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Old 07-03-2010, 10:13 AM   #1
burble
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Alternatives to the Sony PRS-505

Hi,

I'm looking to buy an e-reader for the first time, but I'm generally overwhelmed by the range of choice. If you could give me any advice, it would really be appreciated!

I want something that

-- can read a range of formats
-- works well under direct sunlight (important)
-- isn't backlit
-- (probably) has a 6 inch screen*
-- is reasonably robust

*I tried a friend's 6" Kindle, and that seemed like a very nice size.

I don't need

-- wireless (just to take files from my PC)
-- large storage capacity
-- long battery life
-- any additional functionality

From what I've read, the Sony PRS-505 seems ideal, but as far as I can tell it's out of production. (And I'm nervous about buying one second-hand, in case there's something wrong with it.) Beyond that, there seem to be so many different brands out there that I have trouble making the choice... I'd be really grateful for any advice! All else being equal, I'd prefer the cheapest thing that would suit my needs. Oh, and I'm based in the UK.

Thanks and best wishes,
Mohan
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Old 07-07-2010, 04:25 PM   #2
leia
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Hi -
in my opinion, the way the screen looks to your eyes is a deciding factor. And no review can tell you that. I recommend that you look at, handle, press the buttons on the top choices available in your area and in your price range. I had a 505 and loved it - perfect for my needs (I dropped it and got a 600 in exchange which I do not like as well - the screen is not as clear to me even though it has touchscreen etc.).
I have used ereader devices for more than ten years - my fav remains the rocket (its the ebookwise which is still available and has a nice |(to my eyes) screen, easy to hold, ) - it's very affordable and with some conversion will take a lot of formats.

A second issue aside from your comfort preference will be what you want to read.
I|f you want to read the classics or classic sci fi (baen books etc.), you will be able to choose almost any reader because these books are either free or come in multi-formats - suitable for any reader.
\
if you prefer to read more popular novels - latest releases, you need to look at the formats available - ebookwise doesn't have as many of the amazon-type books on its site in the .rb format (there is also the matter that some authors/publishers protect the content - so even if you could theorectically convert the format, you are not allowed to do so).

I would start by looking at the Sony PRS 300 and not get too worried about the screen size until you hold it and read on it. If you aren't comfortable with that size, you will need to look at the 6 inch size e-ink choices, esp if you want to read popular novels.

I think an e-reading device is just that - don't try to make it do too many things (and I can see from your list you aren't) - so focus on the basics, viewability and access to the type of books you want to read and you will make a choice that works for you.
Good luck.
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Old 07-07-2010, 04:30 PM   #3
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PS -
Don't get too worried about Large storage capacity. Ebooks don't take up a lot of room. On my ebookwise, I have only 64mb of storage - and 180 books - that's enough for a week or two of business travel. In practical terms, the more books and stuff you cram onto your reader, the more difficult and time consuming it can be to find it and access it. Since you say you will be using your computer more than cloud-computing for accessing ebooks - you should be okay even with a \PRS 300. Also, for a used 505, the main issue that |I have seen go wrong is a screen freeze (and you can always see that) and that the battery doesn't hold a charge (known issue for all li-on batteries). depending upon the price you might be okay with a used on - though the 505s are going for a price equal to or higher than the 600s
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Old 07-07-2010, 04:52 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice! As it happens, I managed to find a new PRS-505 just today, so I'm very happy! Off to read...

Best wishes,
Mohan
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:27 AM   #5
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Good to have your company, Burble. Seems to me that a 505 would be ideal for you (I've had one for a couple of years and it's sheer delight for its simplicity and flexibility). Sure, they're out of production now (Sony's biggest ever mistake, I think), but you can pick one up unused or second hand if you keep a sharp eye on the 'Flea Market' forum here at MobileRead or on eBay, etc. Good luck and best wishes. Neil
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:31 AM   #6
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Hmm, my mother, out of the blue, just MSN'd me a link to the mobile read world famous ereader matrix... with the message: "Hard to chose"... (luckily, she doesn't read English well enough to go the forum, or she'd have found out I'm a regular here )

She mentioned she wanted one, but it had to be easy to use. The first I thought about was the 505. But, as already mentioned above, it's no longer in production.

But what about the PocketBook 301? How would that compare, in easiness with the 505?

The Kindle DX would be perfect, if it would only read epub (DRM or no DRM, I can teach her how to strip it, especially if I create executables from those python scripts), but I think converting goes a bit too far... Besides, it's probably a bit over budget anyway...
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:51 AM   #7
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Mohan, I know something that would fit your requirements perfectly: PocketBook 301+

I have one and it's just superb. It reads virtually any format out there and even does PDFs decently. It's a 6" screen that reads easily in sunlight. I use it on my apartment porch most every evening. It has 512MB of onboard storage and an SD slot for up to 32GB more. And it's got no wireless, either.
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Old 07-08-2010, 01:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedtouch View Post
Mohan, I know something that would fit your requirements perfectly: PocketBook 301+

I have one and it's just superb. It reads virtually any format out there and even does PDFs decently. It's a 6" screen that reads easily in sunlight. I use it on my apartment porch most every evening. It has 512MB of onboard storage and an SD slot for up to 32GB more. And it's got no wireless, either.
Is it easy to use? (easy to put books on it, DRM and non, easy to find those books, etc)
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Old 07-08-2010, 02:10 PM   #9
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Absolutely. Just plug in the USB cord and off you go. Copy & Paste books to the onboard memory or to the (optional) SD card. I have not tried any DRM books, so I can't say for sure about that, but the PB 301+ is supposed to open DRM books. The interface of the bookshelf in the 301+ is based on directories. So create directories as you like (by author, by genre, etc.) and paste them to the 301+.
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