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Old 01-10-2008, 12:13 PM   #1
rhadin
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Consumer Reports Review of Reader

Consumer Reports reviewed the Sony Reader in December. Here is a link to the article (and hoping it will work for everyone): http://tinyurl.com/2dssk8.

CR also reviewed the Kindle in November: http://tinyurl.com/2ybqrw.

Last edited by rhadin; 01-10-2008 at 12:16 PM. Reason: To add Kindle review link
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Old 01-10-2008, 12:58 PM   #2
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Link works. Cracks me up though.

Clearly the reviewer has no clue the physical screen is identical to the Kindle (excepting grayscale levels), that font size varies by book, that other book formats can be converted, and that there ARE size limits with the memory cards. They didn't live with it long enough to ignore the page flash, which happened for myself and my wife quickly.

Why don't they ever get real experts to write these reviews? Oh well, better than no publicity at all.
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Old 01-10-2008, 01:14 PM   #3
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The reviews were very helpful for me, especially where CR says the Sony is NOT for the visually impaired. Sony specifically advertises their PRS-505 for the sight-impaired, and I am personally dealing with them on that issue.

Does no grayscale on the Kindle affect the reading of an eBooks OR is that only a consideration when viewing PDF files?
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Old 01-10-2008, 01:21 PM   #4
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So it sounds like they played with it for half an hour & decided to write a review.

Quote:
Disconcerting delay. When you move from one page to another, the screen doesn’t refresh instantly. Instead, the old page disappears and is momentarily, and distractingly, replaced by a negative image of the next page (that is, white print on a black background) before the new page settles in. The process takes about a second—not fatally long, but hardly ideal.
It took me about 30 pages of the first book I read on my Reader to get used to the page flash. Maybe it really bothers some of you?



Quote:
Display quirks. While you can view PDF files, you can’t zoom in on them, so the contents of the page are virtually unreadable. The display can show only a few shades of gray, so photos have a grainy, dithered look, albeit a better one than on the first-generation Reader.
Guess I didn't buy mine to display photos on, but I didn't think they looked to bad when I looked at the sample images. It displays PDF just fine if it's a 3.54" x 4.72" PDF and not an A4/Letter size one. A zoom & scroll feature would make some sense for viewing larger PDFs



Quote:
Missing features. There’s no built-in light, which could come in handy when there’s not much ambient light. We didn’t have enough light to read in a dimly lighted commuter van, for example. A search function to enable you to find a specific passage or phrase would be useful as well.
A light wouldn't be a bad thing, but so far (about 60 books) I haven't missed one. A search function might be useful, although I'm not sure how useful. I see all these 6" readers as fiction readers & I don't see needing to search a fiction book. For reference material it would be useful, but these readers aren't really ideal for anything but fiction IMO.



Quote:
Minimal Mac compatibility. Downloading purchased books to the reader still requires Sony’s software, which only works in Windows. The reader’s storage system shows up as a USB memory device on whatever computer you plug it into, so Mac users might be able to transfer unprotected files (such as PDF and Word documents) to their Reader.
This is one area I think all of the readers could be better. I don't see what's so hard about making their software cross platform.



Quote:
And while you can only buys books for the Reader, the Kindle allows you to subscribe to newspapers and magazines, which download wirelessly to the device
You can get magazines for the Reader, just look at Fictionwise. Newpapers? I guess, in the sense that you can't buy a subscription. libprs500 does a nice job with the NY Times (only one I tried) IMO. For daily news I can see the wireless feature of the Kindle being nice.
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Old 01-10-2008, 01:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crusader666 View Post
Does no grayscale on the Kindle affect the reading of an eBooks OR is that only a consideration when viewing PDF files?
The Kindle does have grayscale; it's just less than the 505. For reading purposes it doesn't matter.
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Old 01-10-2008, 02:39 PM   #6
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A reasonable review, no complaints that I haven't heard from others.
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Old 01-14-2008, 11:38 AM   #7
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View of Consumer Reports Plummets

My view of Consumer Reports has plummeted after skimming the article.
Did they mention Sony's RSS feeds? I don't believe they did from my quick skim,
and for that reason I can't believe it. I'm not sure they mentioned other ebook sites like Gutenberg.

Wow.
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Old 02-23-2008, 09:20 PM   #8
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I love that they call in an "e-book."

Here I said as much.

It indeed seems that many reviews of these things are done by not so savvy people with a very limited exposure to it. Of course, that could be the case with all gadgets, and we are simply a bit sensitive of our lovely e-ink babies. ;-

Last edited by Cthulhu; 02-23-2008 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 02-24-2008, 05:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnemicOak View Post
You can get magazines for the Reader, just look at Fictionwise. .
How do you use fictionwise for the Sony Reader? I assume you need to do a conversion. What is the best format to use for conversion and which tool?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-24-2008, 05:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donnageddon View Post
How do you use fictionwise for the Sony Reader? I assume you need to do a conversion. What is the best format to use for conversion and which tool?

Thanks in advance.
No, you don't need a conversion. Fictionwise offer Sony LRF in their "mulltiformat" items, which includes the magazines.
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Old 02-24-2008, 09:22 AM   #11
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Harry's correct about the Multi-format books, but you can also purchase .lit format books, even DRM .lit files, and use software mentioned in other threads on this forum to remove the DRM and then convert the .lit file using libprs500.

Fictionwise is a terrific site, especially for authors who are fun to read but who haven't been able to crack the vicious world of the big publishers.
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Old 02-24-2008, 10:14 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by dhbailey View Post
Fictionwise is a terrific site, especially for authors who are fun to read but who haven't been able to crack the vicious world of the big publishers.
One neat thing about Fictionwise is that they offer short works as well as full novels.

This can lead to amusing side effects. One author friend reported doing a random "vanity" Google, and discovering he had a book out he wasn't aware of. He has short fiction available through fictionwise. His contract with them permits them to assemble a collection of his short work and issue it as a collection, and they did so, They just hadn't mentioned it to him.
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Old 02-25-2008, 03:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
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No, you don't need a conversion. Fictionwise offer Sony LRF in their "mulltiformat" items, which includes the magazines.
I did not realize this! Thanks, HarryT. It looks like my last reason for using my EB-1150 has disappeared.

But I will keep the EB-1150, I still love that thing!
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Old 03-20-2008, 06:37 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Cthulhu View Post
I love that they call in an "e-book."

Here I said as much.

It indeed seems that many reviews of these things are done by not so savvy people with a very limited exposure to it. Of course, that could be the case with all gadgets, and we are simply a bit sensitive of our lovely e-ink babies. ;-
I think both the review and all the criticisms leveled against it are fair.

The review is fair, because you have to remember that most people do not have the understanding of computers to use software like libprs500. A review in something like consumer reports is intentionally designed to address the "average" consumer, not people with technical expertise.

In that sense the Kindle currently comes out a bit ahead for the average consumer, since by default it has more functionality then the PRS505. Sure, almost all of that functionality can be duplicated on the 505, but I wouldn't expect my grandmother to be able to do it. I bet she could figure out how to get newspapers on the Kindle though.

The criticisms are fair though also, since for technical people a lot of the issues they raise are really non-issues. If you're computer savvy you'd be better off reading a review someone posted here. The page turn thing is a bit silly, but maybe some people would be annoyed by that. It never bothered me at all, not for a second. My only thought was that it was interesting that they reset the entire screen before re-displaying, and wondered if there would be artifacts if they just updated the to be updated pixels.
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Old 03-21-2008, 12:28 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crusader666 View Post
The reviews were very helpful for me, especially where CR says the Sony is NOT for the visually impaired. Sony specifically advertises their PRS-505 for the sight-impaired, and I am personally dealing with them on that issue.

Does no grayscale on the Kindle affect the reading of an eBooks OR is that only a consideration when viewing PDF files?
Hugh!! If the file/book is created with the visually impaired in mind it can be quite adequate. Indeed you can go slightly overboard and produce books with rediculous font sizes. Going a bit overboard and you could end up with...

(see attached file)
Attached Files
File Type: lrf Easter Vigil Gospel .lrf (1.48 MB, 210 views)
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