The picture shown above is from Engadget. If it is indeed authentic, then we’ve got some really big news about the new Sony Readers, most notably the touchscreen.
If Sony has managed to find a way to remove the additional layer over the E Ink screen, then the new PRS-350 and PRS-650 could be huge. The main thing holding back Sony’s previous touchscreen ebook readers from wider acceptance was the fact that the added layer required for the touchscreen functions caused them to have noticeable glare and reflection—not a good combination for prolonged stretches of reading or reading in certain lighting conditions.
So the big question is will the new Sony Readers require the use of a stylus? There are currently no ereaders that have a finger-friendly touchscreen without an added layer over the E Ink display. All the ones that are touchscreens and don’t have an added layer require a special stylus to operate. Either that or Sony’s come up with a completely new touchscreen technology. I guess we’ll soon find out.
While on the topic of the screen, the picture oddly does not mention anything about using the new higher contrast Pearl screens from E Ink. If Sony doesn’t get the new screens then that will be a huge blow to them and a major win for Amazon, who is currently the only company using the better screens. However, the picture does say improved page-turn speed and the battery life is considerably better, both indicators of the new Pearl screen.
Another thing that Sony needed to improve on over previous models was the fact that the Zoom function reset with each page turn. Perhaps “Intelligent Zoom” is the solution for this. Can’t wait to find out more.