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Old 09-18-2010, 01:34 PM   #1
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Impressions of the 350

Having spent some time using my new 350 last night, I just want to share some of my impressions. I'll try not to belabor what others have already pointed out.

First a little about my reading habits and preferences to provide a context for my observations. I have been using an e-reader almost daily ever since the PRS-500 was released. I've owned and used regularly the PRS-500, 505, and 600. I read fiction most of the time, but even the non-fiction I reed is the type meant to read through from beginning to end -- linear reading. I do not want my e-reader to have any type of wireless/Internet connectivity. I want it to provide the supreme pleasure of uninterrupted immersion in a book without any additional distractions.

That being said, I have to say that the I found my self more exited by the PRS-350 last night than I have by any e-reader since my first PRS-500. The screen is so good that it simply disappears from awareness while reading. I never had to think about how to hold the reader to make it easier to see, even in very dim light. I simply held it in a comfortable way, and it was always clearly readable.

The ergonomics are superb. It fits my hand well (although I do need a Tuf-Luv case for it) and the touch screen is a pure pleasure to use. It is much, much better than the touch screen on the PRS-600 -- more sensitive and more consistent -- with one minor exception I'll get to later. I think Sony has taken the e-reader to the smallest and most minimal form that is currently practical with the 350. If it were any smaller one wouldn't be able to hold it without touching the screen. Despite the tiny size and feather weight, the excellent touch interface still provides for a rich and highly usable feature set.

The PRS-350 is also fast -- noticeably faster than the 600, which was no slouch. Menus, dictionary lookups, note taking, finding books, resizing text, etc. all happen with a speed that makes the whole experience qualitatively superior to the 600.

I also found the build quality to be excellent. No it does not have the substantial feel of the 600 (or the 500 -- that thing was built!), but it is solid in the hand, nice to touch and has no visible manufacturing flaws, and is really light. (My example has no gaps in the corners of the IR sensor that surrounds the screen.) The fact that Sony has not chromed the plastic around the edges does not bother me at all. I actually think the white plastic looks much nicer on the silver reader than chrome would. Chrome would probably be nicer with a black reader though.

There is one way in which the new touch screen is inferior to the old. It has less resolution. The only thing this affects is handwriting and drawing. For example, I was able to consistently select the right word for lookup even with XS fonts. I could not, however, write nearly as well nor as small with the stylus as I could on the 600. I personally don't think this is much of an issue since I don't find hand-written notes to be of much use with e-readers. I think it is easier to use the keyboard to enter notes, and the new touch screen works very for selecting text to highlight and then attach type written notes to. However, if the ability to take hand-written notes, or perform detailed, free-hand markup is very important to you, you might need to look elsewhere.

I think that Sony has done a superb job with the PRS-350. It is an excellent product and worth the price premium.
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Old 09-18-2010, 03:26 PM   #2
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Old 09-18-2010, 03:38 PM   #3
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I still want to know whether they've reconciled the DRM Protected Page error in the new models?
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Old 09-18-2010, 06:14 PM   #4
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I still want to know whether they've reconciled the DRM Protected Page error in the new models?
If you mean borrowes EPUB+PDF at the same time, I hear it was fixed back in PRS-900.
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Old 09-18-2010, 07:47 PM   #5
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I'll have some pictures later. Right now I'm trying to figure out the MetaData issues that have popped up with Calibre. It seems that the Sony wants to ignore some of my cover images. The Path of Daggers shows a blank screen, some of the others show the original ePub cover, and others just have the title...It seems to be a Calibre issue right now, it looks like all my original cover art is what copied over, regardless of what the current stuff is. Maybe a corrupt dbf?

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Old 09-18-2010, 08:03 PM   #6
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I've had 2 issues with cover arts on my PRS-350, either copied from Calibre or the Sony Software. On some, for some odd reason, the cover art is too small. Deleting then copying the book back fixes it.

Second issue, which was more annoying, is the constant crash and reset it did while working on showing the thumbnails. I had to send 9 books at a time, no more, and even then it would crash once while doing the thumbnails. ePub or LRF, it never mattered. After those 9 would come up alright, I'd send 9 more, it would start getting the thumbnails, crash, start again, get them right, and then I'd send 9 more...
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Old 09-18-2010, 08:32 PM   #7
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I just uploaded 141 books in 1m13s. As long as you turn it on and let it sit for about 5 minutes or so, it will index the thumbnails just fine. And then you shouldn't have any more crashing issues...Or just page forward in your books until you get to the end and let it sit there for a while. It'll load everything previous.

Still trying to figure out the cover art issue with my books. It's only 21 out of 200, so it's not too big of an issue. But, maybe I'll get it tonight..

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Old 09-18-2010, 08:42 PM   #8
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Nope, deleting then putting them back didn't work. Maybe I need to reload the files completely into Calibre.
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Old 09-18-2010, 08:50 PM   #9
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Don't know if anyone cares, but I don't particularly like the thumbnail book listing. It is possible to just have the text listing (well, it does on the 650, I didn't specifically play with the 350). I think the navigation if you have lots of books is much quicker in the text version, since you can click on the alpha listing on the right-hand side of the book list to get to the right section.

Does that make sense? Sometimes, it's just easier to show that tell!
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Old 09-18-2010, 08:57 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jaxx6166 View Post
I just uploaded 141 books in 1m13s. As long as you turn it on and let it sit for about 5 minutes or so, it will index the thumbnails just fine. And then you shouldn't have any more crashing issues...Or just page forward in your books until you get to the end and let it sit there for a while. It'll load everything previous.
It wouldn't work here, for some reason. Either it would reset on its own and upon the restart correctly scan the thumbnails, or it would simply hang - forcing me to do a hardware reset and then would also correctly scan the thumbnails after the restart! But at least once everything is indexed, all is fine
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Old 09-18-2010, 08:58 PM   #11
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I think the navigation if you have lots of books is much quicker in the text version, since you can click on the alpha listing on the right-hand side of the book list to get to the right section.
You can also do that with the thumbnail view on the PRS-350 (I assume 650 also )
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:04 PM   #12
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It is Fizzy. But, one of my favorite features of the nook and the ipad were their cover display features. For some reason, I prefer looking at the thumbnails instead of the text. That was probably one of the biggest selling points on the new readers for me.

I figured out the cover art issue. Calibre must save backup copies of files. I deleted the ePub and reconverted from my mobi and all the covers are working the way they should.
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:04 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Squirsier View Post
You can also do that with the thumbnail view on the PRS-350 (I assume 650 also )
Oh, cool! Never mind then, unless you don't want to wait for the thumbnails to build!
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:45 PM   #14
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More 350 Pictures: Lots...of 'em

Took some rather poor quality pictures for everyone

Unboxing and bad comparisons. I wish my Nook wasn't out of commission. In its place I put an old friend. All readers are on the same page...enjoy.
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:48 PM   #15
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Here's the last of 'em
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