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Old 10-13-2009, 07:41 PM   #1
FragFrog
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Initial review of the PRS-600 Cover + Light

This afternoon the mailwoman delivered what is cryptically called the "PRSA-CL6", or as normal people call it, the sony cover with light for the PRS-600, which in turn is more commonly known as the Reader Touch Edition. Sony's own page for this can be found here.

I made a video of a few minutes detailing what's in the package, how it looks and my initial reaction, which can be found on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNpg6YIMWPs

Please excuse my mumbling, I am alas no native speaker and the camera microphone is not as amazing as I would like.

Attached to this post are a few foto's I took as well, hopefully giving an idea whether this thing is worth the $59.99 Sony charges for it.

Truth be told, I do not think so, at least not for me. The cover is fairly well thought out (it seems small magnets clamp it shut for example), the leather on the outside looks genuine and within it the reader looks good, professional in my mind - something you can savely bring to a meeting. I still wonder why there is no agenda functionality on the reader itself, but that is another matter altogether.

I do have some doubts about the sturdyness of the cover itself, as can be seen in the movie: it is easily bend, giving an impression of containing little more than hard leather and some cardboard. The main reason I bought this cover was because when I put the reader in my bag I do not wish other objects to exert pressure on the screen. While this prevents that to a certain extend, I would feel better had it been made of a hard, inflexible material.

The light now sits on a flexible wire that moves into position easily. A simple switch provides the ability to turn it off, dimmed or full on. Using the wire it can be positioned both at the top or side of the reader, for those reading in landscape mode. Since this is a led light, energy consumption should not be too high and from what I gather battery-life is indeed fairly decent at several weeks with normal use. Glare is no issue in normal reading position, but under too big an angle it becomes somewhat anoying, making it not ideal to quickly glance at your reader when it's laying down at your desk (though of course, on those situations you'd probably have a desk light). Less easily discarded is the size of the light - ideally it would span at least a considerable portion of the width of the reader to provide a homogenous illumination, but it is somewhat on the small size for my liking. Since the wire is short the light can never be positioned too far away from the reader so a noticeable diffusion in brightness can be observed. Good, but not ideal.

What does speak in favor however is the color of the light: it is very white which actually increases the contrast of the reader, compared to normal lamp light. Text looks good under it, and in a perfectly dark room still very well readable (though read above restrictions).

So in conclusion;

PRO:
+ Professional, sleek looks (especially combined with a matching reader).
+ Fairly decent protection for the screen.
+ Light increases readability & contrast.
+ Outside feels like real leather, won't deteriorate in a hurry.

CON:
- Light is too small, somewhat uneven illumination.
- Cover is not hard, still allows some pressure through.
- Glare issues under less than ideal circumstances.
- Excessive pricing compared to a $5 reading light and $25 normal cover.

I got my cover as a gift, but had it been otherwise I would not have even considered buying it for this price - alas for being a poor student. It is essentially little more than a normal $25 cover with a decent, but not extraordinary light. I have read plenty at night, and a candle or normal lamp works just as well. On the other hand, it does look like it will survive ten years easily, as such it is not a bad investment - and if you're spending anyway, spending a bit more to get it complete is not a bad idea.
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Old 10-13-2009, 08:47 PM   #2
geneaber
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Can you fold the cover behind itself and hold it with one hand?
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Old 10-14-2009, 06:11 AM   #3
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Thanks for the excellent review. I liked the pics.
For those in the US, Staples is advertising this cover for $10 off, or $49.99 - at least for this week. That takes some sting out of the ridiculous price.
I'm tempted, but I already have the standard cover and a Mighty Brite XtraFlex2 clip-on for use when traveling. At home, I have a floor lamp by my chair, and I don't read in bed.
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Old 10-14-2009, 07:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geneaber View Post
Can you fold the cover behind itself and hold it with one hand?
Alas no, at least, you could in theory, but no more than you should fold a hardcover treebook would I recommend it - feels like it would leave a nasty fold.
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Old 10-14-2009, 08:33 AM   #5
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That's disappointing. The standard cover folds back very easily with no apparent damage.
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:59 AM   #6
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I have this cover and read with the cover folded back with no problem. The spine is specifically designed to fold all the way back. I also hold with one hand to read -- it's very comfortable.
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Old 10-14-2009, 04:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FragFrog View Post
Alas no, at least, you could in theory, but no more than you should fold a hardcover treebook would I recommend it - feels like it would leave a nasty fold.
Yes you can fold it over without damaging it. I've been using one for over a month.
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Old 10-14-2009, 07:20 PM   #8
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I stand corrected: the cover indeed seems to be foldeable. Seems like the leather is a bit sturdy at first (as is often true for the material) so folding it felt like breaking it, but after trying it out carefully it does not appear to have any negative effects after all. Ah well, I guess that's why it says 'initial' in the title
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Old 10-15-2009, 04:41 AM   #9
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I also have this cover and I actually like the idea of having both lamp and reader in the same place since I tend to always forget something in my bag. I noticed that if you angle the lamp so that the led itself is over the SONY logo and the direction of the light beam makes a 30° angle (or less) with the reader you take away all those annoying glares when you read in the dark
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Old 10-15-2009, 04:45 AM   #10
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Does the light use single LED or double?
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Old 10-15-2009, 05:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belanna View Post
I noticed that if you angle the lamp so that the led itself is over the SONY logo and the direction of the light beam makes a 30° angle (or less) with the reader you take away all those annoying glares when you read in the dark
I have been experimenting with the ideal position somewhat, and another option I found that works well is to put the light to the side of the reader at roughly the same 30° angle so the reflection is mostly going away as well. Still, it requires some fiddling to get it right, possibly with more use that gets easier, for now it irritates me somewhat.

There appear to be two leds in the light by the way
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:06 PM   #12
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Excellent review- I was looking into this light/cover combination. If I decide to keep the PRS600 (which so far looks like I will) instead of insisting Sony fix my broken 700- I was considering looking into getting this cover (whether trying to get them to send it,since they fundamentally sent me something different than what I expected with the exchange program) or generally a way to get a cover,other than the neoprene case included with the device,and also have a light (so I don't have to worry about carrying the flex light I bought for our 505s last year). It is a bit steep,but I look at it as getting a case with a light as a bonus.

It is good to see that the case could be folded back and comfortably read with one hand.So far when reading at night I've either done so with regular light,or the clip on flex light,if I'm getting ready to head to bed and don't necessarily want to get up again to turn off the light.

Thanks for the tip about Staples advert in the US,I'll have to check that out ,as well as check out other possible outlets to get the cover.
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Old 10-22-2009, 10:31 AM   #13
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Just picked up one of these covers. Double thumbs up so far. The light is nicely distributed and evens out all of the reflective glare. I read with it on low light last night before bed and didn't have a single complaint. I look forward to testing it in other environments. The cover is a tiny bit bulkier than the standard cover but, being a woman, it wasn't like I was shoving it into pockets anyway. It is still small enough to fit nicely into a normal sized purse or bag. The only negative I have about the cover is that it didn't come in red.

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Old 10-23-2009, 05:00 AM   #14
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A red cover would have been awsome, you're right! I've noticed that is, at least for me, easier to read in bed if I hold the reader with my hand on the shorter side (the one with the buttons) since I have small hands....
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Old 10-23-2009, 05:50 AM   #15
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I bought this cover a month ago and returned it as soon as I bought it. I couldn't believe how dim the light was. Now after reading all of these wonderful reviews I'm wondering if the battery it came with was old. Hmmm... I may have to pick up another one at Borders's or SonyStyle and check it out with what I know are fresh batteries.
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