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Sony® Reader PRS-500

Portable eBook reader with 6" screen

Item # 158PRS500

This cool, compact device from Sony lets you read your favorite eBooks, RSS web feeds, and even enjoy songs and...

This cool, compact device from Sony lets you read your favorite eBooks, RSS web feeds, and even enjoy songs and...

Discontinued item

Item # 158PRS500

About the Sony® Reader PRS-500

This cool, compact device from Sony lets you read your favorite eBooks, RSS web feeds, and even enjoy songs and photos while you're on the go. The Sony Reader has an advanced 6" display that's exceptionally easy on your eyes, and its small size makes it the perfect travel companion — it's less than 1/2" deep and weighs under nine ounces. A built-in 64-megabyte memory lets you store up to 80 eBooks at one time. If you need more storage, pop an optional SD™ memory card or Memory Stick® into the Reader's memory slot.

This cool, compact device from Sony lets you read your favorite eBooks, RSS web feeds, and even enjoy songs and photos while you're on the go. The Sony Reader has an advanced 6" display that's exceptionally easy on your eyes, and its small size makes it the perfect travel companion — it's less than 1/2" deep and weighs under nine ounces. A built-in 64-megabyte memory lets you store up to 80 eBooks at one time. If you need more storage, pop an optional SD™ memory card or Memory Stick® into the Reader's memory slot.

Convenient access to text files, MP3s, and photos
Adding books to the Sony Reader is simple — purchase them from Sony's CONNECT™ eBook online store and transfer the files from your computer to the Reader via a USB connection. You can also view Adobe® PDFs and other common types of text files. Review work documents, RSS news feeds and other web content while you're traveling or away from your computer. And the Reader functions as an MP3 player too, giving you another way to pass the time on a long flight or subway commute.

Sophisticated display screen for easy readability and extended battery life
The highlight of this eBook reader is the specially designed 6" display screen. It uses E Ink® technology for a look that's almost paper-like; it's as clear and easy to read as a printed page. And this same technology makes the Sony Reader extremely energy efficient — the built-in rechargeable battery gives you up to 7,500 page turns with a single charge.


Product highlights:

  • displays eBooks purchased from the CONNECT™ eBook online store
  • displays Adobe® PDFs, plus TXT, RTF, and Microsoft® Word files
  • displays digital photos (JPEG, GIF, PNG, and BMP)
  • 6" display screen, measured diagonally
  • resolution: approximately 170 dpi
  • E Ink® "Electronic Paper" display resembles printed paper for easy readability
  • plays MP3 and AAC files (protected files not supported)
  • internal 64MB memory
  • memory slot holds:
    • SD™ memory card (up to 2GB capacity)
    • Memory Stick® media (up to 4GB capacity)
  • USB interface
  • built-in rechargeable battery provides up to 7,500 page turns
  • 4-7/8"W x 6-15/16"H x 1/2"D (without soft cover)
  • weight: 9 oz.
  • warranty: 1 year parts, 90 days labor
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • requires Windows® XP operating system
Supplied Accessories:
  • soft cover
  • AC power cord
  • AC power adapter
  • USB cable
  • CD-ROM with CONNECT Reader software, Operation Guide, and sample content
  • MFR # PRS500U2

What's in the box:

  • Portable reader installed in a rubber black wallet
  • AC-S5220E AC power adapter with attached 6' cord
  • 30" AC detachable power cord
  • 5' USB cable with a USB type-A connector on one end and a mini-USB type-B connector on other end
  • Connect Reader version 1.0 CD-ROM
  • Quick Start Guide
  • User License Agreement sheet
  • Limited Warranty sheet
  • "Headset" note

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More details on the Sony® Reader PRS-500

Product Research

Reading Files
Music Files
Picture Files
System Requirements


Overview: The Sony PRS-500 CONNECT Reader offers a new and convenient digital reading experience. It features a unique screen with technology that rivals text on paper. Weighing less than 9 ounces and at less than ½" thin, it's more compact than many paperbacks. Plus, it comes with a soft, black cover and software that seamlessly allows you to search and browse thousands of electronic book titles from the Connect eBookstore and then easily transfers from your PC to your Sony Reader via the supplied USB cable. The unit features built-in memory and multi-format support to provide you with diversity in choosing your content.

Display: The Sony Reader features an impressive 6 inch black-and-white display, utilizing breakthrough E-Ink technology that's almost paper-like. The Reader also boasts features such as high contrast, high resolution and a near 180º viewing angle to make the display easy to read even in the sunlight. In addition, the text can be magnified for sight-impaired readers. The screen's orientation can also be displayed either vertically or horizontally.

Memory:  The Sony PRS-500 features a 64MB of internal memory and a slot for optional removable memory cards so you can take various titles, user-selected Web content, or other supported documents for reading on the go. The unit will hold up to 80 electronic books in its internal memory and hundreds more with Memory Stick media or SD memory cards (sold separately). You can transfer content back and forth between the internal memory and the optional external memory card. The unit is compatible with the following memory cards.

  • Memory Stick: (Standard and MagicGate up to 4GB)
    • Memory Stick
    • Memory Stick PRO
    • Memory Stick Duo
    • Memory Stick Pro Duo
  • SD Memory Card: (up to 2GB)
    • SD Memory Card
    • miniSD Card

Note: The Reader does not come supplied with any external media card.

Battery: The Reader features an internal rechargeable Lithium Ion battery that allows you to turn up to 7,500 continuous pages on a single charge. The unit also comes supplied with an AC wall charger that will charge the Reader's internal battery in 4 hours. The internal battery can also be recharged from the USB cable when plugged into your PC. The internal battery will fully charge in 6 hours using the USB cable.

Media Formats: The PRS-500 will support the following media formats using the supplied software.

  • Unsecured Text: BBeB Book, Adobe PDF, TXT, RTF, Microsoft Word (conversion to the Reader requires Word to be installed on your PC)
  • DRM Text: BBeB Book (Marlin)
  • Unsecured Audi: MP3 and AAC7
  • Image: JPEG, GIF, PNG and BMP

Portable Design: The Sony Reader uses a very compact and lightweight design and comes with a soft, black case to protect it from dings and scratches making it safe and easy to take with you almost anywhere. The unit comes attached to the case but can be removed from the carrying case by detaching the rear clip.

Auto Shut-Off/Resume Function: The Sony reader automatically turn off it no operation is performed for 60 minutes. The previously displayed screen appears when turning the unit back on unless the reset button is pressed or the battery is completely depleted and needs to be recharged.

Note: When playing audio files or viewing a slideshow, the unit will not shut off automatically.

Reading Files

eBooks: The Sony Reader will allow you to search, browse and discover thousands of popular electronic book titles from the CONNECT eBook online store. You can then purchase and download these titles to your PC and easily transfer to your Sony Reader via the supplied USB cable.

Text Media: The Sony Reader isn't just for reading electronic books. Using the included CONNECT Reader PC Software, you can easily transfer Adobe PDF documents, BBeB Book, and other text file formats to the Reader.You can also search, browse and download user-selected RSS Web content from the CONNECT Store to your PC and then easily transfer it to the Sony Reader. You can download Web newsfeeds, blogs and more to take with you to read while you are on the go.

Continue Reading Screen: The Continue Reading function allows you to jump directly to the last page viewed without displaying the Book list so you can go directly to the book and page where you stopped reading last.

Find by Book: The Book screen is a list of all the Book titles that have been stored on the units internal or external memory that you can choose from. The PRS-500 comes with 16 book title excerpts already stored. The Book list is displayed in alphabetical order.

Find By Author: The Author screen displays the books you have stored by the Author's name.

Find By Date: The Date screen displays the books you have stored by the date they were downloaded.

Collections Screen: The Collections screen displays books that you wish to store together that are in a collected series.

Bookmarks: The Bookmark screen displays every bookmark you have created from all the books you have stored.

Book Screen: The Book screen is displayed once you have chosen a Title from the Book, Author or Date screen. The screen provides the following functions.

  • Continue Reading: The Continue Reading selection directs you to the last page viewed from the book you have chosen.
  • Begin: The Begin selection directs you to the first page of the book to start your reading.
  • End: The End selection directs you to the last page of the book to end your reading.
  • Bookmarks: The Bookmarks selection directs you to bookmarks that you selected to come back to at a later date.
  • Table of Contents: The Table of Contents selection displays the selected book's table of contents, as well as its copyright notice and Authors' summary of the book.
  • History: The History screen displays the pages that have been viewed before from the selected book.
  • Info: The Information screen displays the Title, Author's name, Publishing company, Category, CONNECT ID, Type of e-book, Date downloaded, Space the book takes up, Location (internal or external memory, and File name of the current book selected.
  • Utilities: The utilities screen allows you to clear the History and Bookmarks of the selected book.

Screen Orientation: The PRS-500 allows you to view the text or image in a horizontal or vertical manner.

Zoom In/Out: The Reader allows you to change the size of the image or text from Small, Medium or Large.

Bookmark: The Sony Readers features Bookmarking which allows you to select certain pages that you wish to come back to at a later date.

Music Files

Music Playback: The PRS-500 will playback MP3 and AAC music files stored on its internal or external memory.

Headphones: The PRS-500 features a 3.5mm headphone jack to listen to the unit's music with a pair of headphones. The unit does not feature a built-in speaker.

Playback Features: The Sony Reader allows you to skip to the next or previous track as well as fast forward or rewind within a track

Now Playing Screen: The Now Playing screen displays the following information of the current song that is playing - Track name, Artist name, Album name, Elapsed playback time, Total time of current track, current track and total number of tracks. The screen will also display a full screen picture of the thumbnail image saved for song that is playing.

Audio Screen: The Audio screen displays the list of songs you have stored on the Reader's internal and external memory.

Audio Background: The PRS-500 allows you to playback an Audio file and view a Document file at the same time.

Picture Files

Still Image Files: The following still image files can be viewed on the Sony Reader - BMP, JPEG, GIF and PNG still image files.

Picture Playback: The Reader allows you to move from the previous and next picture, as well as zoom in and out on the subject in 3 steps (small, medium or large). Once you have zoomed in our out on a subject you can use the 5-way control to scroll through the image left to right or up and down.

Slideshow: You can also view your pictures back in a slideshow fashion. You can select which picture to start from and the slideshow will begin from there and then go in order starting with the picture that is after the one you chose to begin the slideshow with.


Settings Menu: The following settings can be adjusted from the Reader's Setting screen.

  • Orientation: The Orientation feature allows you to select between a vertical or horizontal display.
  • Screen Lock: The Screen Lock features gives you the ability to set a 4 digit password to operate the Sony Reader. Once the password is inserted, the next time you turn on your Reader it will ask for the 4-digit password to access the Reader's Menu Screens.
  • Slideshow: The Slideshow setting allows you to turn the Slideshow feature On or Off as well as change the picture duration time between 1 second to 60 seconds in 1 second increments.
  • About: The About screen displays the Version and Copyright information.
  • Restore Defaults: This feature restores all settings back to the original factory settings.


Front Panel Controls: The following controls are located on the front panel of the unit along with the 6" display.

  • Menu: this button returns you to the previous screen or displays a menu
  • 5-Way Control: the 5-way control button allows you to scroll through and menu and screen options
  • Page Buttons: the Page Button allows you to turn the page/proceed or return to the next/previous content
  • Numbers: numerical numbers from 0-9 for direct accessing
  • Size: allows you to zoom in and out on a picture or document
  • Mark: creates and removes bookmarks

Side Panel Controls: The following controls are located on the left side of the unit.

  • Power: switches Reader On and Off
  • Volume: adjust volume for audio output of headphone jack

Rear Panel: The following controls are located on the rear panel of the unit.

  • Reset Button: used to Reset factory settings


Bottom Connections: The following connections are found on the base of the PRS-500 reader.

  • USB Connection: The reader uses a mini-USB Type-B port for connection to your PC via the supplied USB type-A to mini-USB type-B connector cable.
  • DC In Jack: The unit's power connection is located on the base of the unit and is used with the supplied AC adapter to charge the unit's internal battery
  • Headphone Jack: The PRS-500 features a single 3.5mm headphone output for private listening of your audio content.

Note: This unit does not feature a built-in loud-speaker

  • Multi-Connector: Also on the base of the unit is a multi-connector used to connect the reader to its optional charging base (BCRRU1 sold separately).

Side Connections: The following connections are located on the left-side of the reader.

  • Memory Card Slot: The unit's memory card slot will accommodate Sony Memory Sticks and SD-cards.

System Requirements

System Requirements to use Sony's CONNECT Reader:

  • OS: Microsoft Windows XP
    • Home Edition
    • Professional
    • Media Center Edition
    • Media Center Edition 2004 or 2005
  • CPU: 800MHz Celeron class processor or better
  • RAM: 128 MB or more
  • Free Space on Hard Disc: 20 MB or more
  • Monitor: High Color or more (1024 x 768 dots or more), True Color (1280 x 1024 dots or more)
  • Other Devices: CD-ROM drive, USB port, pointing device such as a mouse or track pad
  • Internet Connection: Broadband or better recommended

Note: The CONNECT Reader is not available for Macintosh operating systems.


Reader Only:

  • Width: 4.895"
  • Height: 6.915"
  • Depth: 0.495"

Reader with Case Closed:

  • Width: 4.967"
  • Height: 7.067"
  • Depth: 0.727"

Reader with Case Open:

  • Width: 10.287"
  • Height: 7.067"
  • Depth: 0.679"




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