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Old 02-09-2009, 07:09 PM   #1
Staz
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Sony PRS-505 vs. Amazon Kindle for Technical documents

Hi there.

I have been intrigued by mobile ebook readers ever since I heard about the Amazon Kindle (the first one). I have finally saved some money together and am very eager to purchase one! After a lot of research I have narrowed my choice down to the Sony PRS-505 and the Amazon Kindle.

I am a university student studying for a degree in computer science. I often need to read technical books/manuals (usually in pdf or chm format) such as the O'reilly series or Cisco routing books. I understand that the iRex solutions (such as the Iliad) are best suited for this, but to be honest they are far too expensive for me.

I am happy to convert my books and I know there is an abundance of software out there to do so. Unfortunately there is a lack of photos showing the end results of converting technical documents for the various ebook reading devices. I would love to see some! Perhaps they could be added to the wiki?

So which of the two devices do you think would be better for me? Which have you had the most success converting pdf/chm for? I do of course intend to read novels on my ebook reader too, but I'm sure that none of them will have any trouble with this

Thanks very much.
Ben
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:11 PM   #2
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Hello, Staz, and welcome to MobileRead.

I can't advise you, but I can say you'll get great suggestions.


We have lots of books here for you to download if you feel the need to read something 'novel-ish'

Enjoy!
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:15 PM   #3
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We have used Amazon's converting service for about a dozen pdf files, 10 of them turned out quite good, 2 came back as unable to convert. At first I didn't mind converting books but now I hate it, rather just buy and read
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:27 PM   #4
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If the Iliad is too high for you...maybe take a look at the 700? I hear they are better with PDFs than the 505. Or if you know of some specific books check and see if they are available at Sony's ebookstore.

I know people who read PDFs prefer the Sony series over the Kindle. I'm not sure if the Kindle supports PDF or not.
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:28 PM   #5
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Staz, I am also a CS student and had the same requirements as you, as indicated in this thread and I decided to go with the iRex iLiad Book Edition which is the cheapest of the iRex devices. Honestly, in terms of screen size, it's pretty much a toss-up between the Sony Reader and the Kindle. However, I believe the Sony Reader has better PDF support and if you can get your PDF properly formatted for its screen, it would certainly look better than what Amazon could probably do.

See the thread above for screenshots of PDFs on the Kindle, kindly provided by Gideon.
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Old 02-10-2009, 04:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ervserver View Post
We have used Amazon's converting service for about a dozen pdf files, 10 of them turned out quite good, 2 came back as unable to convert. At first I didn't mind converting books but now I hate it, rather just buy and read
I'm living in New Zealand so I have no idea whether that service would be available to me. I would prefer to make the conversions myself. That way I can tweak the conversion settings to my liking.

If I was to get a kindle I could use pdfread to make the conversions.
If I was to get the Sony Reader I could choose between pdfread, soPDF and pdflrf.
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Old 02-10-2009, 05:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by lilac_jive View Post
If the Iliad is too high for you...maybe take a look at the 700? I hear they are better with PDFs than the 505. Or if you know of some specific books check and see if they are available at Sony's ebookstore.

I know people who read PDFs prefer the Sony series over the Kindle. I'm not sure if the Kindle supports PDF or not.
I seriously considered the PRS-700 but heard that the screen has noticeably less contrast and clarity. From what I can tell, the PRS-505 with the latest firmware update has pretty good pdf support. Can anybody tell me how it compares with that of the PRS-700?
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Old 02-10-2009, 05:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesiLinguist View Post
Staz, I am also a CS student and had the same requirements as you, as indicated in this thread and I decided to go with the iRex iLiad Book Edition which is the cheapest of the iRex devices. Honestly, in terms of screen size, it's pretty much a toss-up between the Sony Reader and the Kindle. However, I believe the Sony Reader has better PDF support and if you can get your PDF properly formatted for its screen, it would certainly look better than what Amazon could probably do.

See the thread above for screenshots of PDFs on the Kindle, kindly provided by Gideon.
I look forward to hearing your review of it! soPDF reformats pdfs for the Sony Reader. I will need to get a virtual windows machine running and give it a go. I am definitely tending towards the PRS-505. It's now a question of how on earth to get one to me here in New Zealand!
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Old 02-10-2009, 05:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Staz View Post
I seriously considered the PRS-700 but heard that the screen has noticeably less contrast and clarity. From what I can tell, the PRS-505 with the latest firmware update has pretty good pdf support. Can anybody tell me how it compares with that of the PRS-700?

General consensus is that if you've had an eink device before, you'll have a problem with the clarity, but if you haven't, then it doesn't bother you. That isn't always the case, but it seems to be the usual. I'd say if you could check one out in person, but it might be tough in New Zealand.
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Old 02-10-2009, 10:59 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by lilac_jive View Post
General consensus is that if you've had an eink device before, you'll have a problem with the clarity, but if you haven't, then it doesn't bother you. That isn't always the case, but it seems to be the usual. I'd say if you could check one out in person, but it might be tough in New Zealand.
I know of at least one New Zealander on this forum who has a Sony PRS-505. Unfortunately they live very far away from me.

In a conference I attended recently, the person sitting next to me had a kindle and let me have a little play. I was very impressed with the E-ink screen!
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Old 02-11-2009, 08:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Staz View Post
I know of at least one New Zealander on this forum who has a Sony PRS-505. Unfortunately they live very far away from me.

In a conference I attended recently, the person sitting next to me had a kindle and let me have a little play. I was very impressed with the E-ink screen!
It is awesome
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Old 02-11-2009, 08:50 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by DesiLinguist View Post
Staz, I am also a CS student and had the same requirements as you, as indicated in this thread and I decided to go with the iRex iLiad Book Edition which is the cheapest of the iRex devices.
Hello DesiLinguist, I've been reading a lot of post even that thread you point out. How is your experience with Iliad?, By its size and PDF support I like it very much, but I'm worried about all the bad things I've read about it. Poor support by the manufacturer, it seems very fragile, battery life not good, and so on.

I want to buy an eReader, but I don't know if it's better to wait several months until new versions be launched. Now the choices are Cybook, Sony or iRex products, but it seems iRex is not a good company although its products could be the best.
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Old 02-11-2009, 10:24 AM   #13
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Hello DesiLinguist, I've been reading a lot of post even that thread you point out. How is your experience with Iliad?, By its size and PDF support I like it very much, but I'm worried about all the bad things I've read about it. Poor support by the manufacturer, it seems very fragile, battery life not good, and so on.

I want to buy an eReader, but I don't know if it's better to wait several months until new versions be launched. Now the choices are Cybook, Sony or iRex products, but it seems iRex is not a good company although its products could be the best.
Eyp, I was reluctant to buy an iLiad for the same reasons as you: hearing pretty bad things about iRex in this forum. However, one must keep in mind that, in a forum, what we see is somewhat skewed. It is usual to read only things that go wrong with a product. Anyway, the more important thing is that the iLiad is the only device that does what I want an eReader to do: reads PDFs natively without any pre-processing, has a very active developer community and has a decent sized screen. I thought, given all these qualities, it was worth taking a chance on the iLiad.

I will be receiving the iLiad in a few hours today. I will post my impressions on the forum. I am sincerely hoping that I won't run into any problems with the new device and that my choice will be vindicated.
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Old 02-11-2009, 11:53 AM   #14
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I will be receiving the iLiad in a few hours today. I will post my impressions on the forum. I am sincerely hoping that I won't run into any problems with the new device and that my choice will be vindicated.
Thanks for the reply. Yes I know people who is happy with a purchase are not used to write about how good it is, simply enjoy it and live happy forever

Anyway I'd like you write your impressions within two weeks having used it or feel free to send me a private message if you can.
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Old 02-11-2009, 12:24 PM   #15
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I believe only the Kindle and iLiad have screen grab capabilities. Anything else would have to be a digital photo subject to skill and lighting. If you have a sample maybe some folks with 505's would be willing to give it a shot (no pun intended).

I think the Sony would be your best choice if you can't get the iLiad because pdf conversion of charts and graphs on the Kindle (Kindle 1) is not so good.
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