The pictures look like they were taken during an internal presentation. So we don't know if this is the real deal but it only makes sense that Sony soon commercializes new and better reading devices responding to the recent launch of Amazon's Kindle 3, which is using the new E Ink Pearl display giving the reader 50% better contrast (You can check this article on iReader Review to see the difference between Kindle 2's and Kindle 3's displays).
On the picture above, you can clearly read 6 very interesting characteristics of the new Sony readers:
- Full clear touch screen
- Multiple language dictionaries
- Faster page turn
- Increased built-in storage capacity
- Intelligent zoom
- Enhanced battery life
Full clear touch screen: No additional layer over the E Ink display means that the glare that the touchscreen devices were cursed with won't be there anymore. So the reader won't have to hold her device in strange angles to avoid the nearest source of light.
Multiple language dictionaries: This is awesome! I read in a few different languages and I'm not at all lazy about checking words or terms that I'm not familiar with. This especially in Spanish which happens to be my weakest language.
Enhanced battery life: This is not as important as the two above however longer battery life is always a good enhancement. Furthermore 25% of improvement is quite significant.
The remaining three characteristics are good to have but I, personally, am not too excited about them:
Faster page turn: Page turns never bothered me that much. Once the user gets used to her device, it becomes automatic to click the page-turn button a few words before the end of a page so that right after the last few words are read the page turns.
Increased built-in capacity: 1200 e-books in 2GB of memory. This is a significant investment in terms of books (I know there a lot of public domain ones). I've yet to come close to fill my device's memory with my e-books, web articles and work-related documents. For me it's a matter of organization. I usually get rid of the Web articles and work documents once I'm done with them.
Intelligent zoom: I have to see this working before being able to comment about it. I usually don't read PDFs so I'd better leave that uncommented but it seems like it is a good feature to read newspapers and magazines.