Beating Amazon's Kindle to the UK market, Sony has announced the launch of its new Reader that will go on sale in Britain in conjunction with Waterstones.

The second-gen gadget from Sony, the PRS-505 Reader is smaller than a hardback, has memory to store up to 160 e-books, which is expandable via optional Memory Stick or SD Memory card, and it can also be used as a mass storage device for file transfers.

Weighing 260g, and with a battery life "equivalent to approximately 6,800 continuous page turns", the Reader's display uses E-Ink technology that means the "pages" are viewable in direct sunlight at angles of up to nearly 180 degrees.

The Reader comes with a USB cable, soft protective case, Sony’s "e-Book Library" software, 14 pre-loaded excerpts from new and recent books, and, in addition to electronic books, Reader can also store and display personal and business documents in the ePub, PDF, RTF, TXT and MS Word (converted to RTF automatically on the supplied software) formats as well as JPEG images.

Waterstone’s will be taking pre-orders in store and online from 24 July, and e-books will be available to download from the e-bookstore on the Waterstone’s website – (live as of 24 July) - from early September.

Pricing, and exact launch dates TBC.