Sony DPT-S1 PDF Reader Selling for Ridiculous Prices Online

Sony DPT-S1 PDF Reader

Sony is one of the most perplexing companies sometimes. They led the way into the dedicated E Ink ebook reader market; they opened ebook stores in several countries—now just a few years later they’ve decided to back out of the ebook industry almost entirely.

Sony may have given up on ebooks, but they are still holding onto PDFs—on how to best display them in digital form, that is. Sony is the first company to release an E Ink ereader with an A4 size screen that measures 13.3″. The device is called the Sony DPT-S1 Digital Paper Reader.

In typical Sony fashion they’ve finally come out with a PDF reader that lots of people want, but they make it pretty much impossible to get unless you are loaded with money.

The Sony DPT-S1 was first released in Japan last year. It finally just became available in the United States. But Sony isn’t selling the device directly; they are offering the Sony DPT-S1 through a company called Worldox. And the real annoyance is Sony won’t let them sell the device to just anyone who wants to buy one.

According to Worldox, they are only authorized by Sony to sell the DPT-S1 PDF Reader to business professionals in the legal and banking industries. If you are just a regular Joe that wants to buy one, they won’t sell it to you. Even if you are willing to shell out the suggested retail price of $1100.

The lack of supply for the Sony DPT-S1 has inflated the already high price even more. There are retailers on Amazon and eBay that are selling the imported Japanese version for $1350 to $1500, and several listings on eBay have sold at those prices. It’s crazy that there are people out there willing to pay that much money for a black-and-white E Ink PDF reader.

Too bad Sony is stifling the DPT-S1 so much by only focusing on the business market and disregarding the consumer market entirely. There’s clearly a demand for a 13.3″ PDF Reader, especially when people are willing to pay a small fortune to get one.

11 Responses to “Sony DPT-S1 PDF Reader Selling for Ridiculous Prices Online”

  1. I have been trying to come up with a logical explanation for Sony’s behavior, but failed. So I am looking at the bright side: high prices and unmet demand breed competition and choice. I hope that in a year’s time we will have several similar devices to choose from.

  2. If they made this available to the mass public, I would buy it as a secondary reading device. Mind you, I only earn something close to minimun wage. However, I have already used countless hours trying to read large format PDFs (academic papers with significant amount of complex illustrations) and documents comfortably on multiple devices. I’ve spent hours to days (yes!) reformatting something just to make it easier to read. Who knows, I may have already spent weeks to months of my life in such unnecessary efforts. The price for the Sony reader would pay for itself in a few months or within a year anyway in the hours I save from having to reformat — lest alone time wasted from simply struggling to read comfortably — those documents anyway.

  3. Well, I wouldn’t be surprised if one day Sony went the way of Kodak (I don’t really think so but as I said, I wouldn’t be surprised).
    How such an huge company can make so many blunders still baffles me.
    For example, I bought a really good (on paper) Sony camera a couple of years ago but when I got it I realized that the image compression was set on high and unchangeable despite many, many people asking for a compression free option, making a great camera just so so.

  4. Paul Harrison May 15, 2014 at 1:27 am

    This is crazy. I’ve been waiting for a device like this for years as I have piles of printed A4 academic papers that I dont want to read on my PC or an IPAD. Plastic Logic and Skiff A4 readers never became available. Why restrict the sale to certain people and create a black market on the internet. I would buy one if available at a realistic price. Any chance they will become available in the UK soon?

  5. It is a collective Industry decision to push out devices that don’t allow SNOOPING. Remember the palm pilot. It violated two major tech directives: it didn’t allow for remote snooping of customer data like android, and two, it was handwriting input, something forbidden by Apple and the industry (they want keyboard input for keyloggers and the like to work better).

    That’s why sony doesnt’ wanna p*** off the industry and is doing such a limited out of reach release.

  6. I used the pre-sale information link on the Sony Pro website and received personal emails from manager of the project… after a few back and forth it was very clear that there was no way anyone was going to get a unit at all in the USA unless it was through the two “resellers”, one being for banking/legal and the other for motion picture studio management. The Sony manager fully agreed that Engineers and Technical people are an obvious choice for potentially massive sales BUT there is no plan to target them. Period. I ended by telling the manager that if this scheme works out he deserves a bonus and NASA would consider him perfect for their business model :-).

    I will continue to push the Kindle DX (which Amazon re-introduced to the market around the time the Sony was being released in Japan) BUT am personally very very close to paying the full Japan import price. The only thing holding me back is that I have yet to find any person or site that can give a hands-on of using the Japanese model with US-English PDfs. If it is only the icons that are Japanese but the functionality is fully working with English files – including protected files – then I’ll pay and learn the iconography. But if not… it’s yet another Sony child that was killed by its own mother :(.

    • Fabio Oliveira June 20, 2014 at 11:38 pm


      I actually imported one from Japan.

      After using Kindle DX, Icarus eXcel and Pocketbook Pro 912 for some years, I can tell you DPT-S1 is *the* best PDF reader I have ever seen. I can read tons of technical papers everyday in a amazingly light device.

      On the first days, I had to use my smartphone and Google Translator to take shots of the screen, in order to get the meaning of all menu options. Less than one week later, everything was memorized. (BTW, japanese signs below icons are only fonetical equivalents for english words).

      The worst part was virtual drive configuration. DPT-S1 uses only webdav protocol and I didn’t know it at that time (manual in japanese). Fortunately, I can use that feature now and it’s great. Everytime I see a good webpage, I convert it to PDF format and send it to a BOX folder that is synchronized to my Sony ereader.

      • Can you explain how you configured your webdave with Box? It’s unclear what entries should be in the following fields:

        Sync folder
        Destination folder


  7. I will wait other companies to make this kind of product. Hope this will bring some competition. Due to the donkey thinking of Sony I don’t think i will get this product , I waited more than 6 months now. But I am not that rich. If it’s with $200-$300, i will buy it.

  8. It is obvious this is a careful marketing strategy in a market monopolised by Amazon on ereaders for novels and the ipad for pdf’s. The thing is probably subsidized anyway considering the amount of money they must have spent on R+D. What to do in such a risky environment? Target an exclusive market to differentiate and create a cult (which judging from the comments above is clearly working). They’re also targeting institutions such as universities, which fits the idea.

  9. This is almost exactly what I want. I would buy one today if 1) it was hackable; and 2) it was a little less than $1100. $500, even, but $1100? I think the Onyx Boox M96, at $400, looks like rather better value.