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Old 11-10-2009, 10:15 AM   #1
dhbailey
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Downgrading to a 505 from the 700

After a year with my 700 I have decided to add the 505 to my arsenal of readers. I started with the 500 and then passed up the 505, finally upgrading last November to the 700. While I have enjoyed many of the features of the 700, not least of which is the increased internal memory and the faster processor speed, I am tired of having to recharge it every 4 or 5 days and I am growing tired of the contrast issue, reading through the touch-screen.

After having seen the new offerings, I am convinced that Sony, and indeed the entire ebook reader market (from all the offerings I've seen), is going backwards, and that the 505 may well be the high-point. So I went to all the area Targets and I'm not fortunate to live in an area where they have any of the 505 and/or covers at any price, let alone the wonderful prices many have listed here.

So I bought a brand new 505 on e-bay and am waiting for it to arrive. I also bought the lit cover, and that arrived yesterday and I can't say how thrilled I am with the illumination and coverage and I can't wait for the 505 to arrive so I can get back to reading without eye strain.

It's too bad that Sony couldn't simply have brought out a 510 with the processor and memory of the 700 but without the touch-screen, which I am convinced is a huge battery drain. And the internal lights of the 700 is a big drain as well, and since I read for between .5 and 1 hours every night in bed, I read with the light a lot.

Oh well -- at least I'll have a 505 soon!
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Old 11-10-2009, 11:58 AM   #2
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Why not get the 300? The screen on that is excellent as is the increased internal space.
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Old 11-10-2009, 12:27 PM   #3
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I know for me, I prefer having the dedicated page forward and back buttons, instead of just having the dpad. The buttons off to the side makes it more comfortable to me.
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Old 11-10-2009, 12:31 PM   #4
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I know for me, I prefer having the dedicated page forward and back buttons, instead of just having the dpad. The buttons off to the side makes it more comfortable to me.
I'll give you that. Having to reach with my thumb was probably my main gripe about the device (that and the lack of zoom for PDFs, but it shares this weakness with the 505).
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Old 11-10-2009, 12:58 PM   #5
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I can zoom on PDFs with my 505. It isn't a great zoom, but it is there.
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Old 11-10-2009, 03:36 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by luqmaninbmore View Post
Why not get the 300? The screen on that is excellent as is the increased internal space.
The 300 has a smaller screen, doesn't it? It's a 5" screen and the 505 is a 6" screen.

I've grown used to reading that size screen and I think it's a good size. I've seen the 300 in Borders and I didn't like the size.
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Old 11-10-2009, 04:31 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dhbailey View Post
The 300 has a smaller screen, doesn't it? It's a 5" screen and the 505 is a 6" screen.

I've grown used to reading that size screen and I think it's a good size. I've seen the 300 in Borders and I didn't like the size.
The 300 does have a smaller screen which has advantages and disadvantages. It is more portable but you pay for that with the smaller screen.
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Old 11-11-2009, 06:35 AM   #8
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I agree with the OP, Sony has been de-evolving ever since the 505. I bought a 600, returned it and "downgraded" to a 300. Returned that and "downgraded" to a 505 for $185 brand new and boxed off Craigslist (No $70 Target steal, but not bad). I am of the opinion that all this "downgrading" has left me with the finest reader Sony makes.

For my money, the 505 easily trumps the 700, 600, and 300 on what are the two most important qualities for an ereader: Screen quality and general readability.

SCREEN: The 505 has the best screen of any Sony reader. Hands down better than the 700 and 600. No glare issues, far better contrast, no contest. The 300 is just as sharp and glare free... but only five inches, making PDF's a chore.

READABILITY: The 505 has the best reading ergonomics. Or should I say the 505 has reading ergonomics, the 700, 600, and 300 do not. The swiping gesture for the 600 and 700 is awkward, and often needs to be repeated on the unresponsive touch screens... and the 300's center page toggle is neither here nor there, but in sort of a right hand/left hand wasteland for most reading positions. The 505's lower left page toggle is perfect for the thumb when holding the reader single-handed like a paperback, and the two right edge buttons hit the thumb perfectly when holding the reader in a traditional two-handed grip. It is true that the 600 has faster page turns than the 505, but any small gain in software speed is negated by the fact that the physical action required to turn the page is slower than the 505... so the 505 actually has faster page turns overall.

There's no denying the 700, 600, and 300 beat the 505 in terms of storage. But I believe storage on most current media devices is a selling point more than a tangible concern. Who needs 160 books on their reader, let alone 350? And if you somehow do (perhaps you're planning to be marooned for three years on an island with no computer but a palm tree with an electrical outlet?) then you can get an SD card for 20 bucks that will let you store thousands of titles on the 505...

As for the dictionary on the 600... that may be important for some folks. Not me.

Last edited by Starter; 11-11-2009 at 07:05 AM.
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Old 11-13-2009, 03:57 PM   #9
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Well, I got the 505 yesterday, and it's all loaded up and ready to go. I also bought the cover with the lightwedge in it, and I have to say that it's all I had thought it would be, such a huge improvement over the other Sony readers I've seen, both older and newer, that I'm amazed that Sony didn't simply build on the 505 to put in more storage and a faster processor but keep the screen.

The cover with the lightwedge is much better illumination-wise than the side-lights in the 700, and since it uses it's own AAA batteries it doesn't impact the battery life of the 505 at all.

I had thought I might take advantage of the 700s note-taking and searching capabilities but I never really used them, so I don't miss them on the 505. And I never read PDFs, since I'm only reading fiction, so the poorer PDF capabilities of the 505 don't bother me.

Interestingly enough, though, the latest update patch I could find at the Sony web-site would have updated the 505 to version 1.1.00.18040, but my 505 came with version 1.2.00.18050 installed. I wonder why there wasn't an update patch to that version at the Sony site. . .

Anyway, I'm back in reader heaven again!
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Old 11-15-2009, 03:51 AM   #10
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Does anyone know where to get the 1.2 firmware for the Sony 505? Mine was purchased by its previous owner from SonyStyle back in August/2009 and it has 1.1.01 installed.
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Old 11-15-2009, 08:03 AM   #11
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I have no idea, because it's not listed at the Sony web-site.
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:10 AM   #12
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I agree, the 505 is so far the best reader Sony has made, and I was really disappointed when I saw the 300 and 600. I'm hoping the numbers signify that Sony realizes they're downgrades, and will have an actual upgrade later on down the road.
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:59 PM   #13
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The 505 is NOT a downgrade from the 700, as you finally realized.

Regarding the 300's screen, it seems most of these comments come from a brief look at one, or even just hearing the size and thinking it's too small without even using one! Au contraire, I find the 300'[s screen size to be great and it may be even easier to read. Why? Because the lines have about 5/6 the text of the same document on the 6" screen. There's less side-to-side movement of the eyes, similar to (but to a lesser degree) reading columns of newsprint. I think it is slightly more 'comfortable' than the 505 for sustained reading. BTW, this is based on actually reading hundreds of novels on the 500 and 505 over a couple ofm years, and a few dozen books on my 300.

I'll bet if, for some reason, some ebook devices were made with 7" displays, and then a company came out with a more portable 6" version, many folks here would say "oh no, I looked at it in the store (or read the specs) and 6" is too small for an ebook display."

Last edited by DrMoze; 11-18-2009 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 11-17-2009, 01:53 PM   #14
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The 300 would be the one I would move to should my 505 die and I can't find another 505 to replace it with.
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Old 11-17-2009, 02:02 PM   #15
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Does anyone know where to get the 1.2 firmware for the Sony 505? Mine was purchased by its previous owner from SonyStyle back in August/2009 and it has 1.1.01 installed.
I'm pretty sure the 1.2 is the same as the 1.1... but it is for the international markets with support for different UI languages.

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