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Old 07-11-2014, 08:19 PM   #1
Queentrudi
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Looking to replace my Sony PRS-350

Hi,

I have a Sony PRS-350 that I have had for about 3 years and am extremely pleased with. What I love about it are the following features:
* Physical buttons allow me to use it in all kinds of settings (e.g. by protecting it in a ziplock bag, I've used it both on the beach and in the bathtub), while at the same time it has a touch screen should I wish to use it (though I very rarely do)
* Lightweight and very small, I can easily hold it in one hand for hours on end and it's easy to bring it in my handbag
* The built-in dictionaries are excellent and a very useful feature for me as a foreigner (Scandinavian) when I read in English or French
* It supports ePub and PDF formats - ePub in particular is important as Amazon and the like have next to nothing to offer in my native language; PDF is nice to have but not essential
* Unlike my iPad, the eInk is easy on the eyes so that I can read for hours without any strain

So why am I looking to replace it? Well, in addition to my current device getting old/worn in general, I miss two features in particular: wi-fi and front- or backlighting (LED or similar). While I don't mind using Caliber to upload books onto my device, it would be nice to have the option of buying a book on the fly, hence the wi-fi (3G is not important though). As for the lighting, I'd like to be able to read in bed at night without disturbing my partner. That being said, I'd like the ability to disable both features as I want to save battery capacity as much as possible.

So what do you recommend? Is there anything out there that combines the great features of my existing device with wi-fi and LED-lighting? Price is not a consideration, I read so much that a good device will be worth it whatever the cost.

Thanks a lot for any input you might have!

Last edited by Queentrudi; 07-12-2014 at 05:05 AM. Reason: Both front and backlighting would be acceptable to me
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Old 07-12-2014, 10:03 AM   #2
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The short answer is no....

The Kobo Mini is the only one as small as your 350 but it doesn't have buttons nor a front light (and not as good dictionaries, I'm *pretty* sure only the Kindle's and Sony's have such good dictionaries).

The Kobo Aura has a front light, and despite having the bigger 6" screen, is pretty small and neat so probably fits the bill in terms of size, but it doesn't have buttons (and again it's dictionaries aren't as good quality as the Sony).

Perhaps something like the Pocketbook Touch Lux 2 is an option, even though it's not anywhere near as small and compact (I'm not sure what the dictionaries are like on it though, and am unsure of buying books via wifi)?

Edit to add: e-ink with built in light is front-lit only, backlighting is for TV's, smartphones and tablets like your iPad. Unless you have the battery up quite high on your e-ink ereader, the affect on battery life is fairly minimal, you'll still get a couple of weeks and more use out of it, even if you use the light all the time.

Last edited by soulfuldog; 07-12-2014 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 07-12-2014, 09:18 PM   #3
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soulfuldog is right. There isn't a reader that has everything you're looking for. So there will be some kind of trade off. The Onyx Boox t68 might be a good option. It's front lit and has both manual page turn buttons and a touchscreen. It's 6.8 inches (which is a bit larger than the 350). It supports epub and since it's open and runs Android, you can download ebooks from a variety of vendors using different apps. I'm not sure how good its dictionary is.

Last edited by faithbw; 07-13-2014 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 07-13-2014, 05:08 PM   #4
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That incredibly rare Sony PRS-350 seems to be available new from Amazon for $128. I've been considering buying one myself.

Last edited by bobstro; 07-13-2014 at 05:16 PM.
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Old 07-13-2014, 05:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faithbw View Post
soulfuldog is right. There isn't a reader that has everything you're looking for. So there will be some kind of trade off. The Onyx Boox t68 might be a good option. It's front lit and has both manual page turn buttons and a touchscreen. It's 6.8 inches (which is a bit larger than the 350). It supports epub and since it's open and runs Android, you can download ebooks from a variety of vendors using different apps. I'm not sure how good its dictionary is.
It doesn't have a dictionary built in: dictionaries come with apps, so install the Kindle App, and you'll get the Kindle dictionaries, for example.
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Old 07-13-2014, 06:37 PM   #6
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It doesn't have a dictionary built in: dictionaries come with apps, so install the Kindle App, and you'll get the Kindle dictionaries, for example.
That's good to know. Thanks!
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Old 07-15-2014, 02:33 PM   #7
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If you don't mind losing the physical buttons and having a 6" size, I'd recommend a Kindle Paperwhite 2. It has a frontlight, wifi, a nice touchscreen which you'll soon get used to, and it's eink.
However, and here's the snag: it's not epub. You could convert books using Calibre, but only if the epub doesn't have the new DRM. I imagine you've researched all the possible sources of mobi books in your language and come up dry, so this could be a problem with this reader.
Worth considering.
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Old 07-16-2014, 06:51 PM   #8
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I think a PW2 is a fine device, but not very well suited for OP.

- No buttons so not great in the plastic baggie scenario.
- Amazon store was stated to be unsuitable
- Will feel large and heavy for someone used to a 350

I don't know if Sony's T3 is still available in Europe, but that is close. It has a 6" screen, but the overall device is small and light (though plastic). Wifi, epub, pdf, dictionary support with buttons.

It doesn't have a light, but lighted covers are available (I've never seen one used in real life though)

You could also possibly go with Kobo's Glo or Aura. They support epub and dictionaries and have built in lights. No buttons, but depending on the exact plastic bag you use, you might still be able to swipe and touch the screen. They are roughly between the Sony and Kindle in size and weight.
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Old 07-17-2014, 07:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I think a PW2 is a fine device, but not very well suited for OP.

- No buttons so not great in the plastic baggie scenario.
- Amazon store was stated to be unsuitable
- Will feel large and heavy for someone used to a 350

I don't know if Sony's T3 is still available in Europe, but that is close. It has a 6" screen, but the overall device is small and light (though plastic). Wifi, epub, pdf, dictionary support with buttons.

It doesn't have a light, but lighted covers are available (I've never seen one used in real life though)

You could also possibly go with Kobo's Glo or Aura. They support epub and dictionaries and have built in lights. No buttons, but depending on the exact plastic bag you use, you might still be able to swipe and touch the screen. They are roughly between the Sony and Kindle in size and weight.
I agree that it sounds like the OP isn't interested in a Kindle, but I do want to say that the PW is able to be fully used while encased in a ziploc bag. My Kobo Aura HD, on the other hand, doesn't work well in the ziploc. Maybe it's the capacitive vs IR touchscreen? If so, then the 6 inch Aura should work fine, as I believe that's a capacitive screen.

Shari
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Old 07-18-2014, 07:36 AM   #10
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Thanks a lot for your input, it's greatly appreciated and confirms my suspicion that the "perfect" product hasn't been developed in my case, so some compromises will have to be made. Having thought about it and also done some research of my own, I've narrowed down my list of essential features to just three, namely ePub, frontlighting (thanks for the clarification, soulfuldog!) and wifi. The ePub requirement effectively rules out the Kindle PW for me, nice though it otherwise is, while the wifi and frontlighting means that I won't be getting another PRS-350 or the Sony T3, which would otherwise have been my default choice since I really like my current Sony and it's easy to get hold of here in Europe.

As for the rest of my wishlist I've downgraded it all to nice-to-have status: while I really like the buttons on my PRS-350, it sounds like a capacitive touchscreen will work with a ziplock bag which was the main reason I wanted to keep the buttons (I'm already used to touchscreens from my iphone, ipad etc. and will no doubt get used to it in no time when I buy a new reader). I'm also willing to go up in size to 6" though smaller is still better as far as I'm concerned. Lastly, I can always google words I don't know, especially if my new device has wifi, so the dictionaries are truly nice to haves but nothing more.

I'd already been looking at the Kobo Aura, but am now more than ever convinced that this might be the solution for me, so thanks again for your input! I will definitely be checking out the Onyx and the PocketBook Touch before buying a Kobo, though, as I hadn't heard of these brands before and they look like they might fit the bill for me.

Thanks again for your input!
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Old 07-18-2014, 08:06 AM   #11
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If you're edging towards the Kobo Aura, it might be worth waiting for a couple of months to see if Kobo announce an updated version. Similar to the original Paperwhite and the PW2 Amazon released within a year, there is room for improvement in the Aura's screen (Kobo's first attempt at a capacitive touch screen). Particularly as its had a price cut, and it appears to be out of stock at Kobo in the UK and Aus/NZ, it seems likely they will release an improved version later this year.

Although if you get the chance to look at one and are happy with it, now is the time to see if you can get it cheaply!

Last edited by soulfuldog; 07-18-2014 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 07-25-2014, 06:44 AM   #12
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That sounds promising, soulfuldog, will cross my fingers and give it until Christmas before I cave in and buy a new device then!
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