For all the fuss made at its launch back in August
, Sony's Reader Daily Edition has all but dropped off the map in terms of interest. Remember, Sony's response to the Kindle gave us a 7-inch touchscreen device with free AT&T 3G data for a street price of $399. Now we've got a proper in-depth review of the thing. On the plus side, the interface is simple and easy to understand right out of the box with nice, oversized icons suitable for your meat digit manipulation. Unfortunately, the Daily Reader was also sluggish. According to Laptop
, it was common to suffer a delay of a few seconds
after tapping an icon or other interface item. Worse yet, about a third of the time the Daily Reader's touchscreen display wouldn't respond to taps or swipes at all
. Conversely, page turns responded with a relatively snappy (for E-Ink) one second delay -- faster than both the Nook or the Kindle. The EPD
display was also a bit "dull" compared to non-touchscreen e-readers like the Kindle and Nook thanks to the additional screen layer that enables touch -- a common issue that affects all touch-enabled e-readers, we might add. This resulted in some eye strain in medium to low light. Connectivity also proved a sore spot. AT&T's network would inexplicably drop out during testing. It was plenty fast, however, when available, capable of delivering new books to the device in just seconds. Performance still lagged both the Kindle and Nook during comparison testing though. Laptop
's verdict isn't surprising then, finding the $140 premium you'll pay for the Daily Reader difficult to justify compared to the EPUB
supporting Nook or Kindle 2 with its better design and superior content selection.
It's worth noting that Laptop did not test the Daily Reader's library finder services
that lets you check out e-books from the local branch for free for a period of up to a month. A shame; as library nerds we think that's one of the killer features compared to the competition.