Where better to test out the new Sony Reader Touch Edition and Pocket Edition ebook readers than the august seat of academe that is the British Library? That's exactly what we did today, while hoping no-one said anything about the copy of Kevin Keegan's Football -- It's a Funny Old Game we've had out of Birkenhead library since 1992.
We got our hands on the new models that were announced yesterday. On first glance at the press shots, it looked as if the Touch featured a touchscreen strip, but in fact the whole 127mm (5-inch) display is ready to have fingerprints smeared all over it.
The refresh rate of the e-ink screen was the first thing we tested. When you turn each page, the e-ink has to wipe itself out and reform the new words -- like a possessed Etch A Sketch -- and as that's the task the reader will perform most often, it has to be fast or it'll become annoying very quickly. We're happy to report the Touch's page-turning motion is very slick indeed.
It's no Daily Edition wireless wonder, but it's certainly the slickest ebook reader we've seen. Sadly there's no plans for the Daily to arrive in Blighty any time soon, which may be because content deals with newspaper, magazine and other publishers have yet to be worked out.
Click through our gallery to see the Touch Edition and Pocket Edition Readers in action. Bonus geek points if you spot the book we used to test them out...