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Notes About the 2010 Sony Readers

Sony PRS350I don’t have the 2010 Sony Readers, but I am getting questions about them and so I’ll share with you the information I’ve gathered from the around the internet.

The new Sony Readers come in three flavors:

  • Pocket Edition – 5″ screen, 2GB memory
  • Touch Edition – 6″ screen, 2 GB memory with SD slot
  • Daily Edition – 7″ screen with 3G and wifi

The names are a bit misleading because the neat thing about the 2010 Sony Readers is that they are all touch.   The listed items above are the main differentiating features: size, memory, and connectivity.   The battery life is about 2 weeks (Kindle has about 4 weeks without wifi/3G on).   They are all made out of aluminum with a rubberized backing.

The Pocket Edition is truly pocket, shaving off almost an inch from the original Pocket Edition.   I loved the original Pocket Edition because of the size and I suspect this new Pocket Edition is even more awesome.

Sony was one of the first manufacturers to present an eink touchscreen.   In the past, eink touchscreens were accomplished only by placing another screen over the eink screen.   This overlay screen would accept and transmit the touchscreen inputs.   The problem was that second screen always degraded the quality of the eink, making it appear less crisp.   This was a trade off that many felt worthwhile.

No Decline in Screen Quality

Fortunately, Sony has developed a way to provide eink touchscreens without any screen degradation.      Sony achieved this by placing infrared optical touchscreen technology which, as I understand it, means that there are infrared lasers on the sides of the device that read your finger or stylus inputs.   Thus, there is absolutely nothing on top of the Pearl eInk display, just like on the Kindle.   If you look at Slide 2   from PCMagazine, you can see the clear difference between the former Sony PRS 600 and the Sony PRS 650.

This is really exciting to me because I think it presents a clear way forward for the color eink screens and I would expect that the next generation of eink readers would all incorporate this type of screen including the Kindle and the nook.   I saw the Mirasol color eink screens at the Tools of Change convention in February of this year and the screen was gorgeous but I worried that adding another layer would decrease the quality of the screen.   Given this innovative use of infrared sensors, I no longer have those concerns.

Easy Notetaking Ability & Intuitive Navigation

Because of the touchscreen, you can easily draw on the eink screen of the Sony Readers and take notes with the stylus or use the onboard keyboard to type notes.   Sony does have software that helps to predict the word that you are trying to type (like many phones).

Turning pages is an easy swipe to the right or to the left.  Touch a word and the dictionary definition pops up at the bottom.

Best eInk Software Organization

Nook has no organization and the Kindle has a fairly lame kind of organization based on folders on the Kindle device. Sony’s organization of ebooks is called “collections” and is based on “tags”.   This is so much easier because you can tag your books using a software program like Calibre (you may have to reconvert to embed those metadata changes) and then send those files to the device. It is much faster and easier for readers.

Latest and Greatest eInk Technology

Underneath those infrared sensors, all three 2010 Sony Readers come with the Pearl eInk display.   This is the latest and greatest eink screen and it is what appears on the Kindle 3.   According to Amazon, the Pearl eInk display has 50% better contrast.

The 2010 Sony Readers also offer the reader the ability to adjust the screen contrast and brightness.   Outside, you may need greater contrast and higher brightness but at night, even reading with a lamp, you may want to reduce the contrast and brightness.

The Drawbacks

The major drawback is the price.   The Pocket edition is $179; the Touch is   $229; and Daily Edition is on sale for $299 (but not currently for sale).   The Kindle 3 (comparable in screen size with the Touch) is $139 and the nook is $149.   Neither the Kindle or nook have an eink touchscreen but the Kindle and nook both have wifi at the low end pricing and 3G at the high end, which is still lower than the Sony readers.

Another drawback is the price of books. For non Agency priced books (books priced by the publisher and not allowed to be discounted), Sony’s prices are often 10-20% higher than Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Which leads me to the issue of availability.   While Sony accepts standard epub, Amazon only sells AZW/TPZ (a form of mobipocket) and Barnes and Noble only sells PDBs or a proprietary version of ePub which can only be read on nook related software or devices.   Thus, you can shop almost anywhere but NOT Amazon and Barnes and Noble.   Sometimes Amazon or Barnes and Noble may be the only places where you can get the ebook.

The final drawback is connectivity. Only the Daily Edition comes with connectivity.   The Pocket and the Touch do not have wifi or 3G unlike the $139 Kindle 3 and the $149 nook.   Wifi or 3G allows you to buy books anywhere you have a connection.   With the Kindle you can email yourself books or other documents.

Thus the question will be whether the eink touchscreen is an important enough feature to overcome price, availability of content, and connectivity.   The availability of content and price of books problems can be overcome if you learn how to strip the DRM from a BN book or a Kindle book.   The connectivity issue, though, is a little more difficult.   You would have to move up to the Daily Edition and pay, at least, $100 premium for the touchscreen feature.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

57 Comments

  1. Katrina
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 04:13:35

    Your ereader reviews are really helpful. I’m hoping to get one for Christmas but have no idea which one I want, since they all seem to have big drawbacks. Plus, I live in the UK, and I’m unsure which ones will work here.

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  2. Lynne Connolly
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 05:46:21

    Katrina, the only one that doesn’t work over here is the Nook. We don’t have Barnes and Noble, and you can’t get to their bookstore. The Sony has a bookstore, but, well, meh, my friends who have one tend to load the books from the computer.
    I’ve ordered a Kindle because of the price. the Sony is coming in at £149 plus, and the cheapest Kindle, the one with Wifi, is £109.
    I might do a blog on my own, sadly neglected site, about it. The situation is a bit different over here, but we’re catching up fast.

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  3. Laura Vivanco
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 06:49:26

    I think I remember reading that the Sony Readers aren’t compatible with computers running on Linux. Do other readers work with Linux? Or is this not a problem if one has Wifi?

    Presumably having a reader that isn’t compatible with Linux would stop a Linux-user being able to back up to their PC/laptop, but I suppose DRM stops one doing that too?

    I suspect that pdf is the only format that has fixed page numbers, which is essential if one’s going to be citing from a text in an academic context. So that’s another problem I have with ebooks and ebook readers. At the moment I don’t think DRM’d pdfs from Harlequin are readable on a PC running on Linux (although the free pdfs they’ve been offering are readable, presumably because they don’t have DRM?).

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  4. Jane
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 08:12:47

    @Laura Vivanco I believe that ePubs also have fixed page numbers but I don’t know the answer regarding linux and ereading software.

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  5. msaggie
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 08:14:06

    Like Katrina, I am also thinking of getting an e-reader. I need to be able to read pdf academic articles (from scientific journals, etc). Is my only choice the Sony e-reader then? As Kindle does not read pdfs. I am very used to reading academic pdfs on my laptop (for work) and so it would be great if I can get an e-reader for this as well as for “relaxation” books.

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  6. Jane
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 08:19:47

    @msaggie The Kindle does read PDFs (probably about the same as the Sony eReader). Sunita has the Kindle Dx and I believe she uses it for exactly the purpose you describe – reading academic PDfs. The problem with using a 6″ or even 7″ screen to read a PDF is that these PDFs aren’t reflowable and the text is pretty tiny for a person to read. The large sized screen of the Kindle Dx solves that problem. Another great PDF reader is the iPad.

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  7. Laura Vivanco
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 08:33:53

    Thanks, Jane, that’s good to know. All the same, I don’t think I’ll be making the switch any time soon. It seems that things are still too complicated (and expensive) for me to feel it would be worth the effort.

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  8. Lisa J
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 08:46:04

    My e-books are all in PDF or ePUB formats. I have the Sony Touch (600) which I upgraded to from the 505. I’ll be keeping it for a while, it does the job just fine for me. The last thing I need is a reader I can buy books directly on. The number of books I buy now is through the roof, so I really don’t need a reader I can order directly on. Also, I like the fact that once I buy the book I own it, nobody will be able to come in and take it out of my library. Another plus, I can read my books at work when it is slow.

    Just me, but I think the price is too high for the Sony readers. If Sony holds true to the past couple of years, this time next year they will probably be much lower.

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  9. Sunita
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 08:51:21

    @Laura Vivanco: As Jane says, ePub format does have fixed page numbers. The text is reflowable so that you can have larger or smaller font and the “real” page numbers remain. That means that you can be on p. 34, for example, for 3-4 screens, and then when the page ends and the next page begins your screen will say pp. 34-35 at the bottom.

    It’s not that the Readers aren’t compatible with Linux, it’s that the software doesn’t have a Linux version. If you are reading non-DRM material, you can easily transfer files from your computer to the Reader. The Reader just looks like another external drive when you plug it in. But for DRM books, you need the software to recognize the Reader and you transfer the material within the Sony Library or Adobe Digital program. I don’t think you can transfer it directly and have it work even if the Reader has been registered with Sony Library and ADE (but I’m not sure about this).

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  10. Michelle
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 08:52:22

    Sorry about thread hijack, but do you have an opinion on the new Cruz ereader? It isn’t eink and has a color screen. I have seen it referred to as a poor mans ipad.

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  11. Taryn Kincaid
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 09:00:49

    I agree. Your reviews are excellent. Really good to see the advantages and disadvantages all in one place, from someone who has tried all the devices. To me, the main drawback of the Sony was the ability to buy books at Amazon and B&N. Main reason I got the new Kindle. Still love the portability of the old Pocket Sony. This one sounds even tinier. Although the Wifi on the Kindle is cool — stuff magically appears when you’re near a hot spot, I also wish I had the ability to tether it to the PC when I’m home, for easier transfer. Or maybe that’s just something I haven’t figured out yet. Still so lame about all this techno gadgetry stuff!

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  12. Sunita
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 09:05:02

    @msaggie: Yup, I have the Kindle DX. I also have the previous model Daily Edition. I got both in my endless quest to read academic PDFs on an ereader. The Daily Edition is better than the 6″ screens (forget trying to read charts, graphs, or tables in that size), but the DX is far and away the best. The screen size is close enough to a journal page size that the only pdfs that don’t render perfectly are from journals with very small print or double columns. And for those, the resizing options on the DX are decent. The Daily Edition reads all-word PDFs pretty well, although the font will be a bit small for some people. With the screen improvement, it will work for a lot of PDF reading, and the annotation features with the touch screen and the stylus are better. So, Kindle DX for reading, Daily Edition for annotation. Both are also very good for Word (doc) files, because they convert and reflow them (with original page #s, I think).

    PDFs are gorgeous on the iPad, and Papers (the app) does an excellent job in cataloguing them, but annotation is not great (you have to use a separate app) and of course you still have the LCD screen. And the iPad is significantly heavier and bulkier than the DX.

    I love the feel of the Sonys and the cataloguing (through Calibre’s tags system) is much better in my opinion than Kindle’s folders. But the prices are ridiculous. Between the Daily Edition and the DX, the Daily Edition might be the better choice with the new screen and the lower price, because it’s much easier to carry around. But I do love my DX, so if you read a lot of pdfs, you don’t mind the large-ish footprint, and you are able to afford the higher price tag, it’s well worth considering.

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  13. Sunita
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 09:08:54

    @Taryn Kincaid: You can tether it using the charging cable. If your Kindle didn’t come with one (the cable detaches from the power plug), any mini-USB cable should work. The PC reads the Kindle as a drive and you just copy files from your PC to the Kindle (look at the Kindle’s folder structure to see where the books go).

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  14. Jane
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 09:09:02

    @Taryn Kincaid You can tether a Kindle to a PC. Just plug it in and then go to My Computer. Your Kindle should show up like an external harddrive. Double click on the Kindle “harddrive” and there should be a Documents folder (I think) and you simply drag and drop your Kindle compatible books right onto that folder from your harddrive.

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  15. Jim
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 09:53:08

    What about ability to download from library?

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  16. J.M.
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 10:22:27

    Helpful Review.
    Thanks
    I`m leaning towards the Sony Readers but their prices have to come down.
    I`m wondering how much screen size matters.
    Are there people who have bought the previous smaller 5″ Sony who regret it and now would upgrade to the 6″ screen even with the price premium?
    I`m simply interested in reading Public Domain books,some purchased books and Library books.
    Would I be better to go with the 6″ or would I not really notice the difference.
    I don`t own any Reader yet.

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  17. Mara
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 10:43:04

    I just bought a Sony reader a couple of weeks ago and you laid out all the relevant details for me more clearly and understandably than the employee at the Sony Store did. Thank you.

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  18. Taryn Kincaid
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 10:55:40

    Duh! What would I do without you?

    (Might have been nice if they’d provided that info in the “Quick Start Guide” for us dense goony-birds. I didn’t even realize you could pull the plug apart to get the USB port connection until a friend told me.)

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  19. Mary G
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 10:55:40

    Jane
    THanks so much for posting the info on the different ereaders. I’m in Canada & while I’m not sure which ereader I want to buy, I’m closer to deciding than I was a year ago.

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  20. brooksse
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 11:33:58

    @J.M.: I have both the 5″ PRS-300 Pocket Edition and the 6″ PRS-600 Touch Edition. For reading epubs, I prefer the 300. That’s mostly due to the better screen quality of the 300. The smaller screen size hasn’t been an issue for me for epubs.

    The only time the smaller 5″ screen has been an issue is for reading PDFs. I don’t like the results of the PDF reflow and prefer to read PDFs without reflow in landscape mode. I can do that on the 6″ screen, but on the 5″ screen, even in landscape mode, the fonts are still too small for me.

    The only other thing I prefer about the 6″ is the SD slot, which is not available on the 5″ model.

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  21. J.M.
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 11:49:08

    @brooksse

    Thank You.
    I guess now that the 2 Readers have the same screen quality it would come down to that extra feature of the slot and the extra cash.
    I can certainly see some advantages of having that slot.

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  22. Ridley
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 12:28:06

    Oh, Jane, you shouldn’t have. I was quite happy to keep my Sony Touch that I got last year, but now that you posted this, I’m in trouble. I didn’t know they got rid of the glass on their touchscreens.

    I like my ereader, I never buy from the Sony store ever, but it is both heavy and prone to pick up glare. I had considered the K3, but really don’t want to abandon epub or have easy access to a bookstore via my reader. If I could just buy books with single click, I’d be overdrawing my account like it was a competitive sport.

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  23. brooksse
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 12:47:15

    @J.M.: One other thing… for epubs, the font sizes are the same on the two models. The amount of time the battery lasts between charges is based on page turns, so less text = more page turns.

    That hasn’t been an issue for me, the touchscreen on my 600 seems to drain the battery quicker than the non-touch 300. But with the new models having the same screen, the battery may last longer on the 650 than on the 350.

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  24. Perry
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 12:50:20

    Hi, interesting information, thanks. I have a Kobo and one of the things I hate about e-ink is the speed. It seems to take forever for the book to load and the page turns are not great.
    Any information on speed with the Sony?

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  25. brooksse
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 12:50:49

    @brooksse: that should have been: “… less text per page on the 5″ inch screen = more page turns.”

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  26. shessuchadork
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 13:24:22

    The market is definitely getting better for those of us looking to upgrade from an old model to a new. I’m still not sure if I’d go with another Sony – their software is quite terrible, universal for all Sony products, it seems. I typically use other stores and other software to manage what’s on my Sony.

    One thing I am looking for that Sony doesn’t seem to be thinking is important just yet is how it feels. I want a reader that’s as easy on the hands as it is on the eyes. Covers aren’t that great as the weight is on one side of the reader, cold metal is still cold metal even with a flimsy skin. Having test-driven a Kobo that’s the feel I’m looking for: lightweight and soft.

    At this stage it’s down to an iPad or a Kobo for me (Canadian, Nook/Amazon aren’t quite the best bang for my buck yet). It will be interesting to see what 2011 brings as far as e-readers go.

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  27. J.M.
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 13:28:16

    @brooksse
    That makes sense that the battery would last longer.
    Anxious to see some hands on owner reviews and Blogger reviews once more people have them.
    The 650 sure looks good on that video.
    Was seriously thinking about Kindle 3(despite lack of Library support) but I`m impressed with this 650 so far.(except price wise)

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  28. Jane
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 14:01:30

    @Perry: The Kobo has the slowest turns on any eink device currently. The Sony and Kindle 3 are very comparable which is to say that there is a delay in the page turn (as all eink devices have) but it’s quite zippy.

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  29. Jane
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 14:02:49

    @Jim: Yes, I should have mentioned that one of the advantages of a Sony over a Kindle is the ability to use digital libraries.

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  30. Jane
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 14:03:48

    @Michelle: I haven’t seen a lot on the device itself. I think it is modeled after the Pandigital Reader which received very low marks from people who bought it.

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  31. Nicole
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 14:31:50

    Aw, now I want to upgrade fom my 505 to that Touch. evil Jane.

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  32. Katrina
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 14:46:14

    @Lynne Connolly: Thanks, Lynne! This might be a really stupid question, but if I buy a Kindle from Amazon UK, can I buy books from Amazon.com? Y’know, since it’s cheaper to buy stuff in dollars. And if I bought a Kindle from Amazon.com (my parents live in the U.S., so I usually buy my electronics when I’m visiting them), would it still work fine in the UK? Basically, is it the same machine, just sold in pounds?

    Looks like there’d be plenty for you to talk about on your blog!

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  33. Mery G
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 16:51:54

    So if you’re a fast reader, the Kobo would be frustrating. That’s the one they sell in Chapters, major book store chain in Canada.

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  34. msaggie
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 17:45:51

    @Jane: Thanks for addressing my question, but I thought the Kindle did not read adobe pdf as it’s stated as such on your guide to the different formats and devices http://dearauthor.com/wordpress/e-book-format-and-device-table/. Perhaps you could update this? The e-books I have currently which I read on my laptop are all either pdf (using adobe digital edition, or standard pdf read on adobe) or LIT (Microsoft reader). The Kindle DX is so expensive – is it better to just get an iPad then which you can do more things with?

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  35. Jane
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 17:55:29

    @msaggie: Whoops. Thanks for the heads up. If your PDFs on the laptop are encrypted (and it sounds like you have some that are), neither the Kindle nor the iPad will read those. You’ll have to either unencrypt them or you’ll likely need to get a Sony Digital Edition (for the larger screen). The nook also reads secured PDFs.

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  36. Brian
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 18:56:04

    @Katrina, you’re better off getting books from Amazon UK than Amazon US as you don’t have to deal with Agency pricing over there. Most books I’ve checked are cheaper from Amazon UK.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    It’s really too bad Sony decided not to allow B&N style DRM (which is from Adobe) on these new readers. They had the option as it’s part of the Adobe SDK, but they chose not to allow it. Would have been nice for consumers.

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  37. msaggie
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 20:46:42

    @Jane – thanks for updating your guide to compatibility of the different formats and devices. I just talked to another friend about this issue (i.e. indecisiveness regarding what to get in my case), and he said that the Kindle DX has no colour – the e-ink technology is black and white. So, if it can read the Adobe pdf of academic papers (from journals, etc, which should not be encrypted) does that mean that it can’t render the colour graphs in colour? This is a major issue as some academic graphs which are published in colour will be quite difficult to follow if they are in shades of grey.

    Jane, you are right that many of my e-books are encrypted. Even with the Microsoft reader, it’s quite a pain as I always seem to have to re-load the program as it’s been updated before I can re-read the few of my e-books which are in LIT format.

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  38. Brian
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 21:19:13

    @msaggie: All eInk is grayscale, there is no color and probably won’t be until at least next year. Supposedly by then Misasol, Pixel Qi and other easy on the eyes, low battery consumption should start coming out on devices as well.

    For color PDF’s right now I’d look at one of the new Windows 7 tablets that are coming out or the iPad (none of the Android tablets seem ready for prime time). Of course then you give up the benefits of eInk.

    The one nice thing about LIT is it’s DRM is very easily removed. There is even a GUI version of the DRM removal software (ConvertLit),

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  39. De
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 21:25:33

    @Laura Vivanco: I have a Sony 505, and I’m weird. I use mine with someone else’s Adobe ID on a work (Windows) computer so I can demo library ebooks for patrons, do most of my (entirely DRM-free) ebook management with Calibre on my home (Windows) desktop, but also have all my ebooks on my (Linux) netbook for the days where I’m lazy and don’t want to turn on the desktop.

    The version of Calibre that shows up in the Ubuntu software center is always out of date, but the Windows version updates at least once a week so I don’t fault that. The only problems I’ve ever had using Calibre to manage my ebooks and transfer them to the 505 are screensize related and that’s entirely a netbook issue.

    The DRM issue with Linux is Adobe. No Adobe software to run on Linux, no DRM’d purchases or library books. But that’d be the same with any reader that takes Adobe DRM. I’ve never seen anyone mention anything about Kindle and Linux.

    So Sony Readers and Linux, yes. No problem. Adobe DRM and Linux, no.

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  40. Marg
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 21:50:31

    I am really close to being ready to purchase an e-reader (my first). I think I have pretty much decided to go with a Sony at this stage for two main reasons. The first is for using it to read library copies, and the second is because with a Kindle there are often limitations on buying some books in Australia. The price differential is a big turn off though.

    Other than that, the decision on which reader seems so overwhelming – I think I just need to buy one and then learn how to use it, and then I will feel much better about it all.

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  41. BH
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 23:25:50

    @Laura Vivanco: You can use Calibre in Linux for ebook transfers as long as Calibre supports the device, and it supports most all ereaders. No desktop reading in Calibre for DRM ebooks….strip it first if you want to read on your desktop too.

    Sony, Nook, Borders, and Kindle (and other) desktop software haven't been made available for Linux yet. No Adobe Digital Editions yet either. When Adobe develops a linux version, IF it develops for Linux, then the desktop software will follow. Not sure about the Kindle desktop software.

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  42. Laura Vivanco
    Sep 13, 2010 @ 02:44:41

    Adobe DRM and Linux, no.”

    Bother. Because that’s what I’d have to get from Mills & Boon, I think, or epub. So it wouldn’t work.

    Libraries where I am in the UK aren’t offering ebooks.

    You can use Calibre in Linux for ebook transfers as long as Calibre supports the device, and it supports most all ereaders. No desktop reading in Calibre for DRM ebooks….strip it first if you want to read on your desktop too.

    I’m fine using programs once I’ve got the hang of them, but I never thrill to the idea of learning new ones. I wouldn’t know how to strip DRM, and in any case is it not illegal, at least technically? The laws on that are probably different in the UK, and I wouldn’t want to accidentally get in trouble.

    Thanks for all the advice, everyone! It sounds as though the ebook situation is still far too complicated to be a good solution for me.

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  43. Angela James
    Sep 13, 2010 @ 08:12:11

    @Ridley: Not that this is going to help you, but I’ve seen the new Sonys, and I have both versions of the previous Sony Touches, and the touch screen on the new Sonys doesn’t suffer any of the problems of the older versions. It’s really beautiful in comparison, so if you like your previous Sony Touch, I think you’d be really happy with either the Sony Pocket (which is small and cute but not too small) or the Touch Edition (which is slightly larger). The touch screen has none of the degradation of quality or reflectiveness of the previous versions.

    The only thing I’d say is that I found writing on the Sony with the stylus a little challenging, but Smart Bitch Sarah and I worked out that if you write in cursive (ie don’t let the stylus lose contact) it takes better notes than if you try to print, which makes the touch screen re-assimilate the touch data each time you lift the stylus and doesn’t work quite as well.

    Also, the cover/light they sell to go with the Sonys is quite nice, and doesn’t add a ton of extra weight. I think Sarah had a video of me demo’ing it on her site.

    And the page turn time is, as Jane said, comparable to the Kindle 3. I thought Sarah did a side-by-side comparison, but regardless, when I was demoing the Sonys, I didn’t find it noticeably different from my Kindles, and since most people won’t be holding them side-by-side, I think any difference is inconsequential.

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  44. Brian
    Sep 13, 2010 @ 09:19:14

    RE: Adobe DRM and Linux. They’ve said a Linux version of Adobe Digital Editions was coming, but that was announced years ago (’07???) so who knows if/when it’ll happen.

    Folks have been successful getting ADE running under WINE. Here’s one thread discussing it…
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=701191

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  45. Terry Odell
    Sep 13, 2010 @ 09:29:46

    Hubster wants to get his scientific mags and journals delivered electronically. He wants PDF and color.

    Me, I’m still trying to find one that I can use in the dark like my eBookwise. Even the “built in” external lights seem like they’ll be too bright for those 2 AM wake-up attacks.

    Thanks so much for posting all this objective comparison information.

    Terry
    Terry’s Place
    Romance with a Twist–of Mystery

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  46. Kristi
    Sep 13, 2010 @ 11:51:49

    About the Linux/DRM issue: Is it possible to load a DRM’d ebook onto a SD card and use it with the Touch or Daily edition? You might still need a non-linux machine to load the SD card, I suppose.

    I have the 600 (the older touch). I’ve read files from the SD card, but mainly PDF’s and RTF’s, not any purchased books (those are all directly loaded…I’m a Windows person).

    As for whether the touchscreen will prove to be worth the extra money, I think its all in the eye of the (be)holder :) I bought the Touch over the nook because of the ability to annotate on-screen. I use it as much for editing and critiquing of non-finished work as I do for reading published work. Transferring the markings back to a computer is a pain (the files are huge and unreadable outside of the reader), but I use it like a papercopy. Mark-up with chicken scratches, then type the real changes into the live document on the computer later. Works great for me.

    For a regular consumer who just wants to read, I can see them choosing a cheaper reader. For an academic user or a writer who wants to save a few trees in their edits, that touch screen is worth the money.

    ReplyReply

  47. Twila
    Sep 13, 2010 @ 12:32:01

    What I’d love to know is what happens to us folks who cannot use a touchscreen interface? I liked the fact that the previous Sony Personal Reader was all clickwheels and buttons, even if I did want a few nicer additions (like more sizes of fonts, more memory, etc.)

    I would really like to see someone remember that not all people can use that technology easily (my perceptual problems are not aided by trying to hit the right motion or place on a touchscreen) and that there is still a place for the good old mechanical interface.

    ReplyReply

  48. Estara
    Sep 13, 2010 @ 12:40:39

    @Katrina: Waterstones.com and their ebook store go with Sony Readers and sell them, too. Whsmith.co.uk has ebooks in pdf and .epub format (with drm, just like Waterstones), so that would definitely be possible.

    ReplyReply

  49. Angela James
    Sep 13, 2010 @ 12:44:57

    @Twila There are still buttons for navigating the Sony devices (page turn, home, etc.). I was able to navigate via either Touch or buttons. If you look at the picture at the top of the post, you can see the buttons on the bottom of the Sony.

    ReplyReply

  50. Janine
    Sep 13, 2010 @ 13:14:10

    I really wish Sony had a 3G & Wifi reader with a 6″ screen. The Daily Edition (7″ screen) looks like it has an awkward shape for carrying in a purse, and I like to be able to bring my ereader with me wherever I go.

    Still the annotating feature of the Sony readers is attractive and I really want 3G and wifi in my next reader. I’m torn now between the Sony and the Kindle! Is it safe to assume the Sony Daily Edition allows users to use the 3G to link to the Sony store and purchase books on the go?

    ReplyReply

  51. Estara
    Sep 13, 2010 @ 13:15:49

    @Twila: I don’t know how many features are stylus only on the new Sony eReaders, but there is still a slim line of buttons for certain actions below the screen, like there was on the former Touch edition.

    It’s well visible on the 4th picture in the PC World slides that Jane linked to.

    ReplyReply

  52. BH
    Sep 13, 2010 @ 19:35:40

    @Twila: You might like the Kobo ereader. I'd call it basic, but it has a lot of good features and easy to use. Good eink display, no touchscreen, plenty of font sizes, easy navigation, and Bluetooth. Available through Borders.

    Check the specs here: http://www.koboereader.com/index.html

    or at borders.com

    ReplyReply

  53. Twila
    Sep 14, 2010 @ 11:29:12

    Thanks for the replies, everyone. I have a last generation Sony Personal e-reader (just got it for my birthday!) so I’m set for a little while. But I’ll keep the Kobo in mind, since my eldest grandson is trying to steal my new e-reader already. :-) And I’m sure I’ll want to upgrade at some point.

    ReplyReply

  54. Stumbling Over Chaos :: Drip drip drop, little linkity showers…
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 02:03:08

    [...] Dear Author on the 2010 Sony Readers. [...]

  55. Béranger
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 14:29:27

    ePub format does NOT-NOT-NOT have fixed page numbers, you gentiles!!!!!

    I am building and fixing ePub files every day!

    FYI, an ePub file is a ZIP archive with XHTML files inside. HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A HTML FILE WITH FIXED PAGES?

    Hence the major drawback of an ePub: can’t have footnotes, must convert them to endnotes.

    ReplyReply

  56. Béranger
    Nov 05, 2010 @ 10:51:12

    OK, let’s add that SOME (few) publishers add in the ePub, in each XHTML file, some “a” tags e.g. id=”page767″, so that one would know where is that point in the physical book (at the beginning of the said page). Otherwise, the page numbers that are displayed are automatically computed by the e-reader (by Adobe Digital Editions) based on the default or actual font size.

    ReplyReply

  57. Béranger
    Dec 17, 2010 @ 03:12:42

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