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Old 10-02-2007, 12:04 AM   #1
NatCh
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Post Sony Reader PRS-505 - Specifications

Sony rolls out Sony Reader PRS-505!


A few weeks ago the scoop appeared in the MobileRead forums about a new Sony Reader model. It looked like the next-gen follow up to our beloved Sony Reader PRS-500. Well kids, today it's official: Sony unveiled the Reader PRS-505. Its biggest improvement without doubt is the new current line of E-Ink display technology that makes screens brighter and refreshes faster than previous E-Ink incarnations. Four more grey levels have been added to the mix, allowing the new Reader to display a total of eight grey levels. What's more, the good folks at Sony must have done some extensive research on ergonomics, because they flipped most of the control buttons to the right, which is supposed to more closely mimic real paper page turns.

The PRS-505 is now even slimmer and lighter than its predecessor. And those of you who don't call a Windows machine their own to run the included software, rejoice: USB mass storage support is now included! Unlike stated in previous rumors, the new Reader does not feature any wireless connectivity. If that's a requirement for you, and you don't mind he battery consumption, you'll want to look at the iRex iLiad or perhaps wait until the mysterious and apparently ugly Kindle is released soon by Amazon.

PRS-500 vs. PRS-505 comparison:

Sony Reader PRS-505:
  • launch: Online and in-stock at the SonyStyle.com store October 2, 2007 (should be appearing in retail stores by the 5th)
  • case in silver (PRS-505/SC) and dark blue (PRS-505/LC)
  • dimension: 175mm by 122mm by 8mm
  • weight: 9oz (~255g)
  • main navigation on the right
  • latest generation of E Ink panel (Sony’s not calling it Vizplex because they don't feel that the name will mean anything to the general public, but we know what it is) with improved contrast, increased reflectance, faster refreshes, and 8 shades of gray. And of course: 6-inch diagonal, 800x600
  • capacity for 160 typical e-books (192 MB of memory reserved for the user)
  • battery capacity: 7,500 page turns
  • expansion: Memory Stick Duo (up to 8GB) and SD Card (up to 2GB) slots for a combined storage potential of 10 GB.
  • supported document formats: BBeB, PDF, RTF, TXT, JPG
  • other: USB 2.0, USB mass storage capability (direct document transfer), Reader-PC autosync functionality (supports a folder for automatically syncing files to the PRS-505)
    eBook Library 2.0 PC is a (probably modest) upgrade of what was previously the Sony Connect desktop software.
  • AC wall charger optional
  • Initial price: US $300

Sony Reader PRS-500:
  • launched in September 2006
  • case in athrazit black
  • dimension: 175.6mm by 123.6mm by 13.8mm
  • weight: 250g
  • main navigation on the left
  • E Ink screen, 4 grey-levels, 6-inch, 800x600
  • capacity for 80 typical e-books
  • battery capacity: 7,500 page turns
  • expansion: Memory Stick Duo / SD Card
  • supported document formats: BBeB, PDF, RTF, TXT, JPG
  • AC wall charger included
  • MSRP: US $300

The 505's full specs sheet is attached.

So, there is only one last question nagging at the back of our minds: If you already own the PRS-500, would you upgrade today?

Related:
New Sony Reader coming?,
Sony plans Reader successor for this year

Posted on behalf of Bob Russell, Alexander Turcic, and myself, by virtue of the fact that I'm in the latest time-zone so I have the easiest time staying up for the Midnight EDT deadline
Attached Files
File Type: pdf PRS505SCSpecSheet.pdf (1.34 MB, 3423 views)
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Old 10-02-2007, 01:27 AM   #2
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Oof. I've been caught in the middle of gizmo transitions before, but never this badly. Not 12 hours ago, I finally ordered a PRS-500 from Tiger, because I'm leaving for a 5-week trip to Japan in a week. (And their policy with the PRS-500 is exchanges only, so I'm stuck with it.)

Ah well. The 500 will hopefully do what I want it to do, and without any of the problems of New Product Version 1.0 Break-in. I used to ride on the Bleeding Edge, and it's called that for a reason. Now I usually wait until rev.B comes out.

I was agonizing over the decision all weekend, and I suspected that something like this would probably happen, but I don't want to travel to the other side of the world with a big pile of books weighing me down, and I didn't want to wait too long to order, or else I wouldn't have time to set the thing up for my flight early next week. 17 hours of travel time demands reading. Lots and lots of reading. I suspect that I'll be hitting up project Gutenberg later this week... or just plowing through the Sony credit for books that are already available via project Gutenberg, but are pre-chewed for the PRS-500.

I did manage to get a ton of useful information from this forum about making the PRS-500 do my bidding. My first project is probably going to be installing Japanese font support on it, to handle e-book versions of a few of my Japanese language books.

I gotta say that the new 505 does look spiffy. Maybe when I get back from Japan, I can eBay the 500 and pick one up.
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Old 10-02-2007, 03:14 AM   #3
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I'm still undecided till details from both the kindle and the cybook gets in. I just recently sold my prs-500 becuase I grew tired of prep each book I wanna read and converting it from lit to html and then to lrf. So I think I will wait for a while, see what people who bought this say, and then decide.
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Old 10-02-2007, 03:26 AM   #4
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Just my two cents: It's incredibly ugly!
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Old 10-02-2007, 04:10 AM   #5
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I'm wondering if the new software will work with the PRS500 -- if it's an upgrade, no matter how modest, of the Sony Connect software, I would hope it would work with the earlier model (I don't have a spare $300 to shell out right now and even if I had it, I would likely not buy a new one, still being quite happy with the older model.)

Does anybody know if the new software will work with the PRS500?
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Old 10-02-2007, 06:26 AM   #6
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Are there any pictures with the included softcover attached?
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Old 10-02-2007, 06:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhbailey View Post
Does anybody know if the new software will work with the PRS500?
Yes, the new software will work with the PRS500.
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Old 10-02-2007, 07:25 AM   #8
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Just my two cents: It's incredibly ugly!
The blue one isn't. They just keep showing the silver because it's new.
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Old 10-02-2007, 11:25 AM   #9
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That's strange, in the press release they say the PRS-505's screen has 8 grayscales, but in the spec sheet they say 4. Huh?
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Old 10-02-2007, 11:33 AM   #10
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That's strange, in the press release they say the PRS-505's screen has 8 grayscales, but in the spec sheet they say 4. Huh?
Yeah, we actually brought that up with them during the call: it's 8, the spec sheet has the error.

The Sony Rep was mildly annoyed that he needed to change his spec sheet.
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Old 10-02-2007, 12:39 PM   #11
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Is the 505 really only 8mm thick? As opposed to the 500's 13.8mm? And yet it still weighs the same as the older model? Seems odd to be that much slimmer. But I haven't seen one in person yet.

BTW, a 2nd Reader is in my future (for my SO). She likes more classic books, fairy tales, etc., of which there is a ton available freely. (I have the Silk Pagoda DVD, $200 in Sony Classics credit, plus the excellent uploads forum here!) I have the 500 model from the Sony $50 deal and there's no urgency to buy the new model. (Although she is eyeing mine more and more, so it may be harder to keep it out of her grasp!) I'll be looking for any great deals on the new Reader and will jump on one when it comes up. (I should have signed her up for a Sony card under the summer $50 promotion, but didn't want to commit to that before actually trying a Reader.)

Last edited by DrMoze; 10-02-2007 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 10-02-2007, 01:01 PM   #12
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Is the 505 really only 8mm thick? As opposed to the 500's 13.8mm? And yet it still weighs the same as the older model?
The Sony Rep confirmed that it's .3 inches, which is, um ...(grabs calculator) ... 7.62 mm, so yeah, ~8 mm is right.

It's also taller, which is where some of the weight moved. It is supposed to be slightly lighter, but not so much you'd notice it by hand. If you happen to have a digital scale laying about, then you might notice, yeah.

What you should do, is go for the 505, and then "give in" your SO's attempts to worm the old one out of you. That'll get you major brownie points ... until she sees you with the new one, anyway.
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Old 10-02-2007, 02:47 PM   #13
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for a second there I was kind of annoyed (having just gotten the 500 a week and a bit ago)... but then I noticed the "swapped" controls and I'm feeling a lot better about it... as a leftie I'm a real happy camper with the pageturns on the "wrong" side... I'd rather have that than a somewhat better contrast or 8 greys instead of 4 (which, using it for pure-text only as I do, makes absolutely no difference).

Hmm... 8mm? I already find the 500 almost disturbingly thin... I'd be afraid to break it... and if there's no weight diff anyways, I'd rather it felt a bit heftier/sturdier...

As far as I'm concerned, there's only 3 things which would make me consider upgrading anytime soon...
1. Shrinking the reader to fit the screen more closely (those pointlessly wide edges trimmed off would make it just the right size to fit in nearly any pocket, rather than only in the larger-variety jacket pocket)
2. Ebooks organized in folders in the reader menu (rather than all of them just in one endlessly-long list)
3. full-colour, higher res (at least 1024x768 range) eink screen... for graphic novels.

Hmmm... ok... make that 4... if they can manage to integrate a 80gb mp3 player in there while they're at it (so I can get rid of my ipod)... and a phone & at least 5mp camera (bye bye k800)... and a gps (another space-cluttering gadget I can chuck out! yay!)... oh, and while they're at it, throw in a touchscreen (with note-taking capabilities) and a voice-recorder...

Hey, figured might as well go all-out... *shrug*... one can but dream, right?

Seriously though... the day someone comes out with an all-in-one gadget, I'm picking it up... if nothing else just to get rid of the friggin' clutter of chargers, docks and wires on and around my desk.

Oh, and sorry for drifting so widely off-topic. Don't mind me.
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Old 10-02-2007, 02:58 PM   #14
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ZeBuddha, have you seen the HTC Advantage? It does just about everything you're talking about, but obviously doesn't have E-Ink. If LCD doesn't bother you, I think you'd love it.
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Old 10-02-2007, 03:36 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by ZeBuddha View Post
for a second there I was kind of annoyed (having just gotten the 500 a week and a bit ago)... but then I noticed the "swapped" controls and I'm feeling a lot better about it... as a leftie I'm a real happy camper with the pageturns on the "wrong" side... I'd rather have that than a somewhat better contrast or 8 greys instead of 4 (which, using it for pure-text only as I do, makes absolutely no difference).
I specifically made the point to the Sony Rep yesterday that if they allowed the display to be flipped top to bottom they'd effectively have the page turn buttons on both sides so that it would be ambidextrous with a single set of buttons. Obviously that's not happening on the 505, but perhaps it might get considered for the future ... whenever that is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeBuddha View Post
As far as I'm concerned, there's only 3 things which would make me consider upgrading anytime soon...
1. Shrinking the reader to fit the screen more closely (those pointlessly wide edges trimmed off would make it just the right size to fit in nearly any pocket, rather than only in the larger-variety jacket pocket)
From taking mine apart, it looks to me like that extra space is at least partly to insulate the display from stress.
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Originally Posted by ZeBuddha View Post
f they can manage to integrate a 80gb mp3 player in there while they're at it (so I can get rid of my ipod)
The 505 will allow 10 GB of memory card with an 8GB MemoryStick Duo, and a 2 GB SD card, now -- you could have 8GB of music and 2 GB of books, plus 192 MB in internal memory. Of course, there's still the flat listing to sort through ....
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