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Old 12-10-2009, 06:56 PM   #1
scottjl
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Thumbs up Quick 'n Dirty PRSA-CL6 (Reader cover with light) Review

Just got my Sony Reader cover with light (PRSA-CL6) today that I had ordered on Monday (fast ground shipping Sony) and thought I'd give a review. I purchased it because it's currently on sale ($42 USD) and I wanted a nice cover that fit well, the light was a good extra for those times when I don't have sufficient light around me.

The cover only comes in black, the outside is leather (don't know if it's real or not) with a light grain pattern in it. On the front "Sony" is embossed where you might have a book lock and "Reader" is embossed on the back. The inside material is also black, soft and a velvety feeling to the touch. Looks like there is a 3rd layer of leather sandwiched between the two, the cover itself is stiff but flexes. There is a single line of stitching around the whole outer edge.

The 600 clips inside two hard plastic supports, the round pins from the cover fit right into the reader which then lies flat against the back panel. Laying the cover open flat on a table, the front panel swings up and away along with a thin center strip where the "binding" on a book would be.

Next to the reader is the flashlight assembly which takes a single (included) AAA battery which is hidden under a hinged cover. The light itself consists of two white LEDs with a plastic diffuser to help scatter the light. It is mounted on a flexible metal stalk which is attached to a rotating arm (maximum rotation is 90 from flat against the book). The light easily stores flat into its channel letting you close everything up quickly, you know, when the flight attendant tells you to get ready for landing. The slide switch has two brightness settings along with off.

I tested the light in a daylight brightened room and in a completely dark room. There is little point in using it in a very bright room, while I could see the LEDs lit, they did not provide any noticeable difference to the eReader page. In the pitch dark room both settings provided adequate illumination for me to read text and graphics on the screen, as well as see the markings above the buttons. I could read just as easily with the low setting as the high setting. The white LED light really makes the contrast stand out between the black "ink" and the light grey "page".

Placement of the light above the reader is important obviously. Yes, you can place it dead center and get blinded by the glare. I found the best position just over the word "Sony" at the top of the reader, with the light bar twisted so it cast the light down/diagonally over the page. It provided good, even illumination. The flexible stalk is a little stiff and it would spring out a little from where I positioned it, probably because it's new.

A nice extra, is there are small magnets sewn into the front and back corners of the cover which make it cling gently to the reader itself. Might not want to store your magnetic strip credit cards in the jacket.

Top and bottom ports and switches are all open, visible and un-protected with the cover open or closed. If you put this into a cluttered bag, something could jam into your headphone jack or pop your memory card out if it pushed against it.

Someone seeing you holding it would think you're holding a thin, expensive looking, black leather clad book. I guess you are.

Overall is it worth the $42 (plus $2.35 in tax and free shipping) sale price? Well, I'm happy with what I paid for it. This is a little harder protection for the screen than the slipcover, I like the light and I like the overall look.

Out of 10, I'll give it a 8. Slightly high in price, and no protection for the ports and switches. Nice, simple looks. Good basic protection for the front and back.
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Old 12-10-2009, 07:14 PM   #2
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Good review, scottjl.
Just wanted to add that I found the illumination is even more even if I place the light parallel to the reader (along the spine of the cover), lighting it from the side.
I find the low setting quite comfortable in the dark while the battery is still strong, but I wish the high setting was much stronger, so that it could make a difference during daytime if the lighting is dim.
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Old 12-10-2009, 09:23 PM   #3
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I am using this cover with my 505 and I like it better than my Medge Go cover and edge illuminator 2. The Medge light is too "focused" and creates a hot spot even when angled above the top edge. It is brighter than the Sony light but the Sony is more even in iilumination.
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Old 12-10-2009, 09:47 PM   #4
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aaah the silence in the bedroom and no fights over to turn off the DAMN light you insensitive pig
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Old 12-12-2009, 09:26 PM   #5
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Thanks for the review. I think I will take advantage of the sale and buy one as well.
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Old 12-14-2009, 07:08 AM   #6
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Another alternative is the M-edge illuminator 2 for PRS 600. My PRS 600 is housed in an M-edge executive case (for PRS 500) - again the bottom right strap hits the volume key (as pointed out in the forums) so it needs some prop to prevent this. The illuminator 2 for PRS 600 fits the M-edge case perfectly and the light is just enough to read in complete darkness! (1 aa battery = 20 hours - I am using rechargables). Just that the switch between bright and extra bright and off is not very sturdy and may need readjustment to switch off completely. Also the rotating hinge is not extremely sturdy as well and it often needs to be pushed in (click) after readjustment. Otherwise it's quite a viable alternative for those who bought the m-edge PRS 500 executive case for PRS 600. (keeps the PRS well protected! - dropped it from table height once with no consequences whatever!)
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