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Old 04-10-2011, 05:33 AM   #1
sivajayaraman
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Sony PRS-950 or PRS-650, or even the Kindle 3

Hi all,
I'm a current owner of Sony PRS-900 (the older version of the 9" reader). I like most aspects of the eReader, especially touch navigation, except the readability. I'm considering a new eReader solely for better readability (without glare and with high contrast - I'm getting peeved at the glare and reduced readability in my 900).
I'm not from the US (but will be travelling there and hence can get any reader sold there) and generally don't use wireless connectivity for ereading.
Is the new generation sony significantly more readable (contrast, glare, etc) compared to the old gen? How does new-gen Sony compare with Kindle 3. I've seen some videos comparing PRS-650 and K3 and K3 (in the video) looks to have better contrast. Is it the screen, or, just the fonts used in in K3 that makes it look better?
Assuming that my final decision would be towards Sony, need some help deciding between 650 and 950. I read a mixture of epub and pdf. Although PDF is manageable in my 900, I'm still not as comfortable reading PDFs in that compared to epubs. Is 950 better than 900 (in terms of SW or any other way) for reading PDFs? The only reason to consider 950 than 650 would be an assumption that the extra space in screen would be better for PDFs. If that's not the case, 650 is obviously cheaper and more portable
From reading the threads, I take it that the covers and case that came with 900 won't fit 950 and I would have to buy a new one. Am I right?
I use calibre for ebook management and have collected a lot of epubs (free, as well as bought from Kobo, booksonboard, etc). How difficult/easy is it to convert them to mobi in case I decide to go with K3? Do formatting issues arise?
Sorry for a lot of questions, but I'd like to make an informed decision this time. Feel free to say if my decision to replace 900 itself is flawed.

Thanks,
Siva

Last edited by sivajayaraman; 04-10-2011 at 05:35 AM.
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Old 04-10-2011, 06:56 AM   #2
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I didn't buy one of the x00 models from Sony. I bought a 505, which I used for 3 years and my wife continues to use, and the 950 at its release, so I can't compare directly the 950 to the 900.

What I can tell you is this. The 505 has an excellent, glare free screen; the 950's screen is even sharper that that of the 505 and is glare free. (I assume you realize that, regardless of model and make, none of the screens are 100% glare free 100% of the time. It is possible under some circumstances to get reflection on any e-ink screen.)

I have been using my 950 for several hours a day, every day, since I received it at the end of October (or maybe it was very early November -- I had preordered it from Sony and so got one of the first ones shipped) and can't praise the device enough. It is easy to read on the screen.

If you like the touchscreen idea, then go for the 650 or 950. A different method is used than was used on the 600 and 900, and the newer Pearl e-ink is great.
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Old 04-10-2011, 07:26 AM   #3
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Siva,
I have the prs-350 and K3, and I think the 350 has sharper text, but that may be due to a smaller screen. I don't like the K3 keyboard and prefer the touch screen to read and take notes. I like the ability to print and save my notes on the Sony Reader Library, but to save the entire highlight, you must strip the DRM from the books as there is a copy protection built into DRM books. If you like to see the highlights and notes of other readers, the K3 will show you what everyone else is saying about the book they read. Andrei Codrescu made some observations about that issue which I tend to agree with:

http://www.npr.org/2011/03/07/134342...onship?ps=cprs

For me, it just boils down to touch screen vs keyboard, and Sony wins. I only use the K3 to try out sample books as Sony does not have that feature.

Good luck!
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Old 04-10-2011, 10:54 AM   #4
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I think you are going to find it hard to find a 650, they seem to be out of stock in most places these days. I have not heard of anyone having a problem getting a hold of a 950. All reports are that the screen on the 950 is a massive improvement on the 900 series. There is no glare and the Pearl screen is great.

I have heard mixed reviews about converting files. All say it is easy, some say that the conversion is easy to read and use while a few have said that is not the case.

If you like your 900 and you like the touchscreen and you can afford the 950, I see no reason to get a Kindle. Why bother with the conversion if you don't have to?

I have a DXG and love it. I just bought a K3 and am waiting for it to be delivered. I liked what I saw at Target and decided that a K3 would be better for travel then the DXG.

Since you are coming to the US you should be able to stop at a Best Buy and compare the Kindle and Sony. That might help you make up your mind.
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:02 AM   #5
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Reformatting your existing ePubs to Kindle is a minor, one-time, nuisance, but my experience has been very good with ePub to mobi. The eInk Pearl screen is significantly better than previous generations.

You're happy with Sony, you may want to stay with it. But I think the suggestion to wait until you're in the US to actually get your hands on both is a good one. Personally, I think the ease of use and overall software of the Kindle is a major plus compared to Sony. And I don't feel the need for a touch screen, but YMMV.
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Old 04-10-2011, 02:50 PM   #6
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Will buying in the US cause problems using it wherever you are usually ? (! well, you know what I mean!) Downloading, etc..
I'm a tech-dunce, so don't know............

But the 650 is a great piece of kit - and if, like a lot of people, you don't feel you need wi-fi etc.., ideal. Beautifully engineered, I love it.

In the UK , Waterstones have them in stock (at least in the West !) but don't know if you can buy / are available to purchase on line .
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Old 04-10-2011, 06:51 PM   #7
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If you go with Kindle you should have no problem converting epub to Mobi through Calibre. I have a PRS-900 and my husband has a Kindle 2. We convert a lot of books and so far no problem.

Personally, I would not give up the touchscreen and general elegance of the Sony for the keyboard of the Kindle, although there may be good reasons. I have seen the new Pearl e-ink and would love to have it (over my 900). I would also love to have the translation dictionaries that I understand come with the 950. Speaking of dictionaries, have you tried navigating to a word to look it up on a Kindle? Maybe the K3 has made this easier, somehow, but I love the double-tap ease of dictionary use on the Sony.

Is it really true that the 900 cases don't fit the 950??

Best of luck to you -- any of your choices are winners, IMHO!
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Old 04-11-2011, 12:33 AM   #8
sivajayaraman
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Thank you all, for your inputs. I'm leaning towards the Sony, pending an inspection at a Best Buy.

Can anyone compare PDF viewing in PRS-900 vs PRS-950? Is it significantly better (I mean, software)? One of the main reasons for me to choose a 950 vs a 650 would be the larger screen size which I think would benefit PDF viewing - but, only if 950's software is much better than 900's.
Are there other reasons to choose 950 over the 650? I don't use wireless.
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:49 AM   #9
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Just to add to your certainty: If you want native ePub without having to convert to mobi through Calibre, then your only choice is a Sony reader, as Kindles only read pdfs and mobi, Amazon's proprietary format.

Happened to test pdfs on my PRS-350 this morning and the options for them are amazing -- superior to those of the K3 in most respects and as good or slightly better in one. The x50 series has both slider and gradated options for zooming in and out just as they do for brightness. Like the K3, it doesn't give you a slider for centering pdf text, which means you might have to muddle through larger pages if, for example, you're trying to read a rare photocopied book turned into a pdf and have no other choice of format.

Take, for example, this two-volume edition, The Poetical Works of Thomas Lovell Beddoes, which dates from 1890 and of which a total of 750 copies were ever printed. Unless you've got one of those few copies, the one version without horrible typos that you can actually read is available for free here.

When looking at a file as problematic as that, I do find the size of the reader matters. But in the case of pdfs that are fully manipulable and contain embedded fonts, any size reader seems to work fine.

One thing you could do would be to bring an SD with you to the Sony Store, insert it into demos of both models and try looking at a familiar pdf file on each.

Last edited by Prestidigitweeze; 04-13-2011 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 04-15-2011, 02:28 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Prestidigitweeze View Post
Happened to test pdfs on my PRS-350 this morning and the options for them are amazing -- superior to those of the K3 in most respects and as good or slightly better in one. The x50 series has both slider and gradated options for zooming in and out just as they do for brightness . . .[/URL].
I agree that the PRS-x50 series PDF options are superior.

In addition to the convenient zoom slider you mentioned, I like the fact that in addition to using the 4 positioning arrow icons to scroll around, you can also just use your finger to directly drag the zoomed image around on the touch screen (which makes dealing with highly zoomed documents about 5000 percent easier).

This trick also works for EPUB's with highly detailed images that must be zoomed, like travel guides with Maps.
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