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Old 05-05-2010, 12:16 PM   #1
EdgyB
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Just bought a PRS-600 and don't like it

I used to have a 505 and loved the screen. I bought a PRS-600 and the screen is a lot darker than I want it to be. I'm considering getting a Nook instead. Do you think I'd be happy with the Nook's screen? The problem I'm having with the 600 is that I can't really read it at home (not enough light in my apartment) but I borrowed a friend's 505 (which is my old one) and the screen on it is so much nicer and easier on my eyes. So, Nook or...?
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Old 05-05-2010, 12:43 PM   #2
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I used to have a 505 and loved the screen. I bought a PRS-600 and the screen is a lot darker than I want it to be. I'm considering getting a Nook instead. Do you think I'd be happy with the Nook's screen? The problem I'm having with the 600 is that I can't really read it at home (not enough light in my apartment) but I borrowed a friend's 505 (which is my old one) and the screen on it is so much nicer and easier on my eyes. So, Nook or...?
You can try to use a reading light for your Sony 600 (there's even a Sony cover with integrated light). For lots of users this has done the job.

nook has excellent contrast. It definitely can match Sony 505.
But it has less capabilities in managing the content, for example no collections.

Sony 900 has slightly better contrast/less glare than Sony 600, but still can't match Sony 505. To me, that's not a problem - the touchscreen features outweigh the glare by far.

PocketBoook 360 has a huge fanbase. It's only 5", but matches Sony 505's contrast and has tons of features for managing the content.

You've got Sony 600, so the touchscreen may be important to you? Then you should have a look at iRex 800 and BeBook Neo/Onyx Boox (Neo and Boox have the same hardware, you can exchange firmwares back and forth).
Both use a WACOM screen and don't have any glare.

Both Kindles are similar to nook.

You can take a look at Sony 300 as well. 5", anything else more or less identical to Sony 505. Same for Cybook Opus.

Last edited by mgmueller; 05-05-2010 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 05-05-2010, 02:00 PM   #3
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I just got my PRS-600 as well, and I can say that the type of light in your room matters a lot. Last night, I was reading in bed with a very white light (sorry, I don't know the specifics...) and today I was reading in the living room with more of a natural yelloish light. I can say that the natural light made reading much easier, it was a significant difference as well for the glare.
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Old 05-05-2010, 02:38 PM   #4
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Just got my PRS-600 last night (and only just finished getting it charged up at work this morning).

I've found thus far the glare and slight dimming of the screen caused by the touch layer are manageable --- my issues have been w/ the touch screen and interface:

- I really wish there were a ``back'' menu button (which matches the return arrow in the upper left corner)
- I'm finding that when using the stylus to write or draw I often get extraneous lines caused by my knuckles
- making annotations takes a bit of getting used to, and I wish they were more easily exported --- ditto for Text Memos and Handwriting / drawings
- switching to / from landscape is a pain and oddly implemented (accustomed to having it in the magnification button on my PRS-505)

Still fits in my shirt pockets though (and also fits in the cover for my old PRS-505, though _that_ doesn't fit in my shirt pockets).

On a positive note:

- it's much faster than the PRS-505 (though it does seem to me to bog down at odd / random moments)
- there're a lot of capabilities hidden behind the option button....

MAJOR NEGATIVE NOTE:

- Turns out the screen is from the lot which fades when the page is turned in bright sunlight.

Anyone else w/ a 600 have this problem? Any one able to confirm some 600s don't? Anyone have any luck exchanging their unit?

William

Last edited by WillAdams; 05-05-2010 at 08:28 PM. Reason: screen fades in sunlight.
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Old 05-06-2010, 03:51 AM   #5
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I have two PRS-600s; neither has the sunlight fading issue.
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Old 05-06-2010, 05:07 AM   #6
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I have two PRS-600s; neither has the sunlight fading issue.
Sunlight? In the UK? Are you sure? Or were you on holiday somewhere?

On a more serious note, it may make a difference where you live. I'm in Western Australia where we have very clear skies and almost laser like sunlight and UV. If I sit outside with my iRiver Story e-ink screen reader the surface temperature on the screen can fairly quickly heat up to the maximum quoted working temperature, and above. It then starts to fade. This happens even when the shade temperature (which is what we get on the weather report) is well below that figure. You can see the same effect by lying a glass thermometer in full sun - it goes way above the quoted maximum for the day.

If I keep the screen shaded a little it works OK. I figured that was simpler than trying to go through all the hassle of trying to get a replacement and possibly finding the same results anyway. Except for test purposes, reading in full sun isn't something I'm likely to want to do though. Others will have different priorities.

I don't recall the light being as intense when I lived in the UK, so that may be a factor. Or not. Just a thought.

Cheers,

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Old 05-06-2010, 08:25 AM   #7
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Light intensity is definitely part of it --- I could get the fading to happen at 4:30 or so, but not at 7:00 --- will try to go out each hour today and make some notes on the effects.

William
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Old 05-06-2010, 08:48 AM   #8
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On a more serious note, it may make a difference where you live. I'm in Western Australia where we have very clear skies and almost laser like sunlight and UV. If I sit outside with my iRiver Story e-ink screen reader the surface temperature on the screen can fairly quickly heat up to the maximum quoted working temperature, and above. It then starts to fade. This happens even when the shade temperature (which is what we get on the weather report) is well below that figure. You can see the same effect by lying a glass thermometer in full sun - it goes way above the quoted maximum for the day.
You may have a point there... It might have some relation to temperature, but it might also have some relation with UV radiation...

Personally, I actually noticed the opposite. When I'm reading outside (not only in the Netherlands, but also in Southern Spain), the contrast became higher than when reading inside. Not sure if it is because the "paper" looked whiter or the "ink" blacker...
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Old 05-06-2010, 05:01 PM   #9
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You may have a point there... It might have some relation to temperature, but it might also have some relation with UV radiation...
I've never seen anything that definitively stated why the fading occurs, or even what causes it. It'd be interesting if someone can narrow it down.
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Old 05-06-2010, 05:24 PM   #10
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MAJOR NEGATIVE NOTE:

- Turns out the screen is from the lot which fades when the page is turned in bright sunlight.

Anyone else w/ a 600 have this problem? Any one able to confirm some 600s don't? Anyone have any luck exchanging their unit?

William
There are several threads on MR about the PRS-600 screen fade in bright sunlight issue. One of the most active is here.

In my own case the fading was so bad that the screen was unreadable. I live in Seattle and discovered the problem in the middle of winter - not nearly as "intense" sunlight as some places.

As I was within the first 90 days of my warranty I qualified for the "Advanced Exchange" program here in the U.S. This allowed me to have the "new" (actually "refurbished") unit in hand to compare to my original to make sure I was getting an improvement. While the replacement still fades slightly in bright sun, it is substantially better than the original. It also has a better looking screen in terms of clarity and contrast compared to the other, even under "non-fading" conditions. Oh, and the exchange didn't cost me a thing, not even for shipping. I did have to give them my credit card number before they shipped out the replacement.

So, it is definitely a known problem. People who experience zero fade at all are lucky. A few folks have had the misfortune of having fading units replaced with other fading units, twice over, even. So I count myself very fortunate that I had the opportunity to compare both units side-by-side before committing to the replacement.

Some people just "live with" the fading--with my original unit I would tilt the screen away from the sun and/or use the cover to block it during page turns. Once you get the timing right it doesn't add to page-turn times. But I would imagine some people might eventually have problems with the repetitive motion aspect of it.

Good luck with getting your issue resolved, however you decide to approach it!
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Old 05-06-2010, 08:42 PM   #11
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As I was within the first 90 days of my warranty I qualified for the "Advanced Exchange" program here in the U.S. This allowed me to have the "new" (actually "refurbished") unit in hand to compare to my original to make sure I was getting an improvement.
Would you mind specifying where exactly is that "Advanced Exchange"? I am interested.

Also, a little question: When I change screens on my PRS-600, I can slightly see the previous on the background of my current one (if I try). Even when I press Continue Reading and it loads a book page, I can see the Continue Reading box, icon and caption text very dimly. It all disappears once I go forward or backward in the book since the whole screen refreshes, though. Is this normal?

Last edited by Kore; 05-06-2010 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 05-06-2010, 10:20 PM   #12
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Would you mind specifying where exactly is that "Advanced Exchange"? I am interested.

Also, a little question: When I change screens on my PRS-600, I can slightly see the previous on the background of my current one (if I try). Even when I press Continue Reading and it loads a book page, I can see the Continue Reading box, icon and caption text very dimly. It all disappears once I go forward or backward in the book since the whole screen refreshes, though. Is this normal?
As I understand it, units purchased in the U.S. within the first 90 days of the warranty qualify for "Advanced Exchange". I didn't have to "sign up" for it. It is not an extended warranty. The PRS-600 warranty is 90 days parts and labor, and then the remainder of the year, Sony pays for the parts, the customer pays for labor and shipping.

You can read the details of this warranty online or download the pdf - which also includes support telephone numbers for the US and Canada.

The "after-image" behavior you are describing is called "ghosting" and can happen with e-ink devices. Most e-ink e-readers do some version of a "wipe" between screen changes, such as reversing all the previous characters, or making the entire screen "black", then "white" before rendering the next page. It seems the PRS-600 does the latter. My current PRS-600 doesn't show any ghosting at all; I don't recall if this occurred with the previous, defective screen...

In any case, it sounds like you could do with a replacement. But if you are outside the first 90 days from date of purchase, it might be a gamble. With the advanced replacement program they ship you a replacement unit, along with a UPS label to send back your original--so you have the opportunity to compare them side-by-side. From what I've heard, after 90 days are past, you have to ship your old unit, wait until they send it back "repaired" or "replaced" - and then hope that the screen doesn't have the same problem.

People have complained that Sony will not check units before sending them out for this problem - it was against their "procedure" as of a month or two ago. Maybe if they get enough complaints about the screen issue, they'll be more proactive about it. But I suspect a lot of folks either don't notice until it's too late to do anything (easily) about it, they believe the Sony customer support person that tells them "this is normal" (this apparently happens), or they just live with it.

I love my PRS-600, and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to others--with a few caveats. The screen doesn't have the "whiteness" of some other e-readers, and this bugs some people. This can be overcome with the right lighting (even the right color LED book lamp can make a huge improvement in this regard). Plus, one gets used to it...at least I did.

The touch-screen adds a lot of extra functionality to the device, but this causes the power to drain more quickly. Not a big deal for me--but some people expect e-readers to last two weeks on a single charge, and they need to understand how the touch screen factors into this equation.

The touch-screen layer also adds the infamous "glare" problem - but this is pretty easily worked around. There are some reading circumstances that are more challenging than others, but one gets used to automatically tilting it for best readability.

BUT--the one thing I would recommend to anyone purchasing a PRS-600 is to take it out into bright sunlight ASAP and test the screen for fading. Most stores have a 30 day return policy that might be a bit simpler than dealing with Sony.
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Old 05-07-2010, 01:18 AM   #13
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I'm sure that the sunlight fading thing does not relate to the whole PRS600 series, most probably you were 'lucky' to get a lemon, a faulty screen. It happened couple of times with our devices, PocketBooks, we replace such devices. I'm sure Sony knows about this problem as well (there's not so many e-Ink manufacturers, heh, and the should replace the device as well.
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