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Got to play a bit with a Sony Reader while I was at CES.

I prefer the form, shape, and dedicated keyboard of the Kindle. But I did like some aspects of the touchscreen, and think we'll probably see some touchscreen functionality introduced into Kindle over time.

Here are some pics:

The Reader kiosk was a small part of a massive Sony presence at CES. That's the entrance to the Jeopardy set in the background.



This is the newest model - the Reader PRS-700BC. (They really need some catchier names.)



Nice digital ink display, comparable with the Kindle. I've read reports that the glare is an awful problem - and while the glass screen may cause some occasional glare, I really didn't see it as such a big problem.



You can use your finger, or the included stylus, to select specific words or blocks of text - to then copy to clippings.



A QWERTY keyboard pops up on the touchscreen when you have the need to enter text.



Browsing the reader's contents. There is no offline browsing of the Sony store, and - as you probably already know - no WhisperNet equivalent. All your content comes from syncing up with a PC.



Some sort options for viewing the content on the Reader.



The slider on the left is how the font size is changed.



A B&W image rendered in the digital ink.



Here's a shot of the previous model - the PRS 505-RC, and its basic specs. Not a touchscreen model, and a completely different set of mechanical buttons and controls.



Interesting to compare and contrast these readers with Kindle. I think it's good for us that both Sony and Amazon are chasing the e-reader market. The innovations by both of them will move the technology forward - and the prices downward, perhaps - in a way that's good for consumers.
 

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Harvey said:
Got to play a bit with a Sony Reader while I was at CES.

I prefer the form, shape, and dedicated keyboard of the Kindle. But I did like some aspects of the touchscreen, and think we'll probably see some touchscreen functionality introduced into Kindle over time.
The touchscreen looks interesting, but after I wrestled with a touchscreen at WalMart today, I'm not anxious for it.

Interesting to compare and contrast these readers with Kindle. I think it's good for us that both Sony and Amazon are chasing the e-reader market. The innovations by both of them will move the technology forward - and the prices downward, perhaps - in a way that's good for consumers.
Hopefully, it will also push the publishers into digitizing more books faster.
 

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Thank you, Harvey.  Very interesting.  Makes you wonder what the e-reader is going to look like 5 years from now.
debbie
 

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drenee said:
Thank you, Harvey. Very interesting. Makes you wonder what the e-reader is going to look like 5 years from now.
debbie
It is an amazing time we live in.
 

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I agree with Linda. . .it looks really cool, even the older model.  But WN is where Kindle has it all over. . . .

Ann
 

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Thanks for the pictures Harvey!
Just proves to me once again that I much prefer the kindle.  I, honestly, would be turned off by a touch screen.  I love the kindle just as it is, nice and simple.  It does what I want it to do, I don't need a bunch of tricky features.  And I think I'd really hate a glossy screen, I have enough trouble avoiding glare with lights. 
 

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Touch Screen?  Jeez I have enough trouble keeping fingerprints off my K's screen why would I want a reader that I had to deliberately put my fingers on it?  Also as much glare as I see in that last picture how does one see the words for the glare and the prints both?  Yet another reason I'd pick a K over a Sony.

**edit forgot to sign my post**

rla1996
 

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rla1996 said:
Touch Screen? Jeez I have enough trouble keeping fingerprints off my K's screen why would I want a reader that I had to deliberately put my fingers on it? Also as much glare as I see in that last picture how does one see the words for the glare and the prints both? Yet another reason I'd pick a K over a Sony.

**edit forgot to sign my post**

rla1996
I totally agree! I hate smudges on my screen. Something I do like about the Sony, though, is the pictures of the book covers on the content screen. I'd like to be able to see a picture of each book instead of just a list of the titles, it would help me remember what the books are about. It takes me a while to get to some of my books and I often forget what they are about. I have to go back to Amazon and look them up again when I'm deciding what I want to read next. A visual would help me remember.
 

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Touching the screen all the time, that would leave finger prints.
That would drive me CRAZY! Or I would lose the stylus.

I like the Kindle much better, and I am sure in years to come our currant Kindle, will become an Amazon Kindle dinosaur.
And every 6 months a new way better Kindle will come out, such as with computers, etc etc.
Then its so temping to want to upgrade all the time. One difference would be the investment a lot of us make, in the covers, and skins. That most likely would not be applicable to the next generations.

I keep telling myself that, STOP buying MORE covers and skins. But I am addicted now!
 

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The Sony prices are really helping them sell the units.

Both of my brothers now have a Sony e-reader, the older gen w/o the touch screen. One received it as a gift, the other purchased it deliberately.

What's so funny is that *both* of them acknowledge the "superiority" of the Kindle & Kindle store. They both had opportunities to look at and use mine. And this is the result of all my bragging LOL ::)

Both Kindle & Sony readers *share*
  • complaint - lack of folders!
  • optimism about future generations & their improvements

Techy brother #2 had this to say about his experiences:
Good:
· OUTSTANDING battery life. Only had to recharge it once so far.
· Easy "iTunes" like Sony eReader library. One-click like shopping & download setup.
· I threw in an old camera (2gig) memory card and I'm sure it's all I'll ever need. Could hold 1,000's of books.
· Really quick 'boot time'. I can power up and be reading in about 2 seconds.
· Sleek/slim design. Very portable.
· Works great in well-lit situations.
· Supports RSS feeds, so you can get internet news very easily
· Several free books that are public domain "Journey to the Center of the Earth" and DaVinci's "Notebook" (translated) were very interesting (and difficult) reads. They just don't write like thou used too!

Not so good:
· No back-light. So, I bought a back-light thing that you put over the screen. Works but not well.
· Teeny Tiny, pathetically small and inaccessible page-forward and back buttons. These should be BIG thumb sized buttons. It is terrible industrial design. Someone should be shot. Yes, the little buttons work fine, but they are little buttons.
· Sony eReader store doesn't have a very big library. I can find PLENTY that will keep me occupied, but when I searched for Potter, Clancy and other books I might be interested in, they weren't there.
· I'd like the ability to create local documents that could be read on the Sony (big e-mails, stuff cut and pasted from the web…)
· Even though the thing has a small, medium & large font, I can't change the font.
· The contrast is too low (page vs print). I find it harder than I'd like in "moderate" lighting and darn near work in low light situations.
· Glare. The screen should be anti-reflective in some way so it doesn't reflect light. Of course you need light to read, so this is a constant micro-battle between having light but making it indirect light.

Thought these features might be missed, but aren't:
· No (zero, none) need for WiFi downloadability. You can connect to your laptop once a month, import a dozen books in less than 5 minutes and be done. I don't see the value in having WiFi.
· Keypad (text entry). I think that unless you're a student or doing research, there's no real value in having a keyboard for your reader. Unless you're reader is doubling as an internet browser somehow.

I, of course, disagree with some of his statements. Must agree with him about the page turn button sizes. I've only seen the disabled-for-show-only model at Target, and I had trouble with them--and my fingers are small! I can also agree with him in the looks department - color does add to the reader. I love my Kindle and not the Sony, and I like my reasons for my decision.

I love my brothers ;D This will just add to our various "rivalries" ;)

Marci
 

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Did anyone see that Sony posted it's first annual net loss in 14 years this year?  I've heard that stock prices and things drop with the introduction of new technology (and I'm not sure I actually understand why, but please don't explain.), and that Apple has experienced this with the introduction of the iPod.  But I thought it was interesting news, especially since Amazon is claiming to have had one of their best sales years ever.

Also, I can barely use the qwerty keyboard on my blackberry, and it has actual keys.  A pop-up touchscreen keyboard would finish off the job of driving me completely mad.
 

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Wannabe said:
I totally agree! I hate smudges on my screen. Something I do like about the Sony, though, is the pictures of the book covers on the content screen. I'd like to be able to see a picture of each book instead of just a list of the titles, it would help me remember what the books are about. It takes me a while to get to some of my books and I often forget what they are about. I have to go back to Amazon and look them up again when I'm deciding what I want to read next. A visual would help me remember.
I agree with you there. AFTER FOLDERS!!!!!! it would be nice to have a visual similar to the Kindle recommendations when viewing them on the device
 

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Marci said:
Thought these features might be missed, but aren’t:
· No (zero, none) need for WiFi downloadability. You can connect to your laptop once a month, import a dozen books in less than 5 minutes and be done. I don’t see the value in having WiFi

Marci
No reason for WiFi???? Well I guess not if you sat home all day near your laptop or it went everywhere with you and had its own wifi but I don't like dragging around my laptop and what if I finished a book and am stuck away from my computer and wanted something different than what I had already downloaded to read???? Can't tell you how many times that happens. I have 100s of books but at that moment none of those catch my fancy?? :-\ ;D :eek:

The touch screen would drive me bonkers too, I'd have to get a cover for it so I could constantly wipe it off and not worry about scratching it like I do my LG dare. Though like someone else stated, being visual, it would be nice to have the cover to look as an option instead of just titles.
theresam
 

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I have 100s of books but at that moment none of those catch my fancy??
thank goodness. I thought I was the only one.
 

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bkworm8it said:
I have 100s of books but at that moment none of those catch my fancy??
robin.goodfellow said:
thank goodness. I thought I was the only one.
Same thing as having a closet or two full of clothes but nothing to wear. . . . . :D

Ann
 
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