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Consumer Electronics Show 2006

Sony Reader

The thought of reading a whole book on the glare of an LCD display makes most of us cringe. That and the absence of holding a real book and turning pages have been two of the biggest obstacles in the way of e-books. Sony's new Reader makes a good effort to overcome our objections. To cut down on the glare, it uses "eInk® microcapsules" that are either black or white, depending on the charge applied to them.

It still feels like an electronic device, not a book, but it's a step up from other e-book readers we've seen. The Reader can hold up to 80 average-sized books (without illustrations), and it can also display illustrations, photographs, blogs and news feeds. It will also play MP3s, but it doesn't come with headphones. The battery lasts through about 7,500 page turns.

Firefox devotees and Mac addicts beware -- you can buy music and books for the Reader at the Sony Connect store, but it only runs on Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher.

For more information, check out the Sony Reader site.