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Old 09-07-2009, 07:28 AM   #1
mgmueller
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Arrow Sony 300 vs. Sony 600 vs. Sony 700 vs. Sony 505

Just got my Sony 600, Sony 300 has been delivered on Thursday last week.
Sony 700 I've got 9 months ago, Sony 505 15 months ago.

First impressions:

Design/housing:
Sony 300 has "plastic sidings". See a picture in my thread http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...&postcount=176.
It looks a bit cheap, having 2 different materials with slightly different colors.
Sony 505, 600 and 700 look quite similar, whereas Sony 600 is available in more colors. I've got the red one.

Display quality/glare/reflection:
There have been discussions, whether Sony 600 will have glare. Or whether it's actually glare or reflection.
Well, I don't know about the correct wording/definition.
But display quality of Sony 600 clearly significantly is below Sony 505 or Sony 300. But it's slightly better than on Sony 700.
I've said it before in my thread, comparing all my readers: If you own just one reader, each of them will be great, eInk simply is phantastic. A friend of mine for example absolutely loves his Sony 700, although admitting that Sony 505's display is superior.
But when comparing various displays, differences in quality are quite significant.

UI:
Sony 600 and Sony 700 can display thumbnails of book covers. I absolutely love it. I have no idea, why Sony 300 doesn't support that. Has nothing to do with touchscreen.
(Cybook Opus for example can display thumbnails, without having a touchscreen. Cybook Gen3 as well.)
Concerning touchscreen: Of course it's way more comfortable, to scroll pages via touchscreen than actually touching buttons.
Thumbnails obviously are saved. Building the thumbnails for the first time takes about 10 seconds per page, after that it's more or less instantly.
A small partition on Sony 300 and Sony 600, recognised as a separate drive, contains eBook library 3.0. It either starts it or (when initialising) downloads the newest version and installs it.

Dictionary support:
Probably all of you have read it before. But briefly: Sony 600 is the only one so far with dictionary support. I find it quite convenient, each reader should have it. For every file format.

Speed in turning pages:
Someone stated, Sony 300 and 600 would have the very same processor as Sony 505 and Sony 700.
Didn't check that.
But Sony 300 and Sony 600 are slightly faster in turning pages than Sony 505 or Sony 700.
But it's hard to compare, I've only got about 100 books on the new ones, maybe size of the library or fragmentation of the database or whatever may have an impact...

eBook library 3.0:
It's crashing, when copying books to Sony 300 or Sony 600. Other users did confirm that. It has been working with Sony 505 and Sony 700 before.
I'll check, whether it's still working with the older readers.
Adobe Digital Editions is working flawlessly, drag and drop via Windows explorer is doing the job for all file formats as well.
Update: eBook library is crashing with all my devices, other users did confirm this for their readers.
Update #2: eBook library 3.0 is working now for me: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...81&postcount=1

Personal ranking:
I didn't use Sony 700 very often, although I find it a "smart" unit. But I prefer the display quality of Sony 505 or iRex iLiad. So it ranks last of my Sonys.
I don't like the "plastic sidings" of Sony 300 (which i didn't see on the pics on Sony's website), so it ranks third of my Sonys. In direct comparison, I slightly prefer Cybook Opus to Sony 300 in the 5" division.
Sony 505 and Sony 600 are even. Sony 505 still got the better display quality, Sony 600 got the touchscreen and the dictionary. Ranking depends on demands and permanently changes...

Last edited by mgmueller; 10-02-2009 at 05:48 AM.
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Old 09-07-2009, 07:39 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgmueller View Post
Just got my Sony 600, Sony 300 has been delivered on Thursday last week.
Sony 700 I've got 9 months ago, Sony 505 15 months ago.

First impressions:

Design/housing:
Sony 300 has "plastic sidings". See a picture in my thread http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...=49817&page=12.
It looks a bit cheap, having 2 different materials with slightly different colors.
Sony 505, 600 and 700 look quite similar, whereas Sony 600 is available in more colors. I've got the red one.

Display quality/glare/reflection:
There have been discussions, whether Sony 600 will have glare. Or whether it's actually glare of reflection.
Well, I don't know about the correct wording/definition.
But display quality of Sony 600 clearly significantly is below Sony 505 or Sony 300. But it's slightly better than on Sony 700.
I've said it before in my thread, comparing all my readers: If you own just one reader, each of them will be great, eInk simply is phantastic. A friend of mine for example absolutely loves his Sony 700, although admitting that Sony 505's display is superior.
But when comparing various displays, differences in quality are quite significant.

UI:
Sony 600 and Sony 700 can display thumbnails of book covers. I absolutely love it. I have no idea, why Sony 300 doesn't support that. Has nothing to do with touchscreen.
Concerning touchscreen: Of course it's way more comfortable, to scroll pages via touchscreen then actually touching buttons.
A small partition on Sony 300 and Sony 600, recognised as a separate drive, contains eBook library 3.0. It either starts it or (when initialising) downloads the newest version and installs it.

Dictionary support:
Probably all of you have read it before. But briefly: Sony 600 is the only one so far with dictionary support. I find it quite convenient, each reader should have it. For every file format.
Thumbnails obviously are saved. Building the thumbnails for the first time takes about 10 seconds per page, after that it's more or less instantly.

Speed in turning pages:
Someone stated, Sony 300 and 600 would have the very same processor as Sony 505 and Sony 700.
Didn't check that.
But Sony 300 and Sony 600 are slightly faster in turning pages as Sony 505 or Sony 700.
But it's hard to compare, I've only got about 100 books on the new ones, maybe size of the library or fragmentation of the database or whatever may have an impact...

eBook library 3.0:
It's crashing, when copying books to Sony 300 or Sony 600. Other users did confirm that. It has been working with Sony 505 and Sony 700 before.
I'll check, whether it's still working with the older readers.
Adobe Digital Editions is working flawlessly, drag and drop via Windows explorer is doing the job for all file formats as well.

Personal ranking:
I didn't use Sony 700 very often, although I find it a "smart" unit. But I prefer the display quality of Sony 505 or iRex iLiad. So it ranks last of my Sonys.
I don't like the "plastic sidings" of Sony 300 (which i didn't see on the pics on Sony's website), so it ranks third of my Sonys. In direct comparison, I slightly prefer Cybook Opus to Sony 300 in the 5" division.
Sony 505 and Sony 600 are even. Sony 505 still got the better display quality, Sony 600 got the touchscreen and the dictionary. Ranking depends on demands and permanently changes...
Always tracking your posts.....
I'm still not sure: Cybook Opus or Sony 300?
What's your recommendation, considering price, availability in Germany, nuber of books available, accessories, ...?
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Old 09-07-2009, 07:50 AM   #3
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I kind of like the colors on my blue PRS300, indigo in front, purple black back, purple side.
But you got the pink one, haven't seem that one live.
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Old 09-07-2009, 07:51 AM   #4
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I'm wondering why anyone would pick the 300 over the 505. Since the announcement of the new Readers, I saw in our military exchange that the price of the 505 dropped to about $197. I'd jump on that if I didn't already have a Kindle. The screen is larger than the 300 and it supports SD cards. If it's now selling at the same price, why go for the 300 at all? Is Sony discontinuing the 505? Or maybe the exchange just got a deal on it. :-/
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Old 09-07-2009, 07:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babalou View Post
Always tracking your posts.....
I'm still not sure: Cybook Opus or Sony 300?
What's your recommendation, considering price, availability in Germany, nuber of books available, accessories, ...?
Price:
I've ordered Sony 300 from the US, Cybook Opus directly from Bookeen.
Although cheaper in the US, after costs for transportation, VAT and customs, Sony 300 is about the same price as Cybook Opus.
But honestly, even € 50 difference wouldn't have had any impact on my decision.
I'll use my readers at least for 2 years. Per hour of usage, a difference of € 50 will come down to cents only...

Availability in Germany:
I really hate it. Theoretically, we're in the "global village". But practically, electronic consumer products are way cheaper in the US and available months ahead. Sony 700 even never did make it to Germany (even the whole of Europe, as far as I know).
But I've had only positive experiences so far, either via eBay or from various sources in the US. Delivery within 5 days and about the same price as in Germany (when later on available for comparison).
Only handicap: Warranty. Another aspect I really HATE. I legally purchase a Sony product, but they only give warranty in the country of purchase? What the... (Not a Sony problem, same with Amazon and the others...)
But I simply risk it and hope, I'll never need the warranty.
No idea, whether I'd re-send it to the US or would pay the costs for repair in Germany. Will check when needed.

Accessories:
So far, I've only ordered covers for both of them.
SD cards respectively Micro-SD cards aren't bound to the manufacturer, no problem at all.
Over time, there probably will be a bit more accessories for Sony than for Cybook, but that's not really important to me.

Number of books:
That's an argument to me, really important.
Both do ePUB, and both do it very well.
But Sony, in addition still has their own bookshop and their own proprietary BBeB format.
I really like the Sony bundles which have significant cost advantages. And having another format simply doubles my chances to find the content of choice.
But there even is another advantage. Both Sony and Amazon do way more revenue in eBooks than in readers. And the margin probably is bigger as well for books than within the very competitive hardware market for readers.
So, to me Sony and Amazon are the most likely candidates to survive the "battle" for market share. Cybook to my knowledge "only" is an OEM product. What if they loose their OEM status? Or what if they simply drop out of the market because of revenue/margin? I don't say it's likely. But it certainly is more likely for the smaller ones than for Sony or Amazon...
And so far, neither Amazon nor Sony did disappoint me (whereas I'll be very careful about the rumored Apple tablet, given my experience with Apple products)....
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Old 09-07-2009, 07:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpiderMatt View Post
I'm wondering why anyone would pick the 300 over the 505. Since the announcement of the new Readers, I saw in our military exchange that the price of the 505 dropped to about $197. I'd jump on that if I didn't already have a Kindle. The screen is larger than the 300 and it supports SD cards. If it's now selling at the same price, why go for the 300 at all? Is Sony discontinuing the 505? Or maybe the exchange just got a deal on it. :-/
Sony 505 already is "end of life" to my knowledge.
I agree: It's a great unit, definitely still within my top 3.
But I guess, most consumers tend to buying the new one instead of the "cancelled one".
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Old 09-07-2009, 08:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dura View Post
I kind of like the colors on my blue PRS300, indigo in front, purple black back, purple side.
But you got the pink one, haven't seem that one live.
It's cool as well. I've ordered the black one first, but cancelled it 2 minutes afterwards and went for the pink 300 and the red 600. And looking at them, it has been the right choice.
But: I don't like the "plastic sidings" on Sony 300. 2 materials of slightly different colors. Solved more nicely on the other Sony units.
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Old 09-07-2009, 11:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgmueller View Post

Availability in Germany:
I really hate it. Theoretically, we're in the "global village". But practically, electronic consumer products are way cheaper in the US and available months ahead. Sony 700 even never did make it to Germany (even the whole of Europe, as far as I know).
But I've had only positive experiences so far, either via eBay or from various sources in the US. Delivery within 5 days and about the same price as in Germany (when later on available for comparison).
Only handicap: Warranty. Another aspect I really HATE. I legally purchase a Sony product, but they only give warranty in the country of purchase? What the... (Not a Sony problem, same with Amazon and the others...)
But I simply risk it and hope, I'll never need the warranty.
No idea, whether I'd re-send it to the US or would pay the costs for repair in Germany. Will check when needed. I hear you !!

Accessories:
So far, I've only ordered covers for both of them. Which cover did you choose for the 300 and of course, where did you order it ?
As always, a great thread, really helpful.
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Old 09-07-2009, 12:26 PM   #9
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As always, a great thread, really helpful.
Giving you all my sources, ain't I?
http://www.waterstones.com/waterston...do?sku=6935488
Should be here in about 1 week. I've ordered for Sony 600 and Sony 300.
Great source for eBooks as well.
And again: "Global village"? UK will get them before Germany or France? Unbelievable...
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Old 09-07-2009, 12:59 PM   #10
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I'll only say "Arbeitsgemeinschaft" .

The global village exists only one way around, the concept was never created for the consumers but for the multinationals to spare costs. Then it was "sold" to the public as a win-win situation, but for the time being it is indeed a huge farce.

Thanks for the Waterstones tip, I was on their site but the £ to € exchange is better as it was but still not that great.
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Old 09-07-2009, 01:13 PM   #11
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I'll only say "Arbeitsgemeinschaft" .

The global village exists only one way around, the concept was never created for the consumers but for the multinationals to spare costs. Then it was "sold" to the public as a win-win situation, but for the time being it is indeed a huge farce.

Thanks for the Waterstones tip, I was on their site but the £ to € exchange is better as it was but still not that great.
Concerning "Arbeitsgemeinschaft": I've followed your tip and ordered the Opus cover from noreve.com.
Just got confirmation of est. delivery date: Around September 17th...

Last edited by mgmueller; 09-07-2009 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 09-07-2009, 01:53 PM   #12
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Yes, if it not the classical black leather (which they normally have in stock) then they produce it for you on demand so it lasts a little longer. Tell me what you think, but personally I've never been disappointed by noreve, fantastic craftsmanship.
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Old 09-07-2009, 02:37 PM   #13
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Yes, if it not the classical black leather (which they normally have in stock) then they produce it for you on demand so it lasts a little longer. Tell me what you think, but personally I've never been disappointed by noreve, fantastic craftsmanship.
For the moment I'm fine with the sleeve. The Opus sleeve is more stable than the Sony sleeve. But when traveling, I'd be worried having the readers only protected by those sleeves.
I've bought a few generic neoprene sleeves from i-nique, very nice as well. I'll try to slow things down a bit, not purchasing every new unit available. But the Sony daily edition.....
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Old 09-07-2009, 03:55 PM   #14
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Giving you all my sources, ain't I?
http://www.waterstones.com/waterston...do?sku=6935488
Should be here in about 1 week. I've ordered for Sony 600 and Sony 300.
Great source for eBooks as well.
And again: "Global village"? UK will get them before Germany or France? Unbelievable...
Waterstones are actually sony's official partner for ebooks in the uk, opinions vary, but if you are ordering books from the uk then you should also check out whsmith.co.uk as well.

As far as the uk getting something first, sony have been working with waterstones longer than their french and german equivalents so that probably hasn't hurt their chances in that respect.

p.s. wow at your collection of ebook hardware.
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Old 09-07-2009, 06:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgmueller View Post

Display quality/glare/reflection:
There have been discussions, whether Sony 600 will have glare. Or whether it's actually glare of reflection.
Well, I don't know about the correct wording/definition.
But display quality of Sony 600 clearly significantly is below Sony 505 or Sony 300. But it's slightly better than on Sony 700.
I've said it before in my thread, comparing all my readers: If you own just one reader, each of them will be great, eInk simply is phantastic. A friend of mine for example absolutely loves his Sony 700, although admitting that Sony 505's display is superior.
But when comparing various displays, differences in quality are quite significant.

UI:
Sony 600 and Sony 700 can display thumbnails of book covers. I absolutely love it. I have no idea, why Sony 300 doesn't support that. Has nothing to do with touchscreen.
Concerning touchscreen: Of course it's way more comfortable, to scroll pages via touchscreen then actually touching buttons.
Thumbnails obviously are saved. Building the thumbnails for the first time takes about 10 seconds per page, after that it's more or less instantly.
A small partition on Sony 300 and Sony 600, recognised as a separate drive, contains eBook library 3.0. It either starts it or (when initialising) downloads the newest version and installs it.

Dictionary support:
Probably all of you have read it before. But briefly: Sony 600 is the only one so far with dictionary support. I find it quite convenient, each reader should have it. For every file format.

Speed in turning pages:
Someone stated, Sony 300 and 600 would have the very same processor as Sony 505 and Sony 700.
Didn't check that.
But Sony 300 and Sony 600 are slightly faster in turning pages than Sony 505 or Sony 700.
But it's hard to compare, I've only got about 100 books on the new ones, maybe size of the library or fragmentation of the database or whatever may have an impact...

eBook library 3.0:
It's crashing, when copying books to Sony 300 or Sony 600. Other users did confirm that. It has been working with Sony 505 and Sony 700 before.
I'll check, whether it's still working with the older readers.
Adobe Digital Editions is working flawlessly, drag and drop via Windows explorer is doing the job for all file formats as well.
Update: eBook library is crashing with all my devices, other users did confirm this for their readers.
Thanks for the nice summary! I completely agree with most of your points.

Last week I had the chance for a side-by-side comparison of the PRS-300 and PRS-600 at the SonyStyle store in Boston. The display of the PRS-300 looked slightly sharper than that of the PRS-600, though without a direct comparison one wouldn't notice.

Reaction speed of the PRS-300, when pressing one of the buttons seemed to be slightly slower than for the PRS-600. It is more on-par with the PRS-505, which I tested in another store, hence this comparison between PRS-300 and PRS-505 is highly subjective, but I think that it is indeed due to the difference in CPU speeds between the PRS-300 (200 MHz) and the PRS-600 (532 MHz).

eBook library 3.x: I experienced freezes and crashes under MacOSX until I upgraded to the lastest Java version (1.6 or SE 6). Thus anyone experiencing problems with the new eBook library (also using the Windows version) should check their java version first!

In the end, I tried to purchase the PRS-600 because of its faster speed, larger screen (6 inch vs. 5 inch, though with the same number of pixel as the PRS-300) and the "touch" interface, but unfortunately it was already sold out (apart from the display units, the store didn't get many units with the first delivery). Luckily, just before flying back to Germany, I got the PRS-700 at an airport store for US$349 + tax :-)

My experience with the PRS-700 after four days of reading:
- reaction time is fast (same CPU as the PRS-600)
- I like the "book cover", and the "solid build" of the PRS-700 (same as the PRS-600)
- I like the touch interface, in particular for selecting books, though I hardly ever use it for turning pages
- page-turn button could be a little bit more ergonomic (it is rather thin)
- the screen of the PRS-700 seems indeed slightly less sharp than that of the PRS-600, but compared to my previous (make-shift) "eBook reader" (Fujitsu-Siemens ST5031), it is a great improvement (also weight-wise, 380g with cover vs. 1.4 kg)
- LED light: nice if one likes to read in complete darkness, though an electroluminescent "backlighting" (like, e.g., used with the Apple Newton MP2x00) would be preferable to the "side-lighting". There is quite some light leaking to the right (to the left it is shielded by the book cover)

Overall, I'm quite happy with the PRS-700. I'm also looking forward to the txtr (same CPU speed as the PRS-600 and 700, and with bluetooth and UMTS interfaces), but in the end didn't want to wait till the midst of October.

Last edited by ene; 09-07-2009 at 06:20 PM.
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