader software.  The above picture is a screen capture showing the bottom of the left frame in the Sony Reader software.  I have no reader attached at the time.  The Plus-sign key used to create collections is shown circled in red.  If I press the plus-sign key with no reader attached, I will create a collection in the Sony Reader software.  If I have a reader connected, it would be listed between the eBook Store and Computer in the list above.  To create a collection in the reader itself, I would first select the reader in the list, then click the plus-sign.  I can create collections in the library even if I have a reader connected.  To do that, I would make sure that I had selected “Books” at the top of the left frame before clicking the plus-sign.  You then rename the collection to whatever you’d like, and drag and drop books into the collection.


Product Information

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Good screen clarity
  • Increased internal memory for books compared to previous Sony reader models
  • Can add up to 32 GB of additional memory using a SD card and a Memory Stick PRO Duo
  • Can make text or hand-drawn notes inside books
  • Can read a wide variety of ebook formats
  • Can make text or hand-written notes or make drawings
  • Has an on-board dictionary. Look up words by double-tapping on them
  • Screen is very reflective
  • English-only dictionaries available now
  • No case provided
Posted in: eBook Readers, Reviews
{ 249 comments… add one }
  • Wendy July 29, 2010, 7:39 pm

    I am having some problems with my reader when it’s connected to my computer. Immediately upon conneting, I get a box from windows that says “Do you want to scan and fix reader. There might be some problem with some files on this device.” It gives me the option of scaning and fixing or continueing without scanning. But then it won’t allwo me to scan and fix because it’s “in use” So I have tocontinue without scanning. Then another box comes up regarding AutoPlay, but it won’t let me do anything either. Then when I finally open my library, it recognizes the reader after a few seconds, and then the computer says “reader library not responding”. I have to wait for 5 or 10 minutes to get a response. Any suggestions?

  • Janet Cloninger July 29, 2010, 8:38 pm

    @Wendy First I’d make sure it had a good charge. Sometimes when it gets really low, it seems that the USB cable doesn’t supply sufficient power to recharge it. Use an AC adapter for the reader or for a Sony PSP (those are the same thing) and charge it for several hours. Also, have you tried resetting? The reset button is on the bottom of the reader. The manual instructions are:

    Reset the Reader by pressing the RESET button with the tip of the supplied stylus, or a small pin or clip, then slide the POWER switch to turn on the Reader.

    Removing the tip from the supplied stylus: Twist the tip until it detached from the supplied stylus. To push the RESET button, use the other end of the tip that is stored in the body. Be sure to attach again after using it.

    If that doesn’t work, the only thing I can suggest is call Sony customer service.

  • Rae Rae July 31, 2010, 10:22 pm

    Wendy I usually get the boxes come up that say scan then the seperate one that has the options of what to do with the device such as auto play. I usually just close these boxes out as it is your computer recognizing you have attachted a device and what to do with it. After I close those out I open up my Library and its usually fine. (I never hit any of the options in the pop up boxes)

  • Ken August 2, 2010, 11:55 pm

    Wow Janet,

    Such an excellent and USEFUL review! I think you should go work for C-net or somebody doing the reviews. 🙂 I have been researching these readers for the last couple of weeks and I was able to get more usable info in the last 30 minutes reading your review of the 600 and 300 than in the last 2 weeks combined.
    With all this new info it had pushed me off the fence to go and order the 600. I will keep you up to date on how it goes.

    Thank you so much for putting things into a real world format that everyone can understand and use.


  • Janet Cloninger August 3, 2010, 12:09 pm

    @Ken I’m very glad you found the reviews for the Sony readers helpful! I’ll be very interested to hear how you like your new 600 when you get it. What color did you get? You know the red ones are best, right? Because they are so very pretty!

    Oh, and I already write for the best review site on the internet! But thanks for the compliment to my writing style.

  • Miriam August 15, 2010, 3:42 am

    Thank you for your detailed review! Too bad that Sony isn’t posting or linking to this info on their own website. I totally agree with everything you’ve described about the PRS-600 and it is indeed a very practical, useful and even stylish eReader. I’ve used mine now for approximately half a year and have been very happy with it. My only complaint would be that there is a certain amount of sluggishness when you work with highlighting and editing text highlights and switch back and forth between highlighting and erasing highlights (which is frequently necessary as the highlight function is sometimes a bit hyper-sensitive, especially when you sit in a moving vehicle while you do your mark-ups). Nevertheless, the flexibility of the file formats, the ability to easily read while outside and even the battery life all make the purchase of this eReader worth its cost.

    The only thing I would like to add to your review is that if one has any intention of wanting to store more books than what the internal memory can hold using an SD card, DON’T DO IT. I recently decided to start using an SD card so that I could just have my e-library available without constantly having to add and remove books. What a letdown!! I copied approx. 1,200 books to an SD card and the first time I inserted the card, the device just sat there for an hour, so I assumed it wasn’t able to read the card and I reformatted the card and re-copied the books to the card. I even tried formatting it with both FAT and FAT-32. I finally accidentally came to the realization that the SD card was working just fine and it was only taking the PRS 600 a long time to read and index the books on the card. After about 2 hours, it finally completed its process and I was able to start reading. Like other readers of your review, I have since found out that every single time after the PRS 600 is charged using the USB cable (or the card is removed and re-inserted), it takes a minimum of 30 minutes to start up as long as the SD card is inserted. Without the SD card, it starts up immediately. Of course, I have to reinsert the card to access the books on it, and then I have to wait at least half an hour again, before I can do anything with it. Despite all of the good features of this eReader, had I known THAT information beforehand, I might have looked for a different device.

  • Janet Cloninger August 15, 2010, 11:06 am

    @Miriam I tried an SD card with my very first Sony reader, the PRS-500. Even though I only had a couple of books on it, I found that having the SD card constantly in the reader caused the battery to drain faster. I never use SD cards in my readers any more. As you’ve seen, it takes it a long time to index those 1200 books. If I were going to use SD cards, I think I’d try to find some cheap, low capacity cards and segregate my books into small collections on them and only insert one when I needed those books.

    I don’t know if this would work, but perhaps charging with an AC adapter would get you a charge without requiring the reader to re-index everything. If you don’t have an AC adapter, you’ll find that the cheap chargers that work for the Sony PSP will work perfectly with the Sony reader.

  • TIM August 15, 2010, 7:39 pm


  • Janet Cloninger August 15, 2010, 8:12 pm

    Tim What type of reader do you have? A 600, 300, 505? I know with the 505, holding the button down a little longer made it advance multiple pages. One quick push advances one page. Could it be that you are just holding the page turn button down a little longer than necessary for a single page turn?

  • Annette August 17, 2010, 7:32 am

    It is taking *forever* (1-2 hours) for my 600 eReader to sync just a half dozen files. Is this normal? Thanks.

  • Janet Cloninger August 17, 2010, 8:32 am

    @Annette I’ve had this happen before. I just started up the Sony library software, connected the reader back to the USB connection, then just “expanded” the reader display in the left frame. I did that to make especially sure that the Sony software could access the reader. Things seemed normal, so I ejected the reader and disconnected it from USB. It was then able to complete the sync in less time.

    If that doesn’t work, you may need to do a reset of the reader.

  • Annette August 17, 2010, 12:06 pm

    I have had it syncing now for 5 hours so I did the reset option. How long does it normally take to sync? Thanks for your help.

  • Janet Cloninger August 17, 2010, 12:12 pm

    Annette, I don’t think mine usually takes more than 3-4 minutes. And it’s usually a lot less than that. Did the reset clear it up, or did it just start the never-ending sync after resetting. Did you try hooking it back up to the Sony software after you reset it?

  • Annette August 17, 2010, 2:24 pm

    Reset didn’t clear it up; started with the endless circle of syncing. I did hook it up again to the Reader Library software without luck.

  • Janet Cloninger August 17, 2010, 2:36 pm

    Annette, another thing to try is to hook it up to the Sony software and delete all the books you just added from the reader. Then eject it and disconnect the USB cable and see if it can finish up it’s re-sync. If it can, I’d try adding those new files one at a time to see if one of them is causing the problem.

    Also, do you have an SD card in the reader? I’d remove that and see if it could sync properly without the card.

    You could check over at MobileRead to see if anyone in the Sony forum has any ideas.

    If none of these ideas work, it might be time to contact Sony.

  • Janet Cloninger August 17, 2010, 10:49 pm

    Annette, I’ve been thinking about your problem. Is your device charged? Do you have an AC adapter for it? I read some people had similar problems that required a few hours on an AC adapter because the battery was so low the USB cable couldn’t charge it. If you don’t have a Sony reader AC charger, you can use one from a Sony PSP game player.

  • MR Smith August 20, 2010, 10:10 am


    Did you try:
    – shutdown (hold on/off switch in off for more than 3 seconds)
    – remove SD card
    – fully charge, from the 5.2v adapter port, not USB
    – turn on unit

    If you already did, there is a reference to test software in the service manual, but I don’t see the test software available. If you need to get to this point of getting test software, highly advise posting in the forums as Janet advised.

    Good reading! Mark

  • Dan Dobkin September 13, 2010, 12:45 am

    I’ve had my PRS-600 for about a month now — nice hardware but Sony’s Mac software is PATHETIC, makes you appreciate how nice Apple’s software is. Reader users should consider the open-source calibre package, , which at least allows simple management and editing of file properties.

  • Rosalie December 5, 2010, 8:38 am

    I have the PRS-600, but I don’t really understand how to delete notes like highlights. I only can delete the whole book, but not just one note. Does anyone knows how? Thanks. X

  • Janet Cloninger December 5, 2010, 12:21 pm

    @Rosalie You can find the manual here:

  • JJB December 7, 2010, 6:24 am

    I have the PRS-600 since december 2009. The loading (after a OFF/ON) is very very slow if I put a lot of books on the SD Card :
    1000-1500 books per hour (1500 for a 15MB/s card). So if you put 6000 books on the SD card and you you do an OFF/ON during a travel for example the battery of the PRS 600 is empty before the end of the loading… Sony support is unable or don’t want to solve this problem.
    Be kind but I’m not at ease with english language.
    Thanks for your help.

  • Janet Cloninger December 7, 2010, 6:31 am

    @JJB Books on the expansion cards have to be indexed every time you turn the reader on. This is a slow process, and it uses a lot of battery power. It is not a problem with the reader that can be resolved by Sony support. I think those card slots were intended as a way to add some songs to the reader, not as a way to carry a few thousand books. I don’t understand why having 6000 books in your reader is necessary at all, because it must take a long time to search for the one book you want to open. But if you want to do it, you should try separating your collection onto a set of small SD cards. Only insert the one card you need when you need it, and don’t leave an SD card in the reader at all unless you are using it.

  • JJB December 7, 2010, 6:55 am


    Thanks you for your help. Your advice is very usefull.

    May be Sony shoud modify the product description, it’s the same for the new PRS 650.

  • JJB December 7, 2010, 7:18 am

    Many thanks for your answer.

    I think Sony shoud modify the product description… see the Prs 650 features.

  • Patricia January 9, 2011, 5:15 am

    The battery on mine started to malfunction after about two months. I don’t live in the U.S. so didn’t have the option of sending it in to be repaired, but from what I read on the web the repair service is less than satisfactory. the 7000 page turns hype is just that — hype. It’s a shoddily made product — too bad because I was initially enjoying it a great deal. Now I’m at the point of ditching my investment in e-books from the sony and switching — I’m so fed up with the short battery life and the ‘freezing’ of the screen

  • JJB January 12, 2011, 5:38 am

    To Patricia,

    I think the PRS600 can’t turn 7000 pages without recharging the battery.
    If you turn 5000 page NON STOP without reading (just turning the pages) perhaps the battery will be OK.
    If you take the time reading the 5000 pages and/or create some notes or invoke the dictionary, the battery will not be OK.
    Worse : If you do a complete shut down (6 seconds on the switch) the reloading, if you have a lot of books, will drain the battery.
    I think Sony should give some of their news products to real users and listen to their advices before launching the product onto the market.
    Be kind with my english it’s not my language

  • Janet Cloninger January 12, 2011, 8:14 am

    @Patricia and JJB I discussed the battery life and the misleading use of the number of page turns to discuss battery life in the review. You will not get 7500 page turns from a battery charge in real life. You should be able to get a couple of weeks between chargings. Read the paragraph that starts “Battery life is still great.” It’s the fourth paragraph under the picture showing how reflective the screen is.

  • Nate April 28, 2011, 10:40 am

    Has anyone experienced very poor battery life from the 650? I get no more than 2 days and I’m ready to go back to paper books – a bad investment in Sony, I’m afraid.

  • Tose June 2, 2011, 8:18 pm

    Well I’m considering getting the 600, and it my be kindda a dumb question but, can it read any pdf (by that I also mean pdf’s you may find on sites like ?

  • Janet Cloninger June 2, 2011, 10:12 pm

    @Tose I think it should read any PDF file from anywhere. Depending on how complex the pages are, some may be easier to read than others, though.

  • Myrthe Liselotte July 2, 2011, 8:23 am


    I have made a few collections, but now I have trouble with putting books in it. I have empty collections now.

    Can you please tell me how to put books in my collections?


  • Janet Cloninger July 2, 2011, 12:03 pm

    @Myrthe Liselotte There’s information at the end of this review that describes how to create collections and put books into them.

  • Myrthe Liselotte July 3, 2011, 1:44 pm


    Ah, I suppose I missed that line. Now I have a few collections (with books in it. :D)

    Thank you very much!

  • Janet Cloninger July 3, 2011, 3:15 pm

    @Myrthe Liselotte I’m glad you got your collections set up!

  • Mindaugas July 12, 2011, 12:52 pm

    Hey Janet,
    I am really glad to find this review, it helped me a lot to make the general impression.
    What I would like to ask you is whether it is usable for something outside the books? I am a student and I need this reader to help me study without having to sit near PC ( I actualy can not force myself to study at PC)- that is can it load jpg, powerpoint, docx, exel files and is it comfortable to carry it arround or purchase some sort of a holder for it?
    Thank you again

  • Janet Cloninger July 12, 2011, 1:32 pm

    Hi Mindaugas, I’m glad the review helped you. Unfortunately, this isn’t going to do all you want it to do. It cannot do Powerpoint and Excel files. The complete list of compatible files is found under the Hardware Specifications header in the review. The PRS-600 is a discontinued model. It was replaced by the PRS-650, which also seems to be very difficult to find now. The PRS-650 also cannot read all the files you listed.

    The PRS-600 is very small and easy to fit in any bag, even some of my purses. Because it was discontinued so long ago, it might be difficult to find cases for it now.

    I don’t know any eInk-based eBook readers that can do all you require. You’ll probably need to look at tablets to see if any of those meet all your criteria.

  • Chris Carter August 24, 2011, 3:18 am

    Hi Janet, I am so glad I stumbled on this articule, even though you wrote it 2 years ago. I have just bought a new PRS-600 on Ebay, without realising it was a Canadian model. When I had some problems I contacted Sony here in Australia and they advised that they didn’t support this model. I was able to get the info I needed using e-support sony, but I couldn’t get a user manual because I had an Australian IP address and I was bounced back to Australia, which didn’t support…….blah blah.
    You have helped me so much with your article, the photos and making the user manual available. Are you able to help me with one problem: I have obtained a few out of copyright books online, loaded them to my PC, converted to EPUB and loaded to the ereader. BUT they don’t fit the screen format, the RHS does not appear on the screen. I would appreciate any advice.

  • Janet Cloninger August 24, 2011, 9:48 am

    @Chris Carter I think your problem probably occurred while you were creating the EPUB files. I don’t know anything about that, but someone might be able to help you if you check over at the Mobile Read site.

  • Andie October 30, 2011, 2:25 am

    Having owned a PRS600 for over 18 months now, I find it a mix of frustration and satisfaction. For the most part, I can use it to do its advertised job – Read ebooks. But its inability to properly display PDFs (some do, some don’t) is irritating. Only found out about that issue when I opened the box and found a Sony yellow errata sheet giving a spin about it. Thanks, Sony.

    The other bad features are slow screen updates (including the fact that sometimes it just doesn’t change pages despite button-pressing and finger-swiping. It just locks up, then suddenly, zippo, it will flick two pages in succession), the reflective screen (which you noted) and, for me, the death of the SD card interface in the Reader suddenly, after about 14 months. It just died. No warrantee support, of course.
    And the PC software is just tired, clumsy and lacking in features. It actually makes Apple’s iTunes look powerful, user friendly and feature-rich. Which, by the way, it’s not, by a long shot.
    Would I buy another Sony ereader? No.
    What would I recommend? Not the Kindle, due to the lack of epub file support, and the intrusive Amazon file management policy that can steal the very books you’ve bought legally (Read about Orwell’s 1984 book experience on the Kindle). I’ll probably either buy an iPad (despite the known pdf issue and the awful iTunes software) or, most likely, a lightweight Android tablet.

  • Chris Carter October 31, 2011, 1:14 am

    Since I contacted you in August I find that it is not just a problem of the few books I downloaded, but the PRS-600 I bought seems to be a heap of junk. I can’t even read the downloaded books it came with; the screen freezes and no amount of tapping, swiping, pressing will get it going again. I am embarrassed I paid good money for something that cannot be used and is not supported by the manufacturer in Australia. So no more Sony products for me.

  • Michelle November 7, 2011, 5:48 pm

    I have to admit I bought the prs600 on the basis I could carry my library around with me. While I know I don’t need thousands of books all at once it was nice to be able to pick out different ones as I chose without needing to be tied to my computer, so I am more than a little disappointed that storing many books using an sd card is pretty much impossible as the reader indexes all the books each time yet add more or remove the card etc. VEry disappointed especially as the usb port on my ebook is broke so I can only ever add books via the sd card 🙁

  • papadopoulou.zwh February 6, 2012, 7:02 am

    sony prs-600. a useless piece of junk. total crap. having owed it for 6 months, i ‘ve met all the above mentioned problems and my patience is out. i wonder what kind of people dare to put out such good reviews, leading people to throw away a lot of money for nothing. sony? never again!

  • Janet Cloninger February 6, 2012, 8:26 am

    @papadopoulou This model was released in 2009. There are two newer Sony readers released since the PRS-600 was released.

  • Chris Carter February 7, 2012, 12:26 am

    Hi Janet, Thanks for the info re Sony releasing newer e-readers since 2009. Given that I have wasted serious money buying the Sony PRS-600, which is completely unusable and not supported by Sony, I would never under any circumstances buy another Sony device.
    Mr/s papadopoulous.zwh, I agree with your sentiments entirely.

  • Lance H March 28, 2012, 8:49 am

    I love my Sony. My wife bought it for me before I went to Iraq several years ago. The only problem (big) I have ever had is that I did not charge it up for a month or two and had to get a new battery.

    This reader is not an Ipad, it is not the answer to world hunger, but it does let me read books in a form that I like. I will buy from Sony again.

  • Janet Cloninger March 28, 2012, 9:19 am

    @Lance H I’m so glad you like your Sony reader. When you get ready to upgrade, I know you’ll like the Sony PRS-T1 even more than the 600, because the screen glare is gone and the touch screen is even more responsive. And I’m glad you are back safely from Iraq.

  • Vanezza February 2, 2013, 12:01 pm

    I have the PRS-600, but I cannot delete all notes and highlights at once (I now have a lot of them that have been accumulated from all books I have read). I just read the whole user manual and I cannot find the “delete all notes” option anywhere. Please help!! Thanks a lot.

  • Janet Cloninger February 2, 2013, 3:55 pm

    @Vanezza I haven’t owned this reader for several years now. I don’t know how to help you, but perhaps one of our readers will know.

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