You know what this Panasonic girl's hand signal is saying, Sony? It's calling your Reader - and by extension, calling you - a loser. Loser with a capital L, in fact. She's saying that her "Words Gear" e-book has a colour screen and a fancy, touch-sensitive navigation grip. She's probably even casting doubts on your parentage, the cheeky minx.
Are you going to take that lying down, Sony? Or are you going to spit back something about her e-book being 2.5oz heavier than yours, about her fancy colour screen using up all the battery lift in six hours, unlike your clever e-ink that manages 7,500 page turns on a single charge? Should we set up a wrestling cage, so that you can pit your 160 DPI against its quoted 1024x600 resolution? I think we should.
Don't let the Words Gear pin you, Sony - it's heavier and, at 28.4mm at its thickest point (18.5mm at the thinnest), it's bigger too. While you both pack SD slots for storage, I wouldn't expect too much sway to come from your added Memory Stick option either. You've both got the dreaded DRM for your content - the Words Gear uses SD-ePublish - but there's no mention of how many titles are available from Panasonic, unlike your impressive 10,000 at launch. You can both show pictures and play music, but only the Words Gear can boast video.
Both of our fighters will be released later this year and at similar prices - the Words Gear comes in at around $340, comparable to the $349.99 pre-order price of the Sony. Only the Reader is likely to be available outside of Japan, however, so it's a Battle Royale not many will be concerned with.
Panasonic "Words Gear" book reading Device [Tech Japan]