My Sony store had the 300 & 600 in today - demo models. My wife bought me a 505 last week for my birthday so I brought mine in, thinking that I might exchange it for the 600, paying the difference.
The guy at the counter let me take pics and a video with my mobile phone, which was pretty nice of him. This was in Calgary, Canada, btw.
The things I was looking for specifically were:
- was the text as clear and easy to read as the 505?
- is the touchscreen worth the lack of cover and the extra price?
- what is the glare like? as in, did they fix it from the 700?
In addition, I wanted to see the neoprene sleeve and see the other apps (dictionary), etc. Essentially just play with it a bit.
Here's my impressions.
- The text is NOT as clear and crisp as the 505. Take a look at the 700 and it's really about that same.
- The touch screen is nice and pretty well done. You can change the direction of the page turn motion, which I thought was a nice touch. Frankly, although it seems reversed, right to left seems the most natural (book-like) to go to the next page, not the other way around, which is the default.
- The touchscreen for the menus is just slick. For all those that own a 700, you already know this. Well implemented, no tiny click areas, just easy to use.
- The glare. Yeah. It is much worse than on the 505. Basically, if you have a harsh light somewhere nearby and it is angled such, you will not be able to read anything on the screen. Now, this is really the case on the 505 as well - if the light is directly on the screen, you still need to shift the reader to continue reading. The difference is with the ambient light. With the 505, unless it is a harsh light, the ambient reflections aren't really noticeable - not so with the 600. It's pretty much like the 700... removing the backlight apparently isn't the issue - it's the touchscreen. Sorry to burst anyone's bubble about that. Still, it isn't awful, so if you were going to/already have bought this, don't stress over it unless the amount of glare on the 700 was a HUGE issue for you and you were hoping it'd be better. It's not, that much.
- The sleeve is actually pretty good. Squishy, like they are. Reasonably protective. It won't fall out if you're holding it - it's not that slippery inside. I still prefer the leather (leatherette?) cover - I just think it looks more classy and makes you feel more like you're reading a book, but that might just be me.
All in all, it feels a heckuva lot like the 505. Similar dimensions, weight, and menu/UI functionality. So.... I kept my 505. The differences boiled down to better functionality with the touchscreen but with a screen that was less crisp and more prone to glare. It would have cost me $50 to upgrade plus the cost of a cover for $40... so $90 CAD total.
Other things of note:
- the red version isn't the same red as the 505. It's the only one I got to play with and it doesn't come out so well in the following pics, but it's a pinkier red rather than the rich deep blood red of the 505. Subtle, but noticeable.
- The "faster page turns" of the 600 were not noticeable at all to me. I even took a video which I've linked to here. Sorry - it's a cell phone video so you can really just seen the screen flash, no detail, but it gives you the idea. This might be better when viewing PDFs, but for the default LRF book that was on there, it was really about the same as far as I could tell.
- The 5 font sizes ... the S,M,L sizes are the same as the 505 - only the XL and XXL are different and they are simply so huge as to be unusable. And this comes from someone with pretty poor eyes that actually reads on L most of the time.
Hope this has helped people with a decision.