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Old 09-25-2012, 05:15 AM   #1
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PRS-505 what is the font size of "Large"

I am looking for an ereader for a 90 year old relative and have been given good advice in another thread.

The largest of the three font sizes on the Sony PRS-505 was still a little small for her.

Therefore when I am looking at other ereaders and I want to make sure they have a font size that is larger than the largest font availalble on the PRS-505

Therefore, does anyone know the point size of the largest 505 font?
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:26 AM   #2
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I am looking for an ereader for a 90 year old relative and have been given good advice in another thread.

The largest of the three font sizes on the Sony PRS-505 was still a little small for her.

Therefore when I am looking at other ereaders and I want to make sure they have a font size that is larger than the largest font availalble on the PRS-505

Therefore, does anyone know the point size of the largest 505 font?
Large is not a fixed point size on eReaders... it depends on font usage and book design as well...
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:40 AM   #3
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What elcreative said.

However, if it's of any help, I have a Sony T1. A document that was originally set in 8pt Times I estimate is roughly around 26pt at the largest font size in 'Original'. If you open Word and set piece of text to that size, you'll get a rough idea. 8pt, BTW, is quite small - most books that use Times are set at 12-14pt, so the increase from this original size would be correspondingly larger. For comparison, 'large print' is defined as a minimum of 16pt, and most are 18pt, so the large font of my Sony is considerably larger than a normal large print book.

The Royal National Institute for the Blind did a comparison of various e-readers and reckoned the Sony (T1, I presume) went up to 36pt. You can download the comparison table from their website: http://www.rnib.org.uk/livingwithsig...nts/Comparison of ebook reader features.doc

It might be worth (assuming your relative is housebound and can't see these for themselves) if you were to see what letters they can read on a size chart (there's one here: http://www.printingforless.com/Color...ign-Guide.html), and then compare the fonts on various readers against that size chart so you get an idea of what ones might be useful.
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:24 PM   #4
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What elcreative said.

However, if it's of any help, I have a Sony T1. A document that was originally set in 8pt Times I estimate is roughly around 26pt at the largest font size in 'Original'. If you open Word and set piece of text to that size, you'll get a rough idea. 8pt, BTW, is quite small - most books that use Times are set at 12-14pt, so the increase from this original size would be correspondingly larger. For comparison, 'large print' is defined as a minimum of 16pt, and most are 18pt, so the large font of my Sony is considerably larger than a normal large print book.

The Royal National Institute for the Blind did a comparison of various e-readers and reckoned the Sony (T1, I presume) went up to 36pt. You can download the comparison table from their website: http://www.rnib.org.uk/livingwithsig...nts/Comparison of ebook reader features.doc

It might be worth (assuming your relative is housebound and can't see these for themselves) if you were to see what letters they can read on a size chart (there's one here: http://www.printingforless.com/Color...ign-Guide.html), and then compare the fonts on various readers against that size chart so you get an idea of what ones might be useful.
Thanks that is really helpful (but the link did not work).

She has looked at the largest font on the 505 and it is a little small for her. She did read successfully from an Ipad. From that test I feel she could read a font that is "the next size up" (I know that is vague) from the largest 505 font.

I did your 26pt Word test. I think she will be able to read that size. I have printed out a couple of sheets of A4 in 26pt and will take it round to her to see if she can read it.


I am wondering if she will be able to read the menu on the T1. Is the font large, even better does it display large images of the front covers?

Last edited by vans; 09-26-2012 at 12:29 PM. Reason: Question about the menu
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:50 PM   #5
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Bother, it doesn't, does it? Well, if you Google 'rnib ereaders comparison', it should come up as the first result. It's a Word doc entitled 'Comparison of ebook reader features - RNIB'.

I've checked this for you, and unfortunately no, I can't see any way of increasing the size of the icons or the font on the home page in the menus. The home page wouldn't be a problem, I think; she'd probably get used to the position of the 'Books' button on that, but I think the display of book covers will be of little use, and if they're displayed by title, then it's only 12 pt Arial or thereabouts.

It's possible that other e-readers might have this function. If not, one way round this might be to have a magnifying glass to hand, so she can read the book title, and then have it set at a large font size for reading.

One other thing - most people with dyslexia find the grey e-ink screen a help, but people with poor eyesight can often find it a problem because there isn't very much contrast between the letters and the background. It is possible to change the shade of the background to a degree on the T1, but it's not a massive difference, so it's another thing you might want to bear in mind when you're looking at different makes.

Check out ease of navigation as well - I found a couple of mentions that e-readers with buttons (particularly a home button) were easier for older people to navigate, because they can always get back to the start if they get lost.

There's are some old threads here that might be useful as well: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39165
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=189317

and an Amazon thread:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-fo...x3A1M697XOPHYY
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:20 PM   #6
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You can actually change the size of fonts using calibre which will allow a larger display size than base sizes...
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Old 09-27-2012, 04:05 PM   #7
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Bother, it doesn't, does it? Well, if you Google 'rnib ereaders comparison', it should come up as the first result. It's a Word doc entitled 'Comparison of ebook reader features - RNIB'.

I've checked this for you, and unfortunately no, I can't see any way of increasing the size of the icons or the font on the home page in the menus. The home page wouldn't be a problem, I think; she'd probably get used to the position of the 'Books' button on that, but I think the display of book covers will be of little use, and if they're displayed by title, then it's only 12 pt Arial or thereabouts.

It's possible that other e-readers might have this function. If not, one way round this might be to have a magnifying glass to hand, so she can read the book title, and then have it set at a large font size for reading.

One other thing - most people with dyslexia find the grey e-ink screen a help, but people with poor eyesight can often find it a problem because there isn't very much contrast between the letters and the background. It is possible to change the shade of the background to a degree on the T1, but it's not a massive difference, so it's another thing you might want to bear in mind when you're looking at different makes.

Check out ease of navigation as well - I found a couple of mentions that e-readers with buttons (particularly a home button) were easier for older people to navigate, because they can always get back to the start if they get lost.

There's are some old threads here that might be useful as well: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39165
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=189317

and an Amazon thread:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-fo...x3A1M697XOPHYY

Thanks, yes I wondered about the grey background. That led me to thinking perhaps one of the new ereaders with "glo" technology.

My other thought was a cheap 7" android tablet. Perhaps if I removed all the apps and icons and just left a single large icon for a Kindle app (or similar). That way she would have lots of contrast.
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:57 PM   #8
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Better check what she prefers... I find extreme contrast hurts my eyes after a while and prefer eInk pearl for steady reading (hours) and only use tablet for heavily illustrated books/magazines for much shorter periods...
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Old 09-28-2012, 04:53 AM   #9
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You can actually change the size of fonts using calibre which will allow a larger display size than base sizes...
Oh, I didn't know that - how useful!
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:05 AM   #10
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Better check what she prefers... I find extreme contrast hurts my eyes after a while and prefer eInk pearl for steady reading (hours) and only use tablet for heavily illustrated books/magazines for much shorter periods...
Yes, I agree - it's worth trying out a number of different devices. I also much prefer the e-ink screen, but like elcreative, I read for hours at a time. An elderly lady might not read for such long periods and so the better contrast of a tablet might be more important than the possible glare. It really is very much an individual thing - I've shown tablets to people whose sight was very bad indeed, and they found the contrast on the Sony fine, as long as the font was sufficiently large, but I did find I had to adjust the contrast for a couple of them; I like it relatively dark, but most of them needed it to be quite a light setting.

I think your best bet is to try out as many as you can in the shop; either take her with you if she's able to travel, or else take measurements of the font sizes and once you've narrowed it down to the ones she can read, then see if you can get hold of the same devices to actually show her. Some libraries now stock them.

Does she qualify for any aid with assistive devices?

Last edited by LuvReadin; 11-04-2012 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 09-28-2012, 07:52 AM   #11
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Does she qualify for any aid with assistive devices?

I don't know.

She has recently been diagnosed as having macular degeneration. Today, I am taking her to the local hospital who have a specialist clinic that offers advice on dealing with the condition. If I get a chance I will ask the what they recommend.
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:16 AM   #12
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I don't know.

She has recently been diagnosed as having macular degeneration. Today, I am taking her to the local hospital who have a specialist clinic that offers advice on dealing with the condition. If I get a chance I will ask the what they recommend.
Just got back from the Low Vision clinic. The have an impressive range of really powerful magnifying glasses. They simply gave one to my relative at no cost (NHS)

I asked about ereaders and was told people with macular degeneration tend to prefer high contrast. Therefore, a tablet with a backlight tends to be preferred to e-ink. However, this is not always the case. I was told that recently a Kindle was preferred over an iPad.

So, I have learnt that the size on the font is not the only consideration, contrast is almost as important.


I think I will start a new thread asking for suggestion for high contrast large font ereader that are very simple to use.
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