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Old 09-02-2009, 03:53 PM   #1
Mayr
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Bebook vs sony prs-505 vs sony 300 (?)

Hello to everyone in this great forum!
I'm writing from Portugal (Europe) where I live.
I became interested in the ebook world when I saw a Kindle in a table next to me 3 days ago in a cafe. On the same day I returned from vacation and carried with me 6 books almost all with 500 pages and costing me about 22€ each one.
So i thought: That's it! I'm getting one.

After a 3 days marathon reading this great forum I'm still very confused with all this formats and where to get ebooks from, especially with all the "only for us costumers" thing...

So by now I have pre-selected 3 ereaders i think will meet my needs.
First the sony prs-505 which looks good and can handle a good type of files. My only reservation is that it has been around for a while (2 years) and with the launching of the new models I'm afraid sony will stop supporting it with new updates. I also ear something about a deficient support for books in epub format? Being the new supposed industry standard it got me thinking if I should buy the new prs-300 despite the smaller screen.
Any suggestions?

Leaving sony aside the bebook (or Hanlin or eco reader or whatever, Haven't quite figured out what's the latest and best model) has caught my attention has well because of the enormous file types supported and the ability to zoom in pdfs. Is this a good choice or is it one of those things that does ok in a lot of areas but doesn't excel in none?

I would like some input and suggestions because I'm filling quite lost in this new world.
My main requirements are a ereader in the 150/250€ range (cheaper if possible of course), mainly for reading books not technical stuff with a lot of images or tables.

Thank you in advance for any help you wana give this noob.

ps: I have an iphone (I actually co-run the largest and best () forum in my country about the device) and tried to read in it using stanza but it just isn't all that comfortable or practical.
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Old 09-03-2009, 07:33 AM   #2
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First of all, welcome!

Now, you've stated one of the best reasons to buy an ereader device (as if somebody would need a reason!)

I don't own an e-ink reader yet (just can't decide which one to pick...) but I'd like to clear something up about the Hanlin. Hanlin is the generic name of the device, and there are various companies that took the device and added their own software (OS) on it. Eco Reader is the name in Australia, EZReader in the States, BeBook in the Netherlands, etc.

(from our wiki: lBook V3, DigiBook Reader V3, Apollo-Hanlin V3, Walkbook, Papyre 6.1, BEBOOK, Astak EZ Reader, Kolibri V3, ECO Reader. )

So, the only difference is the software, the hardware is the same.

Most 6" readers are in the €250-€300 price range though.


If you don't mind settling for a 5" device, the Opus would also be a good choice (or so I've heard). And there will be arriving more readers before the year is out...
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Old 09-03-2009, 07:37 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetpea View Post
First of all, welcome!

Now, you've stated one of the best reasons to buy an ereader device (as if somebody would need a reason!)

I don't own an e-ink reader yet (just can't decide which one to pick...) but I'd like to clear something up about the Hanlin. Hanlin is the generic name of the device, and there are various companies that took the device and added their own software (OS) on it. Eco Reader is the name in Australia, EZReader in the States, BeBook in the Netherlands, etc.
To expand on that slightly: the devices are actually made by a company called "Jinke". Jinke sell them themselves under the "Hanlin" brand name, and also licence them to other companies who sell them with their own "brands" - BeBook, AzTak, etc. In most cases, the firmware of these "clones" is pretty much the same as that of the Hanlin "original" - eg all the Jinke devices use the same ADE implementation; all support more or less the same range of file formats, and so on. The firmware differences between the devices is very minor.
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Old 09-03-2009, 07:49 AM   #4
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Thank you for the clarification, and from what I read one cant install any firmware on the device from the other Hanlin clones.

But I would really like and opinion on the questions I asked about the best ereader for me.

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Old 09-03-2009, 08:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayr View Post
So by now I have pre-selected 3 ereaders i think will meet my needs.
First the sony prs-505 which looks good and can handle a good type of files. My only reservation is that it has been around for a while (2 years) and with the launching of the new models I'm afraid sony will stop supporting it with new updates. I also ear something about a deficient support for books in epub format? Being the new supposed industry standard it got me thinking if I should buy the new prs-300 despite the smaller screen.
Any suggestions?
The ePub support on the new Sony models is precisely the same as that on the older. All of them currently use an older generation of the "Adobe Digital Editions" software (the software used to display ePub and PDF books) that that which is used on most newer devices. It may be updated in the future, of course, but it's unwise to count on these things.

Quote:
Leaving sony aside the bebook (or Hanlin or eco reader or whatever, Haven't quite figured out what's the latest and best model) has caught my attention has well because of the enormous file types supported and the ability to zoom in pdfs. Is this a good choice or is it one of those things that does ok in a lot of areas but doesn't excel in none?
Your concerns are absolutely justified. The BeBook (and clones) display a lot of different formats, but none of them terribly well. Although they do use a newer version of ADE than the Sony does, it too has issues with ePub files in that it doesn't currently support internal hyperlinks within the book.

If the ePub format is important to you, the best implementation of it currently available is that on the CyBook Opus. The Sony, however, currently has a better PDF implementation than the Opus, if PDF files matter to you.
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Old 09-03-2009, 08:46 AM   #6
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Being new to the ebook world I still don't know what file types will be important to me.
But I plan to read mostly fiction book on the ereader since I have an iPhone If I want to read or browse any complex pdfs.

Is the bebook really useful because of all the files supported or the ones that the sony supports are enough for me to read (in the exact way I would read a real book) any book I want?
I mean, if I can read all the books available in the online stores in the native format or after converting in the Sony now and for years to come I think i'll go with the sony.

Does converting a file type in to another corrupt the book in any way or makes the text look strange for reading?

I would like to thank every user that has helped me so far, this really is a friendly and useful forum.
I have a lot of questions since I live in Portugal I can't go to a store and try one.
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Old 09-03-2009, 09:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayr View Post
Being new to the ebook world I still don't know what file types will be important to me.
But I plan to read mostly fiction book on the ereader since I have an iPhone If I want to read or browse any complex pdfs.

Is the bebook really useful because of all the files supported or the ones that the sony supports are enough for me to read (in the exact way I would read a real book) any book I want?
I mean, if I can read all the books available in the online stores in the native format or after converting in the Sony now and for years to come I think i'll go with the sony.

Does converting a file type in to another corrupt the book in any way or makes the text look strange for reading?

I would like to thank every user that has helped me so far, this really is a friendly and useful forum.
I have a lot of questions since I live in Portugal I can't go to a store and try one.
I believe Stanza also uses epub (correct me if I'm wrong!), so any reader that reads epub should work for you. And every single reader on the market today that doesn't run on a windows CE OS, can read epub or will be able to read epub in the future.

And I've never had problems converting books myself.
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Old 09-03-2009, 09:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayr View Post
Being new to the ebook world I still don't know what file types will be important to me.
But I plan to read mostly fiction book on the ereader since I have an iPhone If I want to read or browse any complex pdfs.

Is the bebook really useful because of all the files supported or the ones that the sony supports are enough for me to read (in the exact way I would read a real book) any book I want?
I mean, if I can read all the books available in the online stores in the native format or after converting in the Sony now and for years to come I think i'll go with the sony.

Does converting a file type in to another corrupt the book in any way or makes the text look strange for reading?

I would like to thank every user that has helped me so far, this really is a friendly and useful forum.
I have a lot of questions since I live in Portugal I can't go to a store and try one.
Concerning price:
For the 6" units, Cybook Gen3 is relatively cheap. You can have it for about € 230. Sony 505 in UK you can have for about € 200 (haven't seen it that cheap in Germany, where I'm from).
Because of the conversion rate, UK right now totally makes sense for purchasing.
So your price range up to € 250 won't be a problem, you don't have to go for 5" just because of price.

Concerning support:
Sony 505 won't be supported anymore, you don't even find it in Sony's webshop anymore. But in my opinion, that's no problem. There only has been 1 firmware update about 1 year ago, to support ePUB on Sony 505. I don't think, there will be significant changes in the business over the next 2 years, so the existing firmware should do just fine. And you always can convert to other file formats.

Concerning conversion:
The main obstacle is copy protection (DRM = Digital Right Management). You usually can't convert purchased books into other formats without circumventing the DRM protection. For Sony's proprietary BBeB format (.lrx), it's not possible yet. The other formats, like .epub, .pdf, .prc can be stripped from DRM though. Meaning: You can purchase these books and convert them into other file formats and use them on other readers.

Concerning your choice of readers:
I've got my Sony 300 3 hours ago. It's a nice enough unit, but honestly I don't see any advantage of it as a sole reader. To me, it's clearly a 2nd reader for the bathtub and other scenarios like that.
Personally, I don't like BeBook's design, Sony is just more appealing.
Personally, I'd go for Sony 505. Sony and Amazon are (and in my opinion will remain) the major players in the field, because of their additional (way bigger) revenue with content, whereas Hanlin, iRex and others solely have to rely on hardware sales. There may be changes in the business, but Amazon and Sony are the ones most likely to survive unharmed (perhaps even grow further).

Last edited by mgmueller; 09-03-2009 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 09-03-2009, 03:01 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by mgmueller View Post
Concerning price:
For the 6" units, Cybook Gen3 is relatively cheap. You can have it for about € 230. Sony 505 in UK you can have for about € 200 (haven't seen it that cheap in Germany, where I'm from).
Because of the conversion rate, UK right now totally makes sense for purchasing.
So your price range up to € 250 won't be a problem, you don't have to go for 5" just because of price.
True, it's a good time to order in the UK, but don't forget to add shipping costs to the total price then. And not all shops will send oversees either.
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Old 09-03-2009, 03:18 PM   #10
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You guys really make it hard not to buy the prs-505 hehe

I think I'll get one.
Being in Portugal where is the best place to buy a Blue Sony PRS-505? I suppose the UK is the best option, can you direct me to a shop that has it in stock and will ship it to here?

I already asked this in another post but can I buy books in the Sony online shop? Or do I need some kind of workaround since I'm not a US citizen?

Are the 3 font sizes in the Sony enough? I've seen other readers like the Cybook that have 12 font sizes...

Finally, what's the best format to read in the Sony prs-505 (besides the sony one of course)? Are the books in that format easy to find and convert to if necessary?

I think I'm done with questions now. I'll be waiting for some answers and other opinions. Thank you very much again for all your patience and helpful advise, you have gained a faithful user here.

Last edited by Mayr; 09-03-2009 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 09-03-2009, 04:47 PM   #11
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I think the three fonts are probably sufficient for most people. The small gets a lot of text on the screen and the large makes it easy to read at a fair distance. The only It might not allow you to get things exactly like you want them, but it will let you get a size you can read.

As for formats, LRF (BBEB) and ePub are the two formats of choice. Most new works will be available in ePub and Calibre can convert other books into the format of your choice as long as DRM is not an issue.

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Old 09-03-2009, 10:33 PM   #12
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I'm tired of looking for a Blue Sony prs-505 in Europe but can't seem to find one. Can anyone help me please?
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Old 09-04-2009, 03:58 AM   #13
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They aren't sold in Europe.
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Old 09-04-2009, 05:35 AM   #14
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The ones in blue?
not even in the Uk?
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Old 09-04-2009, 05:40 AM   #15
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Not even in the UK. We have silver ones and red ones, but no blue ones.
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