Sony PRS-505 E-Book - Selection and Operation

    Almost a month has passed since the acquisition of the Sony PRS-505, and finally I gathered my strength to share the feelings from this device. And it all started like this ...

    Sony PRS-505

    Caution - traffic!

    UPD: Added more detailed photos.

    The end of April. Spring Moscow morning. After a prolonged winter, the bright rays of the sun, flooding the room, are perceived especially joyfully. Chirping of birds, sensations of inner warmth, harmony. So what if the image on the monitor faded, but here it is - the real sun! However, this is not about that. Although the sun's rays still play a role in the framework of this article. Let's get started ...

    Despite the relatively recent appearance of specialized devices for reading on the basis of “electronic paper” (hereinafter referred to as the “reader.” I don’t like the word very much, but it will be more clear) there are already quite a lot of models on sale. Most models have already been updated and represent a new generation of email. books. The price of this type of device is steadily decreasing, although it still cannot be called low.

    As part of this article, I will tell you what I was guided by and why, in the end, I chose Sony PRS-505.

    It’s worth starting with an explanation of why I needed to buy an e-book at all now and what prevented me from waiting for half a year or a year until prices drop and the choice becomes wider. An e-book is a gift for the beloved’s birthday, because, firstly, it will significantly reduce the weight of a bottomless handbag, and secondly, regularly bought books (many of which can be classified as “read and throw away”) simply have nowhere to put . The answer to the second part of the question - why you can’t wait - is just as simple: I don’t want to wait, because the process is endless, the ideal is unattainable, and I want to use the fruits of progress today.

    After the initial selection in the final of the personal competition for the title of “welcome purchase” two devices came out - Orsio b731 and Sony PRS-505. I’ll make a reservation that the older model of the “reader” from Sony under the PRS-700 index was not seriously considered, as it currently costs significantly more and does not have obvious advantages (I will return to talking about the built-in backlight and touch screen a bit later).

    Brief Introduction The

    e-book Orsio b731 from ORSiO Solutions Corporation, a subsidiary of Taiwanese ODM manufacturer Quanta Computer, is currently the most advanced model released under this brand. At the time of writing, the article was available in Moscow retail at an average price of about 14,000 rubles. A detailed overview and technical parameters can be found on the manufacturer's website. I also recommend reading this review.. The main advantages attributed to this reader are support for many document formats, a relatively large amount of internal memory and regular firmware updates. The last point, to me personally, seems rather dubious, as it can be regarded as a “refinement in the process” - a good product does not need such frequent updates, it functions normally from the very beginning.

    Sony PRS-505 e-book. The manufacturer does not need to be introduced. Not even being a “fan”, I cannot but admit that Sony technology almost always stands out and is unmistakably recognized among similar products. The average price in Moscow retail at the time of writing was about 11,500 rubles. The Sony PRS-505 pluses include a thin metal case, a very elegant cover-cover made of high-quality leatherette, and the presence of a large number of accessories. By cons - the lack of official support in the Russian Federation, the lack of a power adapter in the kit, a peculiar attitude to document formats (in the “Sony style” :)).

    I admit honestly - I did not have a love of Orsio products on the example of electronic books. Such an internal subjective feeling when you take a thing in your hands and feel that something is not right. It can be seen that the manufacturer tried, but something is missing. Not so felt, not mine. It seems to be a “soft touch” coating, and a cover. But everything is somehow wrong, it does not inspire confidence. This is solely my opinion, I sincerely respect the opinion of those who think otherwise.

    In contrast, the Sony PRS-505 experience is most favorable. Even though I don’t like other Sony equipment very much. So my story cannot be called the ode of the fierce fan. So, we meet ...

    Sony PRS-505

    So why did my choice fell on the Sony PRS-505? And are those differences that are much debated on forums and blogs so important?

    The reader is thin, lightweight, smaller than a regular DVD box. The appearance and all the sensations from this device easily fit into the notorious slogan “It's a Sony”. You take the book in your hands and you understand that something is really working on design and ergonomics. And not a little. Quality is made up of little things.

    Sony PRS-505

    I frankly like that the manufacturer pays so much attention to details. Whether it is plugs that cover memory card slots ...

    Sony PRS-505

    ... or loops that securely connect the cover and the device itself. Or subtle, but so important magnets, built into the cover and not allowing the halves to open when not needed.

    Sony PRS-505

    The overall impression of the device is all very elegant. It is solid.

    Sony PRS-505

    Sony PRS-505

    Sony PRS-505

    Sony PRS-505

    And now about the technical points. The book I bought was already Russified, although initially I was preparing to do it myself, since there are detailed instructions. I also immediately purchased a power adapter from the mains - it is useful both in terms of charging speed and in terms of additional mobility. True, it should be noted that over the past month of active use, I have not yet had to use an adapter.

    UPD: On the evening of the day this note was published, the reader was still exhausted :) The power adapter is identical to the adapter from the Sony PSP game console.

    Format Support and Performance

    Having received the book, I decided to pretend to be lazy on purpose - without understanding the bundled cord and disk, I took the first memory card that came up (it turned out to be a rare SD 16 MB from the old camera), went to, downloaded the book in TXT format (“ Alice in the camp of miracles "), saved it to the card, the card to the reader and that’s it - less than 30 seconds passed and now the" striped caterpillar sits on the mushroom hat with folded arms and quietly smokes a long hookah, not paying the slightest attention to either Alice or everything around ”- half a minute and can be read. Easy to read. And if you take a little more time and prepare a book, the result will be even better.

    It was TXT. Move on. I also quickly record the first PDF document I get. "Typography" by Emil Ruden is a document that is not easy to work even on computers such as netbooks. Drum roll ... The document is open and, in principle, readable. However, when I tried to apply scaling, I managed to catch the freeze for the first and last time. I’m not sure that the reader just hung, but I did not wait and, armed with a paper clip, rebooted it. Funny nuance - after a hard reboot due to the nature of the technology on the screen, the image does not disappear until the reader is turned on again. The first time it knocks a little. Similar sensations arise during the reading process - often you want to poke your finger on the screen. It affects many years of experience using a variety of PDAs with their touch screens. You don't have to relearn for a long time.

    At the moment, I liked reading RTF documents the most. Easy to prepare, document headers read. I did not install the official program for preparing books and successfully manage without it.

    In search of something else to feed such an “extreme” reader, his eyes fell on the Nikon D80 DSLR. I take out the memory card (SD 4 GB Transcend) - there RAW (NEF), JPG. The reader has a built-in image viewer with minimal functionality. Photos look very tolerant. Opening a photo from a DSLR, he thinks a little longer than usual, but in the end he opens a full-size JPG without problems. A trifle, but nice.

    UPD: RAW are not supported!

    Sony PRS-505

    The memory card from the 8 GB SD camcorder Kingston Class 4 also worked without question. At the same time, both cards were taken back by the original devices without consequences - the Sony PRS-505 did not make changes to the file system and did not leave traces in the form of service files.

    The screen

    will be brief - no problems. The sun's rays interfere in exactly the same way as when reading a paper book.

    Sony PRS-505

    Traces are noticeable if the image is not updated for a long time, but this does not interfere much. Is built-in backlight needed? Not sure. Very unsure. Without it, too, good. At least, judging by the implementation of the backlight in its current form on the example of Sony PRS-700.

    Memory and file structure

    Everyone who saw the reader for the first time immediately asked about the amount of internal memory and lamented that 256 MB is so small. I never understood why everyone is so worried. It doesn’t occur to anyone to constantly carry the complete works of classical literature in the format of paper books, but as soon as it comes to the electronic library, everything must be at hand all at once. I believe the effect of advertising is affecting - the more the better (megabytes, megapixels, gigahertz - an eternal race). People do not want to realize that even on a long vacation, it’s enough to take 10-15 books and 256 MB of internal memory for this material is more than enough. But there are still two slots for memory cards.

    The problem of structuring the collection (Sony PRS-505 does not support folders, listing all books as one list in alphabetical order) with this approach disappears by itself - these 10-15 books are perfectly viewed by a single list, this does not cause any difficulties.

    Music player

    Yes, he is. Very mediocre, drastically reducing battery life from a single battery charge. And if it had not been, then nothing terrible would have happened.

    In principle, the same thing happens with a watch that updates the time only at the time of any action. For example, when turning the page. Useful sometimes, but you can without them.

    And also, as I wrote above, the reader can view photos, including very “heavy ones”.

    Some said that a calculator would be nice. My opinion is not necessary. The maximum is the watch. Because there is a wonderful initial concept - a simple device for convenient reading of electronic books. And all the additional “bells and whistles” are another reason for the manufacturer to raise the price of their devices. For me, the ideal reader is the cheapest device with excellent ergonomics and a high-quality screen. It is created just to read. Need more? A tablet computer to help is a completely different level.


    I do not regret at all that I chose the reader from Sony. Most of its shortcomings are far-fetched and easily overlap with excellent ergonomics, thoughtful little things and the general highest level of manufacturing.

    What am I missing? Perhaps support for DjVu and HTML. What else? I would change the principle of operation of the LED located on the upper end. Now it announces data transfer when connected to a computer and the charging stage. But I want the LED to show the activity of the device - sometimes when indexing new books or scaling it is not always clear whether the reader was thinking or still freezing.

    That's all. In the near future I plan to make the reader more feminine by purchasing an additional accessory - pink leather covers. Otherwise, I and the new owner of Sony PRS-505 are very satisfied.

    Original article to us on my website .

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