With the price of the Reader PRS-600 Touch Edition having been hiked up by 25 per cent over the original PRS-505, Sony clearly thinks there's room for a cheaper alternative. Hence the launch of the Reader PRS-300 Pocket Edition which does without a touchscreen and has a 5in rather than 6in screen. Sony Reader PRS-300 Pocket …
Its still 170 for a book reader. No ta.
lol, I'll leave it there this time ;)
John Lewis are selling them for £149
That's all very nice,
but how long does it take to "turn" a page?
Or buy a 505
Now is a good time to buy a 505, I got mine for cheaper than the 300 from Play.com
I'd used my Palm IIIxe, my Sony Clié and my Android phone as book readers over the years, I am now hooked on the 505
Bought this mainly because I wanted to have a potable copy of my pdf manuals, whitepapers etc and ran into the whole issue of pdf's not being rendered properly. Solution:
Just convert the pdf to epub format and you are sorted. Well sort of ... its not 100% but a lot better than a straight pdf.
I usually want to have a proper computer with me. But I usually read books on paper, still. It's cheap, especially second-hand. I suppose I'd want an e-book reader to have as natural an interface as possible for reading, and to be basically a working screen with no more than necessary added to it. This sounds like that, but the price tag is a problem. Now... how long will it take me to save back that much money by using digital reading matter?
Video comparison of Sony's readers & Ebook DRM
I chose the 505 after seeing that. 300 & 505 have a clearer screen than the 600/700 models. Unless portability is a high priority, the 5 inch screen is a drastic reduction from the 6 inch models.
Robert, you will spend more money on ebooks, or at best break even - certainly more if you would rather purchase 2nd hand mass-paperbacks. I think Sony's the best choice currently - the DRM strings attached to the Kindle (1984 debacle) alienated that option from me. Epub has DRM but from what I've read, can be easily stripped. Sadly, DRM has been a drag on the ebook market. Sony's moving in the right direction though, ditching their own proprietary format for epub, I think.
BTW, ebook readers are NOT ready for textbooks (I own the 505 and am a student). You can scan through a textbook much quicker than on an ebook reader, due to refresh rates & manual, tedious page turning. Small screen size also frustrates the use of an ebook reader for reference type materials.
mwk, turning a page isn't long enough to bother anyone reading literature, but with any reference material that is scanned for info, it is tedious and frustrating. The video I posted will demonstrate.
Of course, we'll have to see what the Nook is like in a few days. I expect Barnes and Nobles to blow Sony and Amazon out of the water, but it may not be available in your country.
but how long does it take to "turn" a page?
Slightly less or slightly more than half a second, depending on a few factors - how much text coverage, etc does seem to have a slight impact. I'm one of those idiots that read a book in a few days (all the current Dresden Files books in 2 weeks.. whew); and I don't really notice the refresh time that much compared to turning a page in a physical book.
That said, I'm not a speed reader by any sense of the term, so if faster reading is your thing, this may not be the product for you.
Unless I missed it, one thing this review does not mention is the impressive battery life. In about 6 weeks (and at least 20 books of pages varying between 200 and 500), I have only had to charge it up once when it got down to about a quarter. Charging is pretty quick, and you can use the device while it's charging.
The overdrive effort: libraries around the world are joining up to provide eBooks directly over the net. There's even one in active trials in Ireland! The software from Sony connects directly to the libraries repository, and if the book is available (yes, there are limited amounts of each book available) you can get it - all from the comfort of your own home. This is the new juice people!
The real question is, would I pay £180 if it wasn't spare cash? Considering it costs $199 at most in the US, I'd probably get someone to buy one there for me. If you do read more than 4 books a month, and your library is participating in the "overdrive" project, it's well worth the effort.
No external memory card support? No thanks!
I hereby move that the "War'n'Peace" becomes the official unit of ebook capacity
I believe it works out at around 6 Brief History of Times or 450 Janet'n'Johns
Meanwhile, Sony Australia continually refuses to admit the PRS exists, in any format.
"International" company my @ss.
@Now... how long will it take me to save back that much money by using digital reading matter?
That, I'm afraid is the bad news. See, a physical book (hardcover) is quite expensive, relatively speaking to make. Hard covers, binding, validation of the final product, shipping, warehousing and transporting a book is a lot of money. Making a few thousand of them makes it cheaper, but unless you're using child labor in sweatshops somewhere in China, it's not huge.
The costs of one ebook to make is about the same as a hardcover book I guess..
If you really want to exaggerate the expense of software, format licensing storage costs and I guess traffic from your distribution point.
Huh. Lets see.
Software expense: Buy once per station that uses it. Not once per book, ever.
Format licensing? Secure PDF is open. Pretty much zero cost.
Storage? Costs very little, especially since you reuse the same Mb every time someone downloads a book
Traffic? Hmm... well, here's a cost that's tracable. Still not much though compared to shipping a book.
To answer your question, and I guess explain the ranting above; eBooks are usually same price or more than a hardcover book. These guys have not figured out anything from the RIAA. I feel sorry for the authors that are losing money here.
It's much easier to transport an eBook. If I have no respect for a publisher, why should I pay for it? And there's the rub. See, the idiots want to make more on something they can resell again and again for the cost of the download.
For now, I don't really care. I have enough money that I'll buy the format I want. I don't mind being ripped off to get what I want. Not everyone does though.
Most people will say "up yours". And the habit of getting eBooks without rewarding writers for their hard work will become ingrained. Say what you want, it's already happening.
Good trick publishers. Yeah.
Paris... well, nobody minds when she screws them over.
I only see one advantage of eBooks. Less physical storage.
They are more difficult to use - time to turn a page, not being able to flick through a book etc.
You need too readers for a two person household
You can't easily swap books with your other half - we read the same books; does this mean we need to buy them twice - once for each reader? Or with in laws and friends...
I like the tactile experience of reading - the e-ink looks great, and is pleasent on the eye compared to reading a normal screen - but you lose the rest of the experience. The smell and feel of the paper.
And they cost a fortune. I will never replace my paper books - I love a room full of them, but would like to be able to carry my reader with me for a selection of books on the train - but need them to be complimentary to me physical collection, not a repalcement. How about the option of getting an e-Book free when you buy the physical thing. If that happens I'll buy one in a flash, until then I stick to paper.
Oh and what Sony has done with the price of this is riduculous! I mean do they actually want to sell it?
Someone care to enlighten me why I would want a machine that ONLY lets me read books?
Its the 21st century; convergence people.
My phone lets me do this already, and is a phone,
and a games console,
and a music player,
and a video player,
and my diary, and is an email client,
and a camera,
and browses the web,
and is a satnav,
This is a type of product whose time had passed before it first came to market.
For the eInk screen. A screen suitable for comfortable book reading is mutually exclusive with a screen suitable for video watching and gaming, or as a camera viewfinder.
For the size. A size comfortable for book reading is too large to conveniently carry as a phone or music player.
For the battery life. A device that must maintain a constant wireless connection or run background processes will drain the battery so much faster that a heavy compromise must be made on either battery life or device size or weight, compared to a dedicated book reading device.
I would very much like to own an eBook reader, and am not even particularly bothered by the cost of the device. The cost of the books, on the other hand, is still completely unacceptable. Until they become available for less than I can buy them online in paperback form, it's just not going to happen.
Reading a book on an LCD screen is painful. Reading it on an eInk screen is a joy, I've sat and read straight through a complete book on my 505 with no more break than it takes to pour another glass of wine occasionally.
However, eInk screens are one trick ponies. They are slow to update, and have a limited lifespan. So using the device for anything else makes no sense, with the possible exception of playing music.
In this case, I'd say convergence is not what it is all about. The eInk readers do one job so very well that having them dedicated to the task is fine.
I have an iPhone on which I read books (mostly PDFs), and the 3" screen is just way too small to be of any use for long reading sessions. And god forbid if the pdf has any screenshots or diagrams in it - to get them readable I can't fit the entire diagram on the screen.
Then there is the fact that sometimes I just want to LEAVE A PAGE OPEN and let it sit there, without running down my battery, without having my security screen saver kick in, without the backlight going off...just like I would with a real book. This is particularly true when using learning books - I would love to have my pdf of Blender training open next to me whilst I manipulated Blender in fullscreen mode...again, just like a book. Instead I am forced to juggle windows around and jump back and forth - or find desk real-estate for a second monitor.
I don't own an e-reader yet, but I wish I had caught the sale at Play.com on the 505. If anyone sees it on sale, please post to this thread...
Way to miss the entire point of a technology.
As has been pointed out, there are many reason not to buy electronic books right now -- mainly cost and licensing issues, though they are still a little bulky too.
However, the idea of an electronic book is exactly what it says -- these things designed not to make your eyes hurt after an hour of reading as a laptop or phone would, they are designed to (eventually) replace paper books and, ignoring the points mentioned above, they do this pretty well.
I am sure it will be possible, in the future, to have a device which does "everything" but, at present, the technology simply does not exist. Unless, of course, you know of a device with a paper-like reading experience in colour with a refresh rate which allows it to display video?
Ebooks not where they should be
The DRM is probably the biggest blight on ebook consumers right now. Though some publishers are starting to figure out what the RIAA finally admitted about DRM - that people don't like it - they aren't enough and the amount of ebooks they offer in DRM free formats isn't yet enough either. There are horror stories of publishers going bust/offline, taking the validation services with them and users being locked out of their content indefinitely.
I think that the retail publishers are also in a tight spot - being forced to secure their products with DRM or expose themselves to litigation. It seems to be a deeper stemming problem than bull-headed online ebook brokerages. Other than attacking publishers' bottom line (I'm talking about boycotting, not stealing), I don't see any other way to communicate dissatisfaction with DRM, sadly.
A compromise is that secured epub files can easily have the DRM stripped by a few simple python scripts.
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