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Old 07-03-2009, 10:18 PM   #1
sonicbuddha
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Change my mind from Sony PRS-700

I've been seriously considering a ebook reader for my technical books for a long time. I'm a frequent visitor of this site to search for options and look for new technologies. I was seduced by the first blush of the PRS-700, its touch screen, ability to highlight and take notes, support many of the formats that I need supported. I listened to the criticism of the foggy screen and, as a good consumer should, I looked for myself. It was true. And so I've waited, watched new potential ereaders pop up- but not yet materialize. Over months, my patience has worn thinner than rice paper and so, here I am.

I'm asking- convince me of another option or that something new is really just barely around the corner. My priorities (and non-priorities):

Important:
Ability to display PDFs.
Ability to highlight same.
Ability to search both books and, hopefully, highlighted texts.
Ability to load and manage my own, non-DRM'd books.
A price that is reasonable (ie does not compare to purchasing a netbook or tablet laptop, which I already have)
Ease of use (which means simply that I can open and read, close and suspend, reopen and read again)
Reasonable battery life as would be expected from a ereader device.
Local support, from the vendor, the company, and from the community (I am in California)

Not so important (but nice):
Wifi
Note taking
Mac support
Touch screen

Ruled out (because of the above):
Kindle: (due to limitations on my own library)
Iliad: (price, overseas vendor thus difficult return and support, end of life firmware, lack of suspend, lack of PDF highlighting)

Shortcomings of PRS-700:
Lack of Mac support
Foggy screen
Buggy firmware support for highlighting and notes

Please, show me alternatives, correct me where I am wrong, tell me of something worth waiting for.

Many thanks.
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Old 07-03-2009, 11:14 PM   #2
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If you're looking to read technical docs then the clear choice by far is the Irex Iliad, its the only reader that allows you the proper versatility to view PDFs that are in A4 formats (flipping the screen and zooming). The 700 from what I understand does not have zooming as the Iliad does where you can select an area to zoom into. The price for the Iliad is the only real downside, however if you check on this forums flea market or on ebay you can find Iliad's for cheaper than the brand new version, its worth a look. I've had an Iliad for about a year and a half now and I love it, I had a sony 500 before but I hardly ever use it anymore and the Iliad is now my sole reader. I just ordered the DR1000S because my technical/textbook collection is increasing so I'd rather have a dedicated large ebook reader than zoom but I'll still be using my Iliad for my everyday readings.
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Old 07-03-2009, 11:24 PM   #3
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I am a proud and joyous owner of a PRS 700. That said, I would never recommend it to someone wanting to use it for technical books, especially PDF technical books.

Looking at your set of criteria, I imagine you still have a little (I hope just a little) wait on your hands.
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Old 07-03-2009, 11:30 PM   #4
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I think you might be better off with an ultralight notebook where you can use a full version of Adobe Acrobat. I can't think of an e-reader currently on the market that's versatile enough to do all you want it to do.
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Old 07-03-2009, 11:33 PM   #5
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You could hold off a couple more months for Pixel Qi which said they expect to release a device in the fall, who knows if thats true or not but I think a netbook with their screen would be the ultimate solution for technical readings
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Old 07-03-2009, 11:57 PM   #6
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I think your clear choice ought to be the DR 1000s. About 80% of my total e-book reading is done through the PDF format, and going with anything smaller than my DR's 10" screen seems virtually impossible now that I have it. I simply cannot imagine doing it.

I know that highlighting text is an important feature, and it's one that I would enjoy as well, but being able to write on the screen and have your note stay with the page is equally useful.

Yes, iRex is overseas in Holland, but their main vendor in the US, www.ereaderoutfitters.com, is in Pleasanton, CA.
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Old 07-04-2009, 10:09 AM   #7
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I thought the same thing but since they were unsure about the Iliad's price I figured the DR1000 would be a no go. I think if they took the plunge and got the DR1000 it would fit their needs perfectly and they probably would not regret it if they wanted to read mostly technical docs, if you're reading regular books a smaller reader would fit the bill better but the DR1000 would own any reader in the technical docs arena
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Old 07-04-2009, 11:54 AM   #8
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The DR1000S is the clear winner, thus far, for displaying and annotating PDFs. Really the only "downside" is the price but, as with most things, you get what you pay for.
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Old 07-04-2009, 05:45 PM   #9
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Well, actually, I'd say that there are more downsides than just price for the DR1000S, which is nearly as expensive as expensive as my Lenovo tablet (which does everything, but is too big and heavy and has a comparatively short battery life). Its also that I'd have to send it overseas to be repaired if it failed or broke. The larger models, although its nice to have such a big screen, aren't as portable. And are the highlighting or suspend problems resolved? If not, its just a larger reader.
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Old 07-04-2009, 07:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonicbuddha View Post
Its also that I'd have to send it overseas to be repaired if it failed or broke.
I tend to view this in the same way that I do extended warranties. I don't go into a purchase assuming that it's going I'm going to break it. Yes, everything has a lifespan, and things do break or malfunction, but I refuse to allow the possibility of a malfunction somewhere down the road inhibit what I do.

Quote:
The larger models, although its nice to have such a big screen, aren't as portable.
Since you haven't said what type of e-books (university text books, regular fiction, RPG's, something else?) you intend to use this device for, none of us can really speak to this. I can tell you that I use mine for RPG's nearly all of which are 8 1/2" x 11", so my DR 1000s is FAR, far more portable than a half dozen of those.

If you're going to use to display normal fiction books, then getting a Sony and converting all your PDF's might satisfy your needs at a much cheaper price, but if you need a text book size screen, then the Sony really won't accomplish what you want.

Quote:
And are the highlighting or suspend problems resolved? If not, its just a larger reader.
I've had mine close to 7 months and haven't had an suspend problems, so I'm not sure about that.
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Old 07-05-2009, 12:55 AM   #11
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I'm sorry, I thought I said I'll be reading technical books (programming, system administration) in the first post. These books are usually of standard size, not large 10".

I'm to understand that iRex products do not suspend, but require a shut off/turn on sequence. Also, what I have read is that you cannot highlight but only annotate PDFs. Finally, that they possess a short battery life.

Lastly, I'd like to purchase something I can return if I don't like or if it doesn't work for me. And, although I've been on board with your philosophy of full steam ahead and damn the consequences, such as in buying Japanese electronics, but burnt once... shame on me. Or something like that? I have actually used my extended warranties, with much satisfaction.
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Old 07-05-2009, 03:16 AM   #12
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Ah sorry, you did say technical books, but didn't indicate what size they are.

Alrighty then, you ought to get a Sony. BTW, you know Sony is a Japanese company, right?

Otherwise, I did say earlier that iRex Outfitters is located in Pleasanton, CA, and that's where (as I recall) you would return the DR for a refund if you dislike it.
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Old 07-05-2009, 05:16 AM   #13
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I'm thinking netbook is the way to go for your situation.
I have medical pdf's and that is the best way for me, I have the prs-505 I bought a few weeks ago and I love it, and I have an acer 8.9 netbook I bought a month ago. I'm in same situation and use pdf advanced stuff. So my prs-505 is for my pdf's that I can convert to epub or sony format , which works for me. What I love about the prs-505 is calibre free software , so I can make default font size 20 and the zoom 3x that on any of my stuff.
Like you I didn't want to spend 400-500 dollars for these ebook readers if I could pick up a netbook for 200 dollars! So I got the sony for 200 from borders and I liked it so much, I picked up another from sony deal for 150.
The Screen on prs-505 is so nice, and it takes 1/2 second to turn on and I'm reading lots more than with my netbook. Some of my tech stuff can be used on prs-505 , but for all the graphic intensive stuff I use my netbook or notebook for.
The prs-505 has double the forum posts of all the other ebooks on this board, probably because some of us picked it up cheaper then the other brands and it is made solid and looks good. Screen is very nice.
Iliad sounds like cool device but for 500-600 hundred dollars , it is more expensive and I could pick up 3 netbooks for that price and they seem sold out on their website.
Maybe stuff coming out the next few months will fit the bill for you, but then again the PRICE will be High because it is new. The prs-505 has been out for longer time so price came down.

Last edited by richman; 07-05-2009 at 05:18 AM.
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Old 07-05-2009, 05:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonicbuddha View Post
I'm sorry, I thought I said I'll be reading technical books (programming, system administration) in the first post. These books are usually of standard size, not large 10".
Pretty much any PDF book has a page size too large to display on a 6" device. Cut out a piece of paper that's 90x120mm in size (the screen size of a 6" reader) and place it on the page of one of your books. Now take an A5 sheet of paper (the size of the DR1000's screen) and try that. The difference in size is considerable!

Quote:
I'm to understand that iRex products do not suspend, but require a shut off/turn on sequence. Also, what I have read is that you cannot highlight but only annotate PDFs.
I'm not sure what distinction you're making between "annotating" and "highlighting", I'm afraid. The DR1000 lets you "draw" on the page with the stylus. You can circle something of interest - ie "highlight" it - or you can write your own comments on the page - "annotate" it.

Quote:
Finally, that they possess a short battery life.
I read on my DR1000 for 2-3 hours a day, and recharge it perhaps once every 3-4 days, at which point the battery life is about 40-50%. You should get 12h out of a battery charge, which personally I'd consider to be entirely respectable. It's certainly more than enough to get you through a day's work.
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Old 07-05-2009, 05:50 AM   #15
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Yeah, but the dr1000 is 850 dollars!
https://www.irexshop.com/product_inf...products_id=69

It seems like excellent product but the price is very high!

So let's see, prs-505 for 200 dollars or dr1000 for 850 .
battery life on prs-505 3 weeks with 1,000's of page turns or 12 hour on dr1000.

Harry seemed to suggest product that would meet your needs if the price is not too high for you.

I'm still thinking netbook for tech stuff and prs-505 for causal stuff and tech stuff that can be converted into the way that works for you. (200 plus 200 netbook and prs-505). Or go 850 for Ilaid dr-1000. What is your choice!
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