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Old 03-03-2008, 12:14 PM   #1
NatCh
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And in this corner! -- Sony/Amazon "Cage Match!"

Sony PRS505 meets the Amazon Kindle 1.X in a no holds barred knock-down, drag-out Domestic Disturbance!

We've had several good comparison pieces on the differences between these two devices, but this one brings a new facet into the question: husband/wife divide. It's a well written piece, with spirited discussion on all sides, and gets extra points for both style and its detailed look at the points that people who use the devices care about.

Will it finally settle the question as to which is better? Probably not, but it might help you decide which would be better for your needs, which is even better.

Some passages I particularly enjoyed:

On the Kindle:
Quote:
One of the downsides of both the readers is that they are tied to the manufacturers’ stores (everyone wants to be like Apple’s iTunes). The difference here is that books on the Kindle cost less. When my wife and I compare prices for the same book, it is typically a couple dollars cheaper on my Kindle. I assume as competition increases, Sony will get their prices in line, although once you are locked into their platform all you can do is hope. Another cost saver is that Amazon will send you the first 20 or so pages of books in their store for free as a sample. The samples show up instantly and give me a chance to see if the book is going to be any good before I buy.
On the Reader:
Quote:
Amazon shows the Kindle on its website as being as thick as a pencil. I don’t think so! And once you put it in its humongous case, forget about it. You may as well be carrying a 600 pg novel around with you! In contrast, the Sony IS as slim as a pencil and the sleek leather case adds about only 1/3 of an inch.
Of course neither writer is without their blind spots. For example, one bashes Sony for DRM and format locking, but he doesn't comment on the fact that Amazon sure seems to be doing exactly the same things. While the other phrases things more in terms of what she doesn't like the Kindle as much as the Sony, rather than why she likes the Sony more (a subtle distinction, but there you go).

In any case, the discussion does an nice job of highlighting several relative merits of the two machines, making it a good reference piece for those trying to choose between them.



The full piece can be found here.

Thanks to both Kingston and Stacy for pointing it out to us!
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Old 03-03-2008, 12:36 PM   #2
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One of the downsides of both the readers is that they are tied to the manufacturers’ stores
Perhaps someday we will see a manufacture's store independent device...
Oh wait! I forgot about the Cybook and Iliad. Seems like both Bookeen/NAEB and iRex have to start doing commercials, if they ever want to be recognized by the blind masses :/
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Old 03-03-2008, 01:02 PM   #3
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Actually, the Gen3 uses a proprietary format as well. So it's out given the tone of the article.
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Old 03-03-2008, 01:02 PM   #4
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Perhaps someday we will see a manufacture's store independent device...
Oh wait! I forgot about the Cybook and Iliad. Seems like both Bookeen/NAEB and iRex have to start doing commercials, if they ever want to be recognized by the blind masses :/
Actually you are totally correct. Few people have heard of Cybook and Iliad. In our mass consumer society, shiny ads and commercials are what make the sale.

Not saying that is how things should be, but it's how things are. Except for us in geekdom, I wouldn't count on masses of people recognizing what an Iliad is. Heck, "ebook readers" are still pretty much unknown--even with ads. I think Amazon stepping into the fray will finally start to change that. The Kindle is on their front page and the it was on the cover of Newsweek. I think it's a good thing--I don't think Amazon is the devil like a lot of others. I think they have a great product and I'm glad they have the money to promote it.

But on the other hand, Bookeen does seem to be selling out of the Cybooks pretty regularly, so would they even be able to keep up with demand if droves of people started snapping them up?

Last edited by tsgreer; 03-03-2008 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 03-03-2008, 01:13 PM   #5
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What I find endlessly amusing is the number of folks we have here who found us by searching for info on the Kindle. Many of them seem to end up buying one of the other devices available (once they learn about them here) .
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Old 03-03-2008, 01:16 PM   #6
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What I find endlessly amusing is the number of folks we have here who found us by searching for info on the Kindle. Many of them seem to end up buying one of the other devices available (once they learn about them here) .
Yeah, it does seem like we have taken on a lot more new members lately. This is a good thing!
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Old 03-03-2008, 01:18 PM   #7
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A very good thing.
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Old 03-03-2008, 01:48 PM   #8
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What I find endlessly amusing is the number of folks we have here who found us by searching for info on the Kindle. Many of them seem to end up buying one of the other devices available (once they learn about them here) .
Don't forget the other side of the coin. I found this website long before I registered and made my decision. This site provided me with an overview of all the different readers available in the marketplace. At first, I found the website by searching up PRS 505. However, my purchase, after browsing various readers, is Amazon Kindle. I had to say I hesitated because some readers (I think it's Hans), have the ability to view text aside from English. That is something I desire, and hopefully Kindle will eventually incorporate this function.
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Old 03-03-2008, 01:49 PM   #9
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The article (specifically, the comments by the missus) allude to one of Kindle's greatest weaknesses: The fact that there's no place to see it before you buy. For me, seeing a $400 device, touching it, getting an idea of the quality of the manufacture, is key before I purchase it.

(Of course, given Kindle's looks, and the missus' comments, maybe keeping it out of stores was the idea all along... )

But although I agree with many of her points about the Sony, I'm still waiting to see it come down in price!
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Old 03-03-2008, 03:35 PM   #10
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I felt moved to leave a comment over there and finished by saying this:

I guess any E Ink reader is a great gadget to own. It’s nice that the debate has now reached the stage of “which one should I get?” rather than “should I get one at all?”
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Old 03-03-2008, 03:36 PM   #11
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Between the Kindle, gen3, and 505, I'd buy the Kindle last and the Gen3 once most of the known bugs are fixed. But the 505 is nice.
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Old 03-03-2008, 04:35 PM   #12
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Absolutely nothing new here: this has all been hashed and rehashed on this site. My sense is that there is no "winner" in such a "contest" since the owner of a device is going naturally to set out to justify its purchase. All these devices are too expensive, because the screens (the same, BTW, on both the Kindle and the 505) are tied to one manufacturer. I could live with either one, though the Sony killer for me is the lack of a search function (this is the one constant advantage of an ebook over a pbook). Wireless is a good feature but not essential (and for those of you so hung up on what Amazon charges, bear in mind that you can for free read mobile versions of the NYTimes and the WSJournal and other publications on the web as you can most of the blogs). Eventually there will be better readers too.
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Old 03-03-2008, 05:11 PM   #13
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My sense is that there is no "winner" in such a "contest" since the owner of a device is going naturally to set out to justify its purchase.
You're right of course. The only real "winner" I hope for at present is for those who read them to be able to tell in advance what will or won't work for them.

I also join you in looking for better reading devices in the future.
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Old 03-03-2008, 05:29 PM   #14
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The article (specifically, the comments by the missus) allude to one of Kindle's greatest weaknesses: The fact that there's no place to see it before you buy. For me, seeing a $400 device, touching it, getting an idea of the quality of the manufacture, is key before I purchase it.
But the 30-day return policy can take care of that. After using my Kindle for about 2 weeks, I was in a Border's store this weekend and had a chance to handle the Sony PRS 505. There were some things I liked about it and my conclusion was that I could be happy if I owned one. But ... until the prices are equivalent across the various formats, I'm delighted with my Kindle.
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Old 03-03-2008, 05:45 PM   #15
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But the 30-day return policy can take care of that.
That certainly eases things some, but I didn't think it covered return shipping. If not, then it still costs some to try it no matter what.

Better than nothing, certainly, but still a bit less engaging than being able to walk into a store.

Of course, most places you can't walk into a store and see any of these readers before-hand, so for those who don't happen to be near them, they're all "buy before you try," so I guess the Kindle arrangement isn't all that awful after all, huh?
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