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Old 01-18-2010, 06:49 PM   #2
Nate the great
Sir Penguin of Edinburgh
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Posts: 10,605
Karma: 3586209
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: DC Metro area
Device: Shake a stick plus 1
Screen
Given the complaints about the PRS-700 when it was initially released, I'm sure the screen issue is a major concern. It's unfortunate that all of Sony's touch screen ebook readers will be stuck with that legacy.

I've compared the Daily Edition with the Boox lent to me by Onyx, and I can just barely see a difference in the screens. I used the Boox to compare because of the e-readers I have at hand, it had the best screen. The difference between the Boox and the Daily Edition is small enough that I can't be certain that I'm not imagining it. It wouldn't be a reason that I wouldn't get the Daily Edition.

Battery Life
I charged it Thursday night, and Friday morning (a week later) I got the low battery warning. I used it a lot during that week, but kept the wireless off aside from a couple minutes here and there. Needless to say, this is really disappointing. The spec sheet quotes the battery life as 2 weeks.

Wireless
I have mixed feeling about the wireless. Yes, it's nice to finally have a Sony device that has it, but it costs $140 more than the Kindle and Nook. I have trouble being enthusiastic about a feature when the competition can provide it for so much less. And besides, all it's good for is connecting to the Sony Store.

The case
I really like the zippered case made for the Daily Edition by Caselogic. It's solidly made and well padded.

But it is also quite large. It's about an inch taller, 2” wider, and about 3 times as thick as the Daily Edition. If it were a soft case, then I would think it contains a netbook. Seriously, I have a zipper pouch for a 7” netbook and it has about the same footprint as the Daily Edition case. My issue with the case is that if you use it, you'll be stuck with the bulkiness issues of a larger screen reader without the benefit of the larger screen.

The Manual
The manual is 200+ pages long, and there is no quick start guide. This is a problem because there are shortcuts that involve the touchscreen, and I didn't find them until after someone told me. For example, you can bookmark a page by double clicking in the upper right hand corner. I tried a single click, and when that didn't work I assumed the feature wasn't there.

I wish someone had told me that double clicking is the trick behind all of the onscreen shortcuts. For example, you can double click on a word to look it up in the dictionary.

Usability
My minimum requirement for ergonomics is a one handed operation. It's possible to use the Daily Edition with one hand, but I'm not comfortable with it. When I'm holding the DE so my thumb is over the page turn button, I don't feel like I have a good grip on the unit. It does look nice, though.

Bugs
I encountered several bugs, not all important. The font size isn't consistent between portrait, landscape, and 2 page view. It's a minor matter, but it bugs me. When reading in landscape mode, the last 2 or 3 pixels of the first or last line are often cut off the edge of the screen. It might not bother you, but for me it's jarring enough that I can't use landscape mode.

But there is a bug which, after some thought, made me question the design philosophy of the Sony Reader team. The Daily Edition tracks the time, date, and the time zone. Changing the time zone on the Daily Edition causes it to re-index my ebooks. Given that one can just ignore the time zone feature, this bug won't really impact most users. But it brings up an interesting question. What is the use in keeping track of the time zone, especially when there are only 6 options (the main 6 US time zones)? If you're going to track the time zone, shouldn't you have all of them (40 or so)? At the very least, shouldn't all the US time zones be offered (Arizona and Indiana, for example)?

A footnote: I had 600+ ebooks on the Daily Edition at the time, and it indexed them all in about 5 minutes. That was rather impressive.


My Opinion
I can see its good points; It is a nice reader. But I don't see what it provides that makes it worth $399.
  • direct access to the Sony Store
  • slightly larger screen
  • battery life is disappointing
  • handles newspapers well
  • store is difficult to navigate

Last edited by Nate the great; 01-19-2010 at 11:52 AM.
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