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Old 05-16-2010, 05:48 AM   #1
Mel_Putra
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How to purchase PRS-300 while in the US and use in Malaysia?

Hi Guys!
I live in Malaysia where eBook readers are not yet popular. Currently the only eBook reader sold locally in Malaysia is Hanlin V5 (sold by MPH Bookstore at RM1099/USD343). I have never owned an eBook reader before but would love one. I read a lot of novels and a bit of travel guidebooks. What I see as the main reason to get the eBook reader is for when I travel. It would be good to not have to lug along a few books each time. I have been deliberating between Kindle and Sony (Hanlin is not as attractive, so I am trying to avoid buying it). I will highly likely be visiting US sometimes in Aug-Sept. Or else, my friend will definitely be going for 3 months. So there is no issue getting it from there. My issue is I am not very well versed in high tech issues so very nervous when it comes to downloading or converting anything... and a lot of the jargons are lost on me!

I think I am leaning towards Sony since it is so complicated being a Malaysian getting Kindle and Amazon’s eBooks here. But I did some very informative forum about how to use Kindle out of the US.
Another reason I am leaning more towards Sony is I also read that Kindle’s screen is pretty fragile. Plus, I can’t use Kindle’s wireless connectivity in Malaysia.
I am leaning towards PRS-300.


Let me highlight my requirements for eBook reader

I want the eBook Reader for:
1. Just to read books. Not documents, e-mails, newspapers nor magazines.
2. Long reading time - long life battery
- Good to have a reader that doesn't have the glare of LCD screens, so won’t strain your eyes.

I am not interested in:
1. Wireless (Useless in Malaysia)
2. External memory card - since I won’t be storing the books I have read and the most number of books I need to store is probably 10-20 when I travel. Otherwise I can just download as and when I need to read a new book.


Question 1
As you mentioned, Sony book store is not extensive but we can also buy eBooks from Google Book. When I checked Google Book it says that we can purchase from stores like Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, Borders, etc. But being in Malaysia, I don’t think I can purchase online from these sites (since I read that Malaysians can’t purchase eBooks for Kindle from Amazon.com and B&N).
Furthermore, the Sony Reader Store is currently available in the United States and Canada only. So how do we purchase from them here in Malaysia?
Many publishers are only permitted to sell their ebooks in specific countries due to
"geographical restrictions", and this is enforced by the eBook stores where appropriate. Would anyone know which eBook stores are accessible for Malaysian users?


Question 2
I know that the eBook reader can be charged via USB through the laptop. For when I don’t have my laptop with me, I will need a normal AC Charger, which I know is available for purchase and it had been mentioned that any PSP AC Wall Charger will do the job. Then what about the difference in voltage between US and Malaysia? Electricity in Malaysia is 240 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second.Would I need to use the converter here in Malaysia and anywhere else outside US?


Question 3
Even if the eBook reader enables us to borrow library books, this is only for local libraries and I don’t think Malaysian libraries have ebooks yet. So I assume that function is useless if the local libraries don’t support ebook…


Question 4
The PRS-300 doesn’t use user replaceable battery, right? What will happen once the battery dies in 1-2 years? As mentioned, I live in Malaysia and currently ebook readers are not sold here. (the only ebook reader in Malaysian market is Hanlin). Not even sure if Sony will ever sell theirs here… I am just wondering if I buy any of Sony’s ebook readers will I end up just using it for the duration of it’s battery life? What are the options available for someone who lives in a country where Sony is not selling this product?


Question 5
How to buy Sony PRS-300 in New York? My research in MR shows that there are PRS-300 sold at places like Target, ToysRus, Walmart, Borders, Best Buys and Sony Shop. However, are the products in-store or it will be delivered by mail? If I buy online, can I use non US credit card? Read that there may be issue with the billing address of the credit card.
I read that sometimes it takes weeks to arrive. I will only be there for 6 weeks but my friend will be there 6 weeks earlier than me (for the full duration of 3 months). Of cause I would rather buy it from the store rather than online but if it is only sold online, waiting till I get there may be too late if it takes longer than 6 weeks to arrive… So if it is confirmed not to be sold in the store (cash and carry) then I will have to ask my friend to buy for me as soon as she arrives (6 weeks before my arrival so giving them max 3 months to deliver the PRS-300).

Also, I will only be in New York August till almost end of Sept (while my friend will be there from June 20th till Sept 20th). Do you think it will still be easy to obtain PRS-300 directly from the stores by then?

We will be staying at The Residence Inn New York Manhattan/Times Square, 1033 Avenues of the Americas, New York. Would anyone be able to suggest any stores nearby? I am very much a stranger to NYC since the only time I was there was when I was 11!


Question 6
How to buy Sony PRS-300 cover in New York? Only online? Can I buy from stores? If yes, which are the stores with the most comprehensive stock? I quite like the look of either the Tuff-Luv or the M-Edge leather products. Would these be sold in normal stores?


Question 7
Calibre - Read that this is very good. Can it be used to download ebooks globally?

I know that I have posted a lot of questions but I am really confused. I hope someone would be able to at least answer some of my questions! I wonder at times whether it will be better off for me to just buy the locally sold Hanlin V5 but then again MPH is just their distributor and anything they will still need to send the ebook back to China and the price is pretty high. Furthermore, it really doesn’t look as nice as the PRS-300…

Thanks,
Mel
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Old 05-16-2010, 06:16 AM   #2
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Greetings to Malaysia

I won't be able to answer all your questions but maybe it helps anyway.

You don't need to buy eBooks from the Sony Store when using a PRS reader. You can always download using your PC and transfer them to your reader using USB. I live in German and can't use the Sony Store too but that's no problem. I do have a lot of eBooks (EPub and PDF) downloaded from other sides or local stores and transfered them to my PRS-505 and PRS-900.

BTW if glare is an issue for you maybe the PRS-505 is the better option. It also has a SD card slot. Due to the touchscreen the 300,600 and 900 do have more or less a glare issue. The PRS 900 is sold if an external charger but it's currently $349 total.

You do need to use a service like USunlocked when buying online from outside the US as they won't ship to others countries. You may buy online from SonyStyle or others shops and let them ship through USunlocked. Some guys already tried this with success.

When in NY just drop in any shop and buy your reader. Don't think they only sell them online. I've read from a lot of US people who bought them directly in the shop. So, no worry aboút that.

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Old 05-16-2010, 09:31 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyDream View Post
Due to the touchscreen the 300,600 and 900 do have more or less a glare issue.
The PRS-300 does not have a touch screen and it's clarity is equal to, and some say marginally better, than the that of the PRS-505. I also very much doubt you can buy a new PRS-505 in any retail outlet in the US.

Many members, including myself, are experiencing geographical restrictions. Some workarounds are posted on the board and are often changing. I'm not buying any geographically restricted books myself due to the recent cartel created by the publishers.
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Old 05-16-2010, 06:39 PM   #4
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I'd love to know how the urban legend about Kindle screens being more fragile than other ereaders got started. My Kindle screen is no more fragile than my Sony 300, my Alex, or my Nook. They all use the same screen from the same manufacturer, don't they?
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Old 05-17-2010, 02:45 AM   #5
Mel_Putra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NNolan View Post
I'd love to know how the urban legend about Kindle screens being more fragile than other ereaders got started. My Kindle screen is no more fragile than my Sony 300, my Alex, or my Nook. They all use the same screen from the same manufacturer, don't they?
I just read about Kindle's fragile screen somewhere...
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Old 05-17-2010, 02:49 AM   #6
Mel_Putra
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I am just so worried that once I purchased the PRS-300 from US I will end up not being able to use it back in Malaysia. Going to the US is a 1 off trip for me so it is not as if I can go and download more books from there... But if I can still download ebooks into my PC while in Malaysia then onto my ereader then it is fine. Hope it won't be too complicated
Anyway, if anyone else can answer the rest of my questions that will be great!
Mel
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:46 PM   #7
MSJim
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Since no one else is jumping in, I'll try to answer your questions.
1. I don't know about Malasian restrictions on internet use. Maybe someone else familiar with that part of the world can help.
2. Most mains chargers are 110/220V, 50/60Hz. So, you should only need an appropriate plug adapter to match up with whatever wall socket you encounter. Please do check the fine print on the charger to make sure this is the case before plugging in though.
3. Most libraries do not have eBooks, so your are correct in saying this feature is useless. None of the libraries in my area have eBooks.
4. Sony (and Apple) charge a lot to replace an out of warranty battery. You may be able to find a replacement battery on the internet. But, by time you need one, it might also just be time to upgrade to a new reader.
5. The stores you mentioned generally sell over the counter. You should be able to pay for the unit and walk away. I probably know less about NYC than you do, but I can't imagine that it would be very hard to find a store close to where you're staying that sells Sony readers.
6. In my experience, stores that sell Sony readers also sell the Sony covers to fit them, but the Tuff-Luv and the M-Edge covers are internet only. I should think you'll have enough time to get the products delivered if you can get them to sell and ship to a motel address.
7. Calibre is an excellent program. I highly recommend it. However, it is not an eBook search engine. One normally downloads eBooks from a variety of sources (including here on MR) and then manages them (edit metadata, tag to create collections, convert format, transfer to ereader, etc.) using Calibre. Depending on how Question 1 is resolved, you may also be able to use the Fetch News feature of Calibre to download periodicals.
I hope this helps. Good luck.
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Old 05-17-2010, 01:41 PM   #8
Mel_Putra
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Thanks so much for your feedback! At least I am clearer now. Hopefully I will get some response from someone in SE Asia re which independent stores sell ebook around here!


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