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Old 02-22-2011, 09:48 AM   #1
faithbw
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Sony or Nook?

I want to get an eReader for myself in the near future. I've done some reading online and have narrowed down my choices to Sony and B&N's Nook. I tried out the Sony PRS-350 in Borders. I really loved the design. It was very light and thin. The touch screen was great and the five inch screen was plenty for me. The only aspect of that reader that I didn't like was the lack of wi-fi access.

I've also tried the Nook. I know Nook has a touch screen but it didn't seem to work as fast as the one on the Sony Reader. The screen was fine in terms of size. It seemed a bit heavier and thicker than the PRS-350. However, I like that B&N is connected to Nook. I can go into a B&N and browse the bookstore and read a book for an hour. That seems pretty cool to me. Plus, Nook has wi-fi access.

They both read library eBooks, which is a huge factor for me (and one of the reasons why I ruled out the Kindle pretty early in my search) and the wireless access seems to be the big difference.

However, I was looking in the Sony Reader forum last night and I saw a thread about Sony PRS-950. It has wi-fi and 3G for the Sony store, a 7-inch screen plus all the other things I liked about the PRS-350 (touch screen, night design! The only thing that made me pause was the price. $300 is a lot of money. Still, if it was worth it I would splurge. It's not like I get to splurge on myself often. $150 is still a lot less than $300. I mean is the extra $150 really worth it for the Sony?

I've also been thinking about whether I need wireless access for my eReader. I have an iPod Touch and I love the web browser on it. It's perfect! Since I probably wouldn't use the browser on an eReader, I would primarily use wi-fi to buy books but I kind of want to steer clear of DRM books if I can. That doesn't mean that I won't ever get the urge to buy an eBook through my reader though (sometimes I can be pretty impulsive with books).

So what do you think? Which eReader would get if you were in my shoes?
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:09 AM   #2
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Sony 950. You like the available features and you want the WiFi element. I think you will like the bigger screen.

I have used the brower on my DXG exactly once. I never used the browser on my K1. I use my 3G (the DXG does not have WiFi) regularly to download books that I have purchased because it is easier then side loading. I love being able to shop at Amazon's store, I am assuming that you would be able to shop at the Sony store, without having to worry about connecting to a computer to sideload a book.

There are folks who use the browser to check email and there are ways to download books from other sites using the browser. It is a handy tool to have in a pinch.
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:55 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by faithbw View Post
I want to get an eReader for myself in the near future. I've done some reading online and have narrowed down my choices to Sony and B&N's Nook. I tried out the Sony PRS-350 in Borders. I really loved the design. It was very light and thin. The touch screen was great and the five inch screen was plenty for me. The only aspect of that reader that I didn't like was the lack of wi-fi access.

I've also tried the Nook. I know Nook has a touch screen but it didn't seem to work as fast as the one on the Sony Reader. The screen was fine in terms of size. It seemed a bit heavier and thicker than the PRS-350. However, I like that B&N is connected to Nook. I can go into a B&N and browse the bookstore and read a book for an hour. That seems pretty cool to me. Plus, Nook has wi-fi access.

They both read library eBooks, which is a huge factor for me (and one of the reasons why I ruled out the Kindle pretty early in my search) and the wireless access seems to be the big difference.

However, I was looking in the Sony Reader forum last night and I saw a thread about Sony PRS-950. It has wi-fi and 3G for the Sony store, a 7-inch screen plus all the other things I liked about the PRS-350 (touch screen, night design! The only thing that made me pause was the price. $300 is a lot of money. Still, if it was worth it I would splurge. It's not like I get to splurge on myself often. $150 is still a lot less than $300. I mean is the extra $150 really worth it for the Sony?

I've also been thinking about whether I need wireless access for my eReader. I have an iPod Touch and I love the web browser on it. It's perfect! Since I probably wouldn't use the browser on an eReader, I would primarily use wi-fi to buy books but I kind of want to steer clear of DRM books if I can. That doesn't mean that I won't ever get the urge to buy an eBook through my reader though (sometimes I can be pretty impulsive with books).

So what do you think? Which eReader would get if you were in my shoes?
What's your budget?
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Old 02-22-2011, 02:28 PM   #4
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as much as I love the hardware of the Sony's, I have a tough time recommending them. Not much in the way of value.

I think with the nook you just get more bang for your buck.

1. wifi is $149 and and the wifi with 3G is $199 that's a $150 and $100 difference right off the bat

2. nooks, like you mentioned have the tie in with Barnes and Nobles store, More InStore, Lend Me, Coupons, Free Friday's, Read any book inStore, Starbuck's Cafe freebies. It makes it more than just an electronic devce, IMO, it's makes it more fun.

3. Barnes and Noble's bookstore platform is head and shoulders above Sony's bookstore platform. IMHO

The 950 is a nice device, but it's not $150 and $100 better.

I don't understand Sony's pricing scheme

but at the end of the day you'll be happy with either one.

Last edited by boswd; 02-22-2011 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 02-22-2011, 02:33 PM   #5
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Some folks really want the touch screen, e-ink reader and the Sony's have a great touch screen e-ink reader. I don't think that they are worth the amount that they cost but that is because I am not a fan of touch screens. If I loved a touch screen I would probably own a 950.
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:40 PM   #6
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You said that you weren't interested in DRM books, which takes away most of the advantages of having WiFi built in to your reader. There are very few books in the bookstores that don't have DRM, so really, you're talking about library books and books that you've gotten from somewhere else. There are a few booksellers who sell books without DRM, but I don't know if you could access their sites with your reader. Personally, I use Calibre to organize my library and give me tags and metadata. Even if I had a reader with 3G or WiFi, I'd want Calibre to organize my books, so 3G and WiFi have no appeal to me. I've never once thought that I had to have a particular book RIGHT NOW and couldn't wait until I was at my computer and shopping for prices. Plugging a reader into a computer is really painless and my smart phone does a much better job at web browsing and checking email.

I'd recommend the Sony 5" if you want something small or the 6" if you want something closer to a paperback book size. I really wanted to like the Nook when it came out, but thought that the menus were confusing and poorly organized and that it was designed to support B&N books well and everything else poorly. I don't know if the firmware upgrades have improved it, but it didn't originally have any way to organize your books (folders or collection).
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:45 PM   #7
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Since you already have an iPod touch, I would recommend the Sony 350. The 950 is really, really great, but I find the really convenient thing about the wifi is on the fly email, wikipedia, etc., which you already have with the iPod. If you're frequently away from a computer it could be useful to be able to buy books over wifi/3g, but many people don't end up buying books that way all that much. The in-store features of the nook are nice, but unless you already spend a whole lot of time in B&N you're unlikely to use them much. At least that's what my boyfriend found with his nook. (B&N has been a bit stingy with the cafe coupons recently, too, that's what really got us in.)

If you're having a really hard time deciding, I would recommend getting the 350 from a store with a good return policy and using it for a week. See if you miss the wifi. If you do, return it and try the nook or the 950. Or get the nook to try and if you find yourself in B&N reading it all the time, that's probably the one for you.

You will probably be happy with whatever you end up with, they're all good devices and it seems like any one of them would be a decent fit for you.
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:41 PM   #8
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I personally wouldnt pay for the 950 but thats just because I see no need for wifi access. E-ink readers are not designed to be used like a tablet or a phone, surfing the internet is not really a feature i would recommend basing a purchase off of IMO they are just not designed to do well as an internet tablet. I would only get wifi (or 3g) if you want to download books on the go or use sites like wikipedia.

I love my 650 and though it cost more then some of the other readers I wouldnt trade it for the world. I love touch screen devices and the Sony's are much better then most others. The layout is nice, the features work great. I love it. If you like the 5" screen you can usually find the 350 on sale for around 130 bucks which is a great price IMO.

However I have never used a Nook so I cannot compare the feel of them, we dont have B&N here so it wasnt even a reader i looked much into.
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:55 PM   #9
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If you are interested in a 950, see if you can get one second-hand. I picked up one from someone who was selling it on another forum for $210 with the Sony cover.
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:12 AM   #10
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I was tempted by the refurbished Nooks at 99 bucks, but I decided to go with the Sony PRS-650, and am very, Very, VERY pleased that I did.

Personally, knowing what I do now, if my budget was more limited, I would have gone with the PRS-350 in preference to the Nook.

I agree with the comments already made that the value of WiFi or 3G on an e-ink reader device is currently fairly limited.

I spend a tiny fraction of 1% of my time loading books onto the device, and much more than 99% percent of the time actually USING it to read books.

Plus, when I am looking for new reading material, I prefer a nice PC or Tablet based Web Browser NOT a tiny e-ink screen.

Also there is the fact that the current WiFi reader devices are set up to only make it convenient to buy from a single source, which in the case of B&N is often NOT the best deal price wise.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:20 AM   #11
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I was tempted by the refurbished Nooks at 99 bucks, but I decided to go with the Sony PRS-650, and am very, Very, VERY pleased that I did.

Personally, knowing what I do now, if my budget was more limited, I would have gone with the PRS-350 in preference to the Nook.

I agree with the comments already made that the value of WiFi or 3G on an e-ink reader device is currently fairly limited.

I spend a tiny fraction of 1% of my time loading books onto the device, and much more than 99% percent of the time actually USING it to read books.

Plus, when I am looking for new reading material, I prefer a nice PC or Tablet based Web Browser NOT a tiny e-ink screen.

Also there is the fact that the current WiFi reader devices are set up to only make it convenient to buy from a single source, which in the case of B&N is often NOT the best deal price wise.
Its actually a better choice than sonys bookstore. But you aren't limited to only have to buy from bn. It supports epub and you would sideload same as the sony and shop basically wherever you please. With nook wifi its cheaper than than the 350 more screen real estate and you get the option of shopping wireless. Don't discount the overall convience of shopping not only from your device but from your computer when browsing online and not have to hook up your device. To be able to point click and buy and then have it on your device without having to connect and sideload, is beyond convienant.

IMHO the 350 provides 0 incentive. If it was under a $100 sure but at that price there are better options out there. There really are

Last edited by boswd; 02-23-2011 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:02 AM   #12
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I spend a tiny fraction of 1% of my time loading books onto the device, and much more than 99% percent of the time actually USING it to read books.
imo, we focus on additional features so much we sometimes tend to lose sight of this. the primary function of an ereader is reading.

i think the 950 would be great as an ereader. really big screen in a relatively small device. but it is not worth $300+ to me.

my choice in sony vs nook would be the sony 650.

but obviously i preferred the K3 to all.
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:36 AM   #13
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If you are interested in a 950, see if you can get one second-hand. I picked up one from someone who was selling it on another forum for $210 with the Sony cover.


What a great price, I'm so jealous!

On topic: If you plan on reading PDFs, such as journal articles and the like, get the Sony 950. It also has the new Pearl screen with better contrast, which the Nook doesn't have. For me, the dictionaries alone that are pre-installed are worth the price of a Sony reader; YMMV, however, if you don't read in foreign languages. If you value portability over all, get the PRS-350.

I'm admittedly a little biased with my advice, as I own two Sony readers, and I've never owned a Nook, but I have to say that the Nook has never appealed to me much, nor has wi-fi or 3g ever been a factor that I've kept in consideration when purchasing an e-book reader. Side-loading has never been a problem for me, and even if I did own a reader with internet access, I imagine I'd side-load a lot of my reading content anyway, as I read a lot of PDFs of my own making (mostly school related). If you go to BN a lot in general, you will perhaps appreciate the added features of the Nook (you will be the best judge of that, of course, I don't live near a BN store - I don't think I've even ever visited one!) Honestly, you will probably be happy with whatever device you get, unless there is a particular feature that you feel is a must-have that is lacking in that device. I wish you the best of luck when choosing!
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:39 PM   #14
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as much as I love the hardware of the Sony's, I have a tough time recommending them. Not much in the way of value.

I don't understand Sony's pricing scheme
Sony's pricing scheme is different from those of the US companies as it is for a worldwide sold reader. You pay for the device not for a bookstore. The US readers are just a vehicle for the bookstores like Amazon and B&N to sell their books, thus they 1. make the readers cheap and 2. have their own DRM scheme to prevent the normal buyer to buy elsewhere.

Sonys are sturdy and build like tanks. The battery lifespan is for 400 loads and those who have their Sonys for a number years, like the owners of 500 and 505 which were released in 2006 and 2007 are either still totally happy with them or start just now to look for new ones, most just want to replace the batteries.

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Its actually a better choice than sonys bookstore. But you aren't limited to only have to buy from bn.
You are not limited to buy at Sonys bookstore when you have a Sony, you can buy at a league of shops like bookdepository, smashwords, bean, etc. Also the Sony Shop has everything the other shops have for the same price. It is a custom to bash the Sony here on the forums, but it does not deserve it. The layout is a bit outdated, but the contend is as fine as everyones.

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imo, we focus on additional features so much we sometimes tend to lose sight of this. the primary function of an ereader is reading.

i think the 950 would be great as an ereader. really big screen in a relatively small device. but it is not worth $300+ to me.

my choice in sony vs nook would be the sony 650.
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I was tempted by the refurbished Nooks at 99 bucks, but I decided to go with the Sony PRS-650, and am very, Very, VERY pleased that I did.

Personally, knowing what I do now, if my budget was more limited, I would have gone with the PRS-350 in preference to the Nook.

I agree with the comments already made that the value of WiFi or 3G on an e-ink reader device is currently fairly limited.

I spend a tiny fraction of 1% of my time loading books onto the device, and much more than 99% percent of the time actually USING it to read books.

Plus, when I am looking for new reading material, I prefer a nice PC or Tablet based Web Browser NOT a tiny e-ink screen.

Also there is the fact that the current WiFi reader devices are set up to only make it convenient to buy from a single source, which in the case of B&N is often NOT the best deal price wise.
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I personally wouldnt pay for the 950 but thats just because I see no need for wifi access. E-ink readers are not designed to be used like a tablet or a phone, surfing the internet is not really a feature i would recommend basing a purchase off of IMO they are just not designed to do well as an internet tablet. I would only get wifi (or 3g) if you want to download books on the go or use sites like wikipedia.

I love my 650 and though it cost more then some of the other readers I wouldnt trade it for the world. I love touch screen devices and the Sony's are much better then most others. The layout is nice, the features work great. I love it. If you like the 5" screen you can usually find the 350 on sale for around 130 bucks which is a great price IMO.

Get a Sony! Those of us who own one of the new Sonys love them like crazy and wouldn't trade them in. Sideloading is no problem, you can use Sonys own software to buy books or lend them at the library and sync them to your device.

The lack of wifi is for most of us no problem. The 350 and the 650 store up to 1,200 books, the 650 also takes SDcards. My 350 currently holds 400 books and still has 1.2 GB free storage. If I am not finding myself with a lifesentence I am at a loss to imagine a situation where I should need to carry more than 1,200 books and still do some 'on the spot shopping'.

The touchscreen technic is awesome. No glare, no screen refreshing time, no fingerprints, one hand operatable and just like real book reading! The folders are collections that you can set up to your own liking, and the books in the collections are represented via the book covers.

When you buy the 950 you will be able to double tap a word and have a look into Wikipedia!

If you can afford the 950 go for it! As one board member here is fond of pointig out: Your reader is the one device you will use daily. This is very true and you will regret it if you don't buy yourself the very best you can afford.
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:05 PM   #15
ProfCrash
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Originally Posted by Poppaea View Post
Sony's pricing scheme is different from those of the US companies as it is for a worldwide sold reader. You pay for the device not for a bookstore. The US readers are just a vehicle for the bookstores like Amazon and B&N to sell their books, thus they 1. make the readers cheap and 2. have their own DRM scheme to prevent the normal buyer to buy elsewhere.

Sonys are sturdy and build like tanks. The battery lifespan is for 400 loads and those who have their Sonys for a number years, like the owners of 500 and 505 which were released in 2006 and 2007 are either still totally happy with them or start just now to look for new ones, most just want to replace the batteries.
To the best of my knowledge Sony has its own bookstore. Just like Amazon. Just like BN. Just like Apple. Just like Kobo. So how is it that those e-readers are vehicles for a bookstore and the Sony is not?

I am thrilled that you love your Sony. Please note that I have been recommending a Sony in this very topic even though you chose not to quite me for some reason. Your desire to make the Sony sound like it is the bestest ereader in the whole entire universe is getting to be a bit silly and overblown.

Calling the Nook a vehicle to sell BN books is a bit silly. The Nook is by far the most versatile (sp) of the major e-readers out there. It can read books from BN, Sony, Kobo, and all of the smaller EPub stores without conversion or stripping DRM. The only major EPub store the Nook cannot read is Apples. That outshines the Sony which cannot read BN books at this time. Heck, a rooted Nook Color can be used to read e-books from Amazon as well as all the EPub stores that are not Apple.

The Kindle is a great device with an amazing book store and can read non-DRMed Mobi books, which many independent e-book stores are selling. It cannot read EPub, which is a weakness, but that does not mean that it is awful.

Sonys are priced based on the use of a full touchscreen and aluminum case that are more expensive then the Kindle, Nook, or Kobo. They are more expensive materials so the devices cost more. Not to mention that fewer Sonys are sold then Kindles and Nooks so there is an issue of economies of scale. Amazon and BN buy more raw materials then Sony so they get a better price so their e-readers cost less to build.

That does not make the Sony better, it makes the Sony different. Given that many people with Kindles, Nooks, and Kobos have devices that have held up to a travel, backpacking, camping, kids, pets, and many years of service with no damage to the device, I don't think the addition of the aluminim casing is worth the extra cost. My K1 has been to Australia, New Zealand, California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Wisconsin, on a series of car camping trips, and survived my backpack for well over 2 years now.

Since I don't want a touch screen and think that the casing is just added weight with no real extra protection, I am fine with my less expensive Kindle with a longer battery life, that holds more books, and gives me 3G connectivity thank you very much.
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