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Old 09-11-2009, 04:04 PM   #1
maeludir
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Why PRS-600 Is a 505 UPGRADE

This may be my first post, but I'm a regular lurker here and an even more dedicated reader on my current 505. I've decided to sign up because, as a rarity, my opinion could prove useful to a lot of prospective readers.

I bought my 505 shortly before the 700 was released because I prized the readability over the fancy, albeit unrefined, features of the 700. This was a smart decision and I'm glad of it, however I've just upgraded to the 600.

Why? Because readability is not solely reliant on a high contrast, low glare, screen. How smooth it is to physically turn the page, how long that pageturn takes - these are both just as important, and in these areas the 600 wins out significantly, but without the massive cost to the former two properties that the 700 touted. We've all seen pictures by now, and I can't be the only one who has to doublecheck which screen is which on basis of clarity.

And that's only the bread and butter of my argument. The real KO is this: the 505 is not a thorough replacement of a physical book. It wins out on many points, but not all of them.

The same cannot be said of the 600, where it is a clear superior to a physical book. Not only does it catch up on grounds of annotation, but it far surpasses with dictionary support. The PRS600 is the new benchmark for all eReaders because it's no longer competing with physical books. It will be the proving ground for every eReader to come, and it will be the forge in which even more innovative features are created.

To conclude: readability is a result of many virtues, and razor edge contrast is not the aim of the game. Further the 600 is beginning to exploit the advantages of eBooks over physical books, leading the way for a future where we actually feel handicapped when holding a physical novel.
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Old 09-11-2009, 04:15 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maeludir View Post
The same cannot be said of the 600, where it is a clear superior to a physical book. Not only does it catch up on grounds of annotation, but it far surpasses with dictionary support. The PRS600 is the new benchmark for all eReaders because it's no longer competing with physical books. It will be the proving ground for every eReader to come, and it will be the forge in which even more innovative features are created.

To conclude: readability is a result of many virtues, and razor edge contrast is not the aim of the game. Further the 600 is beginning to exploit the advantages of eBooks over physical books, leading the way for a future where we actually feel handicapped when holding a physical novel.
you make an excellent point and i completely agree with you ; i think many of the critics of ebooks get hung up comparing them to paper books (and seeing their shortcomings in light of that). i don't want to just have a dematerialised paper book ; i want much more than that ! like being able to annotate without degrading the book (since i can hide my notes), integrated dictionary lookup, and one day full colour, high definition screens with full multi-media support as well. and that's just to start with !

i'm getting a 600 as well and already have a 700 ; i love the touch screen and i take notes all the time on it, but i'm really looking forward to the better display and the dictionary of the 600 (that's the deciding factor for me), and the hand-written notes will be great as well.

i really couldn't go back now to using a device with no touchscreen ; it's such a huge gain in comfort, ergonomy and flexibility to me that i would feel really frustrated relying on mechanical buttons for everything (particularly turning pages, although i do sometimes use the buttons on the 700 depending on my position).

thanks for your post, and thanks for (finally) registering and jumping in ! i hope you'll participate more now.
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Old 09-11-2009, 04:41 PM   #3
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It's funny you mention the speed of the page turns. I had a rhythm to my 505. I would hit the page turn a bit before I finished reading. That way it would change at about the right time and I could read pretty smoothly that way.

Now I have a 600, which I love. But I find I am hitting the next page button too soon because it really is much faster than the 505. I just need to find my new rhythm. This is definitely a welcome change.
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Old 09-11-2009, 04:55 PM   #4
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I love the idea of faster page turns and less lag but what would really convince me it's worth upgrading is finding out if the 600 can handle large collections on the device, like over 1500 individual titles? Does it take over 30 minutes to reboot the device? How long does it take after unplugging for the main screen to come back on? With my 505 it sometimes takes over 20 minutes after adding just 2 ebooks. And god help me if it crashes and it reboots.

If the 600 can address those problems then for me it's worth the upgrade.

that and if they can get epub to look nice on the device as well (mostly by removing the page numbers from the side margins and fix the justification issue)
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Old 09-11-2009, 05:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amalthia View Post
I love the idea of faster page turns and less lag but what would really convince me it's worth upgrading is finding out if the 600 can handle large collections on the device, like over 1500 individual titles? Does it take over 30 minutes to reboot the device? How long does it take after unplugging for the main screen to come back on? With my 505 it sometimes takes over 20 minutes after adding just 2 ebooks. And god help me if it crashes and it reboots.

If the 600 can address those problems then for me it's worth the upgrade.

that and if they can get epub to look nice on the device as well (mostly by removing the page numbers from the side margins and fix the justification issue)
I've heard it's twice as fast, but still rather slow, for handling large ~1000 collections (15 minutes, as opposed to the 30 on a 505).

Personally I've never had that problem with either. I only add what I read, as it were, and even reading three books a week for a year that's barely half the internal storage.

I think what we need is a program, PC side, that converts any eBook file to a properly formatted PDF. That way we can make full use of annotations, zoom etc.
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Old 09-11-2009, 07:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maeludir View Post
I've heard it's twice as fast, but still rather slow, for handling large ~1000 collections (15 minutes, as opposed to the 30 on a 505).

Personally I've never had that problem with either. I only add what I read, as it were, and even reading three books a week for a year that's barely half the internal storage.

I think what we need is a program, PC side, that converts any eBook file to a properly formatted PDF. That way we can make full use of annotations, zoom etc.
I think the reason I have problems is that I'm reading a lot of short stories and I don't delete because I reread some of these stories and just like to have options. I'm hoping at some point they figure out how to make the indexing process faster. It sounds like it's come a bit of a ways though.

not sure if pdfs would make a difference because it's not the size or file type it's just that the device is indexing every title on the device I think and that's what takes up time.
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Old 09-11-2009, 10:08 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Amalthia View Post
I think the reason I have problems is that I'm reading a lot of short stories and I don't delete because I reread some of these stories and just like to have options. I'm hoping at some point they figure out how to make the indexing process faster. It sounds like it's come a bit of a ways though.

not sure if pdfs would make a difference because it's not the size or file type it's just that the device is indexing every title on the device I think and that's what takes up time.
Yeah the PDF idea was mainly from my own desire to have a unified filetype on the device. Also I'd have thought the indexing process could be done using the PC's processor... although I'm a complete novice in this area so I'm probably wrong.
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Old 09-12-2009, 01:24 AM   #8
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Yes, annotation, note taking, search, dictionary, these are all great things I have enjoyed in my Kindle Classic for over a year now.

It is good to see Sony has a compelling device too now.

BOb
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Old 09-12-2009, 01:52 AM   #9
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I have a 505 and I won't upgrade as long as it means sacrificing screen clarity (I have problems with eye strain) or the ability to use multiple formats. I wonder how long I'll have to wait.
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Old 09-12-2009, 03:32 AM   #10
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Yes, annotation, note taking, search, dictionary, these are all great things I have enjoyed in my Kindle Classic for over a year now.

It is good to see Sony has a compelling device too now.

BOb
You've enjoyed rather crude versions of them though. The lack of a touchscreen means you've got an unwieldy keyboard slapped on there. And I really, possibly irrationally, hate downsized keyboards. Not to mention that PRS600 screen quality > Kindle screen quality.

The UI of any device matters a lot to me, there's really no excuse for a shoddy one and plenty of praise waiting for an innovative, well performing one. And that's what blew me away when watching the PRS600 videos - here is a really solid UI, tried and tested and revamped. Without the touchscreen, you wouldn't have the UI.
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Old 09-12-2009, 05:18 AM   #11
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maeludir, wow! If I was not as enthused as I am about the device and hadn't ordered one, your post certainly would have pushed me over the edge. Hoping to get mine at least Monday, but possibly tomorrow. Zelda, you are right. The main reason I want a 600 is the dictionary and annotation ability. I had all that on my ebw 1150. As much as I loved the unit, it was heavy and the glare/reflectivity was awful. I still think it is a good device and understand the apeal. However, I do prefer the Sony devices and looking forward to an improvement over my 505 and 700.
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Old 09-12-2009, 12:54 PM   #12
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Since I have only had the 505 since June I won't be getting a 600 anytime soon.
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Old 09-12-2009, 01:04 PM   #13
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maeludir, wow! If I was not as enthused as I am about the device and hadn't ordered one, your post certainly would have pushed me over the edge. Hoping to get mine at least Monday, but possibly tomorrow. Zelda, you are right. The main reason I want a 600 is the dictionary and annotation ability. I had all that on my ebw 1150. As much as I loved the unit, it was heavy and the glare/reflectivity was awful. I still think it is a good device and understand the apeal. However, I do prefer the Sony devices and looking forward to an improvement over my 505 and 700.
my first device was an eb1150 too. it spoiled me for most of the e-ink devices because the ergonomy and features are so excellent on it, despite its many flaws (soooo heavy !). that's the main reason i ended up getting a 700 when i finally did get an e-ink device ; it was the one which got closest to the features i appreciated most on my eb1150, and the touch screen effectively lets you put the page turn "buttons" wherever it's convenient for you, which is a huge improvement in ergonomy (i'm tempted by the opus now as a smaller device, mainly because of the hardware design and button placement, which is similar to the eb1150). and it's why now i'm excited to get a 600 ; i really miss the dictionary. the eb1150 is still my benchmark actually although i hardly use it since i got my 700, but the latest generation of devices are looking much more attractive to me.
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Old 09-12-2009, 01:07 PM   #14
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I have a question: I haven't yet put an ePub on my 600, but on my 505, there was a pause after I pushed the button to turn the page at the end of a chapter. Is that pause still there?
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Old 09-12-2009, 01:12 PM   #15
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I have a question: I haven't yet put an ePub on my 600, but on my 505, there was a pause after I pushed the button to turn the page at the end of a chapter. Is that pause still there?
in my experience, the speed of switching chapters depends on the book ; all the epubs i've tried where i noticed a pause at chapter breaks turned out to have very messy code (in fact one book was so badly made that i got disgusted waiting for several seconds each time and gave up reading it until i could redo it myself). a well-made epub with clean code shouldn't need much time to switch chapters, about the same as a regular page turn or maybe a tiny fraction of a second longer. try a book from feedbooks to test that out ; you can be sure the code is ultra-clean on those books.
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