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Old 05-20-2010, 04:05 AM   #1
mathias
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mathias began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 12
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Join Date: May 2010
Device: prs-300; BeBook Neo; iRiver Cover Story; Sony T1
BeBook Neo vs PRS-300

So, yesterday I got myself the BeBook Neo (including Stylez cover). After playing with it for a couple of hours I thought I share my opinion on how it compares to the Sony Pocket Reader:

Booting:
I guess I'm spoiled. The Pocket Reader is instant-on, as long as the battery doesn't run flat. The latter happened to me once in the odd six months that I used the reader. The BeBook has a standby mode that is instant-on as well, but it depletes the battery rather quickly. I lost 40% in 7 hours of standby. Apparently the BeBook uses a standard Nokia mobile battery so it should be no problem to get a spare, just in case. Powering off the BeBook completely, requires a 20 sec or so reboot. From the forums I understand other readers take just as long, but Sony proves it can be done faster.

Screen:
The screen is nice and big compared to the Pocket. What surprised my was that the smallest font is hardly readable, which is a shame since I like small fonts. On the Sony I tweaked my epubs to use a 7 pt font ... I guess this is less a screen problem than rather the way the BeBook renders the fonts. Just guessing though.

Touchscreen:
It's nice to have a touch screen, and I prefer the inductive type over pressure sensitive screens. Taking out the pen every time you want to do something on the screen is a pain though. Anyway, there's no glare and scribbling on the screen and even typing on the on-screen keyboard works nicely once you have got out the pen (which is fiddly with the cover in place)
There's a little lag between using the pen and the screen showing a result. That makes marking text a little difficult especially with smaller fonts.

GUI:
No complaints here. Everything (except for entering text) can be achieved using the navigator buttons. I wish there were dedicated buttons for dictionary lookup (wordnet and oxford work just fine btw) and bookmarks.
Turning pages with buttons is a little difficult. Just as with the Sony Reader the navigator is in the lower middle of the device. Holding the Reader in one hand and pressing the buttons required a bit of a stretch on the Sony, on the larger BeBook it's even more difficult. Maybe I have small hands, so your millage may vary ...

Wifi:
Yes, the Neo has wifi. It works alright, but I guess I won't be using it much. It's rather slow and most pages don't render well in greyscale. It should be okay to check out things on wikipedia or download a book in case of emergency. Going on a standard page (wh smith, etc) and buying a book online is not exactly seamless experience. But you have the functionality in case you need it. So I don't complain.

Tweakability:
The Sony runs out of the box. You get what you see. 3 font sizes and that's it. The Bebook allows for some user customization. You can add extra fonts (haven't done that yet) and custom dictionaries. The latter was one of the reasons to buy the Neo but having to hunt down the dictionary files on the net and adding them to the firmware before an update may not be everybody's cup of tea.

Out of topic:
What's the best (cheapest) place to buy ebooks? For now I use wh smith, and I don't mind DRM, since I decrypt all my files after I buy them anyway. I also used Sony's store, but they seem to be a bit more expensive.

Last edited by mathias; 05-20-2010 at 04:43 AM.
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