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Sony PRS-505 Portable Digital e-Reader System (Silver)
- displays eBooks purchased from the CONNECT eBook online store
- displays Adobe® PDFs, plus TXT, RTF, BMP, JPEG, GIF, PNG and Microsoft® Word files
- plays MP3 and AAC files (protected files not supported)
- internal 192MB memory
- memory slot holds an SD Memory Card (up to 2GB capacity) and Memory Stick® Duo media (up to 8GB capacity)
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This item Sony PRS-505 Portable Digital e-Reader System (Silver)
|Shipping||—||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Available from these sellers||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com|
|Battery Cell Composition||—||Lithium-Cobalt||Lithium-Cobalt||Lithium||Lithium-Cobalt||Lithium-Cobalt|
|Configuration||—||With Special Offers||With Special Offers||DTCP||With Special Offers||With Special Offers|
|Connectivity Technology||usb||Wi-Fi Only||WIFI||Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi + Free 3G||Wi-Fi Only|
|Digital Storage Capacity||192 MB||4 GB||4 GB||4 GB||4 GB||4 GB|
|Screen Size||6 in||6 in||6 in||6 in||6 in||6 in|
|Item Weight||0.56 lb||7.23 ounces||5.7 ounces||7.23 ounces||0.51 lb||6.56 ounces|
|Lithium Battery Packaging||—||Batteries contained in equipment||Batteries contained in equipment||Batteries packed with equipment||Batteries packed with equipment||Batteries contained in equipment|
|Size||—||4 GB||4 GB||4 GB||4 GB||4 GB|
Experience the joy of reading a variety of your favorite books all stored digitally in one compact device. The slimmer, redesigned Digital eBook Reader lets you carry a stack of books in one hand. The Digital eBook Reader 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. Offers a unique, on-the-go reading experience and is the perfect travel companion. With a compact and lightweight design, you can take it almost anywhere and read your books whenever and wherever you want. More compact than many paperbacks, it weighs about 9 ounces (without cover), is 1/3" thin, and holds up to 160 eBooks. You can easily hold it in one hand, and with its rechargeable battery, you can turn up to 7,500 continuous pages on a single charge. Up to 7,500 page turns on full charge Audio and picture playback Dual SD Card and Memory Stick 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 Soft Case, USB Cable, Quick Start Guide, CD-ROM Limited Warranty - Labor- 90 days from the date of purchase; Parts- 1 Year from the date of purchase Windows compatible only
Top customer reviews
As far as the downsides, yep, this device struggles with PDF's, but in reality, the primary job of this reader was to function as an electronic library. If you are going to be dealing with 1,000's of PDF documents or 100+ page PDF documents like some of the reviewers...save up and get a small laptop. This product functions extremely well doing what it is designed to do...provide books in an electronic format. I love the fact that I don't have to continually enlarge my library, especially with the small paperbacks that only seem to get read once or twice, then take up shelf space. I also like that I am cutting down on paper use and disposal space.
The only downside so far is the Sony proprietary issue. Much like iTunes, they really do favor their own format for e-books, and that can be annoying when you want a book, it is available in an e-format, but cannot just be downloaded to the reader. There are softwares and techniques that others more qualified than me have covered, so I will not rehash them here...just know that some books may take a little more work than just downloading them. Also, it would be nice if they had a WiFi connection ability...so that books could be directly downloaded...it would be very handy on the road...so, hopefully the next generation will.
Overall, I would recommend it to anyone that loves to read and would like the ability to carry a large number of books with them all the time...and be a tad more environmentally friendly to boot.
Update* 01/27/08* - While I still stand by my review and my four-star rating, I do have to mention a couple annoying issues. First, why the heck didn't they include at least one A/C plug? I hate leaving stuff plugged in my computer all the time and if it sits unplugged for more than a week or so, it has to be recharged. I did find that a Sony PSP travel charger works with it and they are relatively cheap. I bought three of them, one for work, one that I keep in my electronic travel kit, and one at home next to the cell charger. So, not a huge deal, but get the PSP chargers, they are cheaper. The second issue has been mentioned by others, but it takes a while to get used to the Sony site. I really wish they would do a redesign....
Update #2 August 19, 2008 - I still take this device everywhere with me and stand by the 4 star rating. That said, I would highly recommend spending the extra money on the Kindle. I am still very frustrated with the lack of a quality website by Sony in addition to having less material available. I would love to be able to get newspapers, magazines, and books delivered while I am on the bus or at the airport. There have been a couple times that I have ended a book mid-transit and would have killed to be able to download the next in the series without having to wait until after work to get home and search for it on my computer. If I could redo it, I would look past the Kindle's odd surface appearance and go with the convenience of being able to download files on the fly. I hope that Sony realizes their mistake and corrects it in the next version. If you don't mind having to search a website for books to download then have to attach them, I would save the money and go with the e-reader. If, however, you read the large number of books each year that I do, you may want to review the Kindle. I am afraid though, how much money I could accidentally spend if any book were only a button-click away.
Update as of Jun 21, 2009
Only pdf's that have no formatting can be read on this e-reader.
I downloaded some pdf files (Algorithms in Java, CCNA etc) and except at the smallest magnification, the formatting breaks down at M and L fonts (even M strains the eye; only L is practically readable for pdfs). So I guess I am going to limit reading only fiction and MS word files on this e-reader. I am looking at the Kindle DX for PDF files, but it seems the DX does not let you zoom in. I think that may be a deal-breaker for the DX. I have never been able to read pdfs at exactly 100% magnification. Even on my 20" LCD monitor, I tend to read at 135%. So until there is a reader the size of DX that allows zooming, it may be better to wait and just use the PC to read pdfs).
I bought the PRS-505 through an Amazon re-seller about a month ago (blazing fast delivery as usual). Some pros and cons of the reader.
1) sleek and just about right to hold and read. Anything thinner would need support. Anything bigger (wider/taller) would make it hard to read holding up with one hand.
2) text appears sharper than LCD. e-ink results in almost no strain to the eye.
3) power button positioned on top, so it doesn't accidentally trip on. Other buttons are stiff and, again, will not get pushed accidentally.
4) the reader mounts as a drive on XP/Wink2K. Easy to drag and drop encrypted books, and by extension, easy to back up and restore your books if you were to move PCs or change flash cards.
5) sony e-book library is basic and does its job without crashes (had one hang). Again, I like the drag and drop built into it. Buy a book, drag it to the library and/or drag it to the e-reader. Files transfer quickly (std USB 2.0 i/f?).
6) book selection is not great, but then it is not a problem limited to the sony library. I couldn't find some older popular books on Amazon kindle either (eg: Chaos by James Gleick, none of the books by Ayn Rand or daphne du maurier, very limited Roald Dahl selection, very limited Frederick Forsythe collection etc etc etc). 99% of the books you would 'typically' want to read are available on both. I guess more and more books are getting digitized as we speak.
7) pictures are fantastic on the available grayscale. Good if you are reading technical books with illustrations.
8) This is the item that actually prompted me to write this review today. When I bought the reader I was horribly disappointed with the pdf rendering. The only available magnifications were S and M, and M was still unreadably small. Yesterday when I hooked up the PRS-505 to my PC, it downloaded some firmware updates, including some for pdf rendering. When I re-loaded my pdfs (these are computer books, with code samples in Courier font), the rendering was amazing - like night and day. They have made the font smoother and above all else, the text is much much bigger and completely readable now! Very happy about this (since a lot of text books are now available in pdf format).
9)Page transitions, orientation changes (landscape to portrait) happen fairly fast. Landscape rendering is as good as portrait.
10) metallic construction feels 'solid'. The leather (pseudo?) cover that ships by default is nice.
1) the battery seems to drop even when I had it powered off for a few days. The 3 bar fell to two in 2-3 days. Not sure if this is expected.
2) the page buttons should've been bigger. Even though I am right handed, I tend to use the left page buttons as they are bigger.
3) response times are slow when you are moving around the menu. Sometimes you think you did not press a button, press it again, only to find the menu jump ahead. There is a little 'wait-cursor' at the bottom, but its not obvious when its 'working'.
4) not limited to the sony e-reader, e-ink is still not the same as paper. On printed paper, every letter is smooth. On the e-reader, while the font on e-books (MS-WORD is 96% ok, PDF 90% ok - my own arbitrary scaling!) is pretty good, the ones on RSS feeds feels scrappy - you can see some letter-thickening and 'steps' (jaggedness) around curves. Another con is that the screen surface, although dull, does reflect light and at times I find myself holding it away at an angle.
Overall strongly recommended.
I purchased the device hoping it would help me improve my reading habits and make me read more often. I have a large collection of technical books - references for programming languages, software design documents with many charts, diagrams, tables, etc.
The reader didn't deal with that very well, because most of the books were PDFs with a complex layout which couldn't be processed flawlessly by the re-flow feature. My choices were:
- don't use re-flow, and simply scale the page such that it fits on the screen. This preserves the layout, but the font size is very small.
- use re-flow, the text becomes readable, but the diagrams and table begin to fall apart.
Despite the above, I'm still a happy owner of the PRS-505 and I do strongly recommend it to those who read novels or stories that contain text and maybe a picture here and there.
But if you plan to use this reader for technical literature or for PDFs with complex layouts - your expectations will most likely not be met.
I am patiently waiting for a similar device, but with a much bigger screen.