Product Type: Sony Tablet PCs / eBook Readers
Newest Review: ... love reading my favourite books in print format but I find myself using my Sony Reader more and more. The e-book reader itself holds ... more
A Library in Your Pocket
Sony Reader Digital Book PRS505S
Member Name: hdw4sting
Sony Reader Digital Book PRS505S
Advantages: Weight, Size, Storage Capability
Disadvantages: USB Charger, Slow Page Turn
I have had my current Sony Reader for just over 4 months, it is a replacement for one purchased Xmas 2008 which had gradually stopped retaining charge and, so far, this one has been perfect so I am putting my initial problems down to an isolated fault.
I don't consider my Reader to be a replacement of "real" books in any way but it serves to complement my collections and provides me with a convenient and easy way to have a choice of 1000s of books to dip in and out of every day.
The reader itself is lighter than a paperback book, much slimmer (less than 1cm) and marginally larger in height and width. It is easily small enough to be carried anywhere and I can personally testify that the e-ink used on the screen is just as easy to read in bright holiday sunlight as it is on a dreary commute to work!
It is worth investing in an SD card to go with the Reader, in my opinion, as it really does make your options for book-carriage limitless. It is surprising how quickly the 10 classic ebooks begin to fill up the internal memory and leave you wanting more.
The controls and user interface on the reader are both intuitive and ergonomic and are placed in such a way as enables you to hold the Reader as if you were holding an actual book with options to turn the pages at thumb level and the more occasional control options neatly aligned along the outer side of the "page". As the controls are inset into the casing of the Reader they are unobtrusive, without being positioned in such a way that they can be easily caught by accident.
It is the further menu options that give the Reader potential advantages over a traditional book. These options include keeping a history of the books you have been reading, providing constantly updated bookmarks that allow you to have more than one title active, allowing you to skip to a specific point within a title and gives you options to enlarge the font size if needed.
The major downsides of the Reader centre on the slight delay on page turn (which over the course of a book, particularly a thriller, can become tedious) and the method of charging.
As standard it is a USB charge from your PC which is not ideal as it does limit your options to carry on reading each night after the commute or to be 100% sure the battery will last a 2 week holiday, in addition is a slow charge and so emergency top-ups of the battery are not really feasible. It is a problem easily solved, however, by purchasing a standard Sony adapter which lets you plug it directly into a wall socket.
Accessories on sale for the Reader are, in general, a good investment too. The optional light (or lighted cover) gives the freedom to read on planes and such like and is a godsend for letting my husband sleep when I can't put a certain book down! Other cover options allow personalisation of the Reader and, as mentioned above, the charger really is a must-buy.
The final point to consider is the general availability of ebooks which are at a higher fee, generally, in the UK than the US. Aside from the 100 classic books included with the Reader, many other out of copyright works are available to download free of charge but purchasing a digital version of a paperback can be expensive (or impossible) which is a great excuse to still buy a few "real" books for the shelves at home!
Prices for ebooks are lowering and the 3 big booksellers (Waterstones, WH Smith and Borders) have a fair selection.
In addition it is worth remembering that the reader's weight means it has a surefire advantage over hardback editions and having a browse through the cheaper ebooks could find you an obscure bargain that turns into a new favourite title!
Summary: It's never going to beat a real book but it comes pretty close!
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