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Old 11-22-2008, 05:28 PM   #1
gamegirl
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Just saw Sony PRS 700 and PRS 505 at Sony Style Store

Hello Everyone,

I am new and want to thank everyone that has written in. I was having trouble making the decision between the PRS 700 and the 505. Been online reading reviews and waited for the 700 to be released so that I could read reviews from people that actually have it. After reading the reviews, I decided to go to the Sony Style Store and see if the screen on the 505 is really that much better then the 700. My ereader background by the way, is using my Palm Lifedrive, downloading books from the library or purchasing at the palm bookstore.

I held both devices in my hand, one in my left, one in my right, put the screens side by side and I must say the screen on the 505 is MUCH nicer. I really wanted to love the 700, wanted the light, since my palm lifedrive has the backlight, and I use it to read in a dark room. After seeing the screens, I went with the 505 and purchased the lighted bookcover. So now I will have a light and the nicer screen. I hit the page forward button on both devices and did not see that big of a difference in page advance. That may change with PDF files, I was using the books loaded at the store.

The main reason that I went with the Sony over the Kindle was being able to download books from my local library. I really thought about the Kindle since the books are all $9.99 or less, but books at the library are free and that's pretty nice.

By the way, my hubby was with me and he liked the 505 screen better too.
He thought there was no comparison in the screens, and he is not a gadget person, he had not read any reviews, just walked in, saw them both and said, wow that one has a much nicer screen.
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Old 11-22-2008, 07:37 PM   #2
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Great review gamegirl. Thanks for sharing.

I know you've already purchased your 505 and I'm sure you'll be very happy with it but I just wanted to point out that you *can* check out books from the library with the Kindle, if they carry .mobi books. If they only or mostly carry pdf, or Digital Edition books, then the Sony would be the tight choice.
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:03 PM   #3
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Definitely agree. Thanks for your post!
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:47 PM   #4
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I had my 505 for exactly a year before I sold it. I had read many books and it was exactly what I was looking for. It made reading books so easy. However, I put it on ebay the minute I saw the 700 specifications and waited eagerly for my 700 to arrive.

I am really pleased with the 700, it is much faster and it handles PDF documents much better. It also allows larger print and has a light.

I did not even notice the screen difference when it arrived and was surprised to read it here. I just noticed it was heavier and all the new features. I am really impressed with the new unit and was quite surprised that all the upgrades were exactly what I was looking for.
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Old 12-06-2008, 12:06 AM   #5
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Palladin,

I noticed you said the 700 is heavier? Does it still have the metal case? I actually prefer heavier -- when I'm reading "real" books, I prefer hardcovers.
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Old 12-06-2008, 02:45 AM   #6
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yes the 700 has a nice metal caseing plastic edges on the 3 sides with buttons. the metal case wraps around the side with the vertical lines
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Old 12-06-2008, 02:12 PM   #7
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I only bought hard covers before I got the Sony. The heavier does not bother me at all. I am quite happy that it handles PDF so well vs the 505, so I can also read magazines.
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Old 12-06-2008, 06:09 PM   #8
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Ok... now you guys are starting to appeal to my inner gadget geek.

I have a question -- can you disable the "backlight" feature? If so, does that improve the display?
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Old 12-06-2008, 09:41 PM   #9
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It really is not a backlight. A backlight would be better. It is a side light coming from both sides so the middle has slightly less light. You have to turn the light on and it has two settings. One a little brighter than the first.
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Old 12-06-2008, 11:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purl4peace View Post
Ok... now you guys are starting to appeal to my inner gadget geek.

I have a question -- can you disable the "backlight" feature? If so, does that improve the display?
its a Side Light consisting of 4 Led Lights on Each side. the default position is off. the screen is perfectly readable in any well lit room.

for when the screen starts to get hard to read in a low light enviornment (though not always. a regular 30 foot high street light is enough for me to read ussually) you can turn on the Light, for me i never have to go any brighter thant he Low setting. the High Setting is useful sometimes during a rare ocasion when the room you are in has a Light on, but its not powerful enough to light the screen and the low light doesnt seem to help. that has only happened once for me.
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Old 12-07-2008, 11:57 AM   #11
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As a long time PRS 500 owner, I also finally made the trip to the Sony Style store to compare the 700 and the 505.

The contrast is better on the 505, but the 700 is very comparable to the 500. I think this is a good trade-off for the benefits of the touch screen.

For me, the killer on the 700 is the side lights. The gap necessary between the screen and the e-ink surface made it feel like trying to read a book through a window. It was much too distracting for me.

I really like the new features of the 700, but if I had to choose today, I would get the 505.
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Old 12-09-2008, 07:00 AM   #12
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I noticed that "book in a window" effect at first also, but after reading for maybe a minute or so I stopped noticing it and have never been bothered by it in the month that I've had the 700 (reading between 45 and 60 minutes every day).

I found it very easy, just as I did with the 500 when I first got it, to stop focusing on the technological aspect and simply concentrate on the content and the reading experience, which I thoroughly enjoy.

And the 700's much improved (over the 500, anyway) handling of a larger library even when on a memory card is very nice.

I think the ability to get beyond the technological aspect of such devices and concentrate on the reading experience is an important one and not all of us can make that step as easily as others can, so I can understand your hesitation over the 700.
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:21 AM   #13
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Just saw it again, too

Hi,
I have been waffling between the 505 and 700 for a while (until the Dell.ca one day deal on the 505 [$100 below Sony Style price] tipped me in favour of the older model). But I was leaning toward the 505 because I liked the screen better (less glare, less plastic between me and the text). I went to the Sony Style store to look at them together and I really liked the 505 much better, and I couldn't understand the many posts about how the screen on the 700 was really not bad, etc. In one forum, someone (Andybaby? Server?) suggested looking at the 700 on its own without comparing it to the 505. I admit that I mentally pooh-poohed the idea (I knows what i saw and I knows what I like!), but I was in the Sony store again yesterday, having not seen the 505 for a long time (and never for more than a couple of minutes), and they had the 700 on display. And you know what? The screen on the 700 is fine, and perfectly suitable for reading. So I am apologizing for my secret, mental dismissal of the many pro 700 posts!
It must be experienced in person, and judged on its own merits. Now I will stop thinking about these things, get back to work, and eagerly await the arrival of my 505 in the mail...
Thanks everyone!
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Old 12-12-2008, 10:13 PM   #14
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Having travelled across the pond to New York to see the PRS-700 (and to have a holiday). I was disappointed by the screen, compared with the 505 it is fuzzy and the side light isn't amazing. I loved the functionality of the device and the touch screen is a joy to use. Just couldn't decide wether to get a 700 or 505 so I'm left without an ereader.

Perhaps a hint for Sony, don't display the 2 devices together
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Old 12-15-2008, 04:16 PM   #15
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Just bought the 700 too

I had a really hard time deciding which device to buy but I finally went with the 700 as my first e-ink reader. I REALLY like the touch screen, I know it's kind of a gimmick but I like it anyway. The readability in the low light where the display is at the Sony Style store in New York City is not very good, so I think I will be using the light more than I would need to use the light wedge on a 505, but considering that I would only have bought the 505 with the light wedge, I think the higher price of the 700 was worth it for the extra features and faster refresh rate. When held in brighter light the readability is comparable to the 505, at least to me. Depending on how much the Plastic Logic device costs, I will likely go with that for business use, but I wanted a more portable device for causal reading and I think the 700 will do that just fine. I also bought the 2 year protection plan. I don't usually buy protection plans, but since it includes one screen replacement I thought it would not only provide some piece of mind, but could also pay for itself if a "fate worse than death" event actually happened. I bought my 700 at Books on Board because they had free shipping and no tax as well as a coupon for $25.00 towards books, which seemed to be the best deal I could find. Now I just need to count the days for it to arrive by ground delivery.
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