According to one of our most trusted sources, there is word that two new touchscreen Sony Reader devices (PRS-350 and PRS-650) with E-Ink technology are coming to the market soon. Many of you who observe product life cycles know this is the usual time of the year for a Reader product refresh, and we have secured further details about the upcoming devices. Sony has been under pressure in the E-Book Reader product category as they face increased competition from rivals Apple (iPad), Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Ectaco, and other companies.

The two new Sony Reader devices will be very attractively priced, and are definitely much more compact and lighter than previous models with a possible width under 10mm (extremely thin). From what we’re hearing the new models will also have improved contrast and faster page turns. The PRS-650 will have a six inch screen while the PRS-350 will have a five inch screen. There will also be a bump in capacity from the usual 512MB or less found in currently Sony Reader models to 2GB of internal storage. We are not sure if that capacity bump extends to both devices, but will most certainly be true for the PRS-650. We also know that the PRS-650 will have Wi-Fi (and possibly free 3G), while the PRS-350 will not have any wireless connectivity (like the PRS-300).

As for the software side of things, the Sony Reader UI in both devices has been revised with a new home interface, and the note-taking software (found in the PRS-600) will trickle down and now be available in the PRS-350 as well. Battery life will probably be the same as previous models at nearly two weeks (or perhaps a bit higher), and other features such as USB 2.0 and Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word, BBeB Book, ePub/ACS4 and Adobe Digital Edition format compatibility will return. As for aesthetics, we see that the same colors as before should be available for both series.

This information is a Sony Insider exclusive, brought to you here first.