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Old 02-24-2009, 12:00 AM   #1
csskkai
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Red face Should I upgrade from a 505?

I've heard many bad things about the glaring screen... is it really that bad?
I have a new 505 right now, and my sister wants to either buy her own or buy it off me. If I get the 700 instead, and let her buy my 505, it would not cost me too much.
But will I be happier with the 700?
I don't care that its screen is not as good as an iliads(which is what a lot of people are saying), but compared to the 505, is it worse (because really, I've only gotten use to the 505 and not and iliad anyway)? And if so, how much worse?

In YOUR opinion, should I upgrade :] ??
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Old 02-24-2009, 12:25 AM   #2
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I would only upgrade if the 700 has some feature that you 'must have'. The screen doesn't look as good as the 505's IMO.
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Old 02-24-2009, 12:46 AM   #3
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Hi csskkai, I don't own either reader, but I'm trying to decide which one to get, and I've probably logged a couple of hours in the local Sony store by now, comparing the devices.

(today was my sd-card "PDF test" day)

I will be blunt, the screen on the 700 is very noticeably worse than the 505's. The "ink" is not as black and the "paper" is not as white. It's also lacks the nifty "paper grain" appearance of the 505, possessing instead a textureless surface that reminds me of my old Palm IIIx PDA's screen.

I think my Palm IIIx actually looked better, in fact. It had better contrast.

It's really heartbreaking, because while it looks significantly worse, it's clearly still useable. It's not like the text is invisble or looks like it's half-way towards vanishing from the page. I'll just say this much: the 505 was the first e-Ink display I held in my hands, and I was smitten. It's why I'm even on this forum. If on that day, I had only held the 700 in my hands, I doubt I'd have wanted one. It just wouldn't have triggered my gadget-lust.

As for the glare, yes there is more glare, but it's not that bad. It's not like those glossy laptop screens. I only wish the new MacBooks could have as little glare as the Sony PRS-700.

Also, glare is a part-time problem. Yes, it can happen and it can annoy you, but you can generally fix that by tilting the device a couple degrees in some direction. The low-contrast screen has no remedy and you have to deal with it all the time. But then again, it's not unreadable by any means (unlike a glare-filled screen would be).

It's just really, really frustrating that Sony couldn't have made the 700 with a screen like the 505. Hopefully there will be a 705 that combines the best features of these two devices, and when that happens it may well be the best reader out there.

If you don't need need to enter text (i.e. search or use its clumsy (I hear) annotation features) and/or you don't desperately need PDF zooming/panning, I'd say stick with the 505. It's better for pure reading.

To put it another way, the 700's screen isn't "bad", but it's clearly the worst screen of any e-Ink reader. I just find it hard to want, on that account.

Last edited by sigma8; 02-24-2009 at 12:50 AM.
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Old 02-24-2009, 01:18 AM   #4
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hmm so it it's even less of a white screen than the 505?? Because the first thing I noticed about the 505 when I bought it was that the white wasn't white, more like a gray, and the black wasn't really black, but more like darker gray. But that didn't really bother me anymore.
But wow, it got worse?

Also, I read mostly in bed, so the light feature is ideal... but you could always just buy a separate book light, no? So that's not really a deal breaker for me... but still pulling me in ;]

Ah and PDF zooming would be very useful.......

And I doubt I will ever be reading in direct sunlight all too often. I just don't see that happening.

I'm still terribly torn. My 505 is perfectly fine... but I don't want to miss and opportunity for an upgrade either.

hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.....................
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Old 02-24-2009, 01:31 AM   #5
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I'd wait.....for the Wi-Fi Sony reader
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Old 02-24-2009, 01:36 AM   #6
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The general consensus would be "no"
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Old 02-24-2009, 03:41 AM   #7
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No, as if you're used to the 505, the 700's screen will be disappointing.

If you'd been new to eInk, then you'd have been OK, as the screen's simliar to the 500, which, while not as good as the 505, is perfectly adequate.
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Old 02-24-2009, 11:10 AM   #8
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Old 02-24-2009, 11:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwynevans View Post
No, as if you're used to the 505, the 700's screen will be disappointing.

If you'd been new to eInk, then you'd have been OK, as the screen's simliar to the 500, which, while not as good as the 505, is perfectly adequate.
I still have my 500. I did not feel that the 505 was wort the effort or money required to change. Both the 505 and the 700 will give you a great reading experience. While screen quality is important, it should not be the sole criteria for selecting either unit.

Go to a store, hold them in your hands, turn a few pages. Which unit feels better. After a day or so your eyes will adjust to the screens, if the unit is awkward to use you may never adjust.

It is a lot like picking a camera. Some feel right in your hands while others do not. Even if a unit has great specifications, if it is not right in your hands you will never use it it fully. Yes, the 505 has a better screen than the 500 or the 700; but, I feel that the controls make it awkward to use. The 500 is natural for me and the first time I picked up the 700 it felt like I had been using it for years.

Also the OS on the 700 is far better than the OS on the 505. (Speculation has it that a future release of the firmware for the 505 will update it to the 700's level. Never buy a unit based on what the manufacturer might do in the future.)

Good luck.
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Old 02-24-2009, 12:34 PM   #10
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My dang 700 is still not here!!! So while I've been waiting I've been agonizing about my choice. The screen is a big difference. Online it doesn't look like it, but if you go to Borders and check it out, it's huge. One looks like e-ink, and one doesn't.

I decided on the 700 for the features, but I have to admit I'm starting to second guess myself after seeing it. I really want a kindle, but I want collections and sd. I also want the annotation feature... if I could design my perfect reader, it would be the kindle (connectivity, pop up dictionary, amazon's collection of books), but with better pdf support, an sd slot and folders. I feel bummed that no matter what I have to settle on something.

Now I'm wondering just how bad it would be to live without organization, because the kindle hype today has me totally jealous.

Anyway, to me the 700 screen doesn't look like e-ink, which kills some of the cool new gadget fun, but it had the best combo of features that I absolutely had to have. If it's readable as I get used to it, it will do just fine. If it causes eye strain, I'll have to get something else. If it ever gets here I'll update with how it reads in long stretches.
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Old 02-24-2009, 02:29 PM   #11
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I have a 505 and want a 700. I think that once you start using the device, you will be fine with it. I've seen the 700 screen and it's fine. Yes, it's not quite as crisp, but it has some great features, and because of that, there needed to be some compromising on the screen. Appreciate the 700 for what it is...it's not a Kindle, but like you said, a Kindle falls short of the 700 in an array of features that many people want. Someday, there may be a common trajectory with Sony and Kindle features, but for now, each holds a particular niche.
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Old 02-24-2009, 04:51 PM   #12
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I haven't tried the 700 yet. I don't like the idea of having to touch the screen I am trying to read from. It's kind of like reading with glasses that have fingerprints all over them. Uuuuugggghhhhhhh!!!!
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Old 02-24-2009, 05:15 PM   #13
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I've compared the two a lot and am not tempted at all to upgrade. Now, were I to need a reading light for most of my reading, I'd be tempted to switch to the 700 with its built in light.
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Old 02-24-2009, 06:13 PM   #14
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I don't like the idea of having to touch the screen I am trying to read from.
When you're reading, you can turn pages with buttons. Of course, you have to use the screen to get to the book, no other way for navigation.

I have both 505 and 700, both are good devices. Any time I have 700 next to 505, its screen looks bad. If you're going to compare them all the time, 700 will lose. But when you're done with comparison and start using it, 700 is quite readable. I read at least 2 hours a day, usually in public transportation and at night, no eye strain. It's great to have the light, and screen looks better with it.

And I love thumbnail view (instead of list), it's just cool to see covers, it reminds me a real book shelf.
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Old 02-25-2009, 01:05 AM   #15
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Another point--you don't need to use your fingers to use the touchscreen. The reader does come with a stylus that you can use instead.

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