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Old 07-07-2010, 02:30 PM   #1
leia
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Device: sony prs 505, ebookwise
PRS 600 worse than PRS 505

My PRS 505 took a tumble to the floor - since it was still under warranty, the resulting screen freeze qualified for repair. Unfortunately, Sony chose to exchange my beloved 505 for a 600.

I am very dissapointed in the screen of the 600. While it is not as bad as the original Sony touchscreen, the reading experience is poor. I feel like I am reading through a slightly smudged glass - really a step down.

Makes you wonder what Sony was thinking?

I started ebook device reading with a rocket book - and still use an ebookwise - so touchscreen, backlighting etc. are all old hat to me (and I wonder what all the fuss has been about - given that these things have been in the marketplace for about ten years! - maybe the marketplace just has short memories so companies can make everything old new again ROFL!).

What I want in an ereader is clarity of view. ability to carry enough books, and ideally, ability to upload a wide-variety of ebook formats.
I would prefer a reader device that works on linux, but we can't have everything.

The Sony 505 was great - meeting all my needs for travel as a dedicated e-reader..lightweight, easy to charge (though that non-standard USB voltage is inconvenient)- this "replacement" isn't as good - in fact, just about worthless since seeing the screen without a struggle is feature number one for me.

Hope I get to like it better or I will just be searching on ebay for a replacement 505 (or wait until the next best device comes out!) I do see that the 300 is about as good as the 505 - just smaller in screen size with less memory, so that might be an option.

Thanks for letting me vent!
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Old 07-08-2010, 02:17 AM   #2
Worldwalker
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I really do not know what Sony was thinking when they discontinued the 505 and replaced it with inferior alternatives. They're leaving money on the table, because I sure won't buy a 300 (too small, no card slot), a 600 (touchscreens are not Cheetos compatible), or a 900 (too big). What I really want is a PRS-510: the same basic idea as the 505 with some software updates (big one: having the display by authors work like the display by collections, so I don't have to page through umpteen pages of short stories by some author to get to the next author). More internal memory, maybe a better screen ... in other words, everything a 505 is but better.

No wireless. No touch screen. No funky novelties like the Kindle's keyboard or the Nook's LCD strip. Just a thing that displays ebooks.

Of course, I want a Foonly too. I'm used to disappointment.
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:38 AM   #3
kartu
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Quote:
Makes you wonder what Sony was thinking?
I second that regarding 600. However people that haven't used readers with better screens, actually like 'em.

By the way, after using my 300 for a couple of weeks, I started to love it (can't say the same about 600). Screen seemed tiny in the beginning, but feels just right now (note, that I read with S zoom level, however). It is also much brighter (I don't have to have them next to each other, to notice that), than on my 3+ years old 505. 300 is also much lighter, I can hold it in one hand, scrolling with my thumb for hours. And last, but not least, unlike 505, it fits into some of my pockets.

So the main disadvantage (for me) of 300 vs 505 is actually lack of expansion slots.
Also the need to support hyphenation becomes more obvious, but that probably won't happen any time soon.
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Old 07-08-2010, 05:52 AM   #4
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Good to have your company, Leia. I guess there's nothing much out there to beat the goog ol' 505. Best wishes. Neil
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:12 AM   #5
darknessangel
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Well... I've seen the screen of the 600 and I own a 505... I dunno, but I didn't really notice a difference (perhaps I'm blind). Can someone post a side to side comparisson perhaps? But yeah... I just love the simplicity of the 505. I don't need fingersmudge (oops, sorry, touchscreen) or dictionary or wifi or 3GS or taking notes... I just want to read the damn book!

That's why I hate this stupid race for features cause because of that I haven't seen a large ebook reader. About 99.9999% of my books are *cough* borrowed *cough* from the internet (the 0.0001% was an article I was forced to buy) so I don't care about who supplies the better content but who has the best device. But... whatever it's for supplying content and that's how they make money >_>.

GJMS
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Old 07-08-2010, 01:33 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by darknessangel View Post
I don't need fingersmudge (oops, sorry, touchscreen) or dictionary or wifi or 3GS or taking notes... I just want to read the damn book!
I would like to have "I just want to read the damn book!" tattooed on the insides of the eyelids of all of the marketroids who are pushing to add more and more misfeatures to ebook readers. By the time they're done "improving" our readers, the things will walk the dog, wash the car, feed the chickens, and do everything else but display ebooks in the best way possible. There's a reason we don't set the dinner table with Swiss Army knives.

I put a lot of the blame, just as I have for years with creeping featurism in software, on reviewers. Counting features is the easy way out for a reviewer, so most of them do it; after a while, many of them rely on it. Whether those features are necessary, useful, or even functional enters into it less and less with every review. Users, especially novice users, read those reviews by The Experts (they have to be experts, right, since they're paid to write reviews?) and learn from them that counting features is a valid way to evaluate software -- or ebook readers. It brings to mind the "Battle of the Buttons" between rival kitchen blender manufacturers in the 1960s, as described in Donald Norman's The Design of Everyday Things (a book I highly recommend you read, even if you have no interest in design; all else aside, the writing is awesome): "To appear superior to their predecessors, new blenders had more and more speed settings added, until, by 1968, a machine with 15 buttons appeared." I actually own a blender from that era, with a minimalist (for its time) 8 buttons; I use three: the slowest, the fastest, and one in the middle. Take a look at the current version of any word processor and you'll see what I mean. How many of the features cluttering up the menus do you use? Yeah, neither does anyone else.

I think it's worst in MS-Word, and for a reason: Microsoft's biggest rival is ... Microsoft. Specifically, the products they sold last year, and the year before, and so on back. The other thing Microsoft has is a big staff of developers who need to be kept employed. If Microsoft doesn't pay them, someone else will, and then Microsoft might have just trained its own competition.

To keep those developers employed, Microsoft has to sell software; to sell software, Microsoft has to convince people who already have a program they're happy with that they need to throw it out and buy new. To do that, they have to encourage dissatisfaction with their own products, but not in such a way as to make people dissatisfied with their brand, too. Promoting their newer products as faster, for instance, or with fewer bugs, could be a very bad thing. If you say your competitor's product is slow and buggy, that tarnishes the competitor's reputation ... and Microsoft doesn't dare do that, because their competitor is themselves. But "new features" is a safe sort of "better"; since they're new, the features weren't technically possible in the previous version, so there's nothing bad about Microsoft-last-year not including them. And you need those new features, just ask any reviewer.

In the case of ebook readers, the reviewers (trained well by years of reading and writing software reviews) count features. This one has a dictionary, that one doesn't. This one has a gimmicky LCD strip, that one has a keyboard. The way to get a good review isn't to make a totally awesome device, but to make an adequate one with a couple of extra blades in the Swiss Army knife. By the way, no disparagement of Swiss Army knives is meant; I own four, including the one with a USB drive in it.

Sadly, I don't think that's ever going to change. Feature-counting reviews and feature-stuffing manufacturers are probably with us for good, along with the exhortations to replace perfectly good things (cars being a big one) with the newest model just because it's newer, not because it does anything we need, and the advertising arms race. But we as individuals can opt out. We can look at features through the mindset of "do I need this?" rather than "could I ever possibly utilize this?" as the feature-stuffers want us to do. We can ask ourselves whether we really need to replace something that's still doing its job. And we can look past feature-counting in reviews and decide which one is better, rather than which one can tick more boxes on a list. You can save a ton of money that way ... not to mention avoiding having to learn the quirks of a different car -- or ebook reader -- every couple of years.

By the way, *cough* "borrowing" *cough* ebooks won't get you a lot of points around here. Too many of us are authors, friends of authors, admirers of authors, wanna-be authors (that would be me), or just plain honorable people. There are plenty of sources of affordable and legitimately free ebooks; use 'em.
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Old 07-08-2010, 02:58 PM   #7
Tinderbox (UK)
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You can see the difference between the 505 and 600 in the video below , it not the best quality but you can see the page on 505 is whiter and the text is darker than on the 600.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JLFw2MfGxI
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Old 07-13-2010, 05:28 PM   #8
lustyd
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Why not send back the 600 and demand a 505? Or even sell the 600 and buy a new 505? If you're in the UK, Argos still have them in the current catalogue so I'm not convinced they have been discontinued completely.
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