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Old 11-12-2009, 04:33 AM   #1
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just bought a prs-600: keeping it, but could be better

hi all - been lurking for a week, great info on this site obviously, and I just bought a prs-600 after perusing the reviews and pics. I thought i'd drop my 2 cents about it having played with it for about 6 hours now.

--I took the big plunge into ebook readers, this is my first one. Bottom line: love it, am keeping it.

Now for the nitpicking:

--its on the pricey side. I paid $295 (after coupons, and after taxes) at staples. Plus $23 for the neat cover (from borders, after coupon). To compare: the kindle 2, refurbished, sells for $219 on amazon right now, and new is only $249. Plus there are tons of new readers coming out in the next 6 months, will drive price down further I think. So ya, I overpaid. Tho its nice to just have it now, with the technology evolving so rapidly there really isnt a good time to buy. I'll upgrade even this within a year I think, maybe sell it off on ebay sometime next fall.

--I chose the sony over the kindle or the nook because of pdf/reflow capability, the variety of ways to annotate, file format flexibility, and touch screen. I plan on getting ebooks out of the NYPL too. Before buying I visited the sony store in manhattan, and the non-touch screen prs-300 really did have a better screen (its uncanny how much like paper it is), but I want and need features like annotations etc.

--I like it a lot and I believe I'll use it a lot. That said, many features on it really need work.

--in low-light situations you really wish the contrast was better.

--sony software (ebook library) took a while to figure out. I kept erasing files on the reader by accident (while 'syncing') until I turned off auto-syncing and just dragged what i wanted manually (within the software). Its not like palm pilot syncing where you can tell it what direction to sync in. The "collections" feature is nice, gives a basic way to create 'folders'. Nested folders would have been nicer.

--writing with the stylus - its good, and annotation is the best feature of this sony over competing models (can highlight, bookmark, add note to the bookmark/highlight, take typed or freehand notes, draw anywhere on the page, or take a note-to-self). But -- I always feel like I'm about to scratch the screen with the stylus. It feels like it 'digs in'. Havent seen scratches yet tho. But I don't want to put a protector on the screen cuz that will add yet another layer of dimness. So I used an old palm pilot trick: I wiped the screen down with some silicon spray. Now its *slick* (Silicon spray is non-oil based, its 'dry'). The stylus slides around like on an ice rink. Much nicer to write with.

Mostly i'm using freehand annotations, since the pop-up 'keyboard' leaves a lot to be desired. I mark up my pdfs and books freely, and then transfer the marked up document back to the pc, and within the sony software you can jump from markup to markup easily, and from there I get my comments into the word document i'm working on. Its actually straightforward and I wont have to carry a ton of printed pages around anymore.

--I *wish* they would sell french-english dictionaries. The double-tap look-up feature would be so beneficial to language-learners if sony just sold multi-lingual dictionaries.

--The 100 character transfer limit on highlighted text, is frustrating, but I guess its understandable. They dont want people stealing the content with copy/paste. I guess if it were a real book we'd have to type in the quote ourselves, and I guess the e-readers are trying to mimic some of those limitations for the sake of DRM.

--wish it had more "dedicated hardware buttons"; specifically: Home, Back, Font size, and frankly I wouldnt mind a physical keyboard like on the kindle. And maybe even hardware play/pause button for the mp3 player.

--wish you could reassign the existing buttons' functions.

--love the massive (32gb) storage expandability. (16gb on each slot, technically).

--the user manual is worth going thru, there are some on-screen shortcuts that are handy.

So far so good though. While I over-paid for it, the kindles (either 1 or 2) were out for me because of their limited storage, limited annotations, limited file formats (i know hacks are out there but thats an extra step), etc.

Thats it for now, still playing with it.

Last edited by ebooker; 11-12-2009 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:10 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by ebooker View Post
--writing with the stylus - its good, and annotation is the best feature of this sony over competing models (can highlight, bookmark, add note to the bookmark, take typed or freehand notes, draw anywhere on the page, or take a note-to-self). But -- I always feel like I'm about to scratch the screen with the stylus. It feels like it 'digs in'. Havent seen scratches yet tho. But I don't want to put a protector on the screen cuz that will add yet another layer of dimness. So I used an old palm pilot trick: I wiped the screen down with some silicon spray. Now its *slick* (Silicon spray is non-oil based, its 'dry'). The stylus slides around like on an ice rink. Much nicer to write with.
Interesting point about the stylus - it does "feel" very scratchy and it puts me off using it. I'm well used to a nintendo ds touch screen and this never felt scratchy to write on and it also didn't have the delay between drawing on the screen and something appearing. I may well use your tip thanks.

I agree that the 600 is not perfect, it has some areas which could well be improved on. But it is still a very good ereader and I've done way more reading since I've had it so on that point it works
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:20 AM   #3
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I agree about the point that using the stylus feels like you are going to scratch the screen. Have you a product name for the silicone spray for us Brits.

I have found it diffult to use the stylus to write as part og my hand rests on the screen and confuses the software. Especially when doing free hand drawings. So, I use a piece of paper under my hand.

On my wish list would be a diary/organiser. and why the heck doesn't it display the time somehere????
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:54 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ebooker View Post
So I used an old palm pilot trick: I wiped the screen down with some silicon spray. Now its *slick* (Silicon spray is non-oil based, its 'dry'). The stylus slides around like on an ice rink. Much nicer to write with.
Hey, thanks for that silicon spray tip. I have various stylus gadgets and have never heard that.

Informative review, too!
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:35 AM   #5
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hi ebooker, welcome to the forum ! thanks for your review ; it's great to hear the perspective of a first-time user.

personally i don't use the stylus on my 600, i just scribble with my fingernail ; it lacks precision, obviously, but for my needs is good enough, and generally i don't feel like fiddling with the stylus. but the silicon spray sounds like an excellent trick ; i'd love to know the details of that as well.

i completely agree with you that there should be a dedicated hardware "back" button. there was one, on the 700 (the previous model), which i also have, and i used it all the time ! i really miss it. i suppose they wanted to simplify the hardware, but sometimes you can take that too far... there is a "home" button though ; it's the one in the middle. or do you mean something else ?

i'm sure that you've found this already but just in case, don't miss our ebooks upload section, where we have thousands of books formatted by our members, available for free ! happy reading !
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:52 AM   #6
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One minor point: there is a "Home" hardware button.
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:24 AM   #7
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I personally like the lack of buttons!

I think there are just enough to be perfectly functional without being over-cluttered to the point where you're playing "hunt the button that does this"
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:41 AM   #8
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ebooker exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverebooker exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverebooker exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverebooker exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverebooker exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverebooker exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverebooker exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverebooker exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverebooker exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverebooker exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverebooker exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcover
 
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hi guys - thanks for the comments. (And yes there is a home hardware button, lol. Forgot about that!)

Here's the silicon spray that I used:
"Elmer's E450 Slide-All Dry Spray Lubricant 4-Ounce"
http://www.amazon.com/Elmers-E450-Sl...2&sr=8-2-fkmr1
Dont spray it directly tho, see below.

There may be other brands, you just have to look on the description to make sure its a "dry" spray. For instance the elmer's can says:
"Dry spray lubricant for general household use
Eliminates squeaking and sticking
No oily stain"

It works well (may require two applications tho I found one was enough). I basically found a lint-free cleaning cloth, sprayed the cloth, then used the cloth to carefully wipe down the screen. That way i'm not spraying directly on the screen or the reader. I did this on my palm pilot (back in the day) too, based on a tip I read online somewhere, and it works quite well in eliminating the scratchiness.

Last edited by ebooker; 11-12-2009 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:48 AM   #9
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ebooker exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverebooker exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverebooker exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverebooker exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverebooker exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverebooker exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverebooker exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverebooker exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverebooker exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverebooker exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverebooker exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcover
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by just_kev View Post
I have found it diffult to use the stylus to write as part og my hand rests on the screen and confuses the software. Especially when doing free hand drawings. So, I use a piece of paper under my hand.
thats a good tip too.

Quote:
On my wish list would be a diary/organiser. and why the heck doesn't it display the time somehere????
Using this reader, I couldnt help thinking how great it would be if this were a 6" e-ink based palm pilot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by poshm View Post
I agree that the 600 is not perfect, it has some areas which could well be improved on. But it is still a very good ereader and I've done way more reading since I've had it so on that point it works
ya, I think that will be the case for me too - that despite the shortcomings, I have a feeling I'll use it extensively :-D We're still in the very early stages of the evolution of this device. But having just become a convert to it, I also think there will always be a decent student/reader market for specialized readers. "Tablet netbooks" will never approach the lightness, compactness, and I think screen quality (and price-point), of these specialized readers, especially for students and those addicted to curling up and reading.

At least, I hope that is the case.

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Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post
i'm sure that you've found this already but just in case, don't miss our ebooks upload section, where we have thousands of books formatted by our members, available for free ! happy reading !
on my way there now, thanks! :-D

Last edited by ebooker; 11-12-2009 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 11-12-2009, 12:38 PM   #10
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--sony software (ebook library) took a while to figure out. I kept erasing files on the reader by accident (while 'syncing') until I turned off auto-syncing and just dragged what i wanted manually (within the software). Its not like palm pilot syncing where you can tell it what direction to sync in. The "collections" feature is nice, gives a basic way to create 'folders'. Nested folders would have been nicer.
Sony's software is horrifically bad, on Windows and Mac - you're going to want to check out Calibre.
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Old 11-12-2009, 12:44 PM   #11
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Sony's software is horrifically bad, on Windows and Mac -
I wouldn't go that far. Its functionality is basic but (for most people) it's stable, and gets the job done. Just drag and drop from Windows Explorer (or the Mac equivalent) and you're done. It's also an excellent Reader "emulator" for those of us who create LRF-format books, and much faster than having to load a book onto the real device to test it.
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:23 PM   #12
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it's stable, and gets the job done.
Are we talking about the same software? Read through these forums - the Mac version won't stay up for more than a few minutes, and becomes so corrupt that the only solution is to manually find the various files it hid on the system, manually delete them and re-install. Meanwhile, the entire point of today's update to the software was that it did nothing but crash on Vista and Windows 7 - and they warn you that, guess what, if you installed it on Windows 7, you have to manually uninstall it before you can install the update.
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:46 PM   #13
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I've had the mac version sat here running in the background for the best part of a week.. it's stable enough.

If all you want to do is purchase books from the sony store and sync them with the reader, it's perfectly adequate. It's when you want to do other things that you need other software.
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:50 PM   #14
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The purpose of the 3.0.01 update (which, as I said on another thread, was actually released several weeks ago), was to add official support for Windows 7, and to fix a couple of minor bugs. It is certainly not true to say that "it did nothing but crash on Vista; I know personally of many users who are using the software entirely without problems on Vista.
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Old 11-12-2009, 03:09 PM   #15
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Are we talking about the same software? Read through these forums - the Mac version won't stay up for more than a few minutes, and becomes so corrupt that the only solution is to manually find the various files it hid on the system, manually delete them and re-install.
That is just not true, I have the mac version and it is stable, at least on my system.

I do have problems with calibre though.. Go figure.
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