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Old 05-24-2009, 04:26 AM   #1
jgray
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I returned it

Somewhat sadly, I returned my recently purchased PRS-505 to Target.

After reading on it for a while, I found that the inverse flashing didn't bother me too much, nor did the somewhat slow paging. Using a larger font, I didn't even mind the screen size. What really killed it for me was the low contrast of the screen. In very bright light, the screen looks great. The thing is, I don't like reading under a flood light.

Right now, I am sitting in a room that has more than enough light to read a paper book without effort. This was still not enough light to give sufficient contrast on the Sony for me to read without some effort.

If it wasn't for the contrast issue, I would definitely have kept the Sony. I liked the form factor, light weight and very good epub rendering.

Oh well, here's hoping that the next generation eInk or other technology will solve this problem. Back to reading on the netbook.
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Old 05-24-2009, 04:33 AM   #2
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So sad you had to return your Sony

I've had mine since Christmas and love it. Are you sure that you didn't have a bad screen? I've not had a problem reading mine in lower than paperback needed lighting.
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Old 05-24-2009, 04:55 AM   #3
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That's very strange... Generally, if you have to struggle to read in your eink ereader, then you would have to do the same with your pbooks (except compared to those with bleached white paper in hardbacks or certain magazines).

Anyway, you should only read with a good light source. I'm not saying a flood light, but you should be near the light source. No dim rooms or whatever. That's common sense since paper writting exists.
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Old 05-24-2009, 08:40 AM   #4
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Had you considered getting the Sony cover with the build in side light? I read fine on my Sony with ambient light but lots have found the Sony cover very useful. Details here

http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...52921665480080
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Old 05-24-2009, 10:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreams View Post
Are you sure that you didn't have a bad screen? I've not had a problem reading mine in lower than paperback needed lighting.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Over View Post
That's very strange... Generally, if you have to struggle to read in your eink ereader, then you would have to do the same with your pbooks (except compared to those with bleached white paper in hardbacks or certain magazines).
These were both my thoughts too. The screen on the 505 picks up ambient lighting and diffuses it across the screen really well. I can comfortably read it in low light situations where I wouldn't be able to read a pbook.

Maybe a 700 with the built in lighting would be better for you?
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Old 05-24-2009, 03:50 PM   #6
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I have used mine in very low light rooms (too lazy to turn anything on) and have yet to find a place that affected my reading.

it's too bad it did not work for you but you might want to consider the bad screen thingy
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Old 05-24-2009, 04:26 PM   #7
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My 505 is also harder to read in very low light conditions than paper books. Unfortunately 505s aren't for sale in my country so I can't compare with another 505 in a shop and shipping it to Sony for a replacement and then possibly finding out that it works as intended is kind of expensive.
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Old 05-24-2009, 06:40 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by cassidym View Post
Had you considered getting the Sony cover with the build in side light? I read fine on my Sony with ambient light but lots have found the Sony cover very useful. Details here

http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...52921665480080
I just got my 505 along with with cover/lightwedge a few nights ago and read last night without any trouble at all. I'll admit I was a bit skeptical when looking at the device with light under normal daylight conditions, but in bed last night I had not a bit of a problem...and I am SO PICKY when it comnes to light and conditions (drives me crazy if I even have a eyelash hair on the page). It was an absolute pleasure to read in bed again!
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Old 05-24-2009, 07:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgray View Post
Somewhat sadly, I returned my recently purchased PRS-505 to Target.

After reading on it for a while, I found that the inverse flashing didn't bother me too much, nor did the somewhat slow paging. Using a larger font, I didn't even mind the screen size. What really killed it for me was the low contrast of the screen. In very bright light, the screen looks great. The thing is, I don't like reading under a flood light.

Right now, I am sitting in a room that has more than enough light to read a paper book without effort. This was still not enough light to give sufficient contrast on the Sony for me to read without some effort.

If it wasn't for the contrast issue, I would definitely have kept the Sony. I liked the form factor, light weight and very good epub rendering.

Oh well, here's hoping that the next generation eInk or other technology will solve this problem. Back to reading on the netbook.
Maybe a reader like the Jetbook would work better for you (I think the 505 has a great screen).
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Old 05-24-2009, 08:12 PM   #10
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Hello!
Sorry that you didn't like your Sony. I wonder if it wasn't just that particular unit as mine is very easy to read in low light conditions.
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Old 05-25-2009, 01:24 AM   #11
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I am thinking about a Jetbook. As to whether the screen was defective, I don't think so. I saw a Sony 500 on display in another store a while back. The store display was dimly lit and the contrast was rather poor. I took a chance on a 505, thinking that the screen was better. It may be, but to my eyes, the low-light contrast just isn't good enough. As I said, in bright light it is very readable. If it hadn't been for that issue, I would have kept the 505.

I did contemplate a booklight or lightwedge. Not only didn't I want to spend more money, but I felt that I shouldn't have to, just to make the device readable in average lighting.

I know many people love there eInk readers and have no problem with the contrast. I'm sure that this is somewhat subjective. For me, it just wasn't good enough.

Last edited by jgray; 05-25-2009 at 01:28 AM.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:45 AM   #12
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My 505 is also harder to read in very low light conditions than paper books.
I found my Reader (505) to be pleasant to read yesterday, lying in the hammock and enjoying a day of cool temperatures and bright sunshine (until the afternoon thunderstorms struck). Perhaps it does vary unit to unit.
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:16 AM   #13
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There are variations between units, but EInk does have an intrinsically lower contrast than (say) a paperback book. In low light conditions this can be mitigated by increasing the font size, but the PRS-505 only has 3 font sizes. Another strategy is to use a heavier font, see Font Family should help Contrast. This is again not as easy to do on the Sony Readers as some other devices. On the other hand, if you produce your own ebooks the Sony's give you complete control over the font and its size.

What I do on my EZ Reader using OpenInkPot is turn on "always bold", which significantly increases the apparent contrast between the letters and the background at the expense of no bold for emphasis.
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:20 AM   #14
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Even though I am generally happy with my new 505, I must also admit that I am a bit dissapointed of the contrast in low light conditions.
In bright daylight, the contrast is good and it is as if the background is almost white, but in in low light conditions the background is gray, and it is harder on the eyes than a normal paperback.
Unfortunately I'm in the same situation as "Who are you?". The device is not for sale in my country, so I ordered it from the US, so I'm not able to compare it with other 505's.
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:26 PM   #15
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I think I might go to the store where I purchased the 505& cover/lightwedge and see if they'll let me take the 700 into a darker stockroom and compare it to the 505 with wedge. Other wise I might just return the cover/lightwedge and use the old-but clear lightwedge I have already.
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