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Sony PRS-505/LC Blue Digital Book Reader

3.6 out of 5 stars 160 customer reviews

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  • Easy to read display - e-paper display with quicker page turns
  • Premium design - Simple, yet sophisticated with easier navigation
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Integrated eBookstore with 20K titles
  • Up to 7,500 page turns on full charge
1 used from $78.00

Product Description

Experience the joy of reading a variety of your favorite books?all stored digitally in one compact device. The slimmer, redesigned Reader Digital Book lets you carry a stack of books in one hand. The Reader Digital Book holds about 160 eBooks or hundreds more with optional removable memory cards. Its portable size makes it the perfect travel companion, allowing you to read a variety of books whenever and wherever you want. With thousands of eBook titles available at The eBook Store from Sony, you can choose to download new releases, classics and popular book titles as well as view other document formats such as Adobe PDF10, RTF, TXT, BBeB and Microsoft Word. Its long battery life lasts up to 7,500 continuous page turns, and the amazing paper-like screen technology is easy on the eyes. Screen Size - Approx. 6 Measured Diagonally; Resolution - Approx. 170 Pixels Per Inch; Gray Scale - 8-Level Grey Scale Up to 7,500 page turns on full charge Audio and picture playback Dual SD Card and Memory Stick(R) Pro Duo Expansion Slot Mountable USB Drive Charges via USB Unit Dimensions (Approx.) - 6.9 x 4.8 x 0.3 (175 x 122 x 8mm) / Weighs 9 ounces Includes Tan Soft Case, USB Cable, Quick Start(TM) Guide, CD-ROM Limited Warranty - Labor- 90 days from the date of purchase; Parts- 1 Year from the date of purchase

Product Information

Product Dimensions 0.3 x 4.8 x 6.9 inches
Item Weight 9 ounces
Shipping Weight 1 pounds
Item model number PRS-505LC
Customer Reviews
3.6 out of 5 stars 160 customer reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #153,016 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)
Date first available at Amazon.com April 18, 2005


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Customer Reviews

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Reviewing this device is a bit hard - why is that ?
Because it is the best eBook reader on the market currently BUT it has problems , but again on the other hand it has less problems than any other device :)
So let's begin :

First you need to know about it is that it's NOT LCD screen. Why this important ? - Two reasons:

a) I and many people can't read from LCD , the back lighting gives me a headache and my eyes get tired after several minutes , with this device I can read as any paper book. It has just white (well actually bit gray) screen and text looks black on it.
b) The battery holds much longer, and I mean really longer, with regular PDA or cell phone it runs out after 3-5 hours (depending on device and battery) but here it can sustain the device for month. How this happens ? - well this eInk technology does not require power to keep image on screen, just to draw it so battery get used mostly only when you turn the page and believe me you can finish several books with one charge.

I previously owned earlier version of this device called PRS-500 in this version they had fixed several issues I had with previous one.

- They made it appear as "Mass storage device" when connecting to computer so you can just drug-and-drop files there.

- They moved page turn buttons to the right side of the device so now you can hold it with both hands and pressing the buttons right hand is more intuitive.

- They moved the menu selection buttons from bellow the screen to the right so they match software menu positions - a much welcome change also since the right hand is closer to them and it's more intuitive, like in some ATM machines :) Also "Size" button (controlling the text size) moved to more convenient location.
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Well the first thing I have to confess is I didn't have to buy the Sony 505, it was a gift from my girlfriend so I didn't have to spend the $300. But after having used it I can happily say I would have spent the money myself if it hadn't been a gift.

Since there are many other reviews on the various features I'm just going to touch on some of the key areas that I think are important.

- The Prs-505 is only slightly larger than a paperpack book, which means it feels very much like reading a paperback and you can easily hold it one-handed while reading.
- The controls are pretty intuitive so using the reader is very straightforward
- The leather case is good quality and thick enough so you don't have to worry about easily damaging the reader.
- There are buttons for turning the page on both the left and right sides of the reader, which is great for us left handed people.
- You can set things in landscape mode if you want even larger fonts and wider margins.
- Even though the reader is about the size of a paperback the screen still gives you about 80% of the area of a page. This is a nice tradeoff of size vs space. (And yes the screen could always be larger, but it works well when comparing it to the paperbacks I read.)
- There is enough internal memory to store 100+ books, which even on the longest of trips should be enough.
- The battery life is phenomenal! I don't have a single other handheld electronic device that lasts near as long (cell phone; PDA; laptop; etc. etc.)
- The reader can read many other formats besides the Sony LRF format (see cons and additional notes below for more on this).
- Depending on the format there are multiple zoom levels.
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Sony's 2nd generation digital reader makes some perceptible improvements to the previous 500 model. My thoughts:
The display is clear but a little darkish under weaker room lighting. It will be great to make the page a little more white, although that is certainly technologically challenging. Although the reader plays pdf files, the small screen and limited enlargement make certain pdf documents such as text and instruction manuals very hard to read due to the small print. I thought the ability to read pdf was a plus but I was personally disappointed by the awkward way I had to read my loaded documents. Landscape reading helps some, but it is non intuitive.
Although gray scale levels have improved, graphics-intensive pdfs are still slightly not optimal. Page loads and page turning still tend to be a little slow, although not intolerable to the point of irritation.

The eBook library and especially eBook store is a clunky interface strongly suggestive of being designed by some second year engineering graduate with absolutely no concept of marketing and product/user environment packaging. The on-line store is not browser friendly and some title searches seem to go such a long time I wonder if the computer had hung. Overall, the eBook store is not going to be an asset to Sony as they compete with the sexier and more user friendly Kindle environment. There is much room for improvement here. Hint: find another programming team.

Engineering wise, the device is well engineered and very well packaged into a compact light weight design. Dimensional fit of the casing and switches is outstanding. It looks like it will last a long time of use. Definitely not some cheap import stuff. The light weight is comfortable to hold for long periods of time.
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