The new Sony Reader Daily Edition may replace my Kindle and Reader 505

The new Sony Reader Daily Edition may replace my Kindle and Reader 505

Summary: I own both a Sony Reader PRS-505 and Amazon Kindle 2 and have experiences with older models as well. While the Kindle 2 is much improved over the original Kindle (see my latest article) I still find the Sony Reader to be a slicker piece of hardware and just miss the wireless capability found in my Kindle. As Andrew posted Sony announced a new addition to the latest series of Reader devices and it looks like I may just have to sell my Kindle 2 and Sony Reader 505 to pick up the Reader Daily Edition for a couple of reasons that I will detail below. The Reader Pocket and Touch Editions (announced a couple weeks ago) are also very attractive and for someone who doesn't yet have an ebook reader they will appeal to them at lower prices than the Kindle. However, since I already have a couple of them I am looking to upgrade.

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TOPICS: Mobility, Hardware
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I own both a Sony Reader PRS-505 and Amazon Kindle 2 and have experiences with older models as well. While the Kindle 2 is much improved over the original Kindle (see my latest article) I still find the Sony Reader to be a slicker piece of hardware and just miss the wireless capability found in my Kindle. As Andrew posted Sony announced a new addition to the latest series of Reader devices and it looks like I may just have to sell my Kindle 2 and Sony Reader 505 to pick up the Reader Daily Edition for a couple of reasons that I will detail below. The Reader Pocket and Touch Editions (announced a couple weeks ago) are also very attractive and for someone who doesn't yet have an ebook reader they will appeal to them at lower prices than the Kindle. However, since I already have a couple of them I am looking to upgrade.

Wireless capability

The new Sony Reader Daily Edition has integrated 3G like the Amazon Kindle and Kindle DX, yet the Sony Reader service is provided by AT&T while the Kindle's are supported by Sprint. I have very good data connectivity where I live and play with AT&T and extremely poor coverage with Sprint. I actually have to drive to the end of the road to get a decent signal to download books and content on my Kindle. I have mentioned poor AT&T voice coverage recently, but for data I have outstanding coverage and speeds so the Sony is more attractive.

I would really love it if these ebook manufacturers would include a WiFi radio so you could download content in areas with no 3G coverage and I was hoping Sony would do this with these latest models.

Keyboard

While Amazon made some changes to its keyboard, I find that I really only use the keyboard to help me search their store for titles and think having a keyboard that takes up so much area to be a bit of a waste. Sony makes the most of the viewing experience by implementing a touch screen display with touch sensitive keyboard that appears only when you need it.

Memory

The first Kindle had a memory card slot, but the current model does not include any expansion capability. There is still plenty of room on the Kindle to hold a ton of content, but the Sony Reader Daily Edition includes integrated memory and memory card expansion slots for even more capacity to hold content.

Format support

The Sony models include suport for more native content formats than the Kindle, including Adobe PDF (with text reflow capability), EPUB, Word, BBeB, and more. The latest Kindle DX supports Adobe, but the Kindle requires a conversion first.

Library checkout support

A coworker asked me about any ebook readers supporting local libraries and now I can tell him this will be available soon. Sony will provide access to local libraries through their ebook store with the Library Finder application. You will be able to check out ebooks with a valid library card, download to your PC and transfer to your Sony Reader. When the lending period ends, the ebook disappears from your Reader with no late fees to ever worry about. My local library is pretty progressive so I think we may see them supporting this project soon.

Sony also supports public domain books from Google so there is no lack of available content.

Mac support

As stated on the Sony site, an updated version of the Sony eBook Library Software compatible with Mac OS X operating systems is available now will be available by the end of Summer 2009 for download to your computer to enable you to purchase, organize and download content to your Reader devices. I use a MacBook Pro as my main computer for writing and at home and look forward to managing my library on the Mac very soon. I can do some management of my Kindle via the Amazon website as well, but it isn't the same as a full blown application on a computer.

The Sony Reader Daily Edition will retail for about $399 and I think I have found just what I need for Christmas. The Kindle and Reader 505 may be up on the chopping block very soon.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware

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28 comments
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  • And it's real easy for you to transfer, right?

    All you have to do is push a button, or make a phone call, or send an email, and all your Kindle stuff moves right over to the Sony?
    terry flores
    • Of course not

      But that's the risk you take when you deal with companies that use vendor lock-ins.
      Michael Kelly
  • Won't buy anything that locks content to device

    Did that before and when the device broke I lost content I paid for. I won't make the same mistake again, so no Kindle for me...not sure if any e-book reader is worth the price for my reading habits these days...but if I were a student, or a parent of a student, then e-book readers might be more compelling to me.
    ThePrairiePrankster
    • Agee kinda sorta

      I bought a LOT of LP vinyl records. When my record player died, i needed to buy a new one. That was great, as they made a standard (defacto anyway) that enabled me to buy a new record player and play my old content -- but well, you know where I am going with this...

      So, technology changes, we have to rebuy content to use it on new technology even if the old tech does not break.

      I think we can agree that Amazon will need to support EPUB, and do its DRM using Whispernet - and other eBook, eGame, eMusic and eMovie system developers and content distributores will have to follow this streaming drm model - they need to protect the content from piracy somehow.
      michaelejahn
      • Thats the fatal flaw in the process...

        "they need to protect the content from piracy somehow. "

        No DRM system has successfully stopped piracy, the only one it hurts are the customers buying the DRMed content. The pirates go around it and start selling.

        Of course this model does not generate any customer loyalty, because the legitimate customers get so frustrated they either stop buying all together or they start pirating.
        mrlinux
  • Sweet, but...

    Too early for me to switch from the Kindle to the Sony. The touch interface sounds great, but right now I use the Kindle iPhone app and rarely use my actual Kindle, so in effect, I already have wifi and touch screen capability. But I'm interested to see whether that new piece of hardware Apple might soon be announcing will be the size of a paperback page....
    spstanley
    • Actually

      Sounds to me like you don't even use your kindle, which kind of defeats the object in the first place - the e-ink.

      I can use a laptop, or a netbook or even a PDA, but none of these, including your iPhone are e-book readers.

      Bozzer
  • Sounds Great - But Pricy

    Even more expensive than the Kindle 2. Some nice features, but I will stick with my Kindle 2 until someone comes out with a color screen.
    jpr75_z
  • RE: The new Sony Reader Daily Edition may replace my Kindle and Reader 505

    I'm taking college classes and I haven't seen anyone using a Kindle or Sony Reader. They'd be great for college students, and I can see a cost savings at the end of jsut two semesters. The problem is none of the textbooks I need are available for the Kindle or the Sony Reader or any eBook Reader. Maybe some day, but not now.
    rogg1
  • RE: The new Sony Reader Daily Edition may replace my Kindle and Reader 505

    Don't know as I would go $140 more than the PRS-505 just for touch screen and a 3g phone connection that is US only! My 505 came in real handy on my last trip, was 3 weeks in Serbia and Croatia! Lucky for me as a Linux user that Calibre works as well for Non-DRMed books as the Sony software does in Windows! Though to get the firmware upgrade you do need to use a windows machine at least once!
    leopards
  • RE: The new Sony Reader Daily Edition may replace my Kindle and Reader 505

    Does the Sony have a jack input so an external switch can be used to control it? I'm considering it for use by a disabled person who can only use a jelly bean switch.
    kmahmood1
  • WiFi never!

    Look at this from the author's point of view. A closed system (walled garden) is best to protect your content. You may want WiFi to download - but it's the UPLOAD capability that is a nonstarter. I would really like to see someone write an article on how effective the walled garden is - i.e. how many titles have gotten loose in the world? Your inconvenience is a necessity from the author's viewpoint.

    Can't you see WHY there are not so many textbooks in eBook format? If a title could be pirated, the author would get nothing ever again. Hard to pirate a paper book . . .
    Roger Ramjet
    • Textbooks

      "Can't you see WHY there are not so many textbooks in eBook format? If a title could be pirated, the author would get nothing ever again. Hard to pirate a paper book"

      It's quite easy to pirate a paper book, there are millions out there on the internet. There are tens of millions of scanner/OCR systems out there, mine cost $69 and also masquerades as a printer and fax. Scanning a full-size novel takes a couple of hours.

      But most pirates use an even easier method. They simply pay off somebody in the supply chain for a copy of the "master" file that is used by the publisher/printer to actually produce the book, or steal it from a book company server. Then they have a perfect electronic copy that can not only be put up on the internet, but that can actually be used to print books in places like Asia where US textbooks are often used in university courses and company technical training. Unless you buy a US copy and compare the materials, you can't tell the difference.
      terry flores
  • RE: The new Sony Reader Daily Edition may replace my Kindle and Reader 505

    What -- one wonders -- will the Sony "Bookstore" 21-day
    books cost?
    RTedrow
    • 21 day library books should be FREE

      The books that expire after the 21 day loaner period should be free. They are tied to your local library card and system and are designed to work just like checking out a physical library book, which is free as a public service.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
      • Not exactly the same

        Publishers count on the fact that library copies are a constrained supply. Yes, you can check it out for free, but only one person can read the book at a time. With "digital loans" you can have thousands of virtual copies "loaned out" at a time. I could see them charging a nominal fee to offset this. Or putting a queuing system in place similar to the physical library wait list.
        terry flores
        • System already in place

          I'm a trustee of our local library and in many libraries, the downloadable books are already restricted to the number of copies the library "owns". It works pretty much the same as a physical book.
          Robt.
  • almost (but not quite) convinced

    After the recent debacle with the Kindle and George Orwell's "1984", DRM is a show-stopper for me. If I purchase a book, the store better have a court order and a uniformed police officer before they can take away my book. All the DRM implementations remove rights from the purchaser. When I buy a physical book, I can loan it to a friend, will it to my descendants, and sell it to a used book store. And I have all these freedoms without depending on some company to authenticate me after the company may have gone out of business.

    The one exception to my rule against DRM is what Sony is doing with libraries. If the book is free with my library membership, then I don't mind if it expires. I've got to give Sony credit for enabling library usage.

    Some comments have tried to claim that DRM protects the rights of the author. If an eBook doesn't protect my rights as a purchaser, then the author can keep their rights but they're not going to get my purchase.
    GreggN
  • Just get a laptop

    If these readers are trying to mimic what a laptop does
    (and they fail at that for the moment), then why waste
    your time with them when you can simply get yourself a
    laptop.
    AstralisLux
  • RE: The new Sony Reader Daily Edition may replace my Kindle and Reader 505

    You *drive* to the end of the road? Make a nice walk of it. :P
    diom1982