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View Poll Results: Which e-reader would be best for me?
Nook Classic Wifi 10 22.73%
Sony 650 30 68.18%
Sony 350 3 6.82%
Other (But not Kindle or Kobo) 1 2.27%
Voters: 44. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-05-2010, 01:54 PM   #1
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Nook Classic Wifi vs Sony 650 vs Sony 350

(sia for the long post)

I've had a nook for a little while now and love it, but it is missing a few features I want. I was hoping for a nook 2 soon, but for now that is looking out of the question. I definitely want an e-ink screen, so the new nook colour is not for me. I'd love a colour e-ink screen (mirasol sounds great and I was hoping for a mirasol nook 2) but apparently that's also not in the cards anywhere right now.

So, with all that said, I'm considering my options. Holiday deals are coming up soon and I want to decide before Black Friday, if there are any good Sony deals coming up. I have completely ruled out the Kindle and Kobo, so please no pitches for either of those. I would consider a lesser-known device if it has more of what I want than the nook or a Sony.

Here is my want list if I am to switch my nook for something else:

-touch screen
-ability to take handwritten notes (I yearn for this)
-page-swiping ability (a must after getting used to the nook)
-e-ink (preferably colour but I realise that's not possible right now)
-lightweight (the nook is slightly heavy to me)
-wifi
-landscape mode (not one page, but page by page like a book...is this possible?)

I hate gadget clutter, so I won't be keeping two e-readers. If I get another I will sell my nook. I already know the cons of the nook (the cons to me anyway): slightly heavy, no way to take handwritten notes, hard to highlight and take typed notes and I really don't like how they completely separate content between content bought at B&N and other content (and don't allow pretty colour cover pics on non-B&N content).

The pros to the nook in my opinion that Sony seems to be missing are as follows: excellent customer service, the in-store experience which I take advantage of and being able to be helped by real live knowledgable people, an integrated and thorough help, online and buying experience that makes me feel well-taken care of and sort of like part of a "family", the colour touch screen and cover flow (seeing books by colour cover), good firmware updates often and, importantly, wifi.

So I can't decide! I would love to just stick with my nook, but I am yearning for the ability to take handwritten notes. I originally, six months ago, was eventually deciding between the nook and bebook neo, and went with the nook because it was cheaper and I was worried about the neo's American support. Now, neo seems out of the picture as it's still expensive but doesn't seem as good as the Sony. And now Sony is back in the picture with its new models that have the Pearl screens and the touchscreen without glare.

But Sony doesn't have wifi! What the heck? If it had that I'd probably have already decided. I DO use my wifi a lot on my nook, to download books and to preview chapters of books before I buy, so I really like that feature. I don't mind paying $230 for the Sony, but paying that for the Sony without wifi? That really makes me pause. That's a reason I may consider the 350 over the 650, as it's cheaper.

I really want to able to read in landscape, like in a real book, with two pages side by side. I'm not even sure if this is available on the Sonys. But I have heard that the landscape single-page view puts the bottom of one page on the top of the next so when you turn pages you've already read what's at top. That sounds annoying.

As for the two different sizes of the Sony, I can't decide either. I'd like lighter, so that would mean smaller. But I do like the screen size of the nook and think a 5" may be too small....but I can and do read small font to get more words on the page so maybe a 5" will be fine and even better? But I must say, I like the look of the black 650 better than the silver 350.

I'll admit, I don't like the look of Sony. I much prefer the "look" of the nook. The nook looks sleek while the Sony looks kind of...gadgety and old-school. But what Sony does have (touchscreen, handwritten notes, lightweight, landscape mode) may outweigh what I don't like about it (no wifi, the look, no in-store and customer service integration like with nook), and if I'm going to get it, I'm looking to do so if and when it goes on sale for the holidays (especially I'm hoping Black Friday), so soon. So please help with your opinions on which e-reader you think would be better suited for me, and any reviews/advice on the Sonys since I haven't tried them (other than the demos in Best Buy). Thanks!
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Old 11-05-2010, 02:26 PM   #2
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I Do Not Have A Ereader but have been Doing A LOT Of Research.
Here is a review site that I have read all the way through. I am leaning to the PRS 650.
My reasoning is. With holding 1200 books no matter where I Down loaded them from why do I need WIFI ?
Here it is. Check it out it may help if you have not made your decission yet.

http://blog.the-ebook-reader.com/category/reviews/
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Old 11-05-2010, 03:43 PM   #3
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sun surfer--good luck with your decision!

I bought a wi-fi nook in July thinking it would last me for quite awhile...but then Sony came out with the 650 and I couldn't resist--for me it's pretty much the perfect reader.

It has everything on your list of items you want on your new reader, with the exception of wifi. Not a problem for me, because I rarely used the wifi.

I personally find the Sony's interface to be much easier to use than the nook's. The nook isn't difficult once you figure it out, but the Sony's interface is so much more intuitive. And you're right, the nook is a little on the heavy side--when I first got my Sony, I couldn't believe how light it was. The battery life is much better on the Sony too. I get 3 weeks as opposed to 3-4 days on my nook.

If wifi is really important to you, and you can afford it you might consider the new Sony 950s. They have wifi and I think they are actually a little smaller than the nook. I do know they are quite a bit lighter. My husband has an older 900 and it's almost exactly the same size as my nook--and when we compared it to the new 950s at the Sony Style store the 950 was much lighter.

Hope this helps!

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Old 11-05-2010, 04:53 PM   #4
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If possible, find a working Sony 650 to play with before deciding. The responsiveness of the touch screen could not keep up with the way that I take handwritten notes. I want my tools to facilitate my thinking, not slow me down.
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Old 11-06-2010, 10:10 AM   #5
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If wifi and landscape are very very important to you, consider the Sony 950. I have had mine for a week and it is fantastic.

The advantage of the 950 is that there is 1 more inch of screen in landscape mode and it has both wifi and 3G connectivity.
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Old 11-06-2010, 12:41 PM   #6
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Thanks guys for the advice so far.

I actually hadn't even considered the 950. I thought it'd be way too big and am a little shocked that it's about the same size as my nook, and lighter! It is now definitely on my list of possibilities as it does seem to have most everything I want. The only thing going against is that it's pretty expensive - $300! I can maybe afford it, but do I want to shell out that money? Any holiday price cuts may make the difference, if there are any.

And $70 is a lot extra to spend for mainly just wifi so I'd need to know if it's capable of doing what I really want it to. Now, I use wifi pretty much exclusively to browse B&N and download sample chapters of books (and of course actual books too). I love browsing around the website on my nook and reading sample chapters of any book I choose. Does anyone know if I can do the same with wifi as far as sample chapters go at Sony's bookstore? Or will the wifi allow me to go to other websites besides Sony's and download previews and books? On the Sony site it made it sound like you couldn't do any of that except download full bought Sony books with the wifi.

Also, the landscape mode on the 950 sounds awesome! Side by side pages just like what I would love! But does anyone know if the 650 offers side by side pages in landscape mode like that?


(and ps - lol at the lopsided poll results so far)
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Old 11-07-2010, 01:47 AM   #7
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sun surfer--

I checked my 650 and there doesn't appear to be an option to view two pages at once on it.

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Old 11-11-2010, 05:36 PM   #8
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Thanks dordale.

Does anyone know about previewing chapters at Sony's store on your ereader? Or any other store on Sony's ereader?

I'm leaning towards wanting a 950 now. It's got more of what I want than anything else and it's lighter and about the same size as the nook.

Price is the thing though - if anyone hears about Black Friday or holiday sales on the Sonys, please let me know! I'm trying to keep an eye out for them.

I am wondering about a nook 2 though. They appear to be getting rid of inventory as if they're going to release a new one, but they could just be planning on focusing on the lcd colour one.
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Old 11-11-2010, 09:33 PM   #9
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OK, I researched a bit and it seems like for some reason at the Sony store you cannot download samples at all; does anyone know if this is correct?

So since I can't download books from B&N on a Sony (right?), I did some more research to see if there are any big ebook stores where I could download samples on a Sony. I found the Kobo store. Apparently it works with Sony and offers samples.

So now what I'm wondering is - on the 950, would I be able to browse the Kobo store on the 950 and download samples and read them, all wirelessly and only using the 950? (that's what I can do at the B&N store on the nook)
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Old 11-11-2010, 11:33 PM   #10
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Hello, sun surfer. I think I can help you with your questions. I have the 950 (and the older 900). I love them both! The extra inch does make a difference to me. The size is very similar to your Nook. It is very comfortable for me to hold, and I have very petite hands. And, yes, the 950 does have a 2 page view mode in landscape.

You can only download files on your ereader from the Sony Store unfortunately. I wish that weren't so too! The Sony Store also does not have samples download. However, the good news is they have a feature called "view excerpt" which allows you to read several pages within the browser window. The bad news is not many books have excerpts which makes this feature not very helpful. Sony could definitely improve in this area.

However, you might be happy to hear that the BN sample downloads do work with some effort (and via USB cable not wirelessly)! That's how I've been reading samples. I log-on to the BN website with my computer (not ereader). I select "Download Sample" of the book I am interested in. Then I visit my Nook Library within the BN website and download to my hard-drive. From there I can transfer the sample to my Sony via USB cable because the BN samples have no DRM on them. (If you have a Mac there is an extra step to make sure you download an EPUB rather than PDB file. Only EPUB format will work the Sony's). I have a collection on my 950 called Samples which I can then browse whenever I want.

I did a test for you with kobobooks.com. I was able to load the website on my 950 browser over Wi-Fi and view the book descriptions and table of contents. Kobo lets you read excerpts within the browser window so I thought this approach might work. Unfortunately I got an error message! So that idea is no good.

I wish Sony had sample downloads. It just isn't integrated into their storefront. I often use my Kindle to read samples and then purchase the book from Sony or another EPUB bookstore to read on my 900/950. Disappointing, I know! However, at least there is a workaround.

The Sony's are great ereaders though. I've had 4 different models and keep upgrading with each news series. Definitely they feel like a high quality product in your hands. I love having the touchscreen, and the menu system is intuitive. The new Pearl screens are awesome. I recommend you find one at a store to test out. Good luck with your decision!

Last edited by Bookworm_Girl; 11-11-2010 at 11:42 PM. Reason: Made clarification
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Old 11-20-2010, 12:18 AM   #11
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Bookworm_Girl, thank you so much for your fabulous post! You really answered my questions thoroughly. It is disappointing about the samples, because that's one thing I love about the nook. I'll just decide to browse around the store and download a random sample to read (and I've ended up buying quite a few books after this too...). It's like the fun of browsing around a physical bookstore for random books, but anywhere you may be. So that sucks about the Sony! I've gotten so used to never plugging my nook into my computer, but if I must I guess I can do that with the Sony to put samples on it, but still, doing it that way sort of takes the element of impulsive fun out of it, when I could just do it with the touch of my finger wherever I was.

Despite that, I think you guys may have sold me. I want to try a 950 now! It's now a matter of price. I see it's down to $250 at the store, but after seeing the $199 deal (even though it was an error it was honoured) I really want to get it for that price, so I'm holding out for the time being, trying to keep a look out over the next week with Black Friday coming up. I know it's not on any big retailers BF lists, but I'm hoping some website will have a good deal. If not I may jump on the $250 deal bandwagon before it's over, we'll see. I'm itching to try it out now!

Once I get it, if I do, then I'll probably keep both for a few weeks to make sure I prefer it to my nook. I will only be keeping one, so I'll either sell the nook or return the Sony. But if I get rid of my nook, I still may come back to it if an e-ink nook 2 is ever released. I'm a one e-reader type of person, but I am fine with buying the new one when it comes out, whatever the new one may be, and getting rid of the older one, as often as needed. So we'll see. I am going to miss the B&N store, the in-store experience, the customer service, the samples, the colour cover flow, the large selection of accessories, but to me getting a 2-page landscape view, the ability to write handwritten notes and a lighter device may be worth it.

What's funny to me is that I started the thread debating the nook vs 650 vs 350, and now I'm wanting something else. Although to be fair the 950 is still Sony, and I just hadn't realised that it wasn't any bigger than the nook, making it feasible.

And btw, though I may end up going with a Sony, I'm glad a few people voted for the nook! It's a great device and I felt bad for it getting beat up so bad in the poll lol (though I think that had more to do with people responding to my list of wants in particular).
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Old 11-20-2010, 01:36 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by sun surfer View Post
Bookworm_Girl, thank you so much for your fabulous post! You really answered my questions thoroughly. It is disappointing about the samples, because that's one thing I love about the nook. I'll just decide to browse around the store and download a random sample to read (and I've ended up buying quite a few books after this too...). It's like the fun of browsing around a physical bookstore for random books, but anywhere you may be. So that sucks about the Sony! I've gotten so used to never plugging my nook into my computer, but if I must I guess I can do that with the Sony to put samples on it, but still, doing it that way sort of takes the element of impulsive fun out of it, when I could just do it with the touch of my finger wherever I was.

Despite that, I think you guys may have sold me. I want to try a 950 now! It's now a matter of price. I see it's down to $250 at the store, but after seeing the $199 deal (even though it was an error it was honoured) I really want to get it for that price, so I'm holding out for the time being, trying to keep a look out over the next week with Black Friday coming up. I know it's not on any big retailers BF lists, but I'm hoping some website will have a good deal. If not I may jump on the $250 deal bandwagon before it's over, we'll see. I'm itching to try it out now!

Once I get it, if I do, then I'll probably keep both for a few weeks to make sure I prefer it to my nook. I will only be keeping one, so I'll either sell the nook or return the Sony. But if I get rid of my nook, I still may come back to it if an e-ink nook 2 is ever released. I'm a one e-reader type of person, but I am fine with buying the new one when it comes out, whatever the new one may be, and getting rid of the older one, as often as needed. So we'll see. I am going to miss the B&N store, the in-store experience, the customer service, the samples, the colour cover flow, the large selection of accessories, but to me getting a 2-page landscape view, the ability to write handwritten notes and a lighter device may be worth it.

What's funny to me is that I started the thread debating the nook vs 650 vs 350, and now I'm wanting something else. Although to be fair the 950 is still Sony, and I just hadn't realised that it wasn't any bigger than the nook, making it feasible.

And btw, though I may end up going with a Sony, I'm glad a few people voted for the nook! It's a great device and I felt bad for it getting beat up so bad in the poll lol (though I think that had more to do with people responding to my list of wants in particular).
Why don't you keep the nook for the preview samples?
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Old 11-20-2010, 01:29 PM   #13
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There are two reasons:

1 - Cost. I plan to sell the nook to offset the cost of the Sony (or return the Sony if I don't like it).

2 - The clutter factor. I don't need two e-readers, nor do I want two at once. I don't like gadget clutter. I don't have two cell phones just to have the different features of each, I don't have two laptops just to have the different features of each, etc., so I don't need two e-readers. While it sucks that no e-reader has everything I want, I can make do with whichever has most of what I want.
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Old 11-21-2010, 09:02 AM   #14
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The 950 does seem like an excellent ereader. Really, the price is the main deterrent. Another positive about the 950 is that it is the only Sony model with 3g.
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Old 11-22-2010, 01:41 AM   #15
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sun surfer--

Just thought I'd mention--in case you aren't aware of it--right now until the end of the year, Sony is offering a $75 trade in credit for any other dedicated readers when buying a Sony Reader. So if you wanted to, you could trade in your nook and get $75 off of a Sony Reader. Downside of course is that you wouldn't be able to compare them before giving up your nook. I know this deal is available from SonyStyle.com and I'm pretty sure it's available at the Sony Stores. To take advantage of the deal at SonyStyle, you have to send in your reader and then they'll send you a coupon for $75 off a reader.

Here's a link to the Sony Trade in program:

http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...&cmsId=tradeup

dordale
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