Feb 8 2009
Last year Jane sent me her Sony 500 Reader for me to try. Before that, I had an IPAQ 4700. I’ve been using the Sony exclusively as my ebook reader since then. I love the e-ink technology, I love the screen size, I love the light weight and I love the capacity to carry so many books around at one time even without utilizing an SD card. Yes, I loved my borrowed Sony.
Then Jane announced her plans, designed to earn DA enough moolah to purchase readers for all of us. And we rejoiced. Yeah, Jane loves us. Then Sarah the Smart Bitch proved that she is one smart bitch by suggesting the simple and obvious. Why not go to Sony and suggest a partnership? Free readers for us (and some to give away) in exchange for our pimpage. Brilliant! we all chorused. And Jane (and Ned) did so and Sony agreed and there was more rejoicing amongst the DA reviewers.
And finally our Readers arrived. Most of the other reviewers got theirs around Christmas as the red readers got here first but three of us decided on a silver one so we had to wait. Which kind of made me feel like a redheaded stepchild even though I wasn’t getting a red reader. But all was forgiven when I eagerly opened my package and beheld my shiny new silver reader. Oh, it’s pretty!
So I have my new reader (with soft cover), a USB cable, a CD-ROM, the Guide, some flyers about the warranty and some plastic cards inserted in the memory card slots. Since I already had the Sony software downloaded, I just charged her up, hooked her to her USB cable and started loading books. Lots of books. Oodles of books. More rejoicing.
Then I started trying all the buttons and slides, flipping back and forth through the books I had loaded and began to read a book. The basics are about the same though there are some new things about the 505 I like and a few changes in location for various things.
First of all, I don’t like the on-off slide button on the top. I’m not sure why it was moved there from the bottom, left side of the reader but it’s awkward where it is now.
I do like the way “Books by Author” and “Books by Title” are now subdivided into alphabetical groups instead of making me flip though 20 odd pages depending on how many books I had loaded at a time.
I still love that you can resize the font so easily but I wish the button were further from the page flip button. I’m afraid I’m accidentally going to hit the font button where it is now.
I like the controls on the bottom. They’re easier to manage than the old toggle switch and make it easier to maneuver through the menus instead of what I used to do which was use the 1-0 “across the bottom” numbered keys (for the 500 Reader), though I like that we still have that option if we want to use it. I am getting used to the selection buttons on the side of the 505 instead of on the bottom. I like having the extra page flip buttons on the right hand side as it now makes it easier to advance through the pages/menus using either hand.
I liked the older cover with “Sony” and “Reader” embossed on it but I really like that the cover isn’t held on by that back button anymore. That thing made it a true PITA to reset the Reader and then get the darn cover snapped back on. Lots of rejoicing over this change.
I still enjoy the e-ink technology. I doubt I’ll get the additional booklight device as I can read with the lights on just about anytime. I don’t miss the touch screen that I used to have with the IPAQ and love the size of the Sony screen. I’ve never used an ebook reading device for anything other than reading ebooks so again, I don’t miss any internet connection.
I still wish that the Sony allowed for native reading of more ebook formats though I hope that the adobe books will format to reflow better now. With the old IPAQ, I could zero in on the page I wanted immediately. With the Sony 500, I could only advance by either one page or ten. Imagine my joy when I realized that the 505 allows for pin-point page finding. So far this hasn’t happened to me while using the 505 but with the 500 model, sometimes the Reader would reset itself and I’d lose most of not all of the bookmarks in the book I had open.
For the most part though, I like the Sony 505 even more than I already liked using the older 500 model. As Jan mentioned in her review, the Sony software is easy to use even for a fairly technophobe person such as myself. Combined with the Calibre software, the Reader makes it easy to take advantage of the tons of ebooks I already own.
Thanks Sony for your generous agreement to provide Readers for our reviewers and extras to gift to our blog readers.
~Jayne – who’s still rejoicing muchly.