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Old 12-21-2009, 06:41 AM   #1
Defnes
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Touch screen and reading quality

Hi,
I've recently seen a Sony Reader touch and found the visual quality to be very poor. The text seems buried very deep, contrast was not enough and the screen looks reflective. In the last 2 months I've read 10000 pages on Kindle and not one page on Sony. Are all touch readers that poor in visual quality or is it Sony's bad? I like the functionality of touch readers, but if I can't concentrate and read, they are not of much use. Can you touch users share your experiences and recommend a good quality touch screen reader?
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Old 12-21-2009, 06:57 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defnes View Post
Hi,
I've recently seen a Sony Reader touch and found the visual quality to be very poor. The text seems buried very deep, contrast was not enough and the screen looks reflective. In the last 2 months I've read 10000 pages on Kindle and not one page on Sony. Are all touch readers that poor in visual quality or is it Sony's bad? I like the functionality of touch readers, but if I can't concentrate and read, they are not of much use. Can you touch users share your experiences and recommend a good quality touch screen reader?
The Sony is a "good quality touch screen reader". I have (as you can see from my profile on the left) numerous readers, including both a Sony PRS-600 and a Kindle 2. The Sony is my daily reading device; the Kindle is scarcely used. Yes, the touch screen has a slight impact on readability, but not to the degree where it's the slightest problem in the "real world", and the benefits that the touch screen brings enormously outweigh any marginal decrease in readability.
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:31 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Defnes View Post
I've recently seen a Sony Reader touch and found the visual quality to be very poor. The text seems buried very deep, contrast was not enough and the screen looks reflective.
That's funny - today I played with a PRS-600 for the first time, and was expecting to be disappointed by the screen in view of the generally negative comments I've read here.

To my surprise, I thought the screen looked great. I'm a PDA guy, so I like touch screens and the ability to change pages by simply swiping a finger across the screen. The pages turned very quickly, and the dictionary function also looked good.

To summarize: I was pleasantly surprised by the overall quality of the Sony Reader touch.
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:57 AM   #4
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That's funny - today I played with a PRS-600 for the first time, and was expecting to be disappointed by the screen in view of the generally negative comments I've read here.

To my surprise, I thought the screen looked great. I'm a PDA guy, so I like touch screens and the ability to change pages by simply swiping a finger across the screen. The pages turned very quickly, and the dictionary function also looked good.

To summarize: I was pleasantly surprised by the overall quality of the Sony Reader touch.
Even I, the e-ink hater guy, wasn't frightfully disappointed at the touch screen Sony. It's low contrast sure, but that's like saying a toddler is not very tall. Sure, the 505 has a slightly better black, but that's not saying a whole lot at all.

Perhaps I have not developed so fine an eye to distinguish the ghastly differences between lousy e-ink and slightly lousier e-ink. Neither is paperlike and neither is really unreadable in English unless awful fonts are used at their smallest sizes. With good fonts, you can get down to the 8pt font range and still be usable (8-9pt on a 6" screen starts to approach the per-page text density of a paperback).

Most of the complaints I've seen about the 600's contrast either come from people who have tried to vindicate another ebook reader purchase using screen quality as a judgment criterion (very common among 505 purchasers, but also common among first-time buyers who needed reasons to justify the price relative to tablets/netbooks), or others who would have been disappointed with e-ink in the first place (which is not an uncommon reaction at all).
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Old 12-21-2009, 08:57 AM   #5
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There is at the moment no touch reader with decent screen quality (all have the touch layer on top of the e-ink). However the readers which only work with a stylus and not your finger don't sacrifice screen quality for point-and-click input. At the moment i know only a few of these devices: Irex readers, and the Onyx Boox.

A big advantage of stylus input over touch, i find, is that you can wipe of a speck of dust without accidentally going to the next page or some of the like.
And be honest, do you really need finger input when the main thing you do on the device input wise is flipping pages?
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Old 12-21-2009, 09:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defnes View Post
Hi,
I've recently seen a Sony Reader touch and found the visual quality to be very poor. The text seems buried very deep, contrast was not enough and the screen looks reflective.
Are you sure you saw a PRS 600 and not a PRS 700 ?

The screen on the PRS700 is very bad, as there is another layer for the sidelights.
The screen on the PRS600 is far better and quite readable.
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Old 12-21-2009, 03:53 PM   #7
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It is ironic that so-called progress means that Sony seemed determined to persist with developing touch-screens, a feature I positively do NOT want (because of greasy fingerprints etc) at the expense of screen quality, the most important feature in my opinion. This is why many consider the PR505 to be the best Sony model so far, just as they are discontinuing it.
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Old 12-21-2009, 03:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShellShock View Post
It is ironic that so-called progress means that Sony seemed determined to persist with developing touch-screens, a feature I positively do NOT want (because of greasy fingerprints etc) at the expense of screen quality, the most important feature in my opinion. This is why many consider the PR505 to be the best Sony model so far, just as they are discontinuing it.
Yes, well, and I don't want wireless connectivity, but no one asked me. I have decided to sacrifice a little screen quality for the touchscreen capability, and many have done the same. Fortunately there are enough ebook reader devices around, and they are diverse enough to suit most of us.
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Old 12-21-2009, 04:19 PM   #9
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A4- - with a touchscreen reader you open up things like note taking apps.
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Old 12-21-2009, 04:47 PM   #10
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Since there is no perfect reader that satisfies everyone's needs and desires, it'a a matter of figuring out which features are MOST important to each individual. To each his own.
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Old 12-22-2009, 03:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnFalcon View Post
A4- - with a touchscreen reader you open up things like note taking apps.
I know, my point was that only stylus (no finger) would be sufficient for general use and might even be more advantageous. (Tho it could be useful if you need to look up a lot of words in the dict.)
When taking notes you might as well take out the stylus that way you can write more than 4 words per screen.

Touch isn't very well implemented in the PRS-600 anyway, lots of times it wont register.
Sacrificing (a lot of) screen quality on a device which is made for reading, just to have a little better user interface isn't a sign of a well thought trough design. Especially if the touchscreen doesn't work well.
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Old 12-22-2009, 04:12 AM   #12
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I very much like the touchscreen on my PRS700. After a year, I've yet to see a single fingerprint. Its responsiveness to swipes is better if you swipe with the back of a fingernail rather than a fingertip, though. Sometimes I'm a little bothered by the diminished contrast, but in good light it's fine.

I chose it mostly because of the lights, but they were a bit of a disappointment. I like having them for low-light reading, but for reading in the dark I prefer my Axim PDA with colored font on black.
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Old 12-22-2009, 05:41 AM   #13
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Touchsreens that only work with a stylus don't sacrifice screen quality, but I have heard that they drain the battery pretty fast and that you can only use the specific stylus, so you must be very careful not to lose it. My point is, there is no perfect touchscreen technology (there's no perfect technology generally, actually), you just choose the drawback that affects you the least. I'm very happy with the responsiveness of my 600's touchscreen, and I'm very happy with the ease and flexibility it affords me, and I'm okay with the screen contrast. So, as has been said before, to each his own.
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:18 AM   #14
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Sony touch no better than Kindle's keyboard

I played with the PRS-600 in store and thought the screen quality was ok. But after I brought it home I find reading in bed was a very uncomfortable. I later compared it with a colleague's 505 side by side and decided to return it.

I got the Kindle the following week and it was immediately clear that the screen is better quality (at least for me). But what surprised me even more was that I found the keyboard navigation even better than the touch on Sony. I mostly read academic books and highlight a lot and I found the Kindle makes it much more efficient (also because it saves comments and highlights in a simple text file). And the keyboard is much better for notetaking. The Wikipedia search and online purchases (with cheaper books) are certainly other factors that make me glad I made the switch while I could.

This may be similar to the difference between mat and glossy laptop screens. Some people don't seem to mind but I hate glossy screens with a vengeance. The same seems to be the case with ebook readers - some reviewers thought the Sony 600 was fine others thought it was unreadable. I come somewhere in between but for extended reading I prefer the Kindle.
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Old 12-28-2009, 11:05 AM   #15
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Thank you for your inputs. I understand that stylus-only readers are better in screen quality. There's iRex, Onyx Boox 60. Can you tell me if there are any others?
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