Sony Portable Reader
This page contains general information on the Sony Portable Reader family of devices.
Sony Portable Reader System (also often referred to as the Sony Reader) began with the PRS-500 and continued with the PRS-505 replacement model. The PRS-700 followed with a font light bezel and touch screen. It has been dropped by Sony. There is also a stripped down 5" model call the PRS-300 and a touch screen version without front light called the PRS-600. These have now been replaced with the PRS-350 and PRS-650 with the new Pearl screen. A larger screen line of devices are the PRS-900 and its replacement the PRS-950 Daily Edition. The most recent product is the Sony Reader Wi-Fi (PRS-T2) which is Android based.
 General Details
- Long battery life: specs: 7'500 pages, in real-life: >20hrs 
- Thanks to e-paper screen is as readable outdoors as it is indoors.
- Resolution: 167dpi
- Open-source operating system (Linux)
- >50,000 books available in Sony's eBook Store.
- The refresh between screens is slow (current limitation of the E-Ink technology).
- Resolution not high enough to display smallest fonts. Business books with charts and graphs do not display clearly due to resolution.
- Online ordering began 9/26/06 
- Various Borders and Sony Style stores nationwide in the USA have Readers in store 
- Fry's Electronics
- Link to Sony's Dealer locator: 
- For availability in other countries see: Where to Buy eBook Devices.
 Company Info
Sony has been selling e-book devices since 2004. The predecessor of the Sony Portable Reader, the Sony Librie, has been sold only in Japan  and was among the first E Ink-enabled eBook devices at that time. The Librie failed in the marketplace mainly due to its limited availability and to lack of content.
In January 2006, Sony surprised the tech community when they announced during the CES in Las Vegas the upcoming launch of the Sony Portable Reader later that year .
- Customer Support Number (for Reader and Connect Store): 1-866-919-SONY (7669)
- eBook Customer Support Team: 877-CNECTME (877-263-2863)
 Content Formatting Best Known Methods (BKMs)
- RTF Files: Consensus seems to be that fonts in the 16~18pt range are the best for RTFs. Left/right/full justification and Sans/Serif fonts according to individual preferences. Page size doesn't matter as the Reader software reflows, margins can be adjusted on the paragraph level as the Reader seems to ignore document wide margin settings. Page breaks can be inserted where desired. In-line pictures are ignored by the Reader Software. Using MS Word (or TextEdit on OS X), you can edit document properties to set the Author and Title. MS Word autoformat is said to correct extra paragraph marks at the end of every line, e.g. when preparing a Gutenberg file for the Reader.
- PDF Files: Page size 88.184mm x 113.854mm in portrait mode. . Fonts and size to individual preference, 12~20pts for suggested size range. Margins very small ~2mm for suggested starting place. Sony's PDF Creation Guide can be found here. Model released later than the 500 use Adobe Digital Editions software that supports reflow on PDF. Both DRM and non-DRM files are supported.
- ePUB are on all models, even the oldest PRS-500 model using the Adobe Digital Editions software. Both DRM and non-DRM files are supported.
- LRF Files have been dropped by Sony in Decemeber 2009 but are still available from other sources.
- LRX Files: These are DRM protected versions of the LRF file format. They are no longer used. Devices authorized before December 2009 can still read these files but newer devices cannot as there is no longer a way to authorize them.
- Image Files: The resolution of an image that will take up the entire screen, pixel-by-pixel, in the portrait mode is 600px by 767px, landscape mode is 800px by 567px. The colors that represent the exact shades of gray (in the PRS-500 4 level grayscale device) are Black = RGB(0, 0, 0), Dark Gray = RGB(85, 85, 85), Light Gray = RGB(170, 170, 170), and White = RGB(255, 255, 255); notice that 85 is 1/3rd 255, and 170 is 2/3rds 255. Current devices use 8 level grayscale.
 Conversion Tools
 Reset Instructions
 Soft Reset
- Paper clip the recessed reset button on the back (not the side, that's the charging indicator LED)
- Exercise the power switch
- Wait for boot to complete
 Hard Reset
(erases all contents)
- If the device is on, slide the "Power" so that it turns off. Look for a small pinhole on the back panel (not the side, that's the charging indicator LED) and press the reset button on the back using a bent paper clip (do not use anything sharp like a pin).
- Slide the "Power" button to turn it on. While the screen displays "Starting up ...", you will see the light above the "Power" button flash in yellow. Wait for 35 to 40 seconds, then proceed to hold down the "MARK" and "VOL +" buttons.
(NOTE on the PRS505, do not wait those 35~40 seconds, push and hold the "Mark" and "VOL +" buttons immediately -- the boot window is shorter on 505s)
- CONTINUE TO keep these 2 buttons pressed for about 5 to 10 seconds, until the round "PAGE" button makes a quick blue flash.
- CONTINUE to keep these 2 buttons pressed for another 25 seconds, the screen will show a "Reset All" message, and ask to delete all content.
- Press button "5" to clean up content, this could take several minutes if you have many files on the Reader. When the deletion completes, the Reader will turn off.
- Press the "Power" button to turn it on; this could take several minutes if you have many files on the Reader.
- Connect your device to your PC and log-in to the store.
- Go to Account>Manage Devices – you will be asked if you'd like to authorize this device to your account. Please say yes.
- Your device should be ready to read eBooks purchased from your account.
 Sony PRS-350
(Tested on PRS-350 - this probably also works on the PRS-650 - courtesy of )
- Power off the Reader Digital Book.
- On the bottom edge of the Reader Digital Book, using a thin object such as a paper clip, press the RESET button.
- Turn on the Reader Digital Book.
- While the screen displays Opening book... , simultaneously press and hold down the Previous Page Turn button and the Size button until the Reset All screen is displayed.
- In the Reset All screen, press the OPTIONS button to delete all content, restore all factory settings, and clear the DRM authorization state.
 Unbricking Instructions
- Download the original PRS500 updater from Sony
- Execute this PRS500 updater and click "ok" to proceed. The installer will unpack the installation files.
- Go to the following location on your disk: C:\Documents and Settings\[YOURUSERNAME]\Local Settings\Temp\ (C:\Users\[YOURUSERNAME]\AppData\Local\Temp\ in Vista) and copy the folder WZSE0.TMP and paste it on your desktop
- Now you can close the PRS500 updater.
- Go to \WZSE0.TMP\eBookUpdater\assets\updaterAssets\ on your desktop and open the file PRSVersion.dat with notepad.
- Change 100307170 into 100307171 and save it.
- Connect your Reader to the USB and press the reset button on the back. Don't forget to switch it back on. Wait until the Reader goes in to USB mode (wait for the USB connector icon on the Reader's screen).
- Now execute PRS-500 Updater.exe in \WZSE0.TMP\ on your desktop
- Follow the steps of the updater and it should upgrade your Reader and unbrick it.
 Related Links
- FAQ: FAQ with official answers from the Sony Team (made before the Sony Reader was released)
- Owners list: Table of MobileRead users who bought the Sony Reader (first must-place when you get your Reader)
- Wishlist: What do you want the Sony Reader to be able to do? Here is the place to put it down
- Warranty options: There are various ways to protect your Sony Reader from accidential drops
- Memory cards list: Compatible and incompatible external memory cards
- Reader reviews: Externals reviews of the Sony Reader chronologically sorted
- Reader previews (old): Sony Reader in the press before the official release
- Sony Reader Questions: Questions from MobileRead users collected before the Sony Reader was released
- Inside photos: Sony Reader inside-out photos
- Sony Reader hack: what else could be done with Sony Reader
- Photo gallery
- Hacking and development
- Sony Reader Review by MobileReader Bob Russell (09/26/2006 EDT)
- Sony Reader Review by MobileReader NatCh (09/26/2006 EDT)
- Alternative Software for Sony devices - offers more format choices.
- Frappr Map
- Feedbooks - E-books and RSS feeds formatted for the Sony Reader using LaTeX
- manybooks.net - free Sony formatted ebooks from Project Gutenberg and elsewhere.
- wowio.com - legally download high-quality copyrighted ebooks from leading publishers for free.
- Sony CONNECT Reader - the official download page for Sony's CONNECT Reader software.
- Sony Reader Software Update - Sony's official download page for the first Reader system and software update.
- Reader Warranty on Sony's site
- Battery Order Page Link to Sony's page for ordering the battery (03/19/08)
- Sony product web site