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Old 07-28-2011, 06:14 AM   #1
MacEachaidh
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PRS-900: worth buying?

Hi all,
I've been looking at buying a Sony Reader, but here in Australia stocks of either the 650 or 350 have been very hard to come by. The Sony site is getting only small amounts of stock, only very sporadically, and the retailers are getting none at all. What little becomes available sells in no time flat.

But there's a vendor on Aussie eBay offering PRS-900s for sale, at a price equivalent to about $340 US. They're stated as brand new, and offered with a full 12-month warranty.

I've never owned a Sony Reader (I have one of another brand, and am looking to replace it), but the quality isn't in doubt for me, and I'm happy with the increased size of this unit. (The 9xx models aren't sold by Sony here.)

I'd be grateful for advice: does this seem like a good buy? What should I be aware/wary of?
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:40 AM   #2
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I believe the general consensus is to skip the PRS x00 and go for the updated X50 line instead. The reason is that the PRSX00 's touchscreen works by having some kind of capacitative layer on top of the screen. The screen then has glare and lacks contrast. The X50's touchscreen works by using infrared beaming from the bevel in which the Pearl screen lays, same as the Nook ST and Kobo Touch (but actually Sony came out with that first). So nothing on top of the screen and the screen fidelity of a Pearl screen is preserved.

I would just wait for the next line of Sony Reader, supposedly coming out in August. Then I would get the new reader or a used X50 reader, whose resell price would be depressed by the new readers.
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Old 07-28-2011, 08:52 AM   #3
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I own a Sony 950 and a Sony 505. The Sony 505 set the readability standard when it was originally released; the 950 set the standard when it was released last October.

I would not buy the Sony 900. I admit I was tempted when it was released but nearly all buyers agreed that that the 900 was not as sharp as the 505, the reason being the extra layer on top of the screen that was used for the touch screen function. More importantly, today i would not buy the 900 for the $340 price, especially when the 950 at full price is $299.

The 950 is definitely a worthwhile device to buy. The screen is sharp and the infrared touchscreen is magnificient. Everything works well and as it should. I agree that the price is a bit steep ($299) but I gladly paid it and have no regrets about having paid it. I would highly recommend the 950.

However, the new Kobo Touch and the Nook Touch models are half the price and offer the same touchscreen system and the same Pearl eink screen, so they may be goo, less expensive alternatives. The Sony 950 offers a lot more functionality and (I think) a better quality build, but the difference in price makes the others worth looking at before spending the money on the 950. Personally, I would buy the 950 over the other two options, but that is because I want the additional functionality and build quality. They may not be worth the added cost to you; the only way to know is to check the others out.
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Old 07-28-2011, 11:04 AM   #4
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G'day srfan and rhadin,
Thanks for your replies. Much appreciated. :-)

Sadly, the 950 isn't available here in Australia, and to buy it from overseas means I would have no warranty (Sony here has told me it won't support or even repair devices bought elsewhere, even if it is still a Sony). Kobo and Nook aren't directly available here either, in any model at all. So options are limited. Sony appeals strongly because of its support for both ePub and RTF, but what you say makes sense, so I'll give the 900s a miss.

Is it certain Sony is releasing a new reader, do you know, or just Internet scuttlebutt? I've seen detail-light ads for the two new Sony tablets, and reading ebooks is touted as one of their selling points, so I wondered if Sony might be preparing to ditch dedicated Readers altogether?
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Old 07-28-2011, 02:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacEachaidh View Post
G'day srfan and rhadin,
Is it certain Sony is releasing a new reader, do you know, or just Internet scuttlebutt? I've seen detail-light ads for the two new Sony tablets, and reading ebooks is touted as one of their selling points, so I wondered if Sony might be preparing to ditch dedicated Readers altogether?
http://www.engadget.com/2011/07/28/s...wifi-on-board/

Confirmed. Let's just hope that T stands for touchscreen and not TFT. =P

I would also, like the others, like to advise you to stay away from the 900 because of the touchscreen overlay which affects the screen readability and clearness negatively. Only acceptable model from that series, if you manage to find it for cheap over there, would be the PRS-300, because it doesn't have the touchscreen overlay.
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Old 07-28-2011, 03:14 PM   #6
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Thanks Tomoe! :-)

I'll be patient, then. (Well, I'll try. ;-) )

My current eReader still works (it's a first-generation iRiver Story), and it's only just 12 months old, but the battery lasts less and less with each recharge and the buttons are getting (noticeably!) less responsive. It still works (for now), but it's not a joy to use and the local distributors don't even want to discuss repairing it or giving it a new battery. When it finally carks it, I'll be looking elsewhere than iRiver for a replacement.

If there are new Sony models coming out in a few weeks, I wonder how long they'll take to show up down here?
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