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Amazon Kindle International vs Sony Reader Pocket Edition PRS-300

In our latest head to head we pit these two ebook readers against each other. But will Amazon's Kindle or Sony's Reader win out?

Styled to look like a book, complete with fake spine and a slight bulge of the plastic edge protector mimicking a book's pages, Sony's effort is hardly iconic in its looks, though it's more appealing than the Kindle's slimmer, more delicate design.

Neither device features auto-rotation; hold the Kindle or PRS-300 on its side and you'll need to manually adjust each device's internal settings to view books or documents in landscape mode.

Winner: Sony PRS-300

Speed and battery life

Because the e-ink screen common to all ebook readers has no backlight, the battery life of these devices is measured in page turns. That might sound imprecise - and it is - though with few extra features on either device, flicking through a book or a document is likely to be the main activity.

That's not quite true for the Kindle. If the online store is used everyday to download newspapers, it does use up a lot more battery power than the Sony, lasting about six days in our test (which included a short daily browsing session).

Most of the PRS-300's weight is spoken for by its built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which takes around three hours to charge connected to a PC via a supplied mini USB cable. That will give you 6,800 page turns, according to Sony, and we'd concur with that. Occasional bouts of reading every day saw it last around two weeks on a single charge.

In terms of pure processing speed, the Kindle squeaks it. Both devices take half a second too long to refresh and load pages, and though the Kindle is a shade quicker, it has fewer file formats to compute.

Winner: Tie

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