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Old 08-17-2007, 08:21 PM   #1
ZeBuddha
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Question Sony Reader or ...?

I just ordered a Sony PRS500 a couple of days ago (an order I can still cancel till monday), and am having some doubts.

I have a laptop, PSP, PDA and mobile phone where I can read pretty much anything I want on. However, I'm getting an eink reader because of the endlessly-annoying glare from backlit screens, and the limited battery life that comes with them. Put simply, I just want a reader for fiction/non-fiction stories/novels/etc. rather than manuals or other layout/image-intensive texts. To take with me on the 8-hour+ plane flights, long layovers, evenings in whatever hotel/hostel/garage/shack/tent/hammock I'm staying at, etc. And I don't want to have to lug (another) charger with me if I'm only going for a week. I'm already loaded up with camera equipment, laptop and an endless load of various peripherals, gadgets, etc. and their accompanying wiring, adapters and whatnot.

The single main reason for me picking the PRS500 is simply because I already have MemoryStick cards because of my phone & PSP. Out of curiosity, does it use MS Duo, MS, MS Pro or MS Pro Duo (I'm assuming it doesn't use M2)? What about magicgate/non-magicgate cards (does it take both)? And is there a maximum card size that will work with it? I'm asking because I've already experienced some problems with a 2GB card in my SE k800i, so figured I might as well use that one with an adapter for the PRS and put the 1GB back in the phone.

Beyond the memory card issue, one of my main concerns is the fact that, as a product not available in Europe, the PRS500 is probably not covered by the warranty over here. Anyone can confirm/deny this? If so, if something happens I'd probably have to ship it back to the US right? Because of this possibility, I've had a look around for the other options, and as far as I've been able to see the only one readily sold here is the iLiad. However, it seems to be rather big (for my tastes) plus the price-tag is rather unjustified for the use I'll be making of it.

As far as the HanLin's go, I'm kinda wary about getting chinese-brand products in general (after some bad experiences in the past). The nerfing of supported file formats for the v3 (compared to the v2) just... well... kinda ruins the point of getting that one. The touchscreen of the v2t seems kind of interesting, although I haven't been able to find what functionality that comes with. Is it just a fancy cursor? And is the higher price (compared to the PRS) worth it? Also, would the Hanlin's be covered by the warranty in Europe?

I'm not even going to mention the Amazon Kimble (my sense of design and my tastes tell me to smash it with a sledge-hammer for it's cornea-damaging ugliness).

Finally, I saw somewhere (I think it might've been the comparison table in this forum somewhere) that an SDK was planned or would be released for the PRS. Does anyone know anything more about this? Would this allow for the support of more file formats natively? Or the addition of further functionality in the future?

That's pretty much it. If there's anything else I should take into consideration, feel free to tell me. What all of the above comes down to is trying to make a choice on whether I should stick with the PRS500 or make a last-minute change to one of the other available options.

Or perhaps I should just wait for the CyBook?

Oh, and a few last points which, although might seem irrelevant, are far from it: I'm left-handed, and am not graced with either particularly nimble fingers or small hands. And yes, I'd like to be able to use any reader one-handed. So anyone left-handed with big, unwieldy hands/fingers, what's your choice?
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Old 08-17-2007, 10:53 PM   #2
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The Cybook will be the same issue with page turns. it seems to be of similar ergonomic design to the Sony.

I like my Sony, but then again, you could wait until the end of September and see what happens with the Cybook. if it's out, then you can decide which one you want. If it's not out then you can go with the Sony.

One thing is that Sony has announced that they will be supporting Digital Editions wwhereas the Cybook has not made such an announcement.
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Old 08-17-2007, 11:07 PM   #3
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One thing is that Sony has announced that they will be supporting Digital Editions wwhereas the Cybook has not made such an announcement.
Digital Editions being Adobe Digital Editions I assume?
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Old 08-17-2007, 11:12 PM   #4
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Digital Editions being Adobe Digital Editions I assume?
100% correct!
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Old 08-17-2007, 11:14 PM   #5
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To add to what Jon said, what Sony has released so far in an SDK sort of way is an LRS to LRF translator. There are many fine third party tools (including an LRS to LRF translator) that are available today including BookDesigner, libprs500, and PDFrasterfearian (I never seem to be able to spell that one correctly.)

While it is true that you will currently have to ship the Reader back to the states for service, so few have needed service that this may not be an issue. Many of the right handed people complain that the unit seems to have been s\designed for left handed people since the controls for the page turning are located on the left side and are a bit awkward at first for right handed people.

The Reader can take up to a 4 GB Memory stick. I don't have any MagicGate sticks so I can not comment on their use. I have used everything from a 16 MB stick up and they have all worked. (I currently do not keep any additional storage in the unit as the internal memory is more than enough for my needs as I do not use it as a music player ot image storage device.)
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Old 08-18-2007, 03:25 AM   #6
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Most people find it unnecessary to use any kind of memory card with the Sony Reader. You can store 100+ novels in internal memory, which should be enough for even the most avid reader. The "flat" file structure makes it impractical to navigate huge numbers of files - a few hundred is probably the practical limit.
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