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Old 10-01-2009, 06:55 PM   #46
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Seems to me , the bottom line is how each person see's it, if 10 people see that the 505 has better black/white contrast , and 2 people see the 300 as better ,and 20 people see them as the same. Well , all that matters is that each person buys the one that feels BEST for them.
Well, there are more objective ways of measuring contrast - I have a machine that does it. In my view, this is the sort of question that machines are far better at answering than people are.

You can easily start to make things more complicated though. I prefer matt photographs to gloss. But does our perception of contrast in gloss or matt surfaces relate directly to the physical contrast of the surfaces or are there more subtle factors involved? For example, might a low contrast matt surface seem as contrasty as a higher contrast gloss surface. When you try to ask finer questions like these, I can see that there is some opportunity for debate. There are still fairly objective methods available to address these questions - the field is called 'psychophysics'.

The fact that there is only one supplier doesn't really mean that much - perhaps each vendor chooses different settings for the same screens, and certainly different ereaders may have different sheets of plastic to cover them - just take the touchscreen v. non-touchscreen ereaders as an example.
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Old 10-04-2009, 12:23 AM   #47
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I've owned a Kindle 2 & a Sony 505, and eventually found that I liked the Sony better. A lot of it had to do with size. So tonight I was in a Borders and took my first look at the 300 & 600 models. (No question but that the 600 is much easier to read than the 700.)

What surprised me was how much I liked the 300. And I think it has to do with size again. My impression is that the 300 also has greater clarity than the 505.

I plan to take my 505 down to the store tomorrow evening and do a side by side.

There's a fair chance I'll buy the 300. The great advantage of ebooks - for me - lies primarily in portability, and the large part of that advantage lies - again for me - in getting the device down to the smallest size possible consistent with reading comfort. Reading on my iPhone is doable but a bit too small for comfort.
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Old 10-04-2009, 09:17 AM   #48
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ok, Harmon, would be great to hear what you think.
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Old 10-04-2009, 12:39 PM   #49
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Is it possible to read PDFs on the 300? Say, a journal article? It seems that it can be done on the 600 (although the zoom thing apparently doesn't work from one page to the next). I would like a Sony, for a number of reasons, but I need to be able to read PDFs.

Thanks!
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Old 10-04-2009, 11:04 PM   #50
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ok, Harmon, would be great to hear what you think.
Pleased to tell you!

I went out & bought a black 300. I'm comparing it to a blue 505, so the Reader color is not really a factor in the comparisons. (BTW, I went to two Borders to get the 300. One was entirely sold out, the other sold out of silver, which is the display model color, evidently.)

Interestingly, both Readers weigh about the same, the 300 a little under 8 oz, the 505 a little over. The 300 is slightly thicker than the 505. So, as with color, these factors don't make a difference.

Page turning appears to be at exactly the same speed in both Readers.

The 300 is easier to hold, due entirely to its size. Both Readers can be held in one hand while turning the pages with the same hand. But there are some differences that are important. (What follows is for Readers not in cases of any sort. Cases can make a difference):

One way to hold the 505 in one hand while turning the page is to use the buttons on the right side of the screen. This means that you can only do this with your right hand. It also means that the lower right corner begins to dig into your palm. And the result of holding it this way is that the weight is not well distributed, so the 505 is not well balanced in your hand.

Another way to hold the 505 is to use the lower left wheel to turn pages. This can be done with the left hand. But the weight distribution is not as good.

The 300 can be held in either hand, and the single wheel used to turn the pages. But there's no sharp corner to worry about, and because of the smaller size, the weight is better distributed on the 300 than on the 505, however held.

Now about readability. The screen background color seems to me to be identical on both Readers. However, I found a small but noticeable difference in the clarity of the 300 font over the 505 font. This difference virtually disappears in bright light, but it appears to me that it might be due to be due to a very slight difference in the size of the respective fonts. I tried to measure the difference, but I can't absolutely say that they are different. It could be that the 300's eInk is a teeny bit darker, or the resolution the font a little bit tighter.

As an aside, I suspect that the font on a silver Reader will seem clearer than one on the darker color Readers, because the lighter border color will give an illusion that the font is darker on a silver Reader.

Finally, let me say that in the 300, Sony has nailed what I want in the size and configuration of a portable eBook reader.

It is just large enough that there are enough words on the screen at level two not to be page turning too fast, while leaving the words legible to these 62 year old eyes. I suspect that for younger eyes, level one will be just fine in that respect. (If I had to read at level three, though, I think the page turning would become tedious.)

The 300 is just small enough to fit in a jacket pocket securely enough not to fall out. It would be a bit awkward in pants pockets though, but I tend to wear cargo shorts when I can & it will fit a cargo pocket just fine.

When I hold the 300 in one hand, the space below the screen allows me room to place my thumb in a good position without intruding into my view of the screen.

I would not attempt pdfs or serious reading on the 300; nor, for that matter, would I do so on the 505. Both these devices seem to me to work best for casual reading, fiction or faction.

Bottom line - I think my 505 has just become obsolete.

Last edited by Harmon; 10-04-2009 at 11:34 PM.
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Old 10-05-2009, 03:31 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by Harmon View Post
Pleased to tell you!

...
Now about readability. The screen background color seems to me to be identical on both Readers. However, I found a small but noticeable difference in the clarity of the 300 font over the 505 font. This difference virtually disappears in bright light, but it appears to me that it might be due to be due to a very slight difference in the size of the respective fonts. I tried to measure the difference, but I can't absolutely say that they are different. It could be that the 300's eInk is a teeny bit darker, or the resolution the font a little bit tighter.

...

There should be a difference in the PRS-300's favor because the 5" readers has a resolution of 200 dpi (ppi), and the 6" readers has 166 dpi (ppi). (The resolution in pixels are the same for both models at 600 x 800).
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:43 AM   #52
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Thanks for that review and comparison Harmon.

Quote:
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There should be a difference in the PRS-300's favor because the 5" readers has a resolution of 200 dpi (ppi), and the 6" readers has 166 dpi (ppi). (The resolution in pixels are the same for both models at 600 x 800).
Also when I compared the 300 on display at the SonyStyle shop to my 505 the black was not as black on the 300 though the background was a bit lighter -- exactly the same as my Astak PP screen. Doesn't make much difference in bright light as you say but it is definitely noticeable.
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Old 10-05-2009, 07:29 AM   #53
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Bottom line - I think my 505 has just become obsolete.
Sounds like the 300 is turning out to be a great little reader.
Thanks very much for putting a lot of effort into your great review.

muchas gracias
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:09 PM   #54
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Sounds like the 300 is turning out to be a great little reader.
I think so, too.

Not that it couldn't be improved by incorporating a couple more font levels, and a choice of fonts. ePub should make this easier to do, I'd think.

Of course, the real improvement needs to happen with the Sony approach toward selling books. Amazon has Sony beat to a pulp on that with Whispernet, but Sony makes it worse with its two stage process for using their ebook store. Sony needs to integrate the Sony Library with the bookstore, so that the process is invisible to the user. There should be an option for downloading a book directly from the store to a Reader using the computer.

I think that if Sony did that, and could find a way to drop the price point to $149.95, they'd force Amazon to market a similar sized Kindle, or have a bit of their lunch eaten.

Funny how big & cumbersome my 505 seems since yesterday.
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:18 PM   #55
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....

Of course, the real improvement needs to happen with the Sony approach toward selling books. Amazon has Sony beat to a pulp on that with Whispernet, but Sony makes it worse with its two stage process for using their ebook store. Sony needs to integrate the Sony Library with the bookstore, so that the process is invisible to the user. There should be an option for downloading a book directly from the store to a Reader using the computer.
....
This is not an issue for me. I purchase books from a variety of places and download to my computer. Then I decide which reader it is going on etc.
It's generally a two step process in any case, but really not an issue at all.
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Old 10-06-2009, 01:30 PM   #56
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This is not an issue for me. I purchase books from a variety of places and download to my computer. Then I decide which reader it is going on etc.
It's generally a two step process in any case, but really not an issue at all.
Not a big issue for me either, since I do what you do. But the universe of people who are willing to engage the process is probably a lot smaller than the universe of people who just want to get books easily.

What Sony has is a kind of halfvast iTunes approach to their ebook store. Maybe if they improved it, they could have the same kind of seamless experience that iTunes & the iTunes store has. But then, they'd have to improve their store...
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Old 10-08-2009, 09:15 PM   #57
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I just wanted to thank everyone in this thread. I'm taking the e-reader plunge, and am starting with the PRS-300. I just won a new one on ebay for 137.49 with shipping!

I've been researching e-readers online for a few days, and I found that this forum was best place to find good comparisons.
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Old 10-08-2009, 09:56 PM   #58
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I just wanted to thank everyone in this thread. I'm taking the e-reader plunge, and am starting with the PRS-300. I just won a new one on ebay for 137.49 with shipping!

I've been researching e-readers online for a few days, and I found that this forum was best place to find good comparisons.
Wow, great deal.
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:04 PM   #59
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Yeah, that's an amazing deal. I don't know how it could be that cheap. ???
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:09 PM   #60
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I don't know either, but he has good feedback, so I'm trusting of it. I'll come back and give an update once I have it.

The Buy-It-Now price was 195 with shipping. I suspect my price involved timing and luck.
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