|02-20-2010, 05:26 PM||#1|
The Human Age
Join Date: Mar 2009
Device: Kindle PW, Kindle Fire HDX 8.9"
Another Daily Edition Review
So I figure there is no harm in adding yet another review of the Sony Daily Edition 900 reader; especially considering how recent is its release. That and the fact that I just replaced my Sony PRS 505 with the 900 allows me to with some confidence discuss the issues of screen glare and text readability that seem to come up in comparisons of these two devices.
I received my new 900 a week ago and had a few days to do a side by side comparison with the 505 that had been my ebook reader for almost two years. Let me address the glare issue first. Honestly I don't see where all the complaints [about the 900] are coming from. In the variety of lighting conditions I use ebook readers in the glare issues were about the same for both devices. In all cases a slight shift in position or screen angle solved the problem.
The issue regarding text readability is real. The 900 does not match the 505 in how sharp the character edges are, nor in the contrast between lettering and screen background. It is definitely not such a difference as to make the 900 text unreadable. In fact taking the larger total screen area coupled with the wider range of font sizes available on the 900 I soon grew accustomed to the 900 and have no problems reading under all the lighting conditions that I had previously used the 505.
One personal note on the subject. I recently had cataract surgery in both eyes and one result of that (Yea!) is that after over forty years I no longer require glasses for normal function. The downside (Boo!) is that for the first time in my life I now require reading glasses. I mention this only because I find that in a pinch I may, by switching to landscape mode and selecting the largest font on the 900, read just fine when I have forgotten or misplaced my reading glasses.
Now I will list the capabilities of the 900 that led me to the switch/upgrade.
The first is the ability to read PDF documents. I read a lot of technical documents, both software books and various math and science books. Generally they are only available and can only be accurately rendered in PDF format. When I first purchased my 505 I made attempts to read such documents on that reader. I quickly abandoned the effort. At the font size that would allow proper document rendering a magnifying glass in hand would have been required. Adjustment to a readable font size would make a hash out of the document. I find that the 900 allows me to read most such technical books in PDF format just fine. Score one for the 900!
The touch screen capability with the ability to highlight text, add notes, and with a touch look up words in the embedded dictionary was the second reason I decided to buy the 900. This is my first touch screen device so I am still getting the hang of that. But already I am thrilled with these capabilities.
I won't discuss some of the other new capabilities in the 900. There are readily available in the product specifications and elsewhere, and those did not greatly influence my choice to get a new reader.
So my conclusion about the 505 versus 900 debate? I actually wish I could have afforded to keep both. The 505 really can't be beat for reading pure text books; its sharp text clarity and its small slim dimensions making it great for carry anywhere reading. But I wanted the ability to read PDF documents and the touch screen capabilities already discussed. So I made the right call in springing for the 900.
While I am typing furiously away let me toss out some thoughts about my dream ebook reader. When I friend first pointed out this to me I thought what a silly idea:
Why shell out the money for two identical full blown readers? However, like the baby and the bathwater I would not toss out the idea of a dual screen reader.
Here is my dream idea. One screen the same size as the 900 screen (I would not want to go much larger or smaller) with out the touch screen capability; in fact the 505 screen just enlarged to the 900 size while retaining some of the 900 advantages: wider range of font sizes, ability to eliminate margins, choice of landscape or portrait view, and ability to display two pages side by side. The other screen would have the touch screen capabilities of the 900, but would be a full color screen.
Dreaming on in even more detail I would place the standard buttons at the bottom of the monochrome screen (much the same as on the 900). The corresponding real estate on the color screen would have an always on touch adjustment for the font size (like what pressing the (+) button on the 900 displays) and a touch bar slider that would allow quick navigation of pages from document start to finish. This slider would include markers on the slider for any bookmarks. Touch the book mark marker and the reader would jump to that page. The displays would be synchronous rendering of the same page; in the clear easy on the eyes display like the 505 on one screen and in full color on the other. With this setup I would be in ebook reader heaven when reading my Scientific American or one of my graphics heavy technical books.
Obviously one issue would be the cost. However given the total cost of some of the currently available tablet PCs (with color screens) I don't see that it need be prohibitive. The other issue is power consumption. Given my experience with the 900 so far (after a week I am still running on the first batter charge up) and that naturally the option would exist to shut off either screen when not needed I don't see this as a big issue.
Ha, ha so that is my current dream device.
|02-21-2010, 04:30 AM||#2|
Join Date: Dec 2009
Device: PRS-505, PRS-600, iPad 16GB Wifi
As I cannot get the 900 in a store here I went for the 600. Screen is a little smaller (and I wished I could have gotten the 900), but it works the same and it's ok for me. All in all, I like the UI of the 600 which I think is very similar to the 900
|02-21-2010, 09:47 AM||#3|
Join Date: Feb 2010
Device: Nook STR and Nook Tablet
I'm another new 900 owner. I like the UI, and the abilty to read PDFs as well. I think too that the review is spot on with the readiblity and glare issues, since it matches my own experience.
I would say that it's still on the small side for some PDFs - dual column ones are a pain, but you can get around those issues via some of the PDF utilities.
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