Sunday, January 20, 2008

E-Reader Comparison

Ok, so being someone who reads alot and somewhat of an early adopter... I've been reading ebooks for almost 4 years. My first E-reader has been the Rocket ebook reader 1100. This has been my 2 lb. trusty companion for reading all kinds of content from the internet and ebooks and my purchased (and often converted ebooks) in .REB format. (The proprietary format for this reader.) This reader has had many commercial incarnations (gemstar etc...) but it's almost the same in every one. Cosmetic improvements here and there but on the whole the same unit.

The REB1100

Pros: Backlit for reading at night. On screen tapping for functions (limiting the number of buttons). Adjustable type size. Hyperlinking in documents. Can make content from standard HTML. Search function for documents. Built in dictionary for looking up words by tapping them on the screen.

Cons: Backlighting strategy makes it unusable in daylight situations. Glare from reader glass is an additional problem. This thing is kinda heavy (2 lbs!). Lasts about 20 hours before needing a charge. Boot up time can be long if there are lots of books installed(3 minutes). Bare-bones management software that does not generate content. (Content generated from 3rd party tools)

What I bought recently was the Sony PRS 500 reader. The even newer PRS 505 is the slightly more elegant cousin to this one. The Sony Reader is an elegant all metal E-Reader mostly meant for just that. It's lightweight form-factor and easy to read type make for an excellent reading experience. Finding and formatting content for this reader has proven to be a challenge albeit not insurmountable.

The PRS 500

Pros: Very lightweight (1/2 a pound). Adjustable text sizes. Instant boot up times. Multi-featured main page which stores books sorted by Date, Author, and Name. All bookmarks are stored in a central bookmark section of the main page as well as being stored in the respective individual books. Plays Mp3s. Displays Photographs. LRS book format compresses data efficiently. Sharp text readability. E-Ink technology gives clarity to text and requres no power to view a page (only to change it). E-Ink technology and no-glare glass makes the PRS 500 clearly readable in full sunlight. Rarely needs charging.

Cons: No search function. No internal dictionary function. Bare-bones management software that does not generate content. (Content generated from 3rd party tools)
No backlight for reading with the lights out or in shady corners.

I can say this is still an upgrade inspite of the missing features from my old REB1100. The readability and weight reduction alone make the PRS 500 superior. The Sony Reader also came with a really nice folio cover. Its about the size and thickness of a DVD case with the cover attached to the reader.

1 comment:

Ann Marie Simard said...

Maybe the other con is that there's no paper... you know. Books are treasures, it somehow does not feel the same when one buys them again. Had to re-buy all my books once. Like my Shakey, it's so torn out of love I really should replace it but probably not going to...