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Old 03-30-2009, 12:12 PM   #1
DaleDe
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The e-book challenge: Sony Reader PRS-700 takes on Amazon's Kindle 2

http://www.computerworld.com/action/...&source=NLT_AM

Computerworld article with an interesting subject.

Quote:
a lot of readers have adopted the Kindle with great enthusiasm. For example, a friend of mine, a teacher with a well-stocked library of texts and reference books -- and a small apartment -- has already gotten rid of most of his fiction collection, happily determined to read all his novels through the Kindle. I'm sure he's not the only one.

But the Kindle isn't the only e-book reader out there. Prominent among its rivals is the Sony Reader. The latest version, the Sony Reader PRS-700, was recently released and also offers an e-paper display. While it doesn't boast a 3G connection, it does have backlighting and a touch screen.

Both of these e-book readers cost around the same -- as of this writing, the Kindle 2 cost $359, and the Sony Reader PRS-700 was priced at $350 -- and both have their advantages and disadvantages. In order to find out which one suited which readers, I tried out both.
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Old 03-30-2009, 02:29 PM   #2
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I almost bought the Sony but the screen and its contrast turned me off to it... so I got the Kindle
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Old 03-30-2009, 06:18 PM   #3
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It hardly seems fair that he dinged the Sony for not being able to get Michael Chabon's Yiddish Policemen's Union. You can't get that for the Kindle, either.
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Old 03-30-2009, 06:50 PM   #4
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I'd say Sony is going to give Amazon a hell of a fight. They know how to take over a market over time.
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Old 03-30-2009, 06:56 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by kevindorsey View Post
I'd say Sony is going to give Amazon a hell of a fight. They know how to take over a market over time.
I have to say (whether you are serious or not) they are doing a damn good job considering the small amount of marketing they do for the device. They got the device in a major bookstore, advertized in major cities (where there are tons of commuters), and have been advertizing on reading blogs. Low level but high impact stuff.
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Old 03-30-2009, 07:15 PM   #6
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interesting comparison ; i like that the reviewer seems to manage to avoid the hype and gives a very straightforward review.

while the sony / amazon dichotomy is an obvious one actually there are quite a lot of upcoming devices which look great. i think actually it's better to have choices ; the more there are the better it is for ebooks in general and i'm happy to see more and more people discovering ebooks.

(oh, and it was great to see feedbooks mentioned. now somebody just needs to tell that guy about calibre. )
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Old 03-30-2009, 07:25 PM   #7
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Yes; also tell him that the screen's not backlit. You cannot backlight e-ink - it's opaque.
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Old 03-30-2009, 07:26 PM   #8
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I think that both devices in general are going to face steep competition. There is a lot of great hardware on the way, and I think these devices are only going to continue improving.
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Old 03-30-2009, 07:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevindorsey View Post
I'd say Sony is going to give Amazon a hell of a fight. They know how to take over a market over time.
Actually, Sony has been struggling the past couple of years. They're forecasting a FY2009 loss of over 2 billion dollars, and their Playstation is getting hammered by the Wii and Xbox. I hope they make it through these tough times because I really like their products.
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Old 03-30-2009, 07:59 PM   #10
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Actually, Sony has been struggling the past couple of years. They're forecasting a FY2009 loss of over 2 billion dollars, and their Playstation is getting hammered by the Wii and Xbox. I hope they make it through these tough times because I really like their products.
A Sony exec in France was kidnapped (Zelda? ) after a big layoff.

Quote:
Worldwide Sony is struggling to survive with tens of thousands of employees being laid off, factories being shut as consumers desert the brand.

In Australia where Sony have a PR team four times larger than any other major consumer electronics Company the Company has refused to comment on not only the sacking of staff in Australia but security measures surrounding Sony executives in Australia.
All this while Amazon stock is growing.
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:14 PM   #11
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A Sony exec in France was kidnapped (Zelda? ) after a big layoff.



All this while Amazon stock is growing.
Not really. They're down to 71.44 per share from a 52 week high of 91.75. Although they bounced back from a 52 week low of 34.68.

Even though Sony as a company is having a hard time (but most are right now), my point is the 505 is doing fairly well.

And for fun, Sony's stock info:
20.75 -1.52 (-6.83%)
Mar 30 - Close
Open 21.23 High 22.27
Prev close - Low 20.49

52wk high 52.36 Vol 2.49M
52wk low 15.64 Avg vol 2.31M

Mkt cap 20.82B Dividend 0.21
P/E ratio 22.53 Beta 1.45

Shares 1.00B Div yield 2.05
EPS 0.92 Inst own 12%
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Old 03-31-2009, 11:43 AM   #12
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Sony is doing well, to me, despite being up against the 800 lb gorilla of book sales. The Kindle has public awareness. Sony's readers do not. That's my experience in the wild. I get asked, "is that one of those Kindles?" frequently when spotted reading my Sony.
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Old 03-31-2009, 01:06 PM   #13
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I don't think it made enough of the content question. Sony reader is a nice piece of tech, but who cares if you can't get the books you want?
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Old 03-31-2009, 01:55 PM   #14
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I don't think it made enough of the content question. Sony reader is a nice piece of tech, but who cares if you can't get the books you want?
Gideon, do you know if there are books that most people might be interested in that are only available for the Kindle, as opposed to being available in a format that is either readable by the Sony or convertible to a Sony-readable format? (Not talking about price or comparing Sony store numbers to Kindle store numbers, just availability in the ebook marketplace.)

I may be wrong, but my understanding was that there are very few books that can only be read on a Kindle. I understand that more books, in raw numbers, are available at the Kindle store than at the Sony store, but for my buying, at least half of all the ebooks I have bought have been from somewhere other than the Sony store.
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Old 03-31-2009, 02:40 PM   #15
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The only books I've noticed that I couldn't get elsewhere were .tpz books but then they're usually the only ones I try to find elsewhere.
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