Friday, December 26, 2008

Review - Sony bookreader PRS-700

I got this for myself for Christmas, and it is the best present for a reader! It runs Linux, which makes it really cool for me, since I'm all into that Linux stuff. I love how you can change the font size to suit your tired old eyes. When the light is bad, or I don't have my eyeballs on, I can change it to extra large. You change the page with a swipe on the touch screen.

The e-ink page is very clear, with high contrast, but is refreshes slowly. That's why it would never be a web browser, and it's ok that there's no wireless. You load up books via usb.

You get classic books from the Gutenberg project, and it's best to have them in rtf format, which preserves bolding and italics. You don't want pdf, because the text doesn't reformat for the zoom level. If you are really good in Linux, you can get other books -- say no more!

You can listen to classical music (or whatever), while you read. Very neat. The battery supposedly lasts a long time if you are just using the e-ink. They have an led backlight, but that seems weird, and uses a lot of battery power.

For a Linux machine, it's funny that the only computer software they provide is for windows, but that's to deal with all that DRM, if you want to buy a modern book. For Linux, it just appears as a standard usb flash drive.

ps. I forgot to mention the glare issue. It has a translucent screen which I think has some glare-removing properties. It takes a while of tilting to find a good angle, especially with lights behind you. If you have a bright wall behind, and lights in front, it's good.


Anonymous said...

The led lights are there because people wanted integrated lighting and led lights are small, bright and use the least power. I don't see how, from a book reading perspective, you can say the page turns are slow. In fact the PRS-700 has the fastest page refresh of any e-ink device. While it wouldn't do as a web browser, the device doesn't come with wifi or 3G connectivity, so it's a mute point.

Harold Asmis said...

The LED lights are a bit weird and use up a lot of battery. So does the MP3 player. I meant the display was slow compared to an iPhone, I've never seen another e-ink device. Nevertheless, I'm reading tons, and using a high zoom for my old eyes. So far, I'm very happy with it.