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Old 02-28-2009, 04:09 PM   #1
doc_oli
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My first day with my new gadget!

Hi folks,

after surfing around in the internet for quite some while, I made a decision yesterday and bought a PRS-700 at the Sony Style store at Scottsdale, AZ.

Why this device?
I'm teaching at a university and have to read tons of papers all the time. And (important requirement) I need to annotate them. I wanted a touch screen device because I love this type of input. I own a Fujitsu Lifebook P1610 for travelling and a HTC touch pro mobile phone. Both gadgets have touch screens.

After reading all these posts, in particular, the ones complaining about the display of the PRS-700, I went to the shop with an SD card filled with about 20 pdf documents and several MP3 files to check this out. I had a variety of documents from one to three columns, research articles, two dissertations, several converted Powerpoint files with hundreds of slides. And what shall I say most of them worked fine and were readable without any problems. I even had a file with page scans which has around 40 MBytes. No problem.

What did not work:
- 3 column document with several pictures is fine in the full screen (text size S). As soon as you switch to reflow mode it gets weird and parts of the text are missing or in the wrong place.
- I converted a 20 page Word file with several pictures to the rtf format. The result was a 300 MByte monster where the PRS-700 froze. I had to reset it. Comment: The pdf version of the file did not show any problems.

What is annoying:
- Landscape pdf files (like sets of slides): In portrait mode the use only half of the screen. I switched to landscape and what happened? Instead of presenting one slide per screen, it is converted to two screens which means that it either fills the upper or the lower half of the screen and the other part of the screen is empty. This makes no sense at all. Does anybody know how to change this? For the moment this is no big deal for me because I can even read most of the stuff in portrait mode but this should be fixed.

What I like:
- The reader is small and light. It's easy to carry it around. Much better than all these tons of paper I usually have to carry around.
- It is readable in bright sunlight. Arizona! This will not work with my mobile phone and with less comfort with my Lifebook (where the screen is actually designed to work outdoors).
- Run time is great. If I would use my laptop or mobile phone for reading ebooks/pdfs I would have to charge them after a few hours. Compared to these devices the reader runs forever.

Miscellanea:
- Downloaded about 40 of the 100 free classical book from the Sony bookstore. Worked without problems.
- The MP3 player is quite ok. I tested it with some R&B and Hiphop tunes, and was surprised about the good sound. The PRS-700 also shows all information, even the album covers which I added to the MP3 files. Nice!
- Next thing I will test is how I can transfer my annotations from the PRS-700 to my computer.

Summary:
So far I'm quite happy with the purchase. It fits very well to my requirements. For my taste, the screen is good enough for stressless reading (and I do not need wireless access while reading or for downloading books).

Cheers,
Oliver.

Last edited by doc_oli; 02-28-2009 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 02-28-2009, 04:12 PM   #2
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Congrats on your new 700! Perhaps you should consider looking at BookDesigner (a free program) to turn Word documents into LRF, so you won't have reflow problems.

Sounds like something is wrong with the landscape mode, but since I never use it someone else will have to confirm that for me.
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Old 02-28-2009, 06:19 PM   #3
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you might also take a look at calibre, a library management app which will also handle format conversions and rss feeds. for the 700, i recommend using the epub format whenever possible. i've got one too and i agree, it's brilliant. enjoy it.
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Old 02-28-2009, 06:53 PM   #4
doc_oli
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I installed the two progs calibre and BookDesigner and will have a look at them soon. Thanks for the help!
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Old 02-28-2009, 11:17 PM   #5
doc_oli
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I found a rather straightforward solution for the weird landscape mode behavior of the pdf slides: I just turned them by 90° to the left, i.e., from landscape to portraít.

To make more use of the screen real estate, I cropped the margins of some pdf documents.

I used Adobe Acrobat Pro for both tasks.
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Old 03-01-2009, 01:30 AM   #6
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doc_oli--

When you get a chance, you should check out the books that have been uploaded to this site. Tons of them in Sony LRF format (most if not all of the classics available from the Sony store and many more)--but in my opinion with much better formatting.

Enjoy your 700!

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