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Old 09-18-2011, 08:42 PM   #1
Enkidu of Abydos
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Question PRS-950 VS PRS-T1

It's time for me to go to sleep so I'll try to make this short (which is not usually my strong side ).
I've had the PRS-505 for three years (completely satisfied), then recently considered upgrading to the PRS-950 (because of many improvements but mostly the new screen) but then heard a new generation would come out soon and decided to wait and see what it would be like (which now seems to have been a mistake).
Sony seems to have had only one development guideline with the new generation - make it AS CHEAP AS POSSIBLE ! Now it seems it's almost complete crap and the older PRS-950 has suddenly gone out of sale almost everywhere and is only available on Amazon and a few eBay sellers at outrageous prices (around 400$, a lot more then it used to be).
Now I need to quickly make a decision on whether the new model is really a total frack-up and if so buy the 950 before it disappears completely (even at these blackmail prices). But I haven't seen any decent thorough reviews (give links if you know) as the device seems to not be really out yet (at least in the shops) and what I've seen is just marketing fluff or listing the features that have already been around for the last several generations of the Sony Reader.
So I'll just give a quick comparison of the main differences and you correct me and fill in what you notice missing and consider important enough, OK ?
For the PRS-950 :
1. PRS-950 is bigger (that 1 inch is usefull IMHO)
2. PRS-950 is metal, PRS-T1 is glossy plastic (much worse IMHO)
3. PRS-T1 has a weaker battery ? (not sure, but several sources say it's weaker then all the others, and it's practically impossible to find exact numbers in Wh)
4. PRS-T1 has no stylus (don't care much about this one, e-reader are for reading not writing to me, and anyway I've almost forgotten how to write by hand since elementary school, I only write sticky-notes by hand now )
For the PRS-T1 :
1. It's 2.5 times cheaper (which still isn't enough to convince me to buy it if it's not good)
2. It looks a bit nicer (I don't much like the change in design from the 505 to the 950, the fake book-spine and the cut-off corners, the PRS-T1 seems more like a sleek gadget) but I haven't had time to search for really good pics
The screen is the same (except for size), right ? Software features mostly same, buttons identical ? Basically they just put the same technology in a junkier body to cheapen it, is that it ?
Thanks for the help...

Last edited by Enkidu of Abydos; 09-18-2011 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:52 AM   #2
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I really like my 950 but I would'nt pay 2.5x the amount of the T1 to get it.

-950 is not solid metal through and through. Parts of it are still plastic.
-950 has 3g but it only works for the Sony bookstore.
-950 only comes in silver.
-950 is a 7" screen.

Things that have me interested in the T1.
-I like that it weighs only a little more than the 350. The 950 can get heavy afterwhile.
-I like that it comes in black.
-6 fonts to choose from. Although the default Sony one doesn't bother me.


The main reason I can see to get the 950 over the T1 are:
-Do you have to have 3g.
-Do you have to have a 7" reader.


I plan on getting my dad a T1 as soon as I can see one in person. If I like it I may sell my 950 to someone willing to pay the prices you are listing. I think the only thing I would miss is the 7" screen.
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:16 AM   #3
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I seriously doubt the T1 will be crap! I think it will be a very good device!

Having said that, if you can get a 950 at a decent price ($400 is NOT "decent!), go for it! The extra inch makes more of difference than I thought it would. It gives a much very good reading experience IMHO. Personally I'm not keen on the silver casing, but with a cover or skin that can be taken care of.

Apart from the extra inch (that I really love!) I really doubt the 950 would be a much better buy than the T1, but that's of course just my guess since I haven't actually tried out the T1.
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:46 AM   #4
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No offense to anyone but I was expecting a bit more of the replies. This forum used to be really populated and fast in responses...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asawi View Post
if you can get a 950 at a decent price ($400 is NOT "decent!)
I know, but it's the only one available right now, unless I buy used / refurbished, and they're only 100-150$ cheaper, and I don't want to risk any failures or scratches for that amount.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JayB View Post
I really like my 950 but I would'nt pay 2.5x the amount of the T1 to get it.

-950 is not solid metal through and through. Parts of it are still plastic.
-950 has 3g but it only works for the Sony bookstore.
-950 only comes in silver.
-950 is a 7" screen.
Are these the cons for you ?
I love the silver surface, and would never take any other color of reader. The PRS-505 is the most beautifull gadget I have ever owned.
The 7" screen is also a big pro for me, not much of a difference (1") but like the other guy says it's usefull and 6" always seemed just a bit too small for me, and the double page horizontal style is great (lines too long make reading harder).
3G I don't give a damn about, and WLAN is somewhat usefull when copying the books from my computer to my reader (so I don't have to use a cable).


Quote:
Originally Posted by JayB View Post
Things that have me interested in the T1.
-I like that it weighs only a little more than the 350. The 950 can get heavy afterwhile.
-I like that it comes in black.
-6 fonts to choose from. Although the default Sony one doesn't bother me.
I don't care about the weight much as I doubt it will be so much it's tiresome to hold for me.
EDIT : just looked up the masses on Wikipedia, and the results surprised me, if they're correct :
505 - 250g
950 - 272g
T1 - 168g
So the 950 is just marginally heavier than my 505, which I've always found to be a feather-weight and no problem to hold, which makes the weight decrease of the T1 completely useless for me.
Really the only thing I'd miss going from the 505 to the 950 would be the 505's looks
As for the fonts, I'm not sure but as far as I know it comes with multiple shapes and sizes of letters while the 950 can only change the size of the letters (through 6 sizes) ?
I don't see much use for different font shapes. The one on my 505 suits me just fine.
As for zooming, 950's 6 font sizes is also enough for me, don't see the use for T1's pinch-zoom. Does that enable local zooming (as in magnifying only one part of the page) ? If so what's the point of that ?
And I'm still not sure about the battery capacity of the 950 and T1, and I consider battery capacity very important...

UPDATE :
After searching for some more pics I've changed my opinion on the design and now think the 950 looks better than the T1 (on top of all the other advantages over it), although that is a matter of personal preference.
Here's a few pics :
http://www.the-ebook-reader.com/images/sony-prs-950.jpg
http://reviews.cnet.com/i/tim/2011/0...BT_440x330.JPG
http://reviews.cnet.com/i/tim/2011/0...TP_440x330.JPG
http://www.e-leseratte.de/wp-content...-wei%C3%9F.png
http://img1.lesnumeriques.com/news/20/20971/book-3.jpg
http://blog.the-ebook-reader.com/wp-...eader-wifi.jpg
Now I don't much like the corners on the 950, but I hate that bump on the T1 (the way it's thin everywhere but "bumped" where the ports are) and I prefer 950's silver to T1's white. The 505 is still king as far as design goes though IMHO.

Last edited by Enkidu of Abydos; 09-19-2011 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 09-19-2011, 12:25 PM   #5
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E, I have a 950 and absolutely love it...hope it doesn't meet an early demise! I also really liked the 505 before I got the 950.

I have ordered a T1.

If I were you and could find a 950 at a reasonable price, then it might make sense...while considering that parts and maintenance will become more of a problem as time goes on.

I expect the T1 to be up to Sony's standards, including the battery.
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Old 09-19-2011, 12:28 PM   #6
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I sold my 950 in anticipation of the T1. I generally liked the 950, but I'll give you a few negatives to consider.

The extra inch bugged me more than it ever was useful - it showed too long, too skinny pages (portrait) or too stubby, too fat pages (landscape). The extra inch would be much more useful if the screen was a standard 4:3 (unless you read a lot of PDFs scanned from legal size, 8.5" X 14" originals).

It isn't so much the 950's actual weight, but that there is no good place to hold the 950 to evenly distribute the weight which makes it unwieldy. One-handed operation requires holding it at the bottom edge, so it feels top heavy and my fingers and wrists had to constantly adjust and lock to keep the thing upright for reading.

The 3G only works to access Sonys slower than molasses store, and only in the US. WiFi was almost as disappointing. The PRS-950 can't download files through its browser, so you'll need to install PRS+ if you want to wirelessly transfer your own files. (PRS+ has many other wonderful features, too).

The software for the T1 seems to be quite different from the x50 line. Of course, all I've seen of the T1 is on YouTube, but from what I saw of the home screen, menus, and two point multi-touch, it appears that the software has been completely re-written.

There's nothing wrong with liking whatever you like, so if the 950 does it for you, then I hope you find a gently used one at a reasonable price.
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Old 09-19-2011, 12:30 PM   #7
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Since our responses seem sparse, I'll venture to say I appreciate having 3G more than WIFI. I'll be in the minority on that, I'm sure, but then when I travel I can still access the Sony bookstore without finding WIFI and wondering if it is a secure connection.

I have other WIFI/3G devices for checking e-mail, etc., that do a much better job.

It is hard to assess the T1 without having access to one...

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Old 09-19-2011, 02:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
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It is hard to assess the T1 without having access to one...
What he said.

I do love my 950, but the fact that I needed a skin before it became easy to read (the silver glare was very painful) and the very limited 3G functionality or that I can't get my Smashwords books via the browser, are all negatives that off and on bother me.

As for holding it in one hand, I just curve my hand behind it and hold it at the top. So the weight rests on my wrist and I can reach a finger over to tap the screen to turn pages. Or shake my head and let my hair do it
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:31 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by petercreasey View Post
I expect the T1 to be up to Sony's standards, including the battery.
Crappy you mean ?
Seriously, too many people here have complained about dead or weak batteries...


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Originally Posted by Ken401 View Post
It is hard to assess the T1 without having access to one...
Definitely, but I can't wait until 02.10. (according to Newegg) for it to be released and then thoroughly reviewed since the 950 is already almost gone, and it wont come back or get any cheaper, so I need to make a decision ASAP.


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Originally Posted by Ken401 View Post
Since our responses seem sparse
The weird thing is no one of the people I know, the heavy posters that usually make an appearance in every thread that's the least bit interesting, have yet replied. It's like all the bigwigs of Mobile Read are on vacation...


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There's nothing wrong with liking whatever you like, so if the 950 does it for you, then I hope you find a gently used one at a reasonable price.
I don't like used, and the best new price I've found (with international shipping) is 450$. A hefty amount of cash, I payed 360$ with shipping for the 505.
But it seems I'm going to have to pay it since the T1 is looking like a worse and worse alternative, and future models in the near future are likely to go down the same cheap and flimsy route. I considered waiting for the color readers to go out, but the first ones probably wont be that good anyway, so maybe 950 will be ideal for the next three years and then I buy a color reader once they're really perfected.
I could have saved maybe 100-150$ had I bought it sooner, but I had no idea Sony would go all the way down in the design strategy, I thought they'd lower the price somewhat from their surely generous profit margin, add new features and maybe a color e-paper display.
As captain Bertorelli from "Allo, allo" would say : "What a mistake-a to make-a !"


Quote:
Originally Posted by ScalyFreak View Post
I do love my 950, but the fact that I needed a skin before it became easy to read (the silver glare was very painful)
Wait, you're a girl and don't like shiny things !? Don't you know that diamonds are a girl's best friend ?
Seriously, the metallic shine never bothered me during reading...
Fascinating how everyone seems to have their own different pros and cons concerning these two devices...

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Old 09-19-2011, 03:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
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too many people here have complained about dead or weak batteries...
E, People are not going to take the time to post here about good experiences with Sony batteries. You are drawing a general conclusion from a minuscule sampling.
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Old 09-19-2011, 03:32 PM   #11
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I have a 650 and the battery is fine.

The problem could be that the original post is such a mess, it's not worth reading.
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:17 PM   #12
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Wait, you're a girl and don't like shiny things !? Don't you know that diamonds are a girl's best friend ?
But dark chocolate and a good single malt are a woman's best friends.

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Seriously, the metallic shine never bothered me during reading...
There are no clouds where I live. The sun glare off the silver was hurting my eyes whenever I was trying to read outside.
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Old 09-20-2011, 01:18 AM   #13
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Well good luck with your 950. It is a very nice reader but I could not imagine paying the prices you are listing.

I also dont understand why you are bashing the T1 so hard. Have you held one yet. It might be plastic but there are different grades of plastic. I'm sure it is going to be a very nice piece of hardware.

All I'm saying is that the only advantages of the 950 are 3g and a 7" screen if those two things are worth the difference go for it.

If you are expecting the 950 to feel all metal and as well constructed as something like an Ipod touch 4g I think you are going to be dissapointed.

Make sure you actually get a chance to use a 950 before you pay such a huge premium.

Enjoy whatever you pick.
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:11 AM   #14
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On my 950, landscape mode for PDFs is atrocious. Did anyone here try it? When scrolling down, there is overlap between the scroll regions, which really makes it hard to read seamlessly. If the T1 does this properly (like my Kindle), then that would be an advantage for me.
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:51 AM   #15
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But dark chocolate and a good single malt are a woman's best friends.
That's good to know, may come in handy (in my future conquests... )...
But I'd still rather take hazelnut chocolate and coconut rum.


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The sun glare off the silver was hurting my eyes whenever I was trying to read outside.
It's those weird reptile eyes of yours, you scaly freak !


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Make sure you actually get a chance to use a 950 before you pay such a huge premium.
Nice idea but how do you imagine that ? That option would only be available to someone living in the US, and only in the larger cities at that. And probably London.
I don't think I've ever seen ANY e-reader in an electronics store, although you can find smartphones, digital cameras and LCD TVs by the truckload...
My friends usually try out expensive smartphones in the store before they buy them, but I usually rely on reading various reviews and being well informed, and I've never been regretted my choice of gadget so far.
Plus I have the 505 so I have a good idea of what the 950 will be like, it's not like I've never seen an e-reader in my life.


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Originally Posted by JayB View Post
I also dont understand why you are bashing the T1 so hard. Have you held one yet. It might be plastic but there are different grades of plastic. I'm sure it is going to be a very nice piece of hardware.

All I'm saying is that the only advantages of the 950 are 3g and a 7" screen if those two things are worth the difference go for it.

If you are expecting the 950 to feel all metal and as well constructed as something like an Ipod touch 4g I think you are going to be dissapointed.
Well I don't own an iPod and don't care to own anything that starts with an iP***.
But as far as metal feel and well constructed goes I can't imagine anything feeling better than my 505, and don't expect the 950 to be any worse in that respect.
As for the advantages of the 950, I have somewhat different views from yours, as you will see.
And as for bashing the T1, I don't have anything personal against it and admit it's a perfectly decent e-reader, maybe ideal for e-reader beginners (because of the price), but it has practically no hardware improvements or new features over the new generation (while I was definitely expecting some improvements and hoping for decent color e-paper), it's mostly just the same device in a cheaper body (and without the stylus bay). Not really next-gen, but more of an economy class version.
Sony had the lead in technology in the e-reader market ever since the Librie in 2004. until now.
Now then, after some research around the web I've found the info I was looking for, so now I'll lay it out here for anyone who might be in the same dilemma in the future, in the form of a list of advantages of each of these two devices relative to the other, and ordered by importance (of course, both the choice of the advantages and their order is a matter of personal preference, so judge by your own standards) :
• 950 has a 1“ bigger display (and therefore also a bigger body), which also makes the 2-page landscape mode possible /both big pro for me
• 950 seems to have a stronger battery* /big pro for me
• 950 has better design (it's silver and the T1 is glossy white, it has a metal casing while the T1 has a plastic one, and it's of even thickness while the T1 is very thin except for the ugly bump on the part with the ports) /big pro for me
• 950 has a stylus bay a T1 nema /very small pro
• 950 takes SD cards and the T1 takes microSD cards /unimportant as I won't be using a card anyway but would otherwise be a small pro
• 950 has 3G and the T1 doesn't /don't give a damn
o T1 is about 2.5 times cheaper /very important pro
o T1 has multiple font shapes and sizes while the 950 only has mutiple sizes /unimportant since the same thing can be achieved by installing PRS+
o T1 has multitouch pinch-zoom /unimportant since the 950's zoom button and slider zoom are more than enough for me
o T1 is significantly lighter than the 505 (67% weight) and 950 is negligibly heavier than the 505 (109% weight) /unimportant for me since the 505 feels very light to me
o T1 supposedly has a faster processor /very iffy and unconfirmed, and even if it's true it's completely irrelevant to me as I don't need to surf on my e-reader (my netbook is for that) and a way older processor would be more than enough for just reading
EDIT : I've just read in another thread in this subforum that the T1 may not be available for many months, while the 950 is still available (though only at a few eBay and Amazon sellers and at outrageous prices) so that's another big reason for anyone who wants an e-reader NOW to choose the 950 (or 650/350)...

*judging from the maximum page turn number stated on Sony's website (many others which are completely different are mentioned all around the web) and from the duration of charging from a computer's USB port it seems the 950's battery is significantly stronger (how much it's hard to say, but maybe 50%-100%) than the T1's battery

I know why Sony went down the cheap route, but what I don't understand is why they narrowed the selection down to just one model. Obviously there are many people who want smaller and bigger models, and that's a practically untapped market since almost all competing e-readers are 6".
Well, according to the list above, for me the T1 has absolutely no advantages compared to the 950 except for price, while the 950 has major advantages in size, battery capacity and design.
So now I only have to decide whether to get ripped off now (cursing myself and Sony for not buying the 950 sooner when it was cheaper), or wait a long time for a much better model to come along (and it might a very long time indeed, since it seems the whole e-reader industry has set it's goals way lower lately).
If any of you have an idea on how to get a new 950 more cheaply I'm all ears...

EDIT2 :
Noticed many new auctions for PRS-950 on eBay today, but unfortunately mostly US only, and they're selling refurbished / used like new devices above MSRP (300$), that's insane ! Incredible how stupid Sony is, letting the money go to the resellers instead of them, they could just sell the devices at MSRP easily, instead of just pulling them off the market !

Last edited by Enkidu of Abydos; 09-20-2011 at 11:36 AM.
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