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Old 11-18-2008, 08:13 PM   #1
like2read
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Unhappy PRS 700 review from 500 and 505 owner

Dear readers,

this is my first ever posting, hope you find it useful. I live in Europe and travel to the US a couple of times a year. I have bought the Sony PRS 500 when it was first available and used it until I replaced it with the PRS 505 about a year ago. I still remember the big difference in terms of background white and contrast between the 500 and the 505. I read about 2 books per week so I consider myself a fairly serious user.

Given all the comments on the forum i was not surprised to see the PRS 700's screen in the Forum Shops in Las Vegas. The screen reminded me of what I thought was an old and long closed episode - the PRS 500. Not only the lack of contrast annoyed me, it is especially the unavoidable glare that is the knock-out! Actually after about 10 minutes playing with it I realized that the screen is not equal to the 500 but a lot worse! To be honest, I think it is not usable as a reading device, especially if you are used to the 505.

Bearing in mind a comment I read here I tried if switching on the light changes the game - unfortunatley it doesn't, though it helps a little bit.

I can only advise you all who think about getting one to drive to the next store and check if you really want to pay 400 bucks for it.

Now of course there is also a positive comment: I absolutley love the touch screen. When i first looked at it i missed all the little buttons from my 505 but omg this is how an ebook should be navigated! In addition, much less options for sand to get into your device (i assume i am not the only one reading on beaches )

I hope this helps my fellow readers...

Last edited by like2read; 11-18-2008 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 11-19-2008, 05:03 AM   #2
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It only confused me more I'm afraid.... But thanks anyway.

I'm currently reading from a laptopscreen, so I don't have any experience with an eReader. But I think I'll go for a 700 anyway, since I haven't had the pleasure of reading on a 500.

Last edited by Roamor; 11-19-2008 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 11-19-2008, 08:32 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Roamor View Post
It only confused me more I'm afraid.... But thanks anyway.

I'm currently reading from a laptopscreen, so I don't have any experience with an eReader. But I think I'll go for a 700 anyway, since I haven't had the pleausre of reading on a 500.
I'm in the same boat. I used to read off of my palm pilot. I'm getting a 700.
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Old 11-20-2008, 09:15 AM   #4
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try yourself

I would advise you to check out the 505 and the 700 side by side. At least in the Sony Store i was in they featured both models - try them and then go for the one you like more (and maybe save 100 bucks for the 505). I am a tech enthusiast and wanted to buy the 700 model myself, but no way!

I actually don't think that the contrast and brightness level of the 700 is the annoying thing, but the glare! In the shop i could bareley read due to the heavy lighting. But even in a darker area the glare was absolutley distracting from the actual reading experience.

As cool as the touch screen is for me the important part is not controlling the device in a nice way but the actual reading experience.

Cheers,

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Old 11-22-2008, 04:13 PM   #5
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Thanks a bunch. I was about to buy the 700 (my 505 is broken, someone stepped on it) but I will pass on it and buy the 505 again.

Thank you very much.
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Old 11-24-2008, 08:13 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by lahcene View Post
Thanks a bunch. I was about to buy the 700 (my 505 is broken, someone stepped on it) but I will pass on it and buy the 505 again.

Thank you very much.
But don't ignore the posts from those of us who are having a great and enjoyable time reading on our 700s. The best thing is to go look at it and weigh all the factors.

It really isn't hard to hold the 700 so the glare isn't a factor and the benefits of the touch-screen far outweigh any negatives, in my opinion. Couple that with the huge increase in speed, at least when compared to the 500, and the 700 is a great machine in my opinion.

Is it perfect? No -- I'd love the clarity of the 505 screen with all the great features of the 700. But having to choose, I prefer all the advantages the 700 has to offer, especially since I find reading on it just fine and not any sort of annoyance and not needing to use the built-in light except where I needed to use a clip-on light on my 500.

It really is a matter of personal taste, so go check out the 700 before deciding it isn't the machine for you.
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Old 11-24-2008, 02:03 PM   #7
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I'm a happy PRS-700 owner.

I roughly estimate I've spent around five hours reading with it so far and I'm very pleased. Typically I swipe my fingernail to turn pages so that I don't leave smudges on the screen - when I use my fingertip it can leave marks due to oil on the skin. I'm not using the stylus for the most part. Glare has not been a significant factor, although I have noticed it from time to time.

I have also read for some time in the dark using the sidelight, which works very well. You certainly notice the light but it's still easier on my eyes than a LCD backlight.

I believe that if you are used to the PRS-500 or PRS-505 screen that the PRS-700 screen is a step backwards. However, in no way was the PRS-700 a step backwards for me, personally, as my previous reader is a Sony PSP using bookr. The integrated light and touchscreen are important features to me. Now the only thing missing is wireless!
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Old 11-24-2008, 02:08 PM   #8
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Decided on the Sony 700

I've been lurking these forums and heard--and saw!--about the screen/display issues (700 not as clear or crisp as previous model 505), and finally got down to the nearest Sony Style store to handle the two models myself. I had already decided on a Sony because of their support of secure PDF documents, of which I have a (growing) number that I do not want to convert or alter to make them work on an e-book reader.

I'm sold! I had an SD card with a variety of documents typical of what I want to be able to read on an e-book reader, and the 505 couldn't read the card, while the 700 handled it without any trouble, seamlessly inserting the files from the card into the index of available, readable files.

As for the screens, yes, the 505 was more crisp. However I had no trouble at all using the 700, and when I had used both for a while--switching back and forth--I noticed that I kept on touching the 505 screen in attempts to interact with it! I had gotten hooked on the touch screen functionality of the 700 without realizing it, and kept trying to use 'touch screen' features on the 505, which of course doesn't have them!

So there you go; everyone has their own reasons and needs for what they want from their e-book reader, and for me the 700's additional functionality was much more important than the inferior screen display.

Of course all that said, I am going to wait until next spring--just because it will be that long to save up the disposable cash to buy the 700--and if any new, big, flex screen e-book reader can match the PDF support (and speed of PDF display) and let me get my hands on them to test them, I might change my mind again.
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Old 11-24-2008, 04:39 PM   #9
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Proper lighting (daylight or otherwise) and a good reading angle
and the screen 'issue' is practically gone. The touch interface
and searchable capabilities alone make it worth while. If you are
a student or a researcher, and have hundreds of eBooks and need
a quick reference; - you have instant access at your fingertips without
lugging a heavy laptop that runs out of juice just when you need
it most. For me it was a no brainer and the only existing
viable option available today. I'm quite sure sony knows about the
moans and groans of the 700's screen, so when the PRS800 comes
out, it will probably the (perfect) "one".

I think if they go with a better touch screen (ie. glass like that of the
iPhone) and add an anti-reflex coating, you will have a clear winner IMHO.

Until then, forget about what you hear and read and just enjoy the benefits
instant access to unlimited information and reading leisure.
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Old 11-25-2008, 11:54 AM   #10
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When 700 in Borders put near 505 it kills the wish to buy it - 505's screen is much better , besides this and absence of 2 page buttons (yes buttons) on right side it's a great device but due this two issues I stay with 505.
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Old 11-25-2008, 02:30 PM   #11
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I don't own the 505 so I never got used to having the pages buttons on the right hand side of the device, but you can turn the pages with a short swipe of the thumb that would usually be pressing on those buttons. A lot of the video demos of the 700 I've seen on the internet show turning the pages by swiping the finger from on side of the screen full across the pageto the other side of the screen, however this is not necessary. A page can be turned with just a short swipe on the screen, even a quick 2cm long swipe does the job (this is something the right hand thumb can easily do while holding the unit).

Also remember there are page turn buttons in the bottom left hand corner of the device (I think this is similarto the 505) which line up well with your left hand's thumb.
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Old 03-01-2009, 04:45 PM   #12
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Sometimes you just want to keep things simple. You have PCs laptops, netbooks, ipod touches and wm phones and I have spent a lot of time trying to get the latest and best equipped, widest functionality and so on.

I decided that reading is a pretty simple thing that I enjoy because its so simple. The prs505 was and is perfect for reading in comfort. The more sony tries to cover all the bases with the 700 the more I worry it will forget what its making. The prs does one thing really well which is why I dont read books on any of my other devices. None of them do that one thing so well.
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Old 03-01-2009, 08:32 PM   #13
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I agree with keeping things simple.I used to have a 505,and when it broke,after investigating various options,I was actually all set to go and replace it with another 505-but I decided to at least go take a look at the 700BC first-I bought mine at the Sony Store,and I figured if after a week,I hated it,I could take it back and go get another 505 instead.I've actually grown to love it.Meanwhile,after my less than pleasant experience trying to fix the 505 (ultimately for the cost of fixing it was either a) fix it b) get a new one -505 or c) get the 700)-had I actually seen more of the Kindle (in person) and had a chance to play with it-its possible I would've gotten one.But in the last couple of days-I've decided-I really like having a device that does its one thing well-and isn't "connected".
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Old 03-02-2009, 11:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c1yat View Post
Sometimes you just want to keep things simple. You have PCs laptops, netbooks, ipod touches and wm phones and I have spent a lot of time trying to get the latest and best equipped, widest functionality and so on.

I decided that reading is a pretty simple thing that I enjoy because its so simple. The prs505 was and is perfect for reading in comfort. The more sony tries to cover all the bases with the 700 the more I worry it will forget what its making. The prs does one thing really well which is why I dont read books on any of my other devices. None of them do that one thing so well.
Could not agree more.
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Old 03-03-2009, 03:17 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhbailey View Post
But don't ignore the posts from those of us who are having a great and enjoyable time reading on our 700s. The best thing is to go look at it and weigh all the factors.

It really isn't hard to hold the 700 so the glare isn't a factor and the benefits of the touch-screen far outweigh any negatives, in my opinion. Couple that with the huge increase in speed, at least when compared to the 500, and the 700 is a great machine in my opinion.

Is it perfect? No -- I'd love the clarity of the 505 screen with all the great features of the 700. But having to choose, I prefer all the advantages the 700 has to offer, especially since I find reading on it just fine and not any sort of annoyance and not needing to use the built-in light except where I needed to use a clip-on light on my 500.

It really is a matter of personal taste, so go check out the 700 before deciding it isn't the machine for you.
I'm with you. I picked up my 700 last Friday and love. I don't miss my 505 at all. I gave my 505 to my husband, we need to get him hooked on ebooks.
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