Sony has announced that its Reader - a portable device designed to store and display electronic books - will be available to pre-order from tomorrow. Devices will be fully available from September.

Customers will be able to pre-order their Sony Reader from or bookstore Waterstones from tomorrow.

Pricing for the device had yet to be confirmed when the announced of the UK launch of the device was made today.

The Sony Reader is slightly smaller than a hardback book, weighs 260g and can store up to 160 ebooks on its internal memory. Yet more e-books can be stored on an SD memory card or Sony Memory Stick.

The Reader has an electronic display that can be viewed in direct sunlight or at angles of up to 180 degrees. For those with poor eyesight, there's a built-in text magnifier.

Sony claims the battery life is the equivalent to approximately 6,800 continuous page turns. While this is a bit of a 'how long's a piece of string' measurement, the precise battery life will largely depend on how quickly or slowly you read.

Sony's press office says that a single charge will be sufficient for the average reader to make their way through War And Peace five times.

The Sony Reader can also be used to store and open other documents including PDFs and MS Word as well as JPEG images, or even as a portable drive for the direct transfer of documents, images and other files.

"Reader allows people on the go to carry a wide variety of reading materials whether they are on a flight, in a waiting room, or outdoors," says Sony UK's MD Steve Dowdle.

Waterstones customers will be able to copy e-books to their Sony Reader device via SD card or USB.

E-book titles on offer will include Richard Branson's Business Stripped Bare and Toby Young's How to Lose Friends and Alienate People.

The device is sold with a soft protective case, Sony's eBook Library software, 14 pre-loaded excerpts from new and recent books. Customers who prefer to use their PC or laptop to download e-book titles will be able to copy them to the Reader via aUSB connection. They will also be able to enjoy a free CD-ROM containing 100 classic titles including The Jungle Book, Pride & Prejudice, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Great Expectations.

Sony Reader e-book device

Sony Reader e-book device