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Old 01-15-2011, 11:32 AM   #1
catiebug
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Sony PRS-950 or...?

I am madly in love with the PRS-950, but I can't really afford the $300 price tag. I am wondering if there is a similar device out there that maybe costs a wee bit less.

Here are the features I need:

E-ink
Web browser
Overdrive compatibility
PDF compatibility

I realize that there are some LCD-based readers out there that would have better web browsers, but, after cracking my laptop open in the middle of the night and nearly being blinded by the light, LCD=No. I am primarily looking at this device as a reader, so e-ink is my preferred format.

Again, I realize that the web-browsing on an e-ink device isn't going to be "snappy" or play video or whatever. I primarily need the web browser because my husband hogs the laptop. I occasionally want to peek in on some text based sites (like this one, or other forums). I also would like to read and respond to my email. I am not looking to visit YouTube or play online games.

Overdrive-I primarily see myself "renting" books from the Overdrive library. My local library's link to Overdrive is well stocked, and there are many books there that I would like to read. I would rather not have to jump through any DRM related hoops to get those books.

PDF - I have many craft patterns that I would like to have on the device to reference, rather than printing them out, dragging the paper around, losing the paper, having the wrong paper...or being unable to access them because hubby is hogging the laptop again. Color is not an issue - I always print them out in B&W anyway, and they are mostly text, with 1 or 2 pictures for reference.

So - that's my list of wants and needs. Is there anything out there that will fit my bill? Or do I just need to bite the bullet and pay the PRS-950's exorbitant bill?
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Old 01-15-2011, 12:01 PM   #2
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I just bought the PRS-950 last night after alot of thought. So far I am happy with it.

I just sold my PRS-650/BC last week for a couple reasons: For $70 more one can get the 950 and have 3G, WiFi, included AC Adapter, and best of all an extra inch of screen space.

This extra inch is more valuable to me when reading novels because it allows a comfortable medium font setting and still display 2x the amount of text that a 5" reader will at small font.

PDFs can be viewed very nicely in a 1/4th page format as well as dual page (landscape). For technical documents, I prefer the former.

But having wireless web browsing on a reading device... really makes the 950 powerful. Sittin' on the couch reading your book and you become curious about something you just read. Onto Wikipedia you go and find out more about it... on the same device even. Wireless setup was a breeze too. I'd say its worth the extra $70 over the 650.

Last edited by Elecman; 01-15-2011 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:02 PM   #3
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oh? I didn't know you could browse the web with the 950. Hmmm?....
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:24 PM   #4
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oh? I didn't know you could browse the web with the 950. Hmmm?....
Yep. You can browse over wi-fi, and access the Sony store to download books over wi-fi and 3G. You can't download anything except from the Sony store, though. I enjoy having the browser, you can check email, forums, Wikipedia (there's even a link to Wikipedia when you double-tap a word to look it up), pretty much anything. Not all websites look great, but they're mostly okay.
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:56 PM   #5
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What about the Pocketbook 602? It seems to have similar features, but I have seen mixed reviews. Any thoughts?
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Old 01-20-2011, 12:47 AM   #6
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Or PB902 - it is a little over your price tag, but it can handle PDFs very well
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:13 AM   #7
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But having wireless web browsing on a reading device... really makes the 950 powerful. Sittin' on the couch reading your book and you become curious about something you just read. Onto Wikipedia you go and find out more about it... on the same device even. Wireless setup was a breeze too. I'd say its worth the extra $70 over the 650.
That's a feature I'm really looking for, but I'm wondering about the speed of the process and couldn't find a video of it...Could you give me an approximation of how long you have to wait between the moment you click on the wiki ling when reading a book, and the moment the wiki is displayed ? Is it more like 10 seconds or 2 minutes ? I guess it has to establish a wifi connection if it's not already connected, so I fear the whole process is pretty long.
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Old 02-03-2011, 05:18 PM   #8
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That's a feature I'm really looking for, but I'm wondering about the speed of the process and couldn't find a video of it...Could you give me an approximation of how long you have to wait between the moment you click on the wiki ling when reading a book, and the moment the wiki is displayed ? Is it more like 10 seconds or 2 minutes ? I guess it has to establish a wifi connection if it's not already connected, so I fear the whole process is pretty long.
Well, you need to be connected to wifi for the feature to work. I mean, connected a priori - if you are not, it will just produce an error message, it won't try to connect.

How long it takes to open wikipedia - well, I can't answer that. The only wifi network to which I log in is at my school and every time I try to open wikipedia it brings me to the school's browser login page. I log in, but then it does not re-direct to wikipedia - it just stays on the main page of the browser. If I switch back to the book I was reading and try accessing wikipedia, it brings me back to the login page.

Manually opening wikipedia is pretty fast though. 5-10 seconds, I guess...

But the wifi connectivity and the browser are, overall, very poor. Plenty of problems like what described above. On some networks, it just won't connect. The browser is, well, clunky.

I might be spoiled by my iPad. But if you buy the SONY for web browsing, you will be disappointed.

Downloading content over the SONY store or Google books (wifi only) is pretty nice, on the other side, and so is getting delivery of magazines/newspapers.
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Old 02-03-2011, 05:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Papi View Post
That's a feature I'm really looking for, but I'm wondering about the speed of the process and couldn't find a video of it...Could you give me an approximation of how long you have to wait between the moment you click on the wiki ling when reading a book, and the moment the wiki is displayed ? Is it more like 10 seconds or 2 minutes ? I guess it has to establish a wifi connection if it's not already connected, so I fear the whole process is pretty long.
I just tested this for you. I set the wi-fi switch to on, and clicked the wikipedia link in a word I'd double-tapped. It took about 10 seconds for the reader to connect to the network and then less than 5 to bring up the wikipedia page, so about 15 seconds total. When already connected to the network it takes less than 5 seconds to load the wikipedia page. To go back to the book, you just press the options button, then tap "continue reading." This was on my home network, which the 950 has no problem connecting to. In fact, I have not ever had a problem connecting to a network, even if it needs a log-in. The wi-fi antenna in my 950 is more sensitive than the one in my laptop.

It is worth noting that the browser does not work in landscape. If you're reading in landscape and go to wikipedia, it will reorient to portrait and this reorientation will be kept when you go back to the book. It's not a big deal to change it back to landscape, but it could get annoying if you do it really frequently.

I like the browser. It's no iPad of course, very utilitarian, but it does the job and more quickly than I would have expected before I got it. My only annoyances are that it doesn't have tabbed browsing, and it doesn't do landscape.
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Old 02-03-2011, 07:11 PM   #10
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an interesting thread, I live in Japan and I was surprised to see a sony device like the 950. It sounds good. I wonder why we don't have one here? (we make them)
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Old 02-04-2011, 01:41 AM   #11
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I wonder why we don't have one here? (we make them)
*cough* not really, Sony readers are manufactured in China
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Old 02-04-2011, 02:01 AM   #12
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vxf & natasha_fawn : thanks for the very helpful informations. I thought the wifi connexion problems were corrected by the new firmware, but I guess that's not the case for everyone. I read somewhere that the problems seem to occur with non secured connexion, vxf is that your case ? Maybe there are some devices with faulty wifi chips, that would be bad for me because if I live in France, so I would be more or less stuck with the device...
The good news is when it's working, it's pretty fast. 15 seconds including the wifi connexion process is faster than I expected, 5 seconds is excellent. Now the question is : is it better to stay connected, but I guess it draws battery power much faster, or do you initiate a connexion every time you need it. By the way : is wifi connexion done simply by the mechanical switch, or do you have to go through some menu ?
Another question : can you setup more than one secure connexion, for example if I want to use wifi at home an when I'm visiting my parents...and if yes, how do you choose you connexion ?
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:48 AM   #13
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*cough* not really, Sony readers are manufactured in China
My 900 was made in Japan as indicated on the device and its packaging. The accessories it came with (including AC charger) were made in China.

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Old 02-04-2011, 09:07 AM   #14
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*cough* not really, Sony readers are manufactured in China
Sorry, Poppaea, but the 950 is made in Japan -- it clearly says so on the back of my 950. The 350 and 650 are made in China.
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Old 02-04-2011, 12:30 PM   #15
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vxf & natasha_fawn : thanks for the very helpful informations. I thought the wifi connexion problems were corrected by the new firmware, but I guess that's not the case for everyone. I read somewhere that the problems seem to occur with non secured connexion, vxf is that your case ? Maybe there are some devices with faulty wifi chips, that would be bad for me because if I live in France, so I would be more or less stuck with the device...
The good news is when it's working, it's pretty fast. 15 seconds including the wifi connexion process is faster than I expected, 5 seconds is excellent. Now the question is : is it better to stay connected, but I guess it draws battery power much faster, or do you initiate a connexion every time you need it. By the way : is wifi connexion done simply by the mechanical switch, or do you have to go through some menu ?
Another question : can you setup more than one secure connexion, for example if I want to use wifi at home an when I'm visiting my parents...and if yes, how do you choose you connexion ?
There's a menu option to put wi-fi on standby, which puts the connection to "sleep" in a sense. It's on, but not connected or searching for a connection until you do something that requires wireless. It saves battery over having it completely on all the time, but it has to connect (which could take 10 seconds like it does for me on this wireless connection, or longer if the connection is not as good). You can turn wi-fi completely off through a menu or with the switch, and when you turn the switch back to 'on' it will go back to the menu setting you had it on before (standby, or completely on). You can also turn the 3G off entirely in the menu, which I've done since the access out here isn't good and it drains the battery.

There is also a menu option for network settings. That's where you can configure your wireless networks and enter passwords. You *should* only have to do it once per network, and the settings will be maintained. The user guide says you can have up to 20 configured. It will automatically try to connect to whatever connection is available that you connected to last, but you can also go right back to network settings and pick the one you want to connect to.

My connection here is unsecured. Some people seem to have trouble with specific kinds of routers. There are a few threads in the Sony forum you can look through to get an idea about the wireless problems people have had.
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