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Old 11-14-2007, 02:05 PM   #1
TheLongshot
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Buy a Sony 505 or a cheaper Sony 500?

Ok, my wife has requested a eBook reader. After looking around, I think Sony offers the best value for what it is, even with its limitations.

So, I noted that there is a new version of the Reader. I took a look at one at my local SonyStyle store and thought it was quite nice.

But today I stopped into my local Costco and noticed that they are still selling the 500. They sell it at $249 with $50 CONNECT credit, so it is a $100 value over the 505.

The question is, are the benefits of the 505 worth more than $100?

Jason
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Old 11-14-2007, 02:09 PM   #2
delphidb96
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Originally Posted by TheLongshot View Post
Ok, my wife has requested a eBook reader. After looking around, I think Sony offers the best value for what it is, even with its limitations.

So, I noted that there is a new version of the Reader. I took a look at one at my local SonyStyle store and thought it was quite nice.

But today I stopped into my local Costco and noticed that they are still selling the 500. They sell it at $249 with $50 CONNECT credit, so it is a $100 value over the 505.

The question is, are the benefits of the 505 worth more than $100?

Jason
First, check out the titles offered by Sony Connect against your wife's preferences/tastes. Also check out Fictionwise and Mobipocket for their title selection. If most of what your wife wants is in the Connect site, go for the 505. If not, but they are in the Fictionwise and Mobipocket sites, buy her a Bookeen Cybook Gen3. I know it's more expensive, but the title availability is much greater.

Derek
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Old 11-14-2007, 03:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLongshot View Post
Ok, my wife has requested a eBook reader. After looking around, I think Sony offers the best value for what it is, even with its limitations.

So, I noted that there is a new version of the Reader. I took a look at one at my local SonyStyle store and thought it was quite nice.

But today I stopped into my local Costco and noticed that they are still selling the 500. They sell it at $249 with $50 CONNECT credit, so it is a $100 value over the 505.

The question is, are the benefits of the 505 worth more than $100?

Jason
Only you can decide that but is cheap is the way you want to go then you may be able to sign up for a Sony credit card and get a 500 for $59 if the offer is still good. Check the Sony site and call about it.

The 505 compared to the 500. Both use the same books. The 505 has more color choices for the case, a brighter screen, faster page turns, more gray scales (8 vs. 4) for better images, a better connect interface to the Sony store, the ability to categorize books, the ability to connect to any USB port and look like a memory device, the ability to charge from a USB port.

I think that is it but hopefully someone will correct any errors.

Dale
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Old 11-14-2007, 03:56 PM   #4
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delphidb96,

To be honest, I haven't been able to find all that much information about the Bookeen. I only heard about it when I found this forum. There seems to be a lack of in-depth reviews, particularly since you've said they've updated the firmware recently. In fact, you mentioned something in that thread about posting an updated review, but I don't see it anywhere.

Personally, I'd like to have a device with more options, since one of the main reasons why she wants it is to raid the Baen Free Library, but I'd like to find out more about it before shelling out an extra $100 bucks (and hope I get it before Christmas, since it seems that they are backordered right now.)

Jason
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Old 11-14-2007, 04:34 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by TheLongshot View Post
delphidb96,

To be honest, I haven't been able to find all that much information about the Bookeen. I only heard about it when I found this forum. There seems to be a lack of in-depth reviews, particularly since you've said they've updated the firmware recently. In fact, you mentioned something in that thread about posting an updated review, but I don't see it anywhere.

Personally, I'd like to have a device with more options, since one of the main reasons why she wants it is to raid the Baen Free Library, but I'd like to find out more about it before shelling out an extra $100 bucks (and hope I get it before Christmas, since it seems that they are backordered right now.)

Jason
More options? As in what? Basically the Sony PRS, Hanlin V-series, NUUT 601, STAReBOOK STK-101 and Bookeen Cybook are functionally equivalent. Well, the current generations of each, that is, because the V3, PRS505 and Cybook Gen3 all have the newer Vizplex eInk display screen. As for ebooks, Baen, while being urged to do so, has *NOT* added Sony LRF to it's list of supported ebook formats. I note it *DOES* offer Mobipocket format and only the Cybook, of all those I've mentioned, offers Mobipocket support.

Derek
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Old 11-14-2007, 07:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLongshot View Post
Ok, my wife has requested a eBook reader. After looking around, I think Sony offers the best value for what it is, even with its limitations.

So, I noted that there is a new version of the Reader. I took a look at one at my local SonyStyle store and thought it was quite nice.

But today I stopped into my local Costco and noticed that they are still selling the 500. They sell it at $249 with $50 CONNECT credit, so it is a $100 value over the 505.

The question is, are the benefits of the 505 worth more than $100?

Jason
If you are in the USA, the 505 will cost you a bit less then the Gen3. With the gen3, you pay $350 and then $23 shipping. You do not get a case of any kind unless you order one to go with it and that ups the cost.

The 505 supports BBeB and the gen3 supports Mobipocket. The thing is, you can purchase books at the Sony Connect store or you can purchase MS Reader format books and use ConvertLIT to remove the DRM and then use lit2lrf to convert VERY VERY easily and you'll have books with NO DRM. So basically, you have more of a choice of books available via the Sony Connect Store and MS Reader format books.

Book Designer will create books for the 505 or Gen3. There are lots of books for the 505 in LRF and Mobpocket format (PRC). So getting lots of free books is easy.

As for the 500 vs. the 505, I know for a fact that your wife would enjoy the 505 better then the 500. I had a 500 and now I have a 505.
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Old 11-15-2007, 12:35 AM   #7
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The 505 compared to the 500. Both use the same books. The 505 has more color choices for the case, a brighter screen, ...
You summarized the difference pretty well, but I would describe the 505 with the Vizplex eink display as a whiter screen, not brighter. I also have found the improvement in contrast between the 500 and 505 screens to be a major improvement even if it is only a 20% official improvement. I brought a 505 last June after the price drop. After I saw the 505, I ended up buying a 505 for the better screen and design. The 505 is hardly perfect as there is a lot of room for improvement, but the EInk display readers are the first readers I ever considered worth getting just for reading.

Sony really should provide support for more formats in the Reader itself. But until then, I agree with JSWolf, I have found the conversion tools downloaded from the links in this forum to do a good job. I had good results converting the .lit format books I downloaded from Baen free books to the Sony .lrf format. Pretty easy to do. My biggest complaint with the books I got from the Sony Connect store is the wasteful large margins in the format, but that is not a Reader model issue.

The bottom line for me is that at even a $100 difference, I consider the 505 a better buy. Of course, a year from now, there will be better readers with we hope lower cost and improved EInk displays on the market. In the meantime, I will have used the 505 for a lot of reading of older free titles and some purchased books.
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