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Old 12-26-2010, 02:55 AM   #1
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How does the fonts of PRS-350 and PRS-650 compare to each other?

Does anyone have hands-on experience of PRS-350 and PRS-650?

How does their fonts compare to each other?

Are they the same? Or one is sharper than the other?
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Old 12-26-2010, 03:47 AM   #2
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I think the sharpness is the same because both the 350 and the 650 use the same Pearl screen.
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Old 12-26-2010, 03:58 AM   #3
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I have just check with the firmware-dumps:
The fonts used in the 350/650 are (binary) identical.

But as both readers the 5" and the 6" have a native screen-resolution of 600x800 pixels the 5" will have a highter DPI and may appear sharper.

Additional Info is discussed here: Screen Resolution
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Old 12-26-2010, 11:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doreenjoy View Post
I think the sharpness is the same because both the 350 and the 650 use the same Pearl screen.
No, they don't. They are both 600x800 screens, but, because the 350's screen is 5" in size compared to 6" for the 650, the pixel density is higher on the 350, and fonts will appear somewhat sharper as a result.
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Old 12-26-2010, 11:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
No, they don't. They are both 600x800 screens, but, because the 350's screen is 5" in size compared to 6" for the 650, the pixel density is higher on the 350, and fonts will appear somewhat sharper as a result.
Harry is correct. Look at the specs and do the calculations and you will see that the 350 screen has 200 dpi both vertically and horizontally whereas the 650 only has 166 dpi vertically and 168 dpi horizontally.

However, the 350 screen is 3" x 4" and the 650 screen is 3.57" x 4.82". Another way to state that is that the 600 pixels on the 350 are 0.84 times the size of the 600 pixels on the 650 and the 800 pixels on the 350 are 0.83 times the size of the 800 pixels on the 650. So what your eye sees on the 350 and the 650 if both show the same amount of text (same number of words per line and same number of lines) are actually roughly equal in resolution. How can that be? Simple. Assume the same amount of text on both screens but the text has to be smaller on the 350 because the screen is physically smaller. So 200 dpi on the 350 across the 600 pixel side times 0.84 smaller size of screen (compared to 650) and the result is what appears to your eyes as 168 dpi, the same as the 650. Do the same math for the 800 pixel side of the 350 and it too now appears to match the 650 at 166 dpi.

So what the heck does this mean? It means if you show the same exact amount of text on the 350 as on the 650, they will appear to have the same resolution. If you increase the font size on the 350 where it is the exact same physical size as the text on the 650, less text will fit on the 350 screen but your eyes will appear to see a higher resolution per word.

Last edited by jswinden; 12-26-2010 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 12-26-2010, 02:47 PM   #6
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I have 650 and week ago have bought 350 as New Year present fo my mum. Now I'm playing with it (350) and I've noted that font on smaller reader is much crispier. Ok, it explained by higher pixel density as HarryT said. But fonts on smaller reader looks not only crispier, they simply looks differently for my eyes than on 650. I'm used in Schoolbook in 650, but I don't like how it looks on 350. I have russification from Boroda on my readers and Droid font, embedded in this russification, looks much better for me on 350 than on 650.
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Old 12-26-2010, 06:57 PM   #7
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I was at the Sony store for a detailed comparison the other day and noticed that the L on the 6 inch screen looks the same as the M on the 5 inch screen.
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Old 12-30-2010, 03:47 PM   #8
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Comparing them at the store I can definitively say that they are not the same, the 350 is much crisper. The 650 exhibits the same resolutions problems that the Kindle and Nook have.
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Old 03-18-2011, 02:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jswinden View Post
Harry is correct. Look at the specs and do the calculations and you will see that the 350 screen has 200 dpi both vertically and horizontally whereas the 650 only has 166 dpi vertically and 168 dpi horizontally.

However, the 350 screen is 3" x 4" and the 650 screen is 3.57" x 4.82". Another way to state that is that the 600 pixels on the 350 are 0.84 times the size of the 600 pixels on the 650 and the 800 pixels on the 350 are 0.83 times the size of the 800 pixels on the 650. So what your eye sees on the 350 and the 650 if both show the same amount of text (same number of words per line and same number of lines) are actually roughly equal in resolution. How can that be? Simple. Assume the same amount of text on both screens but the text has to be smaller on the 350 because the screen is physically smaller. So 200 dpi on the 350 across the 600 pixel side times 0.84 smaller size of screen (compared to 650) and the result is what appears to your eyes as 168 dpi, the same as the 650. Do the same math for the 800 pixel side of the 350 and it too now appears to match the 650 at 166 dpi.

So what the heck does this mean? It means if you show the same exact amount of text on the 350 as on the 650, they will appear to have the same resolution. If you increase the font size on the 350 where it is the exact same physical size as the text on the 650, less text will fit on the 350 screen but your eyes will appear to see a higher resolution per word.
Unfortunately this isn't how Sony handle the fonts on the 650. They attempt to keep the fonts the same size (physically) - not the same pixel count - on both the 350 and the 650 and this means that the 650 has fewer pixels to work with in the same space. Side by side comparisons will confirm that the 350 is considerably sharper at all font sizes.
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Old 03-18-2011, 04:35 PM   #10
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The difference in dpi is what eventually drove me to keep the 350 over the 650. There's a definite difference in the sharpness of the text.
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Old 03-18-2011, 04:42 PM   #11
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Unfortunately this isn't how Sony handle the fonts on the 650. They attempt to keep the fonts the same size (physically) - not the same pixel count - on both the 350 and the 650 and this means that the 650 has fewer pixels to work with in the same space. Side by side comparisons will confirm that the 350 is considerably sharper at all font sizes.
NO -

This is like arguing that my old beat up 640 x 480 12 inch laptop screen is better than a 60 inch 1080p HD display because it looks better from 2 feet away.

Duuuuuh!

In this case BOTH screens are 600x800, but the 650 is a little larger so it should be view from slightly farther back.

If you view the 650 from farther back than the 350 so that the subtended angle in your field of vision is the same, and set them so they are displaying the same number of characters per line, then they will look the same.

If ANYTHING the 350 should actually be slightly LESS sharp under these conditions because the smaller pixels of the 350 will suffer more due to the slight intrinsic graininess of the e-ink pigment capsules.

Last edited by delphin; 03-18-2011 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:59 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by delphin View Post
NO -

This is like arguing that my old beat up 640 x 480 12 inch laptop screen is better than a 60 inch 1080p HD display because it looks better from 2 feet away.

Duuuuuh!

In this case BOTH screens are 600x800, but the 650 is a little larger so it should be view from slightly farther back.

If you view the 650 from farther back than the 350 so that the subtended angle in your field of vision is the same, and set them so they are displaying the same number of characters per line, then they will look the same.

If ANYTHING the 350 should actually be slightly LESS sharp under these conditions because the smaller pixels of the 350 will suffer more due to the slight intrinsic graininess of the e-ink pigment capsules.
I can see that you have never looked at the 350 and the 650 side by side.

Sony attempt to keep the actual PHYSICAL size of their fonts the same between the two units.

For example, if an upper case "I" is 2mm when using the "xs" font size on the 350, it's also 2mm on the 650, but represented on the 650 by using fewer, and larger pixels.

The result is less sharpness.
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Old 03-25-2011, 05:37 AM   #13
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I can see that you have never looked at the 350 and the 650 side by side.

Sony attempt to keep the actual PHYSICAL size of their fonts the same between the two units.

For example, if an upper case "I" is 2mm when using the "xs" font size on the 350, it's also 2mm on the 650, but represented on the 650 by using fewer, and larger pixels.

The result is less sharpness.
Yes, that's exactly why I said, "and set them so they are displaying the same number of characters per line."

Obviously, to "set" them to get approximately the "same number of characters per line," you would have to bump the 650 up to a larger text size by using the next larger font setting or a EPUB with a custom CSS.

BOTH the 350 and 650 have 600 horizontal pixels so if you make the number of letters on a line the same, this would eliminate the issue that has been mentioned about the individual letters being made up of more 'pixels'.

Then if you hold the 650 slightly farther away as I said, the difference in distance will make the screens and the individual pixels look the same relative size, but the slight graininess inherent in the e-ink itself would be less noticeable on the 650.

Here's an image that shows how the e-ink looks close up so you can see the graininess that I am speaking of.



Magnified image of e-ink display (from Wikipedia)

Again, the 350 and 650 have the same 600x800 resolution so they will BOTH use the same number of pixels per letter IF DISPLAYING THE SAME NUMBER OF LETTERS PER LINE, but since the 650 is actually using physically larger pixels, they should be blurred less by the graininess of the e-ink itself.

In practical terms, BOTH the 350 and 650 look quite nice when viewed at their respective optimum viewing distance, and if your visual acuity is good enough to deal with the smaller 350 at a viewing distance you are comfortable with, then the 350 does offer a much more compact and slightly less pricey alternative to the 650.

Last edited by delphin; 03-25-2011 at 05:44 AM.
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Old 04-01-2011, 03:15 AM   #14
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Great photo..! Where did you find that?

There is a great difference between theory and practice, and you've obviously never looked at the 350 and the 650 side by side.... It's not a subtle difference in sharpness, especially at the "XS" font size.

Last edited by zmix; 04-01-2011 at 03:18 AM.
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Old 04-01-2011, 08:29 AM   #15
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As an owner of both, I can say that I agree completely with delphin... put both at an appropriate reading distance and they both appear fine... put 'em side by side and there is a difference but I wouldn't read them like that... for things we use I found how it works in use to be far more useful than a slavish comparison of specifications and physical layout. As far as XS goes... who cares, I for one can't even see that to read comfortably on either for more than a few minutes... if your eyes are up to reading that for any longer then good luck but I know nobody who uses XS as a regular size...


Quote:
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Great photo..! Where did you find that?

There is a great difference between theory and practice, and you've obviously never looked at the 350 and the 650 side by side.... It's not a subtle difference in sharpness, especially at the "XS" font size.
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