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Old 11-10-2009, 10:37 AM   #1
Enuf
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new prs 300 - some thoughts

Hi guys

I took the plunge and finally bought a dedicated reader - the PRS 300. I have used an eeepc 900 and the iphone as readers with limited success. The eeepc was a bit cumbersome, got a little hot and was noisey when the cooling fan came on. The iphone with stanza and calibre was good but I always felt it was tough on the eyes. So I bought the sony reader.

I have to say that I'm a little disappointed so far mainly as it is so hard to read in average light conditions. Maybe its because I am used to backlighting in the eeepc and the iphone or maybe I'm just getting older and my varifocals need to be updated.

Anyway reading with the smallest default font was almost impossible for me unless it is in bright light (outdoors or directly under a lamp). The middle size font was better but what annoyed me was that the screen displayed almost the same number of words as my iphone!! - mainly due I think to the large margins. The largest font was way too big to be useful.

So I figured I would try and change the default font with the help of various threads on the forum and the excellent calibre. I eventually managed to change the base font to 13pt, removed the breaks between paragraphs and set the margins at zero. This helped and the small font on the reader is now much more readable.

Still as I was lying in bed last night holding the prs300 in position to catch the best light from the bedside lamp, I wondered whether I made a good decision. I figure I will have to work a bit more on the font size and margins before I get it right. Not an easy job though.

John
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Old 11-10-2009, 11:12 AM   #2
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Yes if you're used to reading on a backlit screen then reading from a sony reader is definitely weird at first.

I was used to reading from an eee pc screen which as you say gets hot and I don't think any computer screen is great for reading from for a long time.

When I first got the sony 600 I found the grey background a little dull at first. However I find that I can read for hours from the screen so I guess the lack of a backlight is actually better for me to read from.

In low-light conditions I need to use an overhead light - I just have a bog-standard clip-on light. It is ugly but very powerful as it runs off 4 aa batteries. So this clips onto the back of my reader cover.

I hope it works out for you
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Old 11-10-2009, 12:37 PM   #3
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Hi Poshm - Just ordered an led light from amazon. This might well be the solution for night time reading

I think you're right about being able to read the prs 300 for longer - despite my misgivings last night I did manage to read for longer before I became sleepy.
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Old 11-10-2009, 01:49 PM   #4
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I had the same problem with my recently purchased PRS-505. The light conditions that I normally read under were not sufficient for reading on my 505. It took me awhile to realize this, and I was walking around with terribly strained and tired eyes for a week or two.

I also solved the problem by purchasing a 10 dollar clip-on LED book light. It's still not perfect, but much better than it was without the LED.
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Old 11-10-2009, 10:04 PM   #5
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Is it just me or are the menu fonts a darker shade of black than the book fonts?
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Old 11-10-2009, 11:20 PM   #6
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I have a small gooseneck lamp clipped on to the top of my headboard, and I find it solves the problem of lighting for my PRS300 rather nicely. And since I live alone, there's nobody to complain that the light is too bright and they can't sleep.
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Old 11-11-2009, 03:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GizmoPlanet View Post
And since I live alone, there's nobody to complain that the light is too bright and they can't sleep.
OMG yes lucky indeed! My hubby is such a light sleeper that when the main light's gone off and I'm using my clip-on light he'll moan it's too bright. I can't even rustle the covers or move a inch without it affecting his sleep!

I wouldn't mind so much but he goes to bed much earlier than I want to. Oh if we had the luxury of a spare bedroom ...
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:45 AM   #8
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Hi !
I have the slightly bigger 600 and for me it works fine with the smallest font, but I must consider to find a seat on my bus to work with an overhead light. A few times when my bus goes into a tunnel, I have to turn on Medium font.

But I find it really depends on the book and the format they are using. I have bought the latest Dan Brown and Steven Coonts from the Sony store, the Lost Symbol had a much smaller font than the Deep Black. Both ePUB from the same store...

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Old 11-11-2009, 04:28 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by xtine View Post
Is it just me or are the menu fonts a darker shade of black than the book fonts?
Yeah I wondered about that as well - it might be that the fonts are in bold.
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Old 01-03-2010, 11:48 AM   #10
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Anyway reading with the smallest default font was almost impossible for me unless it is in bright light (outdoors or directly under a lamp).
For some reason I found the default font size large enough, worked for me I guess
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Old 01-03-2010, 01:06 PM   #11
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When I first started using the PRS-300 I was using the medium font but soon found the contrast and sharpness sufficient to switch to the small font. I also use a clip goose neck lamp above my bed which works well. Dan
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Old 01-03-2010, 02:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poshm View Post
OMG yes lucky indeed! My hubby is such a light sleeper that when the main light's gone off and I'm using my clip-on light he'll moan it's too bright. I can't even rustle the covers or move a inch without it affecting his sleep!

I wouldn't mind so much but he goes to bed much earlier than I want to. Oh if we had the luxury of a spare bedroom ...

Hey, he's interfering with your reading time, I think he should sleep on the couch.



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Old 01-03-2010, 03:03 PM   #13
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For some reason I found the default font size large enough, worked for me I guess
I've discovered since that the fonts can be changed so that the small font size is big enough. I'm in the process now of converting books with a larger smaller font (if you know what I mean) and getting rid of margins so that the whole screen is used. Calibre is the bees knees for this

One thing I did notice was that converting an epub file to epub file with no margins didn't always work. I eventually tried converting the file to a txt file and then converting it back to epub. This got rid of the margin (although I haven't tried it on a file with images in it!)

I'm probably doing this the long way but it works!
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Old 01-26-2010, 06:43 AM   #14
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I did not pay close attention to the 300 model (was in store today to look for an upgrade to my 505), but from what I remember there was a gradual adaptation to using the device and I am still not comfortable with the smallest font after more than 18 mo. The idea with the LED lamp is great, although I hate having yet another device with me (why not put LED backlight in the reader directly, then). Is there a reader on the market that has it (no funny jokes on the itablet, pls) ?
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Old 01-26-2010, 06:57 AM   #15
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No reader with the eInk technology can have a backlight. An eInk screen is opaque. The Sony 700 (no longer made) had side lighting, some said it worked fine, but the market as a whole seemed not to like it.

The LCD screens of course have back lighting, but battery life is a killer if you do a lot of reading. My iPhone was great for reading in the dark. But two hours of reading, and my battery was in sad shape.....
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