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Old 10-13-2009, 07:41 PM   #1
FragFrog
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Posts: 83
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: The Netherlands
Device: PRS-600
Initial review of the PRS-600 Cover + Light

This afternoon the mailwoman delivered what is cryptically called the "PRSA-CL6", or as normal people call it, the sony cover with light for the PRS-600, which in turn is more commonly known as the Reader Touch Edition. Sony's own page for this can be found here.

I made a video of a few minutes detailing what's in the package, how it looks and my initial reaction, which can be found on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNpg6YIMWPs

Please excuse my mumbling, I am alas no native speaker and the camera microphone is not as amazing as I would like.

Attached to this post are a few foto's I took as well, hopefully giving an idea whether this thing is worth the $59.99 Sony charges for it.

Truth be told, I do not think so, at least not for me. The cover is fairly well thought out (it seems small magnets clamp it shut for example), the leather on the outside looks genuine and within it the reader looks good, professional in my mind - something you can savely bring to a meeting. I still wonder why there is no agenda functionality on the reader itself, but that is another matter altogether.

I do have some doubts about the sturdyness of the cover itself, as can be seen in the movie: it is easily bend, giving an impression of containing little more than hard leather and some cardboard. The main reason I bought this cover was because when I put the reader in my bag I do not wish other objects to exert pressure on the screen. While this prevents that to a certain extend, I would feel better had it been made of a hard, inflexible material.

The light now sits on a flexible wire that moves into position easily. A simple switch provides the ability to turn it off, dimmed or full on. Using the wire it can be positioned both at the top or side of the reader, for those reading in landscape mode. Since this is a led light, energy consumption should not be too high and from what I gather battery-life is indeed fairly decent at several weeks with normal use. Glare is no issue in normal reading position, but under too big an angle it becomes somewhat anoying, making it not ideal to quickly glance at your reader when it's laying down at your desk (though of course, on those situations you'd probably have a desk light). Less easily discarded is the size of the light - ideally it would span at least a considerable portion of the width of the reader to provide a homogenous illumination, but it is somewhat on the small size for my liking. Since the wire is short the light can never be positioned too far away from the reader so a noticeable diffusion in brightness can be observed. Good, but not ideal.

What does speak in favor however is the color of the light: it is very white which actually increases the contrast of the reader, compared to normal lamp light. Text looks good under it, and in a perfectly dark room still very well readable (though read above restrictions).

So in conclusion;

PRO:
+ Professional, sleek looks (especially combined with a matching reader).
+ Fairly decent protection for the screen.
+ Light increases readability & contrast.
+ Outside feels like real leather, won't deteriorate in a hurry.

CON:
- Light is too small, somewhat uneven illumination.
- Cover is not hard, still allows some pressure through.
- Glare issues under less than ideal circumstances.
- Excessive pricing compared to a $5 reading light and $25 normal cover.

I got my cover as a gift, but had it been otherwise I would not have even considered buying it for this price - alas for being a poor student. It is essentially little more than a normal $25 cover with a decent, but not extraordinary light. I have read plenty at night, and a candle or normal lamp works just as well. On the other hand, it does look like it will survive ten years easily, as such it is not a bad investment - and if you're spending anyway, spending a bit more to get it complete is not a bad idea.
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