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Old 09-08-2009, 05:31 PM   #1
fishcube
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decisions...Sony 300 or Amazon Kindle 2nd gen ????

So, what are the advantages/disadvantages of both? pros/cons?

video comparing both?

I am trying to decide between the two.

thanks
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Old 09-08-2009, 10:21 PM   #2
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I have had the Kindle in the past and I just purchased the Sony 600.

While the Kindle is a good device, I felt I would go the Sony route for a few reasons.

First, the Sony allows you to borrow ebooks from your local library. This I see will be a great source of saving money on many books.

Second, the Kindle is a slave to the Amazon master. If the Kindle was open the Amazon would be wonderful.

Third, from all I have read and from my experience with the Kindle the Sony appears to be a more durable and nicer looking piece of equipment.

Fourth, I feel the touchscreen feature of the Sony is more intuitive to use and much easier to use. On the kindle you had to move the arrow to the word with the little joystick. Not too bad, but kind of a irritating thing to deal with. WIth the Sony you double tap the word and the dictionary comes up.

Fifth, the Sony allows for annotations, and onscreen highlighting.

Sixth, the Sony has memory slots for SD cards as well as Sony memory sticks. This will allow for more books than you could ever read in a live time.

Now the big selling points of the Kindle of course is the source of books from Amazon. Thus far I have been able to get all the books I want for my new Sony 600 from the Sony store.

Also the Kindle has the whispernet which allows you to download books instantly. I found this a little too easy to buy too many books! But in truth I found the feature to be nice but in reality not that big of a deal as I am near my laptop, home computer, or work computer most of the time.

In closing it should be noted as well that some have problems with the Sony screen as it seems to have less contrast and seems to give of glare. I have done some research on the web and I came to the conclusion that the contrast is not that as bad as some are making it sound.
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Old 09-08-2009, 10:30 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shrktank View Post
I have had the Kindle in the past and I just purchased the Sony 600.

While the Kindle is a good device, I felt I would go the Sony route for a few reasons.

First, the Sony allows you to borrow ebooks from your local library. This I see will be a great source of saving money on many books.

Second, the Kindle is a slave to the Amazon master. If the Kindle was open the Amazon would be wonderful.

Third, from all I have read and from my experience with the Kindle the Sony appears to be a more durable and nicer looking piece of equipment.

Fourth, I feel the touchscreen feature of the Sony is more intuitive to use and much easier to use. On the kindle you had to move the arrow to the word with the little joystick. Not too bad, but kind of a irritating thing to deal with. WIth the Sony you double tap the word and the dictionary comes up.

Fifth, the Sony allows for annotations, and onscreen highlighting.

Sixth, the Sony has memory slots for SD cards as well as Sony memory sticks. This will allow for more books than you could ever read in a live time.

Now the big selling points of the Kindle of course is the source of books from Amazon. Thus far I have been able to get all the books I want for my new Sony 600 from the Sony store.

Also the Kindle has the whispernet which allows you to download books instantly. I found this a little too easy to buy too many books! But in truth I found the feature to be nice but in reality not that big of a deal as I am near my laptop, home computer, or work computer most of the time.

In closing it should be noted as well that some have problems with the Sony screen as it seems to have less contrast and seems to give of glare. I have done some research on the web and I came to the conclusion that the contrast is not that as bad as some are making it sound.
Just a note, the original poster was asking about the 300, but not the 600, so some of those points don't apply, specifically 4-6.

But it raises a good point. For the same price as a Kindle 2, you can get all those goodies Trade off, no wireless (which, to be honest, I don't need either), and less of a selection of ebooks (although this depends on what you read, it rarely affects me). The 600 screen is also not as clear, but if you haven't used an ereader in the past, this probably won't bother you.

Or you can save $100, and get the 300, which comes in awesome colors It's just a basic Reader, but you get the solid build quality of a Sony, and did I mention cool colors?

One thing that really helps in these discussions, what do you like to read?
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Old 09-08-2009, 10:38 PM   #4
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The Kindle Store is probably worth the $100 difference in price if you buy a lot of ebooks. Amazon generally has more ebooks and at a lower average price. However, bestsellers are now typically available in most ebook stores. I suggest you check a few titles at Amazon and Sony. Don't forget that you can also buy PDF and ePub for the Sony, e.g. at Books on Board.

Otherwise, the PRS-300 is good for portability and I don't think the Kindle 2 shows much more text per page on its larger screen because it has wide margins. The K2 probably is better for illustrations and comics (6" screen and 16 gray levels).
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Old 09-08-2009, 10:51 PM   #5
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Kindle2 Vs. PRS300: Tough choice

I too am trying to make that decision for myself. I should qualify anything stated below by first saying that I am new to readers and have no history or real experience with any of them before two weeks ago. I've been holding out and doing a L O T of research in trying to make up my mind but am having a hard time despite all the great reviews and material this forum offers. They are two very different devices that have a decent amount of crossover abilities

I ordered and have been using a Kindle2 for the past 10 days or so and have really enjoyed it. I just received a PRS-300 today and have only just begun to play around with it. I have a '600 coming as well but may just turn around and ship it back as I am not too happy with the glare I noticed while playing around with a friends. Some initial observations:

Physical

PRS-300
I L O V E the size, weight and basic case design of the '300. I can easily fit it in a back or coat pocket, whereas the Kindle is actually rather large by comparison. The 300 has clean lines and I like the use of soft keys along the right-margin of the "page". The jury is still out on the page-flip button placement. While I am still able to hold and use the button one-handed, I have gotten used to it being in the margins (Kindle2)

Kindle2
The kindle 2 - while thinner - is substantially taller and wider with something like 160% the surface area of the 300 - this mostly to accommodate the 1-inch larger screen (300=5 in, Kindle2=6) and the fully thumb keyboard. Aside from the keyboard it has a clean look with spartan button arrangement, with the page-flips in the margins about half way up the device. While larger and a tad bit heavier it still fits comfortably in one hand, and page navigation is easily handled one-handed. The 5-way navigator and the philosophy behind it can be a bit tiresome when navigating pages full of text. I would rather the navigator have a circular 5-way design like the 300's.

Display
I believe the PRS300 display - although 1 inch smaller - is superior to the Kindle2 in contrast. The 300 has a lighter (closer to white) page than the Kindle, and the e-ink seems darker as well. 300 wins on contrast hands-down. Glare (or lack thereof compared to 700, etc) seems equal on both.

Perhaps the grayscale shades have something to do with the contrast differences; the Kindle is capable of displaying 16 shades of gray whereas the Sony readers (all of them, as far as I know) only support a max of 8 shades.

The 300 is only capable of displaying 3 font sizes; the Kindle2 6. Take that as you will...

Navigation
As I alluded to above, I think the Kindle2's navigation would be made a bit more pleasant if it had the same style 5-way navigator the 300 has. The small 5-way seems more appropriate for a 5-year old's fingertips, and could cause issues for large hands. Other than that the Kindle has a good menu and system layout with plenty of options. Deleting a book is far more direct I feel on the kindle; simply select the book in question in a couple of contextual clicks it's gone. With the 300 it feels awkward to me..select the book, click the utilities button and click bookmark to delete. The same number of clicks but an inferior menu layout as compared to Kindle, in my opinion.

The Sony and the Kindle have different "Home" screens as well; whereas the Kindle2 cuts to the chase and simply lists all books and periodicals on the home screen, these things are an extra layer deep on the Sony. You must choose Books by title or Books by Author to see a list of your titles. The font size on the table fo contents seems HUGE to me too - and I noticed that you cannot adjust the display size on the 300's title TOC.

Power up times are non-existent on the 300; literally the 300 takes less than a second to power up, whereas the Kindle2 takes a bit longer. Navigation speed from screen to screen (menus) seems around the same to me. Page navigation is also the same or close.

Content
This is where I will likely come off as a moron to those more experienced who patronize this forum, but here goes...

If I were to compare the primary OEM content providers here (that would be Amazon and Sony) I would have to say that Amazon smokes Sony's eBook store hands down. not only does amazon seem consistently cheaper but they seem to have more content - as well as more delivery options. everyone no doubt knows about Kindle's 3G radio and wireless delivery. this is uber-cool not only for store purchases btu can be used for Gutenberg (and probably other sources) direct downloads. With Calibre you can also email your own locally-managed (PC or MAC) eBooks to your Kindle, rather than having to cable it to transfer content. If you're mailing a .mobi formatted book, e.g., you wont get charged by Amazon for any type of conversion (because it;s not necessary; mobi is native).

I don't want to start dogging the 300 on format, justification etc until I have had a solid 10 days to play around with it and figure out the idiosyncrasies, tricks and nuances - as I obviously have the least experience with it.

I like having a built-in dictionary...or built-in Google, Wiki, or device search. The ability to search for a term or work across all books on my device is a powerful one that the 300 notably lacks.

For any iPhone users out there
One of the greatest things bout the Kindle/Amazon model is the ability to sync and deliver to multiple readers. E.g., Amazon knows where I left of reading my Kindle the night before, and when I open up the Kindle reader on my iPhone it presents me the option of picking up where I left off the night before on the other device. Very cool to me as I rarely navigate my day with Kindle in-hand, but always have the mini-reader on the iPhone.

That about sums it up for now; I have a lot more playing to do with the 300 before I make the final decision but wanted to share my initial observations before the desire to type them in left me. There are no doubt more salient and concise comparisons out there, but I've gotten so much valuable info from this forum I thought I'd give a little back. Good luck in your choice!
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Old 09-09-2009, 11:51 AM   #6
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Thanks for the reviews..

I am leaning toward the Kindle2, mostly for whispernet. I think I will love that feature. Also having a larger book selection to buy from. I love all the cases available for the Kindle2. The blog feature is a neat feature, as I love reading blogs.

I do love the color selection of the Sony 300, but I can always add skin to Kindle. I also like that size of the 300 better, but the Kindle is same size as the larger paperbacks I am used to reading anyway.

As for what books I read, mostly fiction, such as Twilight series, and just started Vampire Academy series. I also love classics like Watership Down, Horror, Mystery, Fantasy, Westerns, etc. I plan to buy many baby books, as we are planning to adopt in the near future

I plan to purchase a ebook reader within the next couple days. Would appreciate anymore reviews, thoughts on both.
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Old 09-09-2009, 02:25 PM   #7
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Remember that you can borrow ebooks with the Sony Readers--Amazon forces you to buy them. Borrowing is cheaper. If you really want blogs, then whispernet may be a good choice for you. Personally, I love using my Reader just to read books, without any worries about constant recharging. The Reader can dl rss feeds too, if you are OK with hooking up to a pc regularly. I'm happy to confine my internet reading/lookup/etc. to my blackberry and netbook. I just use my Reader to read books.

If "instant downloading" is a reason for wanting whispernet, think again. You can easily search/shop for books at home, and load several hundered(!) onto a Reader--a huge variety and a long reading list. The 'instant download' feature of the Kindle is just a way to sucker you into spending a lot more $$$$ on impulse buys, IMO. (Sorry Amazon, but somebody had to say it! )

Last edited by DrMoze; 09-12-2009 at 01:05 AM.
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Old 09-09-2009, 02:45 PM   #8
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Thanks for the reviews..

I am leaning toward the Kindle2, mostly for whispernet. I think I will love that feature. Also having a larger book selection to buy from. I love all the cases available for the Kindle2. The blog feature is a neat feature, as I love reading blogs.

I do love the color selection of the Sony 300, but I can always add skin to Kindle. I also like that size of the 300 better, but the Kindle is same size as the larger paperbacks I am used to reading anyway.

As for what books I read, mostly fiction, such as Twilight series, and just started Vampire Academy series. I also love classics like Watership Down, Horror, Mystery, Fantasy, Westerns, etc. I plan to buy many baby books, as we are planning to adopt in the near future

I plan to purchase a ebook reader within the next couple days. Would appreciate anymore reviews, thoughts on both.
I have been a Kindle owner since April 2008. I own both Kindle 1 and Kindle 2 (bought 2 K2s). I have not regretted my purchases for one second and I could have purchased any reader out there. The Kindles paid for themselves very quickly in the lower cost of books and freebies (non-public domain freebies). I've read more since purchasing them since I have in several years.

Now as to the 300 vs. Kindle 2. They really aren't in the same class. The Sony 300 is an entry level reader. The Kindle is more in line with the Sony 600 and 700.

If you're a big fan of library usage, I would agree that the Sony's are the way to go. I'm not. I don't like having to wait for a book to be available (if they even have it in stock) or be forced to read it within a certain amount of time.

I love Whispernet. I love not having to be connected to a computer to buy a book, though truth be told, I prefer to shop for books via computer and just Whispernet them to my Kindle. I love being able to sync the same book between my Kindle and iPod Touch. I love it when I'm in an area where the broadband wireless on my laptop doesn't work but it does on my Kindle so I can still check my email. I love being able to download samples of books I'm not so sure I'm going to like.

For those who say, Whispernet makes it too easy to buy books... they are absolutely correct and I love it! You'll go a little crazy at first but then you'll settle down.

Once you own a Kindle any other ebook reader will be a great compliment. I'm waiting for Plastic Logic myself.

You can always try a Kindle for 30 days and return for a refund minus shipping if it doesn't work for you. I don't know of any other ebook reader that offers something similar.
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Old 09-09-2009, 03:23 PM   #9
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So, what are the advantages/disadvantages of both?
Right now, to me, the biggest disadvantage to the Kindle -- any version -- is Amazon. There have been a couple of book fiascos (e.g., the Orwell books), a refusal to brick a stolen Kindle, and now the beginning of the close down of the mobi format. As one comment noted, Amazon gets a bigger slice of the pie from the Kindle format than from the mobi format, which might be the reason for the steps taken, but that would make me wonder when Amazon will next change the format for Kindle books, requiring consumers to buy a device upgrade (rather than a firmware upgrade) to read ebooks, perhaps even requiring repurchase of books already purchased.
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Old 09-09-2009, 06:20 PM   #10
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Right now, to me, the biggest disadvantage to the Kindle -- any version -- is Amazon. There have been a couple of book fiascos (e.g., the Orwell books), a refusal to brick a stolen Kindle, and now the beginning of the close down of the mobi format.
This is just alot of FUD. I am constantly amazed when people complain that a company is doing stuff for the sole reason of making money or making more money... we dagnum... that is why the company exists.

Also, how does the mobi format going away in any way affect a Kindle owner? As a Kindle owner you don't buy mobipocket books, you buy Kindle books. (Technical similarities aside.)

Would I like to see Amazon sell kindle books to anyone Kindle or no? Sure. Would I like to see the Kindle support other formats like PDF and ePub and Adobe DRM? Sure. Does that fact that they don't do these things keep me from reading the ebooks I want every day on the Kindle? NO!.

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Old 09-11-2009, 12:47 PM   #11
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I checked several ebooks I've recently read. (Some are slightly older/continuing series.) Most were about the same price from Sony or BoB as from Amazon, or at most a dollar or so more expensive. OTOH, I've borrowed over 30 eBooks over the past year from the local library. So, by this measure, I'm "saving" hundreds of dollars over having a Kindle and being forced to buy these newer books. Just another consideration for the "cost of books" issue.
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Old 09-11-2009, 03:07 PM   #12
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This is just alot of FUD. I am constantly amazed when people complain that a company is doing stuff for the sole reason of making money or making more money... we dagnum... that is why the company exists.

Bob, you misunderstand. I am not complaining about Amazon doing what it can to make money. As a company it should. However, I am a consumer and I don't want companies changing things simply as a way to double-dip in my pocketbook. Amazon's actions, while good for Amazon are not -- to my way of thinking -- particularly good for me the consumer and thus a good reason not to buy anything from Amazon.

Of course, I fully support your right to pay multiple times for the same product or do anything else (legal) with your money. May you forever add to Amazon's bottom line.

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Also, how does the mobi format going away in any way affect a Kindle owner? As a Kindle owner you don't buy mobipocket books, you buy Kindle books. (Technical similarities aside.)
Mobi doesn't affect the Kindle owner. I mentioned it as one more reason why I distrust Amazon. OTOH, if Amazon is so cavalier with current customers, I wonder when it will decide that it isn't making enough money from Kindlers and require Kindlers to pay for a "necessary" upgrade or lose whatever books have already been purchased.

There is an old saying, a tiger doesn't change its stripes.
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Old 09-11-2009, 03:52 PM   #13
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There is an old saying, a tiger doesn't change its stripes.
True and maybe I'll agree with you (about the evilness) when I am pissed on by Amazon... but right now, they are actually a better choice for me... more content (that I want) at better prices and excellent customer service.

Of course, don't think that I am not d/l'ing all my Kindle books, liberating them and backing them up. I totally am.

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Old 09-11-2009, 06:31 PM   #14
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I agree that it basically comes down to what you like to read.

If you like the latest books, you're more likely to find them for the Kindle. I have a 505 and occasionally Amazon has an ebook that I want and Sony doesn't. Both stores have all the popular books of today (e.g. the Twilight series).

If you like classics or library books, then the Sony is the way to go. The ability to read several formats is priceless to anyone who likes old books (or as-yet-unpublished in p-book format books from obscure authors). I could happily read for years and (legally!) never pay for a book.

My advice: If your tastes are "mainstream" (i.e. you mostly read best-sellers), go with the Kindle, if not, take the Sony. You say you like both, so I would think about the ratio. You'll probably have more luck with the baby books at Amazon, but I don't know.
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Old 09-12-2009, 01:04 AM   #15
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OP: If you have a local library, check it out online and see if it has a lot of the books/authors you'd like to read. That can be a significant plus for the Sony models if it does.
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