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Old 08-06-2009, 03:17 AM   #1
JEMelby
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Sony PRS 300 Musings

Ultimatly, this is just another "New Sony" thread. All the other threads have become a bit convoluted, and my issues are getting lost in the clutter - so here goes...

I grabbed a 500 early on, and loved it untill the day I smashed it getting out of a helicopter. I didn't hesitate to replace it with a 505 (after considering the Kindle-one that was available by then). I guess you could mark me as a Sony Fan because it is what I know, and I have had excellent results with most Sony products.

The only thing I longed for in an eReader that the past Sonys did not provide was a smaller form factor. I have been seriously considering offerings like the EZReader Pocket Pro and the Opus based on the size. Now, lo-and-behold, Sony offers a solution! Let me give my two cents:
  • No Card Slot: I have never needed to expand the memory on my 505, so no issue. I can still get 6 months worth of reading on it, and I suspect the 300 will be no different. Less nooks and crannies for dust and sand to infiltrate without the slots.
  • No wireless: I only hook it up to the computer every couple of months as it is. Wireless would be a wasted bell for me. The only caveat to this is that it might be nice to get periodicals downloaded while I sleep.
  • No case (maybe a sleeve?): After smashing my 500, I made a hinged, magnetically closed hard case out of maple for my new 505. it adds 3/8ths of an inch all around to the overall carry size. Anything less would not protect the device in my environment, anyway. I suspect I will construct a similar case for the 300. Maybe I'll use Kydex® this time. I'd love to see Pelican® do a custom case for the 300 - similar in concept to the i1080 that they made for the iPod.
  • Poor Button Placement: Ya... I'd have liked to seen two simple sets of page turning buttons, one on either side of the device. Scratch the number pad. The only time it's useful is when you are navigating the menues. Honestly, once I start a book, I generally read it from the first page to the last page. I'm pretty sure most other folks read the same way. For all the use that the number buttons DON'T get, I'd have thought Sony and others would have abandoned them by now. I suppose they are looking to touch screens as the future, and their next gen will likely do away with buttons all together (like the PRS 600) so why bother with a re-design today.
NOTE: Humor me for a moment and consider which buttons on your current reader get pressed the most. I would propose that the 'page advance' button gets 500+ presses for every one push of the 'page back' or 'menu' or 'number' buttons.
  • Engine? I have no trouble waiting a few milli-seconds for a page to update. The Epson® controller is getting plenty of raves, and would be a welcome feature on the 300, but it's not a deal breaker.
  • Color? Ya... would have been nice to get a 'slate blue' device, but the Sony-blue is plenty good.

The only spec that I have not been able to verify, and which might be a deal breaker is wether the device's shell is metal. All the other sony readers are metal, and the specified weight of the device certainly indicates that it is metal, but this is not VERIFIED.

Ultimatly, I am very glad that Sony is offering a device with these limited specs. It's good to have choices. The alternative is that EVERYONE offers the same "most popular" cookie-cutter bells and whistles, and you'd end up getting battery draining crap that you don't want or need. I need/want a device that is basic - only slightly smarter than a paper book

Last edited by JEMelby; 08-06-2009 at 03:22 AM.
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Old 08-06-2009, 03:53 AM   #2
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For me, ergonomics is the most important factor of a reader. If I can't hold it comfortably and read comfortably, it doesn't matter that the screen is the best, the controller is the best, etc. If they had put the same form factor of the 600 on the 300, I'd have had a hard time indead. The bezel is too wide. I don't mind the larger space on the bottom, but for me, the screen should go all the way to the edge of the device. And there should be a forward/backward button on the side, preferably on either side (this would help if you're reading in bed, and turn from side to side )

Put those numbers on the bottom and replace them with a forward/backward button (or scroll button) and it would have been perfect.
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Old 08-06-2009, 05:05 AM   #3
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I think the 300 is absolutely designed for folks like you who want a smaller form factor at a great price. We don't know about the button placement -- it could be that the device is narrow enough for that center button arrangement to serve well as page turns.
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Old 08-06-2009, 05:41 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetpea View Post
For me, ergonomics is the most important factor of a reader. If I can't hold it comfortably and read comfortably, it doesn't matter that the screen is the best, the controller is the best, etc. If they had put the same form factor of the 600 on the 300, I'd have had a hard time indead. The bezel is too wide. I don't mind the larger space on the bottom, but for me, the screen should go all the way to the edge of the device. And there should be a forward/backward button on the side, preferably on either side (this would help if you're reading in bed, and turn from side to side )
...
But how would you hold it one-handed, and push the side buttons if there is no bezel to hold on to? That's what I don't understand about having a very narrow bezel - nothing to hold on to and you'd have to use two hands?

It looks just small enough that the centre button fits most people - side buttons result in a more cramped hold if you only use one hand.
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:00 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Ea View Post
But how would you hold it one-handed, and push the side buttons if there is no bezel to hold on to? That's what I don't understand about having a very narrow bezel - nothing to hold on to and you'd have to use two hands?

It looks just small enough that the centre button fits most people - side buttons result in a more cramped hold if you only use one hand.
I somehow have no problems with that on my JE100. It has barely a bezel. And the buttons are on the side. Hmm, I'll have to see how I do that tonight


(naturally, my PDA is small enough to hold in my hand with my fingers wrapped around it, and I use the center button a lot too, I do like that one on the 300)
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:10 AM   #6
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If you have a 505, I don't see (at present) any reason to move to the 300.
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:04 AM   #7
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A very nicely reasoned and thoughtful take on your musings about the Sony 300.

Thanks!


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Old 08-06-2009, 08:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
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If you have a 505, I don't see (at present) any reason to move to the 300.
Perhaps, but he does mention the slightly smaller form factor from Sony as being a "solution" to what's he's ideally looking for in a Reader.


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Old 08-06-2009, 09:04 AM   #9
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I somehow have no problems with that on my JE100. It has barely a bezel. And the buttons are on the side. Hmm, I'll have to see how I do that tonight

(naturally, my PDA is small enough to hold in my hand with my fingers wrapped around it, and I use the center button a lot too, I do like that one on the 300)
I hardly ever use the side buttons on the Sony 505, because if I want to hold it one handed, it's an awkward and cramped position for my hand - and I always wished the Cybook had a centre button Ebook readers are certainly not one size fits all - or perhaps we are unusually critical here.
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:11 AM   #10
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I hardly ever use the side buttons on the Sony 505, because if I want to hold it one handed, it's an awkward and cramped position for my hand - and I always wished the Cybook had a centre button Ebook readers are certainly not one size fits all - or perhaps we are unusually critical here.
On my PDA, I use three of the four methods. The button on the right side, the scroll wheel on the left side and the big 5-way button on the bottom... I never use the touchscreen though (I'm often annotating and that often causes me going to a next or previous page...)
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:52 AM   #11
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To clarify, the 505 is TOO BIG [for me] since it doesn't fit in any of my pockets except the cargo pocket of my uniform (VERY vulnerable to knocks). That is why I am fairly well tickled that there are now three or four 5" readers to chose from. I am quite sure that the PRS 300 will have a metal skin, so that is the way I am currently leaning.

Spot on to the fellow that mentioned that the center button will likely be reachable with either the left OR right thumb. I be that will be the case.

As for my 505, I use the round bottom button with the left hand, and the right side buttons with the right hand.
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