Sony PRS 505 Review


Sony first started delving into the eReader market all the way back in 2003, but it wasn’t until 2007’s Sony PRS-505 that they really turned the page, so to speak. This model is very portable, since it is the same size as a paperback novel, and it has Sony’s sleek, modern look, making it the thinnest (1/3 of an inch) of the eReaders.

Sony PRS-505 sets the modern standard in eReaders. This device heralds a huge leap in graphics. Furthermore, you are sure to enjoy the high-resolution, high-contrast, electronic paper display. This feature delivers a very realistic print look that is almost like traditional paper. The technology used (eInk) consumes minimal battery power.

If your eyes are strained and your head aches after looking at the LCD screens ubiquitous in cell phones and similar devices, then this will help soothe your pain and forever eliminate daylight screen glare and squinting. The high quality contrast and resolution allows you to read at the same quality of a standard paper book.

The Sony PRS 505 can become a virtual, portable library, with a 160-eBook capacity. The gadget’s library possibilities would be better if there were expansion slots for Memory Stick Duo or SD memory cards. Users who want more advanced capabilities will like that with the new USB storage, you can move documents, images and other files to your reader.

On the upside, this eBook holds thousands of titles. It features a great high-contrast screen that rivals the readability of the printed page. This device is easy to read in bright environments. There are some notable performance and design improvements in comparison with the 1st generation model.

You will surely appreciate the 128MB internal memory that supports more available memory via SD & Memory Stick Pro expansion slots. It is easy to adjust font size with just the touch of a button. The battery lasts a good, long while. The device displays PDF & Word files, and it can also play MP3 files.

On the downside, titles that can be downloaded are quite expensive. Furthermore, they are only available via Sony’s online store. The AC adapter is an optional accessory. You can charge the Sony PRS 505 by using the included USB cable and connecting the device to your computer.

Mac owners do not have access to the desktop software. It’s hard to read PDF files because of the tremendous amount of reduction necessary to make them fit the screen. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to magnify or zoom them. Even though lag issues have been addressed, some remain during page flipping. Audible audio books have no support features.


Fun and simple to make use of Its lightweight and you will hold a lot of books within the interior Sony PRS 505 remarkable e-ink technology. It reads like a a genuine book It’s possible to enlarge Fonts. Has a excellent function to import Word documents, more so since almost everything online can be copied and pasted into Word format.


Sony PRS 505 access to a large selection of ebooks but more often the list doesn’t always come up with the correct titles.

Contains very small selection of professional, textbooks, or academic ebooks.

Itsability to read PDFs is a plus, however, you can’t browse the contents since you have no functionality to zoom in it. So, it’s more useful for storage than for reading.

Bottom Line 

Sony PRS 505 has definitely made its mark in the e-book world along with the Amazon Kindle, iRex , Bookeen Cybook and BEBook. Is it possible that this is the next phase for the e-book?

The 2nd generation Sony Reader offers some great improvements over its predecessor. These include a consolidated physical design along with increased storage. However, the fact that Amazon’s Kindle offers more titles as well as wireless downloads over EV-DO might put off some readers. Nonetheless, Sony’s sleeker styling $100 lower price may well cause this to become a very popular model.

Design and Ease of Use 

The Sony PRS 505 shortened the size of the prior model by a few millimeters. It’s not even a half inch thick, which is thinner than most paperback books, and can easily fit in your backpack without any discomfort since it only weighs 9 ounces.

The new brushed-silver design (you can also buy this in navy) as well as the camel-colored leather binding (pink and black are available, but cost $39.99 more) are impressive, and the binding is soft and lends a nice old-fashioned touch to the device.

The 6″ LCD screen is rectangular. It is surrounded by a confusing and profuse array of keys. If you are holding the device in portrait mode, the 0-9 buttons run vertically up and down the right-hand side. They correspond with onscreen menu items and can be used to move to selected pages.

You can change the pages by using the two additional keys next to them. Another page-turning button is located on the bottom left; the bottom right holds a menu button and 4-way toggle and center button, making for quite easy menu navigation. On the top is a power switch and a SD/Memory Stick Pro slot; on the bottom are the volume control, DC charging slot, mini-USB and headphone jacks.

Software and Availability of eBooks 

We didn’t run into any complications when downloading the Sony Connect software using the CD-ROM that was included. Sony Connect is a lot like iTunes in appearance and aesthetics, and it only took two clicks for our connected reader to receive books — although if you have a Mac, you’ll need to drag and drop the files yourself.

The Sony’s online bookstore appears to be expanding its book selection and it now has over 20,000 titles. However, there is far less titles than the Amazon Kindle’s 90,000 books. The cost appears to be similar to the standard retailers. Nicolas Sparks’ The Choice, for example, was being sold for $10.19 and Malcolm Gladwell Blink was 7.99. All of the listed titles put on Amazon and Amazon Kindle are priced the same.


With the Reader Scrolling through pages on the Reader took less than a second; while not immediate it was pretty close. The Magnify tool was very useful at changing the text size. There was no need to maneuver back and forth, because words would expand along with the page so the larger you make it, the more pages the book will have overall. We appreciate that the text formatted itself; this prevents you from needing to scroll all over the page.

Sony PRS 505 is great for those individuals who prefer not to stare straight at the page when reading, as it has fabulous viewing angles. You have the option of looking at the display in either landscape or portrait mode.

E-Ink technology involves microcapsules containing white and black particles that move in response to electricity. This supports this eReader in using very little power while maintaining a clear image onscreen. Sony promises a life expectancy of approximately 7,500 page views on a single charge. We read Wuthering Heights’ first 50 pages — after that, we had to quit — and the battery meter didn’t go down, but listening to MP3s (they sounded fine, by the way) at the same time used up much more battery life.

Sony PRS-500 Review

The Sony PRS-500 is a fresh of breath air for the digital reader. The reader has an amazing screen and its technology rivals text on paper. This device weighs les than 9 ounces and is thin and compact. It contains software that offers the user the ability to search and browse through thousands of e-Book titles from the Connect eBookstore.

The software supports transfer of material from a PC to your Sony Reader. The built in memory and multi format support allows you to carry many of your favorite titles and documents. The readers is compact and you can conveniently take it anywhere with you.

Sony PRS-500 is slim and weighs very little. Its screen requires no backlight as it is easy to read in brightly lit settings. The optional SD memory card or Memory Stick Pro can store thousands of e-Books. With a single button, you can adjust the font size. The battery life is reasonable. The reader displays PDF, Word, and image files and can play MP3 and AAC audio files.

Sony PRS-500 is a little slow and has a short noticeable delayed action on page turning. The controls are not as responsive as they should be and the interface could be easier to use.

Sony is still building up the online Connect bookstore. Connect book files cost as much as paper books and are incompatible with other devices. The Connect software is not available to work with a Mac and there is not support for Audible audio books.

Bottom Line
The Sony PRS-500 is an impressive reader for e-books and other documents but its price and incompatible book files is of a disadvantage to it.

Though the “electronic” book has been present in the market, the lack of affordable e-book readers has slowed down the progress of more books moving into the digital realm. Other important challenges exist for publishers to take e-books more seriously but the first important step for the hardware to be addressed. It is good news that Sony’s PRS-500 Portable Reader System comes at $300 and looks to eliminate the above-mentioned challenges.

Detailed Review
The Sony PRS-500 is 6.9 inches long, 4.9 inches wide and 0.5 inches deep. The size is similar to a regular DVD case and a short trade paperback novel that is bound in a leather protective cover. It is obviously heavier than a paperback since it has the slim screen display bordered by metallic blue. There are buttons on its front and the memory card expansion slot is on the side.

The screen is a 600×800 pixel with four-grayscale and fits at 4.9×3.6 inches. What will grab your attention about the device is that once you turn it on (takes a few second to come on after sliding the power switch) the display has no backlight and it has a high contract monochrome. This display is electrophoretic which Wikipedia describes as “an information display that forms visible images by rearranging charged pigment particles using an applied electric field.”

The screen has a high contrast and closely resembles actual ink on paper. Like other electronic paper products, Sony PRS-500 applies E Ink technology which makes the letters and words on the display to appear more like printed words on paper.

The size button allows you to choose between three font setting, small, medium and large. Unfortunately, using the small font will give you fewer lines per page than the actual page on the printed book. Take the example of George Orwell’s 1984 which will have 767 pages on the Reader which is far too many pages as compared to the printed version.

The Reader allows you to view and switch between landscape and portrait, though you’ll probably always end up holding it vertically reading in portrait mode like you would with a book.
The overall look of the text display on the screen is good and we didn’t suffer eye strain using Sony PRS-500 over long periods as you would from reading a regular book in a well lit environment.

What was a bother though was the way the device responds when turning the pages. The screen goes black, blinks and takes about a second to refresh. This has been referred to as a “ghosting” effect and it appears to be a common fault of E Ink technology. Though it’s not the worst thing to happen, one of the first remarks from other users was that they expected a smoother the page turn.

Navigating the Sony PRS-500 is a straightforward procedure but it requires improvement. A top level menu is available to select books, audio, pictures and adjust settings. The user can select books by a specific author, date, organize into collections and go to a page that he has put a bookmark.

On the right columns is a tabbed menu with numbers that match a row of numbered buttons below the display. If you click on the number eight, you are taken to the eighth tab on the screen which represents audio. As you read a book, these numbered buttons can let you jump in front and backwards over large numbers of pages. The Sony Reader evenly distributes pages by dividing the total pages by nine.

Sony PRS-300 Review

Sony PRS-300 was launched, almost immediately after the introduction of the Sony Touch Edition, ready to compete with the Amazon Kindle. With “Daily Edition” in its title, it is expected that it will deliver some news reading abilities. But the question is, does Sony have a secret weapon that will prove it has the power to kill the Kindle?

The Sony Reader PRS300BC Daily Edition has 2GB onboard memory which is two and a halftime more than its predecessor. This device allows you to have more than a thousand books at one time. It has dual memory expansion card slot that will give you a limitless reading library.
To keep up with its main competitor, the Amazon Kindle, Sony has equipped the reader with 3G capability, giving users the ability to shop, buy or download books, magazines and newspapers using the AT&T network.

It is obvious that Sony has borrowed some tips from the Kindle and included a few of its own like providing users with improved access to a wide variety of material. The open ecosystem offers a better contrast that the Kindle’s. Users of the Sony PRS-300 will be able to access different content from different machines as the reader supports ePub, BBeb, Microsoft Word and other formats.

Users will have improved shopping experiences as they will be able to purchase, browse and download from the Sony store which sells New York best sellers for under $10. Shoppers can also buy from online bookstores like Powell’s Books and Net Gallery. In the future, there will be more than a million free public domain titles from Google books available to Sony Reader Daily Edition Users.

Though it offers an edge, the free 3G access on the AT&T network is not enough as the reader lacks browser capability like that of the Kindle. There is no clarity on whether the Sony Reader Daily Edition will have the capability of downloading content over the air in the same way as Kindle’s Whispernet. Amazon bookstore has two hundred thousand more titles than Sony store. There are reader lovers who don’t appreciate the lack of Text to Speech on the Sony PRS-300

The Bottom Line
The Sony PRS-300 might be seen as moving backwards since it doesn’t have features like the PRS-505 or the advanced PRS-600. Memory expansion is not possible and the user is limited to 512 MB onboard which is room enough for over 300 books. It cannot support playing music as you read but that is never really a consideration while reading. One thing that requires change is the expansion of the screen size while keeping the same dimensions. This will display more paragraphs on each page and the removed features will not be missed.

In response to public commentary, Sony has provided a product that will satisfy e-Book readers with the Sony PRS-300. Sony has been able to gain a tremendous competitive advantage over the Amazon Kindle because of its ability to take consumer feedback and use it in improving their e-reader products. It is surprising that Sony’s most recent digital e-reader has in a short period of time achieved a top of the line status with end users.

No matter the product, Sony has been able to put together the right combination of features, technology and pricing which is able to engage serious potential buyers of e-reader products. In order to rise above the competition and stand out, Sony needed a product that would satisfy e-book readers’ expectations, which is what the new Sony  PRS-300 has done. It would appear that the primary objective of the Sony PRS-300 was to address what consumers disliked about its predecessors and building on their strengths.

The PRS-300 has a sleek front aluminum panel available in a variety of attractive colors. It weighs a little over 7 ounces or 220 grams, making it a light portable companion that you can take anywhere with you. The latest Vizplex™ technology is applied on the 125 mm e-ink display which provides a true paper like screen that doesn’t flicker offering users three different text size options. The reader has a back light allowing the user to use it for long periods of time under bright conditions without straining the eyes. Text details are of high quality through the screen 8 grey scales.

The eReader contains Sony e-Book Library software which is compatible with the PC and Mac. This allows the user to organize the personal library easily with the Reader Pocket Edition™. Additional file formats are supported by the reader meaning it can handle more quantities of titles as compared to earlier Sony reader models and allow users to read more e-Books. Some of these formats include EPUB, Adobe PDF, .TXT, .RTF, .DOC and BBeB.

The most favourable quality of this eReader is its affordability. Pricing is aggressively positioned to attract enthusiastic readers who are new to the e-Book community and were previously put off by the high costs of e-readers. There is no doubt that Sony PRS-300 is ahead of the Amazon Kindle and with a price under $200 it is set to make waves in the digital e-reader segment.

Velocity Micro Cruz Reader Review


Velocity Micro Cruz Reader Review – Even though a number of people are ringing the death knell for eReaders, the Velocity Micro Cruz  is bravely making its appearance on the market. You can always look to this company for high quality, good looking desktop models. We feel certain the Velocity Micro Cruz will build a fine reputation thanks to its excellent performance and stylish appearance.

Nonetheless,  Micro Cruz  is not a dedicated reader. Similar to the Pandigital Novel, this device does not use the eInk screen to achieve full-color touch capacitive LCD screen along with tablet capabilities. The hope is that making this choice will attract every day readers, casual readers, and people who don’t usually read.

Here are the things you can do with the Velocity Cruz Reader: update Facebook, watch the news, watch videos, listen to music, play games, surf the net, view pictures, and more.

• It is a responsive e Reader, and loading books, turning pages utilizing applications is quick; however, we can’t really endorse it until we have tested it.
• Thanks to touch capability, you can access menus and applications rapidly.
• On the right hand side, you will find shortcut buttons that make it even easier to use.
• You can replace the battery yourself.

• Little on-board memory is available.
• You must carry extra SD cards along when you travel so that you can store movies and install applications.
• You can use the battery for reading for only 6 hours, so you can’t really read a book from start to finish without a recharge.
• It’s a little inconvenient because you have to recharge every day.
• You will not have very much flexibility regarding the choice of books in your library.
• Only four text formats are supported by this device.
• We don’t know if the virtual keyboard is any good. It isn’t present in the video demonstration put together by Velocity.

Bottom Line 
Basically, Velocity Cruz Reader is a fairly nice multimedia device. Nonetheless, it would not really make a good devoted eReader. The reasons for this are similar to those attributed to iPad in this respect.

You can pre-order the Velocity Micro Cruz Reader for only $199.99.

Velocity Micro Cruz Reader Review
This is a very sporty eReader with a black aluminum frame and a generous 7″ screen. It is similar to iPad in appearance, but it is a bit smaller and on the square side.

This device fits neatly into the palm of your hand because it is only 7.55″ X 5.6″, so it’s just great for browsing or reading discreetly. It’s about two times thicker than Kindle 3, at .6″ thick; nonetheless, the Velocity is not heavy. That’s what they say, anyway.

You will find that this device has a 7″ premium resistive touch screen that features 4:3 contrast along with resolution of 800X600 pixels. Micro CRUZ uses a white background with black text for greatest ease of reading. You will be able to see movies, web pages, photos, magazines and eBooks in living color.

Borders eBookstore and Velocity have partnered recently to increase the number of eBooks available to over two-million. Use any WiFi network to shop and purchase books straight from the eReader. When you download a book, it is synchronized across all your devices. Therefore, if you buy a book using your PC, you will be able to pull it up in your Cruz Reader Library.

You will see your library in a very nice looking, full-color cover format. If you have left off reading a book, all you have to do is tap the library icon at the home menu. Your book will open up right where you stopped reading. Page turning is very quick, as proven by the Velocity video demonstration. You will get the next page in just under a second by pressing the mid-center of the screen on the right hand side.

You will have a choice of both Day Mode (black on white) and Night Mode (white on black). This will make reading very comfortable no matter where or when you are. Text reflow seems to be quite nice. You will not have to manually shift page orientation because the tilt-activated accelerometer is built right in. HTML, PDF, TXT & ePub can be read with this device.

Velocity eReader cannot access the Android Market Place even though it is powered by the Android OS 2.0. You don’t have to use Velocity’s own Cruz Market. You can shop elsewhere, if you like. Additionally, the Velocity CRUZ Reader is equipped with 256MB built-in storage. This provides support for as much as 2GB SD or SDHC cards, as well as more than 6 hours of battery life (24 hours on standby).

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