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Old 06-10-2011, 10:46 AM   #1
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Own (and love) a PRS505: Is the Nook Touch or Kobo Touch right for me?

Hey guys,

I want to upgrade from my PRS505. It's a great reader and still works just fine, but it's fairly busted up and I'd like to get my hands (and eyes) on the new pearl e-ink screens.

Initially, I was looking to get the PRS650 but its price is just not very attractive with all the competition in the market now. I didn't mind paying the premium when the Sony readers were among the only ones that supported epubs, but now most of them do. The PRS350 is reasonably priced, but after testing one, I feel that the 5 inch screen is too small for me.

I think out of these two, I would prefer the Nook Touch because I like to have physical page turning buttons and I like the way it handles screen refreshes and the dictionary popup. Unfortunately, I'm in Canada and they currently only serve US customers.

Later today, I will go to a Chapters store and try out the Kobo.

What do you guys think?

Last edited by rahulm; 06-10-2011 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 06-10-2011, 10:47 AM   #2
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Can you live with the limitations of the Kobo, so as no support for hyperlinks in a book?
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Old 06-10-2011, 10:49 AM   #3
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Hey HarryT,

I almost never use hyperlinks on my PRS505. Many of my books have them to jump straight to a chapter, but as long as the device has a functional bookmarking system I think I won't miss hyperlinking.

So yup, I can live without it.

EDIT:

What I greatly dislike about the Sony readers is the severe limitation of formatting and font options. The Kindle, Nook and most others have very useful line spacing, font size and face settings and the Sony ones seem so lame in comparison.

As a solution, I have PRS+ installed on my PRS505, but I wish they'd do it by default.
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Old 06-10-2011, 10:52 AM   #4
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That's fine then. It's not chapter selection that's the issue - any well-prepared book should have a table of contents, after all. It's footnotes/endnotes that are the problem; I have quite a lot of books which make extensive use of them, and they would be literally impossible to access on the Kobo.
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Old 06-10-2011, 10:56 AM   #5
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Ah okay.

I don't make use of footnotes and endnotes. I mostly just read fiction so that's not usually an issue.

How is the build quality and firmware support for the Kobo and Nook? Anything would be better than Sony's support, I would imagine, but the build quality of their readers has been very impressive.
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:51 AM   #6
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I liked the Nook Touch but some issues have come up with it already. Nothing that can't be fixed by B&N. I didn't see any ghosting on the store model I played with. Of course it seems most e-readers have bugs that need to be worked out after they come out. That said I have never had a problem with my Nook Classic so I can't tell you how support is for them.

I really like my Sony 350 & have no difficulty reading on its 5" screen. I have Kindle3 & a Nook Classic & have no difficulty switching from the different screen sizes. Once again I haven't had a problem with either Sony 350s I have so can't say how support is.

I don't know anything about the Kobo but what I see from videos on it. Good place to ask about Kobo is in the Kobo forum. I must admit except for appearing a little slower, I liked what I saw.

Good luck
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:20 PM   #7
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If "touch screen" is not a must, I would recommend a Kindle. They use the pearl screen and have been a few months on the market with couple of firmware upgrades; that make Kindles a very stable device.

There are also more font options on Kindles than Sony, by the way. If that's really important for you, then you need to look away and get a different device instead of Sony, again (unless you have the time of changing the CSS file on DRM free books)

If you are not in a rush, you can also wait a few weeks or months and see what happens with Sony and their prices. I keep saying here that I got the feeling they will drop prices in order to compete with Kobo and B&N. I can be wrong but it makes sense to me.
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Old 06-10-2011, 01:39 PM   #8
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So I tried out the Kobo Touch, here's some pros and cons:

+Nice display, very crisp
+Responsive touchscreen
+The awards/achievements seem pretty cool (but ultimately useless)
+Good form factor and nice aesthetics
-Limited font options, it's much better than the PRS505, but I don't really like the two fonts and you can't change the line spacing like you can on the Nook and Kindle
-Can't have multiple bookmarks (unless the "expert" was misinformed), it only remembers the last page you were on

Overall, better than my PRS505, but I think the Nook Touch is edging out a little because of the myriad of font settings and the physical page buttons.

As for the Kindle, it's very nice, there's no doubt about that. But I don't like that it doesn't support ePub. I know I can easily convert to .mobi with Calibre, but I feel uncomfortable with supporting a company that is so adamant about locking down their device.

EDIT: My girlfriend is going to New Jersey in a few weeks so I'll wait until then at least, she'll be able to buy a Nook from a B&N there.
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Old 06-10-2011, 01:51 PM   #9
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Some of the posters in the Kobo forum have the Kobo Touch now and there are a few pleasant surprises: a web browser, if you want that sort of thing, and apparently it has the same refresh-after-6-pages setup the Nook Touch has. The Kobo is also quite plush on the back, so it's really nice to hold, and it's lighter and slimmer than the Nook Touch, with 4 color options. It also apparently has 15 font sizes, which is an advantage over the Sony, where some people complain about no ideal middle ground between font sizes. I was going to choose the Nook Touch over the Kobo because of the physical buttons, but after I tested it in person, I found them difficult to press down, so I think I'd prefer a simple tap with a finger, especially if it works with the thumb I'm holding it in.

As for the Kindle, the thinness was a drawback for me, because the device sort of digs into your hand, and in order to press the buttons, you can't really hold the device flat against your hand. Then the weight is slightly too much, especially compared to the new devices--it was sleek and light 6 months ago, but now it feels like a heavy slab compared to the competition. If you go that route, I'd hold out a few months, because Amazon usually announces a new Kindle in August and ships in September, and you have to imagine they're working hard to develop a good answer to the touch devices of BN and Kobo. If Sony comes out with something new it would probably be during that time frame too, although I can't imagine them trying to compete on price.

If you live near the US, Best Buy stores are selling the PRS-950 for $199, which has a wifi browser, 3G for book shopping (only in the US), and a 7" screen that allows horizontal 2-page reading. I nearly bought one, but I think the Kobo or the Nook are better options for my needs.
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