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Old 09-17-2010, 05:47 AM   #1
IvoSenden
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Comparison between PRS-650 and PRS-505

I'm glad I skipped the PRS-600 when the battery of my much used PRS-505 finally started wearing out.
The infamous touchscreen layer of the PRS-600 caused the contrast to sink to terrible levels.
And then came the PRS-650.
Now, I'm not going to say that the PRS-650 is perfect, cause it's not. Sony still uses the same, frustrating Reader software and still sells the AC charger and the cover seperately.
Also, I noticed that when opening a book from the menu, you can still see the menu somewhat through the picture of the book cover, as if the screen didn't refresh all too well. This problem however, only appears to happen when showing the book cover. Once you're on the text pages of a book, or browsing through the menu, everything's perfectly fine.

Now, for comparing to my old, faithfull PRS-505...

The PRS-650 has a slightly higher contrast, with darker blacks, making my books just a little more readable.
The PRS-650 has 16 shades of gray, where the PRS-505 has only 4, making photo's and images appear very detailed, natural and high in contrast.
The PRS-650 has software similar to the PRS-600, which is better than the 505's.
On my PRS-505, I noticed that it got very slow when holding more than 400-500 books, so the first thing I did was pumping over one thousand books into my new PRS-650. Ok, it got a tiny bit slower, but I'm talking nanoseconds here. It handles a whole bulk of books just fine.

The new touchscreen, which is made up of infrared sensors in stead of a pressure sensitive layer, is really nice. You literally don't have to press, just touch the screen. The page turn "swipe" can be set from left to right, or right to left, but you don't have to swipe all across the screen. A tiny move with your thumb over the screen for about 1 cm (half an inch) makes your pages turn.

Some of the PRS-600 and 300 had fading text when turning pages in bright sunlight. This appears to be a problem of a faulty batch of eInk screens and I didn't notice this problem on my new PRS-650.

I'm waiting now for the update of the wonderful Calibre software. Version 0.7.19, which should come any day now, is promised to have PRS-650 support, so I can leave the awfull Sony Reader software behind me.

I made a photo of the same page on the PRS-650 and the PRS-505, next to each other in bright sunlight, to compare the contrast.

Cheers,

Ivo
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Old 09-17-2010, 06:42 AM   #2
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That's a good review ans I pretty much agree with everything you've noted. In the short time I've used my 650 I haven't noticed the shadowing issue, it was a noticeable problem with the 600. It's interesting to see the additional contrast of the 650 against the 505, the difference is even more noticeable against the 600.

I've used my 605 this morning to catch up on the news and I have to say it's a joy to use, the page turns are very swift, requiring only a light touch with the finger and the screen readability is just so much easier with the 650 over the 600. The sun's a bit overcast in the UK today, but I've taken a quick picture of how the contrast of the 650 compares with the 600. It's not the best picture as it was taken in a rush and using my phone camera, but it shows how noticeable the difference is.
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IvoSenden View Post
On my PRS-505, I noticed that it got very slow when holding more than 400-500 books, so the first thing I did was pumping over one thousand books into my new PRS-650. Ok, it got a tiny bit slower, but I'm talking nanoseconds here. It handles a whole bulk of books just fine.
That's very nice news! Slowness in handling big libraries was one of the major complaints for the Readers. For how long did the device scan your books after disconnecting the USB cable?
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:38 PM   #4
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Thanks to you both for the comparison pics. The new readers seem to be the best yet from Sony.
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Old 09-18-2010, 12:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iptech View Post
I have to say it's a joy to use, the page turns are very swift, requiring only a light touch with the finger and the screen readability is just so much easier with the 650 over the 600.
This very exciting news - I would love the functionality of my iPhone reading on an e-Ink device. I'm jealous - I can't wait to get my hands on a black 650.
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Old 09-18-2010, 01:21 AM   #6
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Amazing. Thanks for the contrast pics. We've certainly come a long way.
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Old 09-18-2010, 12:11 PM   #7
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Anyone have a 350 and a 500 or a 350 and a 505 they want to share comparison pictures with?
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Old 09-19-2010, 11:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igorsk View Post
Slowness in handling big libraries was one of the major complaints for the Readers. For how long did the device scan your books after disconnecting the USB cable?
I didn't count the seconds, but after disconnecting the cable, it's much, much faster than my PRS-505. Also, on the 505, I noticed that quite often the reader sort of hung itself while loading a book out of a 1000+ library. So far, my PRS-650 only had to reboot a single time, and that was while I loaded up the internal memory (1.5 Gb) to the very limit. I have all my ebooks tagged and sorted in folders on my hard drive, making it very easy to load them into Calibre, so normally I don't have more than 200, 300 books on my ereader's memory.
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Old 09-19-2010, 11:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iptech View Post
I've taken a quick picture of how the contrast of the 650 compares with the 600.
Wow, I knew the 600 was a big mistake from Sony, but with this comparison, one can really see how huge the difference is!! A few months ago I was considering switching from my 505 to the 600. I'm so glad I waited for the 650!

Only disadvantage is that Sony took away the AC connector. I used an old PDA charger for my PRS-505, just like many people used the PSP charger, but with this mini USB connector, that's no longer an option, and I just feel I'm being somewhat robbed when I have to spend € 35,- on an AC charger for a device I already paid € 229,- for, even when that device is worth every penny.
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Old 09-19-2010, 11:26 AM   #10
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In the short time I've used my 650 I haven't noticed the shadowing issue, it was a noticeable problem with the 600.
It might be just an issue with this particular device I have. I will find out in a few days. I bought it online and one day after, they had a discount of € 20,- on the cover. The only way I could get the discount was to order a second PRS-650, including the cover and then send back one of the readers to get a refund (yup, the wonders of online discounts...)
Anyway, I will check if the shadowing with the title pages happens on both readers. If it doesn't, I'm pretty sure which PRS-650 to return
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Old 09-19-2010, 03:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IvoSenden View Post
Wow, I knew the 600 was a big mistake from Sony, but with this comparison, one can really see how huge the difference is!! A few months ago I was considering switching from my 505 to the 600. I'm so glad I waited for the 650!

Only disadvantage is that Sony took away the AC connector. I used an old PDA charger for my PRS-505, just like many people used the PSP charger, but with this mini USB connector, that's no longer an option, and I just feel I'm being somewhat robbed when I have to spend € 35,- on an AC charger for a device I already paid € 229,- for, even when that device is worth every penny.
Almost any charger with a micro USB connector should work fine with your 650. If you have a newish cell phone, you probably already have one. There's no need to spend big bucks on a Sony charger.
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Old 09-20-2010, 04:27 PM   #12
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Almost any charger with a micro USB connector should work fine with your 650.
Too bad I don't have one of those, so I'll still end up buying one. But I have no doubt I will find one that's much cheaper than the € 35,- goldplated, magical AC charger from Sony ;-)

On a positive note, I just downloaded version 0.7.19 from Calibre and it has full support for the PRS-650. Out the door with the infamous Sony Reader software
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:38 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by IvoSenden View Post
The PRS-650 has 16 shades of gray, where the PRS-505 has only 4, making photo's and images appear very detailed, natural and high in contrast.
Actually, the 505 has 8 shades and very good dithering routines.
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Old 09-21-2010, 02:53 PM   #14
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Is there no longer an issue with glare as with the previous touch screen models since the 650 uses an infared sensor instead of adding an extra glassy layer to the screen? How about battery life? Does it last as long as the 505 before needing to be charged? I'm guessing the infrared sensors might use up more power. Any idea if the sensors constantly draw power or only if the screen is touched?

Nice review by the way.
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Old 09-21-2010, 03:03 PM   #15
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I recently purchased a 505 at e-bay, and have been reasonably pleased with it, although frustrated at the Overdrive Epub/PDF conflict. My other issue has been that I find it a bit heavy; does the 650 "feel" lighter?
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