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Old 11-06-2010, 03:14 PM   #1
capslock
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Questions For Sony PRS-650 Users

It would be helpful to receive input from Sony PRS-650 users about a few things:

1) Is an extended warranty a good idea for this device? I have a 1-year manufacturer's warranty from Sony (which I was told is limited); my store of purchase offers a 2-year warranty plan (on the battery and screen) for $50. In the past, such warranties have always proved to be a waste of money, in my experience. But I really have no idea how prone these are to breaking and how durable they are overall.

2) The cost of a cover for the device is quite steep, but is it a good investment? Am I better off buying a different one, or making my own cover - or is the time investment for these things too great?

3) Upon getting the device, I have run into various software difficulties, leading me to unplug/plug the device a few times in order to experiment with possible solutions. Is this kind of thing bad for the battery? Should I only connect the device to my computer only when I am recharging the battery?

4) The stylus responsiveness is not as I thought it would be and I thus might be inclined to exchange this device for a smaller one (without a stylus). With those models, would I be losing out on other things besides having a stylus (touch screen functionality, perhaps, or some other things)? Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-06-2010, 03:32 PM   #2
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1. No. Extended warranties are, by and large, a waste of time and money. With proper common-sense care, your reader should be pretty durable.

2. A cover is always a good investment, if for no other reason than to prolong the life of your reader. What kind is up to you - I own both a manufactured PRS-600 cover that I retrofitted to fit my 650 and one I made myself using a blank journal. It doesn't take long - only a few hours - and it gives my device an individual flair, plus if you shop around you can find some good deals on the materials. There are a couple of threads on this forum where people have made their own covers, so search around and see if anything strikes your fancy.

3. Without knowing exactly what happened, I really can't give you an answer to this one, but make sure you "disconnect" your reader (by closing the software or right-click disconnecting it as a drive) before you physically unplug it from your computer or you could mess it up.

4. That could be the stylus rather than the device - the 650's stylus is blunter and flimsier than the one the 600 had. Without the stylus, functions like highlighting, notes, and drawing will be a lot less effective if they work at all. I use the stylus from my old Palm Tungsten with my 650 and it works fine. Try using another stylus - check your local office-supply store - and see if that helps.
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Old 11-06-2010, 04:10 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by icewyche View Post
1. No. Extended warranties are, by and large, a waste of time and money. With proper common-sense care, your reader should be pretty durable.
That's reassuring. I am apprehensive about having other people handle it and I know I will be repeatedly be asked by others to use it. In such cases, I am worried and I am not an asshole who wouldn't let anyone else touch it. I am a very cautious individual, so I have no worries about damaging it by my own hands.

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Originally Posted by icewyche View Post
3. Without knowing exactly what happened, I really can't give you an answer to this one, but make sure you "disconnect" your reader (by closing the software or right-click disconnecting it as a drive) before you physically unplug it from your computer or you could mess it up.
Although I have resolved my issues, what I basically wanted to know is if it's a bad idea to connect the device to the computer (for whatever reason), when there is no need to recharge the battery. With other electronic devices, it is usually a good idea only to charge it when it is drained; so, since the battery automatically recharges when it is connected to the computer, I was asking whether I should avoid repeatedly plugging in/unplugging the device when the device is not low on battery life.

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Originally Posted by icewyche View Post
4. That could be the stylus rather than the device - the 650's stylus is blunter and flimsier than the one the 600 had. Without the stylus, functions like highlighting, notes, and drawing will be a lot less effective if they work at all. I use the stylus from my old Palm Tungsten with my 650 and it works fine. Try using another stylus - check your local office-supply store - and see if that helps.
I suppose I was expecting something with pen-like efficiency, when composing my own notes. But if the other models without a stylus would have compromised annotative abilities, I guess I should stick with this one.

Thanks for the reply.
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Old 11-06-2010, 05:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capslock View Post
1) Is an extended warranty a good idea for this device?
Waste of money i say.
Never needed extended warranty not even for my computers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by capslock View Post
2) The cost of a cover for the device is quite steep, but is it a good investment?
As already said a cover is always a good investment. Although they are not cheap i bought the standard sony cover for the 650 without light and i like it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by capslock View Post
3) Upon getting the device, I have run into various software difficulties, leading me to unplug/plug the device a few times in order to experiment with possible solutions. Is this kind of thing bad for the battery? Should I only connect the device to my computer only when I am recharging the battery?
The lifetime of a rechargeable battery depends on the number of recharge cycle. Each time you connect them to your computer or jack one cycle starts. While batteries have a lifetime of 10.000+ recharges it shouldn't matter much. Connect 3 times/day, 365 days = 10+ years lifetime.

Quote:
Originally Posted by capslock View Post
4) The stylus responsiveness is not as I thought it would be and I thus might be inclined to exchange this device for a smaller one (without a stylus). With those models, would I be losing out on other things besides having a stylus (touch screen functionality, perhaps, or some other things)? Thanks in advance.
Not used the stylus that much, prefer buttons and touchscreen.
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Old 11-06-2010, 07:37 PM   #5
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That's reassuring. I am apprehensive about having other people handle it and I know I will be repeatedly be asked by others to use it. In such cases, I am worried and I am not an asshole who wouldn't let anyone else touch it. I am a very cautious individual, so I have no worries about damaging it by my own hands.
Even more reason not to get an extended warranty. They're mainly designed to cover damage by weird, unexpected events - stuff like the battery blowing up or the processor crashing. They probably won't do anything for you if your sister drops the reader or your best friend's toddler decides to use it as a teething ring.
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:41 PM   #6
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The lifetime of a rechargeable battery depends on the number of recharge cycle. Each time you connect them to your computer or jack one cycle starts. While batteries have a lifetime of 10.000+ recharges it shouldn't matter much. Connect 3 times/day, 365 days = 10+ years lifetime.
Lithiums are rated at approximately 1000 charge cycles. I'm sure the manufacturers and users would love 10,000 cycles.

A partial charge is not counted as a full charge and only partially subtracts from the 1000 cycles. With every charge, the full capacity of the battery is slightly diminished. That is why an older battery doesn't last as long as a new one.

With an ereader that is charged an average of once per week, that 1000 cycles works out to over 19 years of battery life. However, age, heat and other factors come into play, so you won't really get that many years from the battery.

The widespread use of electronic devices with Lithium batteries is a relatively new phenomenon, so it is hard to predict how long an ereader battery will actually last. Based on my experience with devices that I charge every night (about three years on a battery), I wouldn't be surprised if an ereader battery that is charged weekly lasted several years.

Joe

Last edited by jgray; 11-06-2010 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 11-06-2010, 11:00 PM   #7
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Several years, on approx weekly charges, works fine... my well-used, and several years old, 505 is still charging (and holding a charge) great. It gets used for a couple of hours (at least) every day and I'm a fast reader so it's a lot of page turns whilst charging around 7-10 days keeps it going.
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Old 11-06-2010, 11:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capslock View Post
It would be helpful to receive input from Sony PRS-650 users about a few things:

2) The cost of a cover for the device is quite steep, but is it a good investment? Am I better off buying a different one, or making my own cover - or is the time investment for these things too great?

3) Upon getting the device, I have run into various software difficulties, leading me to unplug/plug the device a few times in order to experiment with possible solutions. Is this kind of thing bad for the battery? Should I only connect the device to my computer only when I am recharging the battery?

4) The stylus responsiveness is not as I thought it would be and I thus might be inclined to exchange this device for a smaller one (without a stylus). With those models, would I be losing out on other things besides having a stylus (touch screen functionality, perhaps, or some other things)? Thanks in advance.
1. The standard cover is okay. I went with this because it is very snug and portability is a big deal for me. Also there is a perfect space for a cotton bud in the hinge area (see 4.)

3. You mention software problems. If you don't already, use Calibre, not the Sony software. I would also say be careful removing / inserting the micro-usb plug. It can break. The sign on the plug must be on the bottom.

4. Use a cotton bud or even a fine water-color paint brush. The stylus has a reputation for breaking. It is a fragile thing. I never take it out.

Last edited by Rizla; 11-06-2010 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 11-06-2010, 11:20 PM   #9
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Even more reason not to get an extended warranty. They're mainly designed to cover damage by weird, unexpected events - stuff like the battery blowing up or the processor crashing. They probably won't do anything for you if your sister drops the reader or your best friend's toddler decides to use it as a teething ring.
This is incorrect--The extra warranty that Sony is offering is an "Accidental Damage/Handling" warranty that runs for two years. It should cover any type of damage-screen breakage due to dropping the device or something similar. Now, I haven't had to try and use the warranty and hopefully won't need to, so I don't know how easy it is to get Sony to replace the reader--but that's how it's supposed to work.

I actually purchased the extended coverage warranty from Sony for my 650 because they offered me a 10% on the reader if I purchased the warranty. (This was at a Sony Style Store). The extended warranty was $40.00 and with the 10% discount of $23.00 made the cost of the warranty about $17.00. I normally don't buy these warranties--my rational is that the manufacturer or third party wouldn't sell them if they didn't make money on them--which means the odds are in their favor. But I figured for a net of $17 it wasn't a bad idea.

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Old 11-07-2010, 08:42 AM   #10
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Lithiums are rated at approximately 1000 charge cycles. I'm sure the manufacturers and users would love 10,000 cycles.
You are right. Wrote from memory and checked later.
Yet the conclusion is right. Under normal circumstances they should be good for 10-20 years until you got your next reader
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:49 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by capslock View Post
1) Is an extended warranty a good idea for this device? I have a 1-year manufacturer's warranty from Sony (which I was told is limited); my store of purchase offers a 2-year warranty plan (on the battery and screen) for $50. In the past, such warranties have always proved to be a waste of money, in my experience. But I really have no idea how prone these are to breaking and how durable they are overall.
A waste of money. As long as you are careful with the gadget as one should be with any electrical device, you will be fine (and you mentioned that you are careful)

Quote:
2) The cost of a cover for the device is quite steep, but is it a good investment? Am I better off buying a different one, or making my own cover - or is the time investment for these things too great?
I would advise to get Sony cover. It is well designed for the reader. All other covers use makeshift straps and other contraptions to hold the reader in place. Sony cover does it "naturally" and properly. When my 505's (which has a similar cover holding mechanism as 650) cover hinges broke after 2.5 years of usage I tried to use Tuf-luv. After 2 weeks of usage I gave up and sent it back. It was a pure frustration. I opted to use the reader naked for 2 weeks until I got a new Sony cover.
On the other hand I believe a cover is a must. It protects the reader very well. I could use the reader without a cover because I have metal DVD case in my backpack. It can sleep off your hands easily without a cover. Cover adds a good protection in a sense that you feel the reader better when you hold it.
Quote:
3) Upon getting the device, I have run into various software difficulties, leading me to unplug/plug the device a few times in order to experiment with possible solutions. Is this kind of thing bad for the battery? Should I only connect the device to my computer only when I am recharging the battery?
I have highlighted in bold a bit that I don't really understand.
If you do it only when you are charging then how would you upload ebooks at any other time? Plugging/unplugging the reader 10 times within 1 hour every day might decrease battery life time, but I hope you sort out any s/w issues and don't have to do it all the time.
I installed Sony Reader Library yesterday. I didn't have any glitches with it. It is a straight forward process. I have an old system, 3.5 years without re-installing OS. WinXP SP3. The system has seen all of them from the very beginning, PRS-500

Quote:
4) The stylus responsiveness is not as I thought it would be and I thus might be inclined to exchange this device for a smaller one (without a stylus). With those models, would I be losing out on other things besides having a stylus (touch screen functionality, perhaps, or some other things)? Thanks in advance.
Do you mean to downgrade from 650 to 350? Doesn't it have stylus too? You would definitely loose in screen size. 6" is a lot bigger than 5", although it doesn't sound like a lot, 1" only. Size does matter.

Last edited by astra; 11-07-2010 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 11-07-2010, 11:30 AM   #12
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I second everything astra has said except for the cover, I recommend (if viable) to try it in store first.
I have a cover and I find it too bulky on the side (got the one with light) and adds up unnecessary weight to it. The reader comes with rubberized back which makes it very nice to hold, but if you read with the case on you lose that feel... I felt that I should have gone for a sleeve, not a case...

But all those things aside, this is a matter of personal preference. If you're in for protection, the case is the best.
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Old 11-07-2010, 11:34 AM   #13
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I have my 650 velcro'ed into an Oberon small journal cover - it's held in quite securely, such that it takes specific effort to detach the reader; no way would it "come loose"!
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Old 11-07-2010, 12:50 PM   #14
icewyche
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dordale View Post
This is incorrect--The extra warranty that Sony is offering is an "Accidental Damage/Handling" warranty that runs for two years. It should cover any type of damage-screen breakage due to dropping the device or something similar. Now, I haven't had to try and use the warranty and hopefully won't need to, so I don't know how easy it is to get Sony to replace the reader--but that's how it's supposed to work.

I actually purchased the extended coverage warranty from Sony for my 650 because they offered me a 10% on the reader if I purchased the warranty. (This was at a Sony Style Store). The extended warranty was $40.00 and with the 10% discount of $23.00 made the cost of the warranty about $17.00. I normally don't buy these warranties--my rational is that the manufacturer or third party wouldn't sell them if they didn't make money on them--which means the odds are in their favor. But I figured for a net of $17 it wasn't a bad idea.

dordale
Yes, but you purchased yours from Sony. Capslock asks about buying one at his/her "store of purchase", which may or may not have been Sony. Most extended warranties don't cover normal wear and tear.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:19 AM   #15
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My 650 will be arriving on the UPS truck this morning though the Sony cover is still on back-order. Hopefully it will ship very soon because I will very paranoid about leaving it out on a table or such until I have a proper cover. I carry a small backpack instead of a purse and many odd things do get dropped in while shopping or doing errands so I want my new toy to be safe. For at home my kitty cats get to many things they are not supposed to and I hope the cover will help a bit if that happens. I chose a Sony cover because as previously stated Sony very nicely makes a specific and unobtrusive way to attach the cover. I did not want to deal with elastic straps or such to keep the cover on - not saying its a bad way, just that I don't like the look of it.

For a warranty if one makes you feel better about the purchase I would check out www.squaretrade.com rather than get it from the retailer. While I have not purchased from them I have read many good things about the company's responsiveness on the Astak forum. The Jinke made devices rebranded by Astak do not have a corporate sponsored warranty and are mostly bought online directly from Astak, but several forum members like this company a lot and Squaretrade will cover Sony products as well as Jinke and many others. There were a few specific threads on that forum about Squaretrade that include examples of what was covered for people and the customer service levels if you do a search. Normally my husband and I do not bother with extended warranties, but occassionally have for piece of mind on a new type of gadget if the deal for it was good enough.
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