This January 2021 blog post is about the 2009 Sony Reader PRS-300 and covers battery, specifications, transferring books, freezing, tips and provides general feedback.
Via eBay I bought a lot of tablets in late 2020 and included was a Sony PRS-300. The screen has a couple of marks and it seemed dead.
I plugged a USB cable into it and connected it to a charger and left it for many hours. A few hours or so later, the tablet came to life, but it stopped working. A couple of days later I put it on charge again for a short while, then stopped. Then later still, I charged it for another couple of hours and now the tablet is holding charge. So I decided to start using the tablet!
My eBook reader experience before this, is mainly based upon using the Amazon Kindle 3 Keyboard for many years. I will admit it has been a jolt using a completely different device.
About the Sony PRS-300
Released August 2009 the device cost around $199 and as you would expect it’s lacking in features you can find in some recent eReaders. There is no backlight, touch or wireless connectivity.
The display is only five inches, so I think a resolution of 600×800 is okay given the size of screen. The memory is only 512MB, but you have access to less than that. You can’t listen to audio, so no audiobook support.
I’ve not opened up my PRS-300, but it seems the battery might be easier to replace than some alternative e-readers. I’ve only charged via the USB connection, but there is another charging port, but I’ve not purchased a lead.
Sony PRS-300 Specifications *
• 5” 800×600 pixel greyscale display
• LRF, LRX, TXT, RTF, PDF, EPUB & JPG **
• 600 mAh battery
* These specifications could be wrong!
** I’ve not tested to see if all those formats work and I’ve only used TXT.
From a bit of research, there appears to be at least a couple of third-party firmware projects. I’ve looked and my PRS-300 is running the v1.0.00.18160 and I’m happy to leave it alone.
How I transfer eBooks
I’ve not bothered to attempt to install the Windows software. If I need to convert a book, I do so using the Calibre e-book conversion software. I then just connect a USB cable between the e-reader and my Windows 10 PC and transfer e-books as txt files. I then safely eject the Sony ereader from my PC and via the PRS-300 I look at books by date and select my recent transfer.
I’ve not opened my second-hand PRS-300, so I’m unsure if I’m using the original battery or a replacement, but I think it’s probably the original battery in my eReader. I’m tempted to replace the battery as I’m charging the current one more than I would like to.
I want to help the battery, so whilst I’m unsure if my actions will help, I’m only going to use TXT files and only keep a small selection of eBooks on the device.
I’m wary that if I place lots of files in formats such as EPUB or PDF, that perhaps I will be asking the PRS-300 to do more work which ‘could’ use more battery power, but I might be wrong in that assumption.
Turning the device off
When you press the slider, you basically waking or sleeping the eReader, but apparently it’s still using some power. I don’t know if I should be doing this, but when I don’t plan on using the PRS-300 for a few days, I turn it off.
How to turn the PRS-300 off:
- Access ‘Settings’ by pressing button 7.
- Select ‘Advanced Settings’ using button 6.
- Now you can press 3 to select ‘Device Shutdown’.
When you want to turn the device back on, you just use the slider on the top of the e-reader.
The font and size of text
It was tempting to using a custom firmware to try and change the font, but I’ve decided to stick with the existing font, but I’ve pressed the magnifying button to increase the font size.
Sony PRS-300 freezing problem and deleting eBooks
When I connected the e-reader to my PC and deleted a text file in the device’s storage via my Windows 10 PC, the tablet PRS-300 froze afterwards. It would still allow me to connect via USB and access the storage, but not use the tablet’s buttons.
Thankfully after holding the slider at the top and eventually seeing the orange light, I released the slider and it worked again. Now when I want to delete a book, I only do so via the e-reader itself!
How to delete eBooks on a PRS-300:
- Open the eBook on the e-reader.
- Select ‘Utilities’ and then ‘Delete Book’.
- Then press the bookmark button.
Before publishing this blog post, I read a couple of eBooks using the PRS-300 and I enjoyed the experience, but still missed using a Kindle. I prefer the button placements on a Kindle 3 & 4, but I do like the size of the PRS-300.
When I was reading at night during December in the UK, the metal case of my PRS-300 felt very cold and I’m glad I’ve placed it in a case. I was given a M-Edge case with another device, which I don’t think is a perfect fit, but I’m using the case and means I’m not touching the metal as much.
There are far superior e-readers to the PRS-300 and I prefer the Kindle 3 & 4, but I like using old technology and don’t mind if others see me doing so. I’m not sure if I’m going to sell or keep the Sony eReader, but I’ve enjoyed using the device.