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Old 09-01-2010, 05:08 PM   #1
jlopm
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Device: Kindle 3 Sony PRS-505
Lightbulb PRS-505 vs Kindle 3

As a long time reader first time upgrader, I thought I would make my first post my views of my transition from the Sony PRS-505 to the shiny new Kindle 3.

** While I know there are lots out there who have not received their Kindle yet, who would like tell me how greatful I should be grateful I have my new Kindle (the amazon forums have been a scary emotional place in the last week) I have yet to buy a consumer device which is perfect so I have tried to keep the below balanced with the positives and negatives of both readers. So please no angry posts, though from my readings here I am not expecting any, I just though I would mention it! **

**However that said, if I am doing something obviously stupid that is making my life harder please feel free to let me know**

Size and Weight
The Kindle is longer than the Sony and not hugely slimmer though it is much more contoured.

In terms of weight my kitchen scales tell me that the Kindle is 20g lighter, and while reading I find that it is not as bottom heavy as the Sony.
Having smacked myself in the face several times while reading dozily on the couch this is a good change for me since the top won't suddenly flip at me if I'm not holding the bottom tight enough.

Build Quality
The main reason I have not updated my slightly weary looking Sony to a newer one (apart from the lack of expandability and them not supplying a cover with the new model for the same price!) was that the build quality of the newer Sony's leaned far more towards the plastic than the largely metallic 505. The Sony does feel better build, and having dropped it several, (including on a tiled floor in Mexico) I can attest to its general robustness!

The Kindle is entirely plastic from the on/off switch to the main body, having been aware of this when I ordered I wouldn't say this was a negative, as it would explain some of the weight and price loss compared to the Sony. The Soft grip material on the back is nice and adds to the general hold-ablity of the device. I would say though that I am slightly wary of dropping the Kindle, I am not sure it will take the same kind of treatment my Sony has, but more experienced Kindle owners may have a different view of this. Currently a KlearKase cover is at the top of my shopping list when available.

Usability
I will admit here and now that I am used to my Sony, having had it since launch (2007 I think), so I am sure that some of the things that I find odd about the Kindle will diminish over time.

Firstly I am used to holding my reader at the bottom, with my thumb, as I would a paperback. I have seen reviews where some K2 owners have said they dislike the change in the forward and back buttons. From my perspective I am finding it difficult to find a holding position that doesn't involve 2 hands.

On the reader I have each of my authors as a collection, as I have not wish to trawl through my 400 books to find one by title or by author. The collection support on the Kindle is not great. I am astonished at the decision to order collections by most resent! This will essentially end up in a somewhat random order, making it difficult to find anything if you have more than 1 page of collection. Using the symbol trick of using ! for my first collections (Samples and To be read) then ^ before each author I am able to alphabetize using the by title display. How anyone with more than a dozen or so books managed pre 2.5 firmware I don't know, hats of to all of you . And having to add them by hand !
It does seem that amazon should have invested more time and money on the customer GUI. From review and demos on line of previous versions, the only improvement in 3 iterations appears to be the addition of collections, which should never have been missing in the first place.
Here I think the Sony wins am afraid, and I have a lot of gripes about Sony's platform too. The GUI is more intuitive and required far less "clicks" to do the same thing and the whole thing is cleaner looking. I am finding the Kindle very busy, unnecessarily so.

One thing that baffles me is that, if you read the requirements for selling books via amazon, each book must have a cover. I personally and lovingly added covers to my fairly large collection on Calibre only to be disappointed with the value really. Yet we only ever see a very small thumb nail of this and it is not browsable (Now that would have been good! Sometimes I just can't remember the name of a book, but I can 'see' the cover) Half the time when you open a book the cover is skipped entirely.

The screensavers are also an issue for me, not a huge one, but they have a certain level of smugness to them I dislike (It's the best way I can describe it sorry). A good feature would have been to use the current books cover, or even to have the option to have the screen blank when not in use (If there is a way to do this please let me know). The pictures are somewhat pretentious (all dead authors and classic style pictures, not even the great works of art, just old-y looking stuff). These must be hard sell to the young hip crowd, which is probably why there was no where to see them prior to release. I am looking forward to a hack for this, even if it is just to turn them off.

Speed
Here the Kindle wins hands down. Admittedly I was running my reader from a memory card rather than the main storage, not the fastest, as I had issues when trying to use more than one memory source. But the Sony would seemingly take forever to load my books and collections when disconnected from my computer.
As my library got larger my Sony seemed to get progressively slower, occasionally page turns would bring up the loading icon, which was frustrating.
The normal page turns with the devices side by side show that the K3 is decidedly faster.

So would I recommend the K3 to other ebook fans and newbies?
Yes, I think it becoming obvious that amazon is probably going to win the ebook wars, since like Apple with the Ipod and Itunes, they have made it easy for the not so tech savvy. I could give this to my mother and not worry...too much. She doesn't really care that their DRM is effectively device locking rather than copyright protection.

The price is good, the build quality is good for the price, the functionality is now equal to the US with Whispernet. I love the Idea of being able to buy books on the beach (in a suitable sand\water-proof cover, not like in the new advert on the TV where the kindles are naked at the beach. Eeek! I hope they have the extended warranty)

Its most glaring flaw is the GUI, after the amount that amazon has invested it is very little improvement over the MSreader GUI I was using nearly 10 years ago now, and in some cases its worse, and there seems to have been little improvement across the versions, even though I am sure they received plenty feedback from users. The Sony's GUI though far from perfect has a much less cluttered feel.
While I am sure I will become as accustomed to the K3 GUI and move through it with ease and aplomb very soon, I think there are some things like the collections that will always bother me, why should I have to make a busy screen busier to organize my books in an order that wont change every time I open a new book. Even if the most resent folder is first and then the rest are alphabetized, that would make more sense. Organizing the collections on the computer through amazon or Calibre would be great, but maybe I am just spoilt from the Sony.

As I said at the start this is all just my opinion, and I am under no illusion that any device will be perfect. I would love to hear from others what they think the best and worst features are, on their own or against previous devices.
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:14 PM   #2
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That is an unfair comparison. The 505 will lose. It's got less memory, older screen, slower processor etc.


Compare the K3 to the 650 and see how that fairs.
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:17 PM   #3
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I have a Sony PRS 505 and a Touch, yes the collections not being in alphabetical order is the biggest issue. I have over 40 collections on my Kindle, but as you say the speed wins hands down. I upgraded to the Sony Touch from the 505 and in that respect the Kindle wins hands down. I am actually going to sell my two Sonys. Initally I was very worried about making the swap, especiallly as most of my stuff was in PDF and RTF format, but using Calibre to convert it all to MOBI format has made the transition almost painless.
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:19 PM   #4
jlopm
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I think the 505 actually comes off quite well in comparison! :-D
My sisters between them have both the 650 and the 700, which are both still slower but not as much as the 505. But Sony played around with the control buttons, badly in my opinion, so I was never really tempted to upgrade to one of the new Sony's.
I was waiting for the next version when the announced the K3 and decided to switch allegiance.
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:20 PM   #5
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Compare the K3 to the 650 and see how that fairs.
yes I agree, I want a second reader and was considering waiting for that, but tbh I am not sure how committed Sony are to ebooks long term, and it makes more sense for me to stick with the same format, so its another Kindle for me. Price is also an issue as technology does not hold its value, so the price or the Kindle is a big draw, somehow I can't see Sony getting the price as low.
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:21 PM   #6
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Josieb1 - I think Calibre is great, why no company hasn't bought it or tried to at least emulate it's flexibility I don't understand. Never used the Software and the Kindle doesn't have any.
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:23 PM   #7
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Josieb1 - I think Calibre is great, why no company hasn't bought it or tried to at least emulate it's flexibility I don't understand. Never used the Software and the Kindle doesn't have any.
jlopm - I dread the day someone buys out Calibre, so much so that I back up the latest version everytime I upgrade, its a real lifesaver.
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlopm View Post
As a long time reader first time upgrader, I thought I would make my first post my views of my transition from the Sony PRS-505 to the shiny new Kindle 3.

Size and Weight
The Kindle is longer than the Sony and not hugely slimmer though it is much more contoured.

Having smacked myself in the face several times while reading dozily on the couch this is a good change for me since the top won't suddenly flip at me if I'm not holding the bottom tight enough.
Funny, funny, funny!
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:09 PM   #9
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As a long time Sony user (I had the 500, and upgraded to the 505), I am really happy the kindle is now small enough to fit in my jacket pocket (that was the main thing I was waiting for). So far I am very happy with my Kindle 3, although I would love if the screensaver were the current book cover too. It just makes sense.

To clear the screen, slide the on/off switch and hold it for something like 7 seconds. The screen will blank. (If you hold it for 15, the kindle will reboot)

Build quality is excellent, but a cover is a good idea . I love the buttons on both edges, and the keyboard is much improved over previous kindles. The cover attachment mechanism is genius. The screen blows away my 505, which until now had the best screen on an e-reader (the touch Sony screens were horrible), and the page turn speed is FAST.

Don't really like the UI, but I'll get used to it. I haven't tried a PDF yet.
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Old 09-01-2010, 08:57 PM   #10
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Put a Kindle in your jacket pocket without a cover and you are just waiting for it to come out of that pocket with a broken Kindle.
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Old 09-02-2010, 01:02 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
That is an unfair comparison. The 505 will lose. It's got less memory, older screen, slower processor etc.


Compare the K3 to the 650 and see how that fairs.
Though it's good to see how well the 505 holds up being a rather old product. Still, as lovely as it is, it lost for me due to the lack of dictionary, search and annotation which I believe the 650 has, no? If they've resolved the touchscreen clarity issues, which it seems like they may have done, the 650 is pretty compelling. Sure, the price is higher, but price isn't everything. I paid $400 for my first reader so $190 for the K3 with 3G seemed like an absolute bargain to me.
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Old 09-02-2010, 02:38 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
That is an unfair comparison. The 505 will lose. It's got less memory, older screen, slower processor etc.


Compare the K3 to the 650 and see how that fairs.
It's not about "fairness" it's about comparing one reader to another and the comparison is probably extremely useful for those 505 owners that are not sure if it's worth trading in their Sony for a Kindle.
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Old 09-02-2010, 02:44 AM   #13
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can someone compare the K3 to the Commodore 64 please? thank you
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Old 09-02-2010, 06:56 AM   #14
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can someone compare the K3 to the Commodore 64 please? thank you
Yes. Neither work well with a mouse.
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:47 AM   #15
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can someone compare the K3 to the Commodore 64 please? thank you
The C64 has much better games, and the optional tape drive and 5¼ floppy. It will also do color and connect directly to a TV. It does however, have a limit of 80 characters per line.

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