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Old 02-18-2009, 04:34 PM   #1
pengrus
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WARNING: Screen is so bad that...

I have read a ton of online review in the past week or so, and was so excited to order the Sony PRS-700. All the reviews warned the screen, and I thought, "what's the big deal??". Yeah, it could be blurry, but as long as I am not old, I should be able to read it. I so looked forward to receiving the new reader thinking about all the new benefits/features.

Well, I got it today.

And let me tell you. Within 5 minutes of playing with it, I am COMPLETELY SHOCKED by how bad the screen is. It is such a huge disappointment. Therefore, I want to warn you: DO NOT BUY IT, or you will regret it.

I am only 33 year old with good vision. But I feel serious dizzy after I looking it the screen for a few minutes.

Let me describe it for you in details. On youtube, there is some video show you a close up of the ebook reader, this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5wBUfVsnuU

For a few seconds, it shows the close up the screen with text displayed, and it looked fine to me when I watched the video.

But when I got it, the screen has a lot of reflection -> blurred reflection of your face, light plus the blurry of the text displayed! I cannot keep my eyes focused on it. The 505 screen background looks like grey, but the 700 screen looks like yellowish grey. I am viewing in my room, with no direct light.

And trust me, I tried several times when I write this message, and I just cannot read it. No words can express my disappointment. I am not a picky person, but to me, Sony completely failed on this model. I hope they can issue a recall to replace the screen. For me, I am going to return this product right away, and order a Kindle 2.

Too bad that I cannot enjoy this 700's PDF reflow feature. Oh, also wanted to let you know, the reflow just gets rid of the blank page resulted by the larger font, but the Table will be the same as 505 in which it got stretched and makes no sense at all. So you have to switch to small font, then you will be able to see the complete table and use the zoom to enlarge the table.


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Old 02-18-2009, 05:14 PM   #2
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We've been recommending people actually go and take a real look at these before they buy them. Especially if you had a 505 before. I saw one in a store and didn't think it was too bad, but I didn't play with it long. The people who aren't as bothered by it are usually not used to a previous eink device.
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Old 02-18-2009, 05:15 PM   #3
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You're $0.02...

Sorry you feel that way about your (blind?) purchase. Hopefully you can get
your money back.

I will say that I do believe you hold the minority opinion about the shortfalls
of said device. Unless you got a bad unit, I'd say you might have had too much
exposure to the non-touch panel type eInk displays giving you a false sense of
what to expect. Either way, everyone is entitled to o-pine, but to issue a grand
warning?
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Old 02-18-2009, 05:24 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by lilac_jive View Post
We've been recommending people actually go and take a real look at these before they buy them. Especially if you had a 505 before. I saw one in a store and didn't think it was too bad, but I didn't play with it long. The people who aren't as bothered by it are usually not used to a previous eink device.
Thanks for your reply. I usually use iphone and sony 505 for reading ebooks and PDF. Both worked very well.
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Old 02-18-2009, 05:25 PM   #5
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Either way, everyone is entitled to o-pine, but to issue a grand
warning?
I know it sounds extreme. But Sony really should put a warning label on their package that reads:

"This screen looks nothing like paper."
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Old 02-18-2009, 05:25 PM   #6
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Thanks for your reply. I usually use iphone and sony 505 for reading ebooks and PDF. Both worked very well.
Yeah I'm not suprised you had such a problem then. Very few people who upgrade from a 505 are happy with the 700. A lot of clarity is lost with the touch screen. I wouldn't be suprised if they rolled out a "new" version if they find a better solution to the problem.
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Old 02-18-2009, 05:25 PM   #7
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I sincerely hope you can return it. No one should be that unhappy with their new device.
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:16 PM   #8
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I sincerely hope you can return it. No one should be that unhappy with their new device.
Thank you, yes I was able to login Sony web site and create a Return case, and print out the return label. I need to pay the return shipping.

I think I will be happy with Amazon with 230,000 books, newspapers and magazines. If I get to keep a few classic books on the Kindle and refer to them all the time, and have the luxury of delivering the newspaper like Financial Times to the Kindle to read every day, I will be more than happy.

Thanks and I mobileread is a great web site.
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:44 PM   #9
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Pengrus--

Glad you're able to return your 700. And hopefully the Kindle2 will work better for you.

Don't know if the 700 you have was a faulty one or not...I do know that the clarity is less than that of the 505, but in my experience the 700 is still very readable. I have a 505 and my husband has a 700. I much prefer reading novels on the 505--because of the better screen, but I could live with the 700 if I had to. (My husband prefers his 700 because of the additional features--for him they outweigh the disadvantages.)

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Old 02-18-2009, 07:14 PM   #10
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I'll never understand why Sony went to a touchscreen. I think they should have added Wi-Fi and revamped their bookstore 100%

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Old 02-18-2009, 07:33 PM   #11
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I have demoed the Sony 505, 700 and the Jetbook together at J&R. I went in tonight to seriously look at the 700 that I had previously avoided because of price. I wanted all the features that it has over the 505. I agree with your conclusions and think that someone at Sony inexplicably botched the screen design on the 700.

The decision to go with a touch screen is not the problem that causes issues with the clarity, but it was the decision to use a matt finish which messed things up. I have used glare-reducing screens before on my Palm and have found that these finishes do not reduce glare but dull it and spread it out over a larger area using light diffusion. Therefore, there is actually no real overall benefit. However, the matte finish also reduces clarity and the farther away it is from the surface, the less clear it becomes. It appears that the touch screen surface on the 700 is quite a ways distant from the e-ink section. Had Sony left the surface clear, as Apple did on the iPhone and iPod Touch, I believe the glare would still be there but it would be much easier to manage since the reflected areas would not be so large and the clarity would not have been affected. Alas, it is doubtful at this point if Sony could admit the error and produce a new, improved one anytime soon.
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:30 PM   #12
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The decision to go with a touch screen is not the problem that causes issues with the clarity, but it was the decision to use a matt finish which messed things up. I have used glare-reducing screens before on my Palm and have found that these finishes do not reduce glare but dull it and spread it out over a larger area using light diffusion. Therefore, there is actually no real overall benefit. However, the matte finish also reduces clarity and the farther away it is from the surface, the less clear it becomes. It appears that the touch screen surface on the 700 is quite a ways distant from the e-ink section. Had Sony left the surface clear, as Apple did on the iPhone and iPod Touch, I believe the glare would still be there but it would be much easier to manage since the reflected areas would not be so large and the clarity would not have been affected. Alas, it is doubtful at this point if Sony could admit the error and produce a new, improved one anytime soon.
You nailed it! The matt finish was the cause of the blurry screen.

I also discovered that if my face is facing the light source, then the screen reflects a bright face, and that makes the screen unreadable. If my face is against the light source, the reflection is a dark face, and it reads better. Still, it looks nothing like a paper on this new matt finish screen. When I use a book reader, I suppose to read many books on it, and I want that "lost in book" enjoyment. With the 700 screen, you would have to tolerate (or fight) to get into it and focus.

I have searched a few of my favorite books in Sony store, and could not find it, such as the Security Analysis by Benjamin Graham. I think Amazon Kindle put newsletter on Kindle via 3G is a brilliant idea. I don't need to throw out piles of paper each week, and have access to it ANYTIME ANYWHERE.

I watched the interview of Jeff Bezos by Charlie Rose. Jeff's vision is so convincing and it puts so much personality to Kindle. Whereas Sony lacks that personal touch. It is marketing, but it is also about the passion and that special touch.
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:32 PM   #13
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I got to demo the 700 side by side with a 505 at Borders, and there is no comparison. The 505 has a much nicer display.
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:32 PM   #14
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I'll never understand why Sony went to a touchscreen. I think they should have added Wi-Fi and revamped their bookstore 100%
Agreed on the book store. I think once Amazon got it, it will be highly unlikely that Sony will catch up on this.
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:38 PM   #15
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Glad you're able to return your 700. And hopefully the Kindle2 will work better for you.

Don't know if the 700 you have was a faulty one or not...I do know that the clarity is less than that of the 505, but in my experience the 700 is still very readable. I have a 505 and my husband has a 700. I much prefer reading novels on the 505--because of the better screen, but I could live with the 700 if I had to. (My husband prefers his 700 because of the additional features--for him they outweigh the disadvantages.)

dordale
I hope it is a faulty one, otherwise, more people will be disappointed and had to go through the trouble. I can probably keep 700, but I am sure that I will not be calm if I read book on it.

The return costs me $16 (priority mail plus insurance). Amazon shines on this one, all the merchandise I bought through Amazon, they all provide free USPS shipping label for returns.
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