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Old 12-14-2018, 12:34 PM   #1
Ami_K
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Should I get the Sony PRS-350?

Hi there, I am looking at a 5" ereader to replace my Hanlin V5

The only reason I am considering replacing the Hanlin V5 is because I do not trust the battery, it was dead flat for some time and I have recharged it and use it. It doesn't seem to be worn but li-ions don't always give warning before they explode. I store it safely but I can not carry it with me.. ergo I need a replacement.

My preferences are as follows, I would like an ereader with decent contrast, Coolreader support and an SD card, if possible an FTP server and wifi, but I haven't really looked into that yet. (I have nothing against copy-paste via USB)

I know the 350 does not have an SD slot which is a bit of a shame but I would have to make do.

Is there any reason why I shouldn't buy one? I found one for a decent price on eBay. I have no idea about the condition of the battery but at least there's replacements out there.

Or, is there a better unit I should consider?

Thanks for your help
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Old 12-14-2018, 03:59 PM   #2
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As I understand it the problem with lithium ion batteries exploding after being fully discharged is protected by their built-in circuitry. If it's totally dead it becomes dangerous to recharge but there's built-in circuitry that prevents recharging in that case. So if you've managed to recharge it it should be safe.

I'm no electrical engineer but I have read a bit about batteries and I've been using lithium ion for years in a lot of devices. So have my neighbors in my retirement home and I'm the one they come to with problems. Between them and me there have been a lot of forgotten devices that were brought back to life and never a fire.

That's not to say yours won't blow up your neighborhood tomorrow, but I think it's unlikely.

Barry
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Old 12-14-2018, 04:49 PM   #3
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I wouldn't worry about the battery on the Hanlin. Like barryem says, if it's bad it won't take a charge. I know, I just dug out an old Palm c500 I had stored and the back was bulging so badly that I was surprised it hadn't busted open. Before I realized it was bad, it was in a case so it wasn't easily visible, I tried charging it — the screen kept blinking. I also had an old c515 Palm that had an old battery. In this case it would work as long I kept it plugged in, but absolutely refused to take a charge. These Palm batteries are known to have notoriously short lifespans. In both cases I was able to remove the batteries and there was no permanent damage to either unit.

I think the Hanlins must have used really good batteries (something like the Sonys) because I have an Astak EZReader PocketPRO (5") and its battery holds a charge longer than any other eReader I own. I've left it unused for at least two months and the battery was still up. I wouldn't be worried about using the Hanlin.

As for Sony PRS-350s, I think they're great little machines. Nice clear screens, Oxford dictionary (like the Kindles) and the batteries seem to last forever on them (and easy to find and replace if they do go out).
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Old 12-15-2018, 01:59 AM   #4
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There's ways to force a battery to charge and I did that. I have two Hanlin's and one didn't accept it. (Both new old stock, probably sat in a factory)

It has never read as full and stopped charging either, I use a usb ammeter to monitor the charge and I remove it when it should be full, it doesn't heat up which would happen if the dendrites have formed in the battery but it's still quite risky. Perhaps they are very good batteries.

Mmm, thanks for your advice, maybe I can stick with the Hanlin, the Sony has some features I'd use but the Hanlin does what I need most, display books.
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Old 12-15-2018, 02:36 AM   #5
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Mmm, thanks for your advice, maybe I can stick with the Hanlin, the Sony has some features I'd use but the Hanlin does what I need most, display books.
I'm impressed with my "Hanlin V5" (in all but name).
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Old 12-15-2018, 04:26 AM   #6
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I bought, I have use for both. Merry xmas to me (and everybody else!)

I am going to see if I can jury rig a nokia battery to the other Hanlin V5, I have seen it done but I will need to use it without a controller. Of course it would work with an external battery but I do not know enough to define whether running it from a USB battery pack with no internal battery will damage it.

It's really quite a shame that new batteries are not available outside of China.

The only complaint I have about the Hanlin is the case absolutely sucks and degrades quickly, the mechanism to hold the ereader in place is quite good however.
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Old 12-15-2018, 05:25 AM   #7
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Buying an 8-year-old device doesn't sound like a very good idea. Surely there are more modern devices you could use, aren't there?
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Old 12-15-2018, 01:33 PM   #8
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Buying an 8-year-old device doesn't sound like a very good idea. Surely there are more modern devices you could use, aren't there?
Maybe not in 5 inch format.
The big players don't offer anything smaller then 6
Back in the day 8 had both 5 inch and 6 inch Sony. I much preferred the larger ones

If you must read on a 5 inch device, put an app on your phone !
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Old 12-15-2018, 02:18 PM   #9
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Maybe not in 5 inch format.
The big players don't offer anything smaller then 6
Back in the day 8 had both 5 inch and 6 inch Sony. I much preferred the larger ones!
I completely appreciate that, but a 6" device is very little bigger than a 5", given that the size is measured along the diagonal.
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Old 12-15-2018, 02:32 PM   #10
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I completely appreciate that, but a 6" device is very little bigger than a 5", given that the size is measured along the diagonal.
could be wrong but I suspect there is no market for a dedicated 5 inch reader, now that many many smartphones are 5 inch

6 seems to be the sweet spot for the readability vs portability trade-off, beyond 6, its not really pocket sized, shrinking from 6 to 5 gains you not a lot, if the economies of scale /volume producution of e-ink screens is for the 6 inch market.

what is the smallest kobo nowadays?
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Old 12-15-2018, 03:09 PM   #11
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I bought, I have use for both. Merry xmas to me (and everybody else!)
Merry Christmas!

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The only complaint I have about the Hanlin is the case absolutely sucks and degrades quickly, the mechanism to hold the ereader in place is quite good however.
Same issue I have. I like taking it out of its case, but it has a sticky feel to it. Generally the "rubberized" plastic is nice when it's new, but it tends to degrade. Same thing happened to my original Nook Simple Touch, which is also nice for reading outside of the case but now has that "sticky" feel.
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Old 12-15-2018, 03:17 PM   #12
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I completely appreciate that, but a 6" device is very little bigger than a 5", given that the size is measured along the diagonal.
There's nothing quite like the build of the Sonys, especially the x50 series. Incredible quality, amazing when you consider the age of the devices. And the 350 dimensions are 145 × 104.3 × 8.5mm, and it weighs 155 grams. And has buttons for page turning.

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If you must read on a 5 inch device, put an app on your phone !
Completely different reading experience.
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Old 12-15-2018, 03:25 PM   #13
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There's nothing quite like the build of the Sonys, especially the x50 series. Incredible quality, amazing when you consider the age of the devices. And the 350 dimensions are 145 × 104.3 × 8.5mm, and it weighs 155 grams. And has buttons for page turning.
Yes, I had one. Still have it around somewhere. No matter how good the build quality of the device, though (and I agree that it was very good), there's absolutely no way I'd ever go back to an unlit screen. Frontlighting was the change that completely transformed the usability of eInk devices for me.
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Old 12-15-2018, 06:18 PM   #14
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Yes, I had one. Still have it around somewhere. No matter how good the build quality of the device, though (and I agree that it was very good), there's absolutely no way I'd ever go back to an unlit screen. Frontlighting was the change that completely transformed the usability of eInk devices for me.
I'm actually beginning to get used to front-lighting. I don't know if my eyes are changing or I'm getting smarter about how to adjust them (I think a darker font was the key) but I've been doing a lot of reading on my Tolino Shine lately. That said, I'm also still reading on my Sonys (and other readers), sometimes with a night light, sometimes during the day and I still get along fine with them as well. Basically I like whatever eReader I happen to be using at the time.

I keep thinking I'll write a blog on eReaders ... mostly for something to do, but then I think all the "reviews" would be "I like this one ... I like this one ... I like this one ..." and that would be extremely monotonous.
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Old 12-15-2018, 10:52 PM   #15
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I think there IS a very definite market for a 5" frontlit eink reader, as opposed to a smart phone app. It's easier on the eyes than a smart phone and easier to slip into a handbag or pocket than a 6" eink reader.

If there was one available, I'd buy it. But frontlighting is a must for me now. I look at my old Sony prs 505 and wonder how I ever read on it. (The truth was that that the house I used to live in had far better lighting.)

It's time for Kobo or Kindle to develop this format, with frontlighting, and the now expected ability to load custom fonts etc.
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