My background in ebook reading is online with my laptop which I don’t like because I can’t get comfy and also with my iPod Touch which is small but allows me to read in bed. I’m looking for something between the two so I jumped at the chance to test drive a Sony eReader.
I received the Sony eReader 505. The whole family stood around and oohed and awhed. The only rule I told them was not to touch it since it didn’t belong to us. Inside the box with the eReader was a folded poster-size pictorial manual, a USB cord, and a CD. When I put the eReader on for the first time, it worked. But the directions said it should be charged so I plugged it in. Now here’s where I have my first problem with the eReader – when you plug it in, you’re not able to use it as it goes into a hibernation mode and the directions say you can’t unplug it until the little red light goes off. Now this sounds straight forward however, it takes several hours to charge. And it’s basically out of service while charging. Of course the wise thing would be to charge it overnight. However, since the device isn’t wireless, you use the same USB cord to upload ebooks. And as soon as the device is plugged in FOR ANY REASON, it goes into hibernation mode. My worst case scenario was when I wanted to upload a couple books before I went on a day trip and as soon as I plugged it in, I realized my mistake. I find it a major inconvenience that it takes hours to charge even when only partially drained.
Once the eReader was fully charged, I put the CD in and downloaded the Sony eBook Library software and I was good to go. I had no trouble inputting the Harlequin Redemption code for their $25 free ebook coupon. The directions to upload to the eReader were clear and with the grab-and-drop technology, very user friendly.
I started reading and over the next few days, posted/tweeted these observations:
#1 – the eReader isn’t backlit. This means I need supplemental lighting to read in bed or when we driving in the dark. Because hubby is the breadwinner and needs his sleep and doesn’t like any lights on, this became an obstacle to me. My best solution: hold the eReader in my hands while my iTouch lies on my chest with the white flashlight app on. Invariably, I’ve found myself leaving the eReader beside the bed and going back to reading ebooks in my iTouch.
#2 – You can’t successfully search for imprints in the Sony eReader store. IE – I wanted to search for Harlequin books under the HQN imprint. Not only did it list every Harlequin, but it also listed so many books that had nothing to do with Harlequin.
#3 – During my 1st – 2 hr reading stretch, my right hand fell asleep because I was keeping my thumb on the ‘page turner’ button. If I moved my hand to another spot, when it came time to turn the page, I had to look down to check for thumb placement and I’d be taken out of the story. And any good writer knows the last thing you want a reader to do is be taken out of the story.
#4 – It took about 30 mins of reading before I got used to the black and white flash that occurs whenever you advance to the next page. Very disconcerting at first but not for long.
#5 – I was reading in the van one day for almost 20 mins before it dawned on me the sun was shining directly on my ‘page’. Usually I need to read out of direct sunlight. To confirm this, I pulled a print book out and flipped it open. I had to squint to see the words due to the glare and barely read a couple words when my eyes started watering. I wiped my eyes, put the print book away and opened the eReader. Not a problem. Perfect clarity. No glare. No squinting nor tears. Awesome.
#6 – The eReader 505 doesn’t scroll. Even the free eReader Pro app on my iTouch utilizes a scrolling feature so page turning isn’t necessary.
First impressions after reading a couple books on the eReader 505: Very convenient as it fits nicely in my purse, weight is good, looks nice, but I really wish it was backlit so I can read in bed/in a dark car while travelling, etc without supplemental lighting. I wish I could use it while it’s charging. And, I wish I could unplug it if I change my mind about charging it.
Bottom Line at this Point – Would I buy a new Sony eReader 505?:
- Not yet. Because of the aforementioned inconveniences, I would shop around to see what else is on the market first.