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Old 02-07-2013, 09:42 AM   #1
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Replacement for my 505

It's come to my attention that my prs-505 is getting old: the page turn buttons are starting to loosen and I think it's time to consider getting a back-up ereader for when my 505 kicks the bucket. I'm not aware of all the products on the market, but I'm not impressed by the ereaders I know about. There seem to be a bad batch to choose from.
I have a certain loyalty to the Sony brand purely because my 505 has been so perfect, apart from the difficulty in changing the battery, which I couldn't have done without the help of a friendly techie.
Bottom of the list are Kindles: I hate the idea of being tied into the Amazon model. I'm also fighting the notion that 'Kindle' is becoming like 'Hoover': an synonym for the device.

What I want from a reader:
6" Eink device
dedicated ereader
support for a wide range of formats including epub and rtf
buttons
SD card slot
long battery life (an easily changed one would be great)
reliability
good after sales care

What I don't care about:
wifi (I prefer sideloading)
internet browsing

What I don't want:
colour
integrated screen lighting
touch-screen only (no buttons)

A reader which comes with a cover, as the old Sony's used to, would be a bonus, but I'm prepared to buy these separately.

I'm not in any hurry at the moment, just running ideas through my mind, but sometime during this year I will probably have to purchase a new one BEFORE my old one bites the dust.

Thanks.
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:43 AM   #2
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I would wait until the fall and see what Sony comes out with for the next model.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:33 AM   #3
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Just a thought, what if they come out with non button, complete touch with light. While now T2 would be just fine for OP. Not that I know if T2 matches all specifications listed.
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:09 PM   #4
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I've recently replaced my 505 with a T2.

It's a 6-inch dedicated e-ink reader with a SD card slot, and it has page change buttons. For everything else (change book, access TOC, use the dictionary, make bookmarks, change font, etc.) you have to use the touch screen.

Battery life is similar to that of the 505. It doesn't come with a cover, but there was an offer of cover plus wall charger from Sony at something around $38.

It has wi-fi and internet browser, which I found completely useless.

The screen is great (better than the 505's, which was already very good). Battery replacement is probably as difficult as with the 505.

What you win with the T2:

- Enhanced screen
- Large internal memory
- Selectable fonts
- More font sizes, smaller and bigger than base font
- Dictionary support
- Annotations
- Zooming

What you lose:

- Audio playback
- Support for LRF/LRX

While the 505 had a nice, high quality aluminium case, the T2 is plastic (which makes it much lighter). This may be an advantage or a disadvantage, depending on your preferences.

Personally, I am enjoying my T2 and don't miss my 505 (which is still in good working condition) at all.

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:32 PM   #5
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I replaced my 505 with a T1,and I don't like it. buttons are only on the bottom, instead of on the side, and that makes for uncomfortable holding.

I am actually thinking of going to the kindle4 non-touch just for the buttons. But that won't work for you as you want sd card and epub support.

All I can say is good luck
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravensknight View Post
I replaced my 505 with a T1,and I don't like it. buttons are only on the bottom, instead of on the side, and that makes for uncomfortable holding.

I am actually thinking of going to the kindle4 non-touch just for the buttons. But that won't work for you as you want sd card and epub support.

All I can say is good luck
It's a touch screen. You don't need to use the page turn buttons. I have a 650 and I've only used the page turn buttons twice. That's 2 presses, not two reading sessions.
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:42 PM   #7
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For side buttons, SD Card, and epub support the cheapest option by a lot is NOOK STR.
Beyond that the options move to specific models of the second tier, hardware-only vendors: Pocketbook, Onyx, Bookeen. They're not cheap by current standards.
The walled garden readers have really decimated the field.

Without SD, the Kindle4B is the most affordable and it has excellent rigidity, which I remember is something early Sony users value.
Without the side buttons and *with* SD Kobo pops up.

I'd second the suggestion to wait and see if Sony does a T3 and rethinks the decision process that led to the T2. Might the 505 last 6 more months?
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:02 PM   #8
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BookCat has a 505. The 505 does ePub. A Kindle does not. This is why a Kindle is a poor choice. It's not compatible with any ePub that BC already has without any converting.

But to be honest, once you get a touch scree eInk reader, even if there are buttons, you won't need the page turn buttons. You won;t even think about them. The touch screen is just so nice to use. It's nothing at all like an LCD screen. You do not get easily noticeable fingerprints on the eInk screen like you do on an LCD screen.
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:37 PM   #9
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You may as well get the T2. It's okay, I guess (I have a T1 and have handled a T2). It is cheaper than the previous, higher quality models. If front-lit doesn't interest you (and I think the tech is still immature), then I think the Sony is still a good choice. If I were you, if you can, wait months or so and see what the next gen models are like.
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:25 PM   #10
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BookCat has a 505. The 505 does ePub. A Kindle does not. This is why a Kindle is a poor choice.
I put that in just for you.

(I don't prejudge people's choices. They can choose whether to switch or fight on their own.)
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:58 PM   #11
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Based on what you've described, I think you'd probably be happy with the latest Sony models (T2 or even a T1 if you find one on clearance somewhere). You are already familiar with the Sony ecosystem and seem to have no big complaints about it so why not stick with it. My Sony ereaders are still my favorites of my Nooks and Kindles.
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:08 AM   #12
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Just a few questions about the recommendations.
fjtorre: What is a walled garden reader?
What is a second tier, hardware-only vendor: this really confused me. I'm easily confused.

The reason I would like the reader to have buttons is that, while reading I've often got cream on my face (keeping wrinkles at bay) which frequently transfers to my fingers; hence a touch-screen would become smeared very quickly. I also read when eating and would hate to get olive oil, or whatever, all over the screen. I've seen touch screens which have been really badly scratched by the stylus.

I'm not necessarily looking for the cheapest reader, just one which does what I want it to do, rather than what someone who is looking for a mini ipad would want it to do.

My 505 has been wonderful. I'd like a modern version of that. I know I'm not going to get a perfect match but want something as close as possible. I don't need web-browsing or a front-lit screen (eyestrain inducing, I'd imagine, even if the light is even and uncoloured). Just a reader.

The 505 prefers reading lrf to epub, so I usually convert, but as epub is the industry standard I would want the new reader to be able to read it. I can do Calibre conversions but the results aren't always great.

The T2 is the leading contender. I just wonder if there might be something I'm missing like the Nook or Kobo? I don't really know anything about these.

I have an inkling that my 505 wants to retire. I had the same feeling about my previous laptop before it finally died about 6 months later.
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:43 AM   #13
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I often use moisturisers or cuticle oils, etc, but have a touch-screen reader (Kobo Glo, previously Kobo Touch). It's infrared, not capacitative, so all you have to do is break the IR beam with a very light touch. When my fingers are really oily, I just page-turn with a tap from my knuckle. Works fine, and the screen has a "rough" papery texture so it doesn't show the smears.

Otherwise, I guess you're looking at a Nook or a T1/T2, out of the major vendors. The bottom-located buttons on those are, as noted above, inconvenient to use, and there have been reports that the T2 buttons are also sharp/uncomfortable to press. Of the bebuttoned readers I've tried, the Kindle buttons are the nicest to use, but yes that would involve conversion. Bulk conversion with Calibre is a piece of cake, though.
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:30 AM   #14
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What is a walled garden reader?
What is a second tier, hardware-only vendor: this really confused me. I'm easily confused.
There are essentially two business models:
- Make hardware and sell it at a profit
- Make hardware, sell it at around breakeven, but operate an eBook store which the device is (sometimes loosely, sometimes tightly) tied to, and expect to make your profit on the eBooks, rather than the device.

All of the major devices (Kindle, Nook, Kobo) are sold on the second model.
Sony is the only major manufacturer operating largely in the first model, which is why their devices can be more expensive than the others. The other companies operating in the first model are smaller ones that most people would never have neard of.

It is a similar situation to games consoles. Microsoft and Sony sell their hardware (at least at launch) at a loss, but then make money on licensing fees on the games that are sold for that platform. The more consoles they sell, the more customers that are out there who will buy their games, so it is worth taking the initial loss for future profits.
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:27 AM   #15
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In the tech industry, for a given product category, the more prominent vendors that everybody knows about and are seen as industry leaders are referred to as First Tier or Top tier. Second Tier vendors are smaller companies that are less recognizable to the average consumer but that still develop their own products. Third tier vendors generally just rebrand generic products from (these days) an asian developer, so often you see pretty much the same product with minor variation (color of the case, altered firmware) under different brands.

So, in the ebook reader business, we have Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and Sony in the top tier as they are generally recognizable names with distinct hardware designed by or for them by partners. You can find them at retail or multiple online retailers. You should expect a polished product at relatively low prices as they sell in very high volumes which results in lower build costs. They shouldn't *need* to cut corners to be competitive.

Second tier vendors like Pocketbook, Onyx, Bookeen are more visible to enthusiasts than the general public. Their brands aren't household names though in some regions they may have a significant share of the market. Often their products are aimed at very specific niches so that if you need their specific features you will be very happy. They do not have the resources for support that the bigger players do, so the warranties or customer support may or not be as comprehensive as the bigger players. In ebook readers, their prices will be higher than the top tier but the devices tend to be feature rich and customizable. Second tier vendors most usually target value buyers who may be willing to pay more for desirable features, but absent a rich feature set, will demand a lower price. It is a tough place to be as a vendor.

Third Tier vendors have been largely driven out of the US eink reader market. You find a lot of them in the android tablet space these days. Some third tier brands are actually recognizable (Craig, Coby, Emerson, etc) through their broad distribution in physical retail. The products, within the same brand, can range from great to substandard so you rarely know what the expect. The prices are always low and if you know what you are doing you can get great value from their "me-too" products.

The terminology is just a shorthand way to tag products you *should* be demanding of and those you need to temper expectations for. With a lot of modern consumer electronics you aren't just buying the hardware, you are also buying customer support for bug fixes, updates, and repairs. What level of these you can reasonably expect will depend on the brand and the company's resources.

Last edited by fjtorres; 02-08-2013 at 07:38 AM.
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