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Canada Offered Amazon Kindle Alternative from Best Buy and Sony

We hear all of this terrific news about the Amazon Kindle and how convenient it is to use WhisperNet to download new books on the fly, but it’s very frustrating for Canadians since we’re being left out in the cold. Again. While you won’t get the full functionality out of the Kindle in Canada just yet, Best Buy is offering you a few e-book alternatives from Sony.

The whole eBook Reader thing seems to be exploding on the scene, so Best Buy has officially launched a couple of Sony digital e-book readers for you to consider. They don’t get the WhisperNet functionality of the Kindle, but you can still buy your e-books and load them up via USB.

To one-up the Kindle, the Sony PRS-505S/R and the Sony PRS-700 both come equipped with a six-inch touchscreen display. You like touchscreens, right? The PRS-505S and PRS-505R, priced at $349.99, are effectively the same unit except the are coated in silver and red, respectively. The more expensive Sony PRS-700 is $449.99.

Best Buy Canada, based on the website information, has been selling the Sony eBook readers for almost a month, but they’re giving it another push through the newsletter, possibly in response to the recent news of the Amazon Kindle DX and all the media attention that the device is getting as a result.

UPDATE (05/13/09): Apparently, the Best Buy site is mistaken, because the PRS-505 series does not appear to have a touchscreen after all. Sorry for any confusion.



About Michael Kwan

A freelance writer and tech geek from Vancouver. Find me at michaelkwan.com and follow me on Twitter @michaelkwan.

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  1. As an avid reader most of my life I pooh-poohed the idea that an e-reader would ever become part of my library. I love the tactile feel of a book, and the smell of the paper.
    Our previous house had a large library area that held books collected over many years. After moving into our new home, books became piled everywhere, stacked upon all surfaces, etc. Just too much clutter.

    I came across an article on the Kindle while waiting for an appointment. It intrigued me enough to do some research. I liked the idea of storing many books on a light portable device. I liked getting them within one minute of purchase. No more “I have nothing interesting to read”. So, I took the plunge. Amazon’s great customer service and return policy made me feel safe in purchasing through them.

    It has been three weeks since my Kindle arrived. I love it!! It is light, easy to use right out of the box. Text is clear and easy to read without any eyestrain. Can hold the unit in one hand and easily change pages with the touch of a finger. (Other hand free to sip coffee, tea, etc. for a relaxing indulgent read.) It goes easily into my purse without bulk. Love the selection of books available. Even some that are now out of print can be obtained form Kindle books.

    The price? Well, yes, that was a consideration. But I guess one can justify anything. Actually, with all of the reading I do, and all the book purchases I make, including from used book stores, I feel that I will actually pay for the device within three months.

    Not having the ability to share books was something I thought about. But my tastes in reading material is different from most people I would feel comfortable in loaning a paper book to.

    Bottom line is, I have no regrets in buying the Kindle. Would do it again. As a matter of fact, I showed it to my sister, and she bought one a week and a half ago and is as happy with hers as I am with mine.

  2. The PRS-505 doesn't actually have a touch screen, only the PRS-700 is equipped with the new touch screen. But the image quality is better on the 505, so it's a toss up which is better.

    I got fed up with Amazon and their restrictions, so I went ahead and purchased one of the Sony readers. I can't get books instantly now, so I have no problem with having to hook up to a computer to get my books. It's still far more convenient than going to the bookstore.

  3. Any word if the new Cool-er is going to be available in Canada? It looks great not so bookish, mor ipodish.

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