Gizmo Guy got me an earlier birthday present today. Sony’s brand new ebook Reader PRS-505 – while it was released quite a while ago in the States, it’s just made its way up here. Gizmo Guy has anxiously been waiting for them to be released – since the Kindle isn’t available in Canada, this is the only product we could get. So when they announced they had a big display on at our local mall, he decided we had to go check it out.

I quite liked the looks of it, you can see the 6″ display screen at any angle. It’s about the size of a paperback in height and width, but only a half inch thick, came with a leather case that opens like a book. It was lovely. I questioned the salesman about whether it could load PDFs files (since I have a fair number of PDF’s I’ve already purchased) and was assured it could – he rhymed off a whole list of files you could use other than the books download through Sony’s ebook store. PDF? Sure! RTF, Word Docs, Txt files. There is a button that allows you to choose small, medium or large but I noticed that how big the text was (S, M, L) varied even amongst their provided excerpts. But if I could read my already-owned ebooks, I was onboard. So Gizmo Guy, grinning with anticipation, bought me one as an early birthday present.

As I waited the two hours for it to charge up, I carefully read the manual, loaded the software onto my laptop, and then once the reader was finished charging, loaded a couple of my favorite ebooks on to the reader.

Only to discover it sucks when displaying PDF’s.

While you can load PDF’s you have to view the entire page at a time and, I’m sorry Sony, but frankly, they’re unreadable. Even if you rotate the screen, the text is still too small.

Now Sony does suggest a fix to make PDF files format better on the Reader. But you have to own Adobe PDF Professional and then jump through hoops (43 pages of instructions to follow!) to get it to their standards. Which means I’d have to spend ANOTHER $499 US to buy that package, and then download my purchased ebook in HTML format, copy it to Word and go through a zillion screens using the Adobe package … yeah, right, like that’s going to happen.

**Edited two days later: Originally I gave the Reader two thumbs down, but by the end of the next day I changed my mind and it became a thumbs up, though not for their PDFs.

Sony’s e-Reader
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4 thoughts on “Sony’s e-Reader

  • June 28, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    This is the same one I have and I’m so disappointed in it. I’m most likely going to return mine as well. You can’t even remotely read the PDFs…not even close!

    There has to be a better e-book reader out there that isn’t as big as my laptop?!

  • June 28, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    Whoa, really? I compared the Sony to the Kindle and came away a Sony fan, but hadn’t really played with it, just looked at it.

    And since it’ll be a cold day in Hell before I buy a Kindle, I, too, am looking at alternatives. I’ll put the Tour Manager on it. He’ll need something to do to combat the jet lag.

  • June 28, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    I liked the Sony for the books you buy from Sony, but if you plan to buy from Samhain or EC or read the books TOR is giving away free – you’re SOL. Although Sony has a ton of Harlequins through their ebook site … but PDF’s? Well, until they come up with some way of making the PDF’s readable, it’s not worth it to me.

  • June 29, 2008 at 4:50 am

    That’s too bad. I guess I could meet you guys at the border and hand out Kindles. Although the solution much as I hate to say it might be to wait until technology catches up and the come up with something better.

    I just haven’t been able to make myself spring for the Kindle, much as I like gadgets.

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